Tag Archives: Holiday Wi-Fi

Travelling is the ultimate way to literally and figuratively expand your horizons, but it’s also extremely good medicine for your mind, body and soul. In fact, frequent travel can help you de-stress, improve your personality and can even keep your heart healthier. Here are our top 5 reasons to go travelling as much and as often as you can.

1. Travel boosts your immune system

When you leave the comfort of your home and step out into the world, you’re also exposing yourself to new and foreign bacteria. As a defense mechanism, your body naturally produces antibodies that help to protect you, and over time, your immune system develops resistance and gets stronger. The more you travel, the more your body is exposed and the stronger your immune system will become. Some well-seasoned travellers even swear by travelling as the ‘best probiotic on the planet’. Whilst we are by no means suggesting you forget basic hygiene and take unnecessary risks, we do think that a little dirt can do more good than harm.

2. Travelling improves your heart health

Believe it or not, travelling can actually decrease your chances of getting heart disease. A study conducted in the U.S. found that men and women who travelled more frequently were less likely to develop heart problems compared with those who vacationed less often. Amongst women it was found that heart disease risk could be reduced by as much as 50% and around 32% in men. Great news for anyone looking to justify their next holiday, as it could literally be giving you the gift of extended life.

3. Vacationing keeps your mind healthy

When you travel you’re constantly challenging your mind, meeting new people, experiencing different cultures and pushing your boundaries. All of these have been shown to increase your concentration, memory and overall cognitive flexibility. The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology published research that proved that travelling improves your personality across the five overarching domains (emotional stability, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness). In addition, travel has even been linked to people being more outgoing, optimistic, interesting and just generally more awesome!

4. Holiday = ultimate stress buster

It may be one of the most obvious benefits on our list, but it’s definitely one not to underestimate the importance of. Rest and relaxation whilst on holiday helps your body to rejuvenate and recharge. It doesn’t take much for down time to make a big difference either, almost 90% of holiday makers surveyed said they felt a significant reduction in stress levels after just a few days away.

5. Build stronger relationships on vacation

Solo travelling can be great for helping you find yourself, but when you travel with your loved ones, holidays take on a new meaning. You can build even stronger connections with your partner, family or friends simply through your shared vacation memories. For couples, travelling frequently can be hugely beneficial, with 63% of people believing that it helps them stay together longer. For families there are benefits too, 49% of adults claim they still have vivid (and happy) recollections of their family holidays, showing just how important it can be to make sure you take your family away every now and again.

Hopefully this post has left you with no doubts as to the amazing health and wellbeing benefits of wanderlusting. To summarize, travelling is almost guaranteed to help you live a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life – and could even help you live longer! Don’t forget to take along your very own Tep portable wifi device to get the most out of your time away. The device will help you reduce stress whilst on vacation, you won’t have to worry about huge data roaming bills when you return home (it’s just $9.95 per day for unlimited wifi for 5 devices) and you’ll never have to worry about getting lost as you’ll have access to the internet on the move! To buy or rent a device click here or for more travel inspiration check out our blog here.

Amusement parks (or theme parks as they’re commonly referred to) are a one stop shop for families seeking an adrenaline-filled vacation that is guaranteed to give your kids memories for a lifetime (and give you a peaceful night’s sleep). You’ll enter every child’s dream world, filled with castles, water rides, carousels, roller coasters, ridiculously catchy musicals, fast food, eye candy and plenty of picture perfect moments to capture. Many parks even have their hotel accommodation on-site, so you can make the most of your stay and avoid those summer queues! If you’ve never experienced an amusement park as an adult, it’s definitely one to tick off your bucket list plus, your children will definitely thank you for it.

North America

You’ll find a giant selection of amusements parks in the US, from the magical Disneyland in California and Florida to the ‘Roller Coaster Capital of the World’ (a.k.a. Cedar Point) in Ohio there is sure to be a park suited to your requirements.

The original Disneyland was opened by Walt Disney in the 50’s and despite the franchise expanding globally, it is still extremely popular today. Some of the park’s highlights include the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride which takes you on a winding journey through haunting mines and eerie caverns, Star Tours – The Adventure Continues that lets you relive the Star Wars adventures in an epic 3D motion-simulated space flight and daily extravagant fireworks displays. You’ll need at least 2-3 days to fully cover the entire park without having to rush around (it’s pretty big). Prices for 2 day passes start from $97.50 per person or $85.00 for 3-day passes – book here.

On the other side of the country you’ll find Magic Kingdom Park, another epic Disney creation and one of the top attractions in the U.S. The park is divided into six distinct lands: Main Street USA (the entry plaza), Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, which all offer unique experiences. We cannot recommend enough the Space Mountain roller coaster, Pirates of the Caribbean boat ride and the emission-free Tomorrowland Transit authority people mover to take in the beauty of the park by night. The park is just one of the attractions within Walt Disney World’s gigantic 40 square mile resort. As with Disneyland, you’ll need a couple of days to truly enjoy the entire park but if you have more than a week to invest in your trip, we suggest visiting some of the other parks on offer including  Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Typhoon Lagoon. You can conveniently buy a 14-day pass which includes access to all of 4 of their theme parks and 2 of their water parks. Prices start from $420 per person, to buy or find out more click here.

Cedar Point is perfect for thrill seekers and is world renowned for its selection of roller coasters. Located an hour’s drive from Cleveland, Ohio, the park features 18 world class rides including Millennium Force, Top Thrill Dragster, and Maverick. Daily tickets start from $47.99 and can be purchased online here.

We could quite literally write an entire post on the best parks in the U.S. but thankfully you can refer to this very handy guide for some of the other options available.

Europe

When it comes to world-class amusement parks, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Europe. In fact, the oldest theme park in the world, Bakken, can be found there, in the picturesque woods of Denmark. You can also visit the famous amusement park and pleasure garden, Tivoli Gardens, in Copenhagen. The park is well regarded for its 100-year old rollercoaster, open-air stage shows and storybook atmosphere. Day passes are extremely cheap and start from just $17 (110 DKK) and can be bought here.

France is home to many amusement parks but perhaps the most well known is Disneyland in Paris. Instead of repeating the magic of Disneyland’s French version here, we’d recommend reading this extraordinarily detailed guide to the park with all the tips, advice and recommendations you could wish for.

If you’re looking for a more unusual theme park with a historical twist then Le Puy du Fou in Western France is an absolute hidden gem. Unlike most parks you won’t find any rides here, just spectacular historical shows recreating everything from Viking battles to Roman gladiator scenes, complete with stunning visual effects. You can also visit the meticulously reconstructed historical sites, settlements and even an 18th Century farm which even include artisans, bakers and blacksmiths to teach you the ancient ways. Tickets start from $35 dollars for advance booking or $41 if you buy them on the day.

PortAventura is the most popular theme park in Spain and is our pick if you want guaranteed sunshine for your family holiday. The park is located in Salou and is also easily accessible from Barcelona. The park hosts a plethora of rides across 6 themed lands and also has its own water park. The park’s best-loved rides include Furious Baco, Stampida, Hurakan Condor and Dragon Khan. This super useful guide will give you advice on how to make the most of your trip and save time and money too! Prices start from $50 per person for a 1-day ticket, we recommend you buy in advance here.

Other European amusement parks we recommend include Gardaland Park in Italy, Efteling in the Netherlands and Germany’s Europa-Park. For a selection of less famous but extraordinary parks check out this article.

Rest of the World

The east of Asia is fast becoming a hub for amusement parks and theme parks. Leading the way is Japan with Universal Studios in Osaka. Brought to you by the world famous Universal Studios who have produced some all-time hits including Harry Potter, Minions, Despicable Me, Shrek and Sesame Street, Universal Studios Japan is one of four worldwide theme parks. Some of their must-see attractions include, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman: The Ride and Jurassic Park: the ride. We also love their Peter Pan’s Neverland show held on the park’s lagoon. Day passes to the park start from $67 and can be purchased online here.

Lotte World in South Korea is the largest indoor amusement park in the world and the only one on our list where you are guaranteed good weather no matter the time of year. Also referred to as the Disneyland of South Korea, you’ll be sure to find plenty of thrills here. Our favorite rides include the Atlantis Adventure water coaster, the Pharaoh’s Fury dark ride and Desperados II. Entry to the park for one day costs around $47 for adults, for ticket information click here.

The final park on our list is Beto Carrero in Brazil. It’s the biggest amusement park available in Latin America. It’s consistently been rated as one of the best places for the family in the country and is located just south of the capital, Rio de Janeiro. Some of the best bits include the Velozes e furiosos show, Fire Whip roller coaster, Imperio das Aguas and the Traum Boat 360. Daily entry costs around $27 per person.

Here are our top tips for planning and enjoying your amusement park holiday

1. Research the amusement park before you book – assess whether the rides will be suitable for your kids’ age range.

2. Shop around for prices/deals – you may find special offers and cheaper prices for booking early or at certain times of the year.

3. Get your kids involved and make a list of all the attractions you’d like to see – this will get them super excited for the trip and will you prioritize and make the experience that much better.

4. Plan the best route around the park so you can save time when you arrive – this will also allow you to enjoy as many rides as possible. Don’t forget to factor in queuing times for the most popular rides.

5. Get there early morning (or pay extra for priority passes)! Queues are part and parcel of theme parks, particularly in peak season, so either get there early or pay your way to get on those rides first.

6. Most rides have a height restriction (usually displayed on their website) – so be wary before getting your kids all psyched up for rides they might not be eligible to ride.

7. Pack a poncho! Some rides can get wet and wild so you’ll want to protect your clothing. We’d also suggest wrapping your phone in a zip lock bag to protect it from unnecessary water damage.

8. Designate a place to regroup if anyone in your family gets lost – we also recommend attaching your contact details to any of your younger children, just in case they wander off (theme parks are big places). If you’re super paranoid about losing your child this app could help you geo-locate them using a smart-phone.

9. Carry a rechargeable phone case. It might sound a little over the top, but given that amusement parks are usually all day events, you’ll need to make sure your mobile can be used to find your family or navigate back home after a long day. This BoxLengend case is very affordable and highly effective charger for just such situations.

10. Stay connected to the internet. You can share videos of those epic rides in real-time, WhatsApp your location to your group and even Instagram some of those priceless memories all from your phone. Data roaming is very costly (and risky) so we recommend bringing your own Tep portable wifi device to ensure you have safe and secure access to the internet wherever you go. The device gives you unlimited internet access for just $9.50 per day and can be used by all the family simultaneously. To find out more or to buy a device click here.

Whether you’re a hopeless romantic or a Prince Charming, we’ve got some great ideas for you to try with your better half this Valentine’s Day. We’ve ordered them by the amount of planning and preparation required, starting with the easiest and most risk-free suggestions – so there’s no excuse not to make an effort!

5. Flowers and Chocolates

Roses are red – they also happen to be one of the most widely recognized symbols of love and affection around the world. So why not splash out on a bouquet of fragrant roses that are perfect for a grand Valentine’s Day entrance – they’re also equally good, deconstructed, as a romantic trail leading to the boudoir!

If your partner has a sweet tooth, make sure to pick up a box of chocolates. Not only is chocolate one of the most romantic treats you can give your loved one, it’s also medically proven to release serotonin (which makes you feel good). You’re guaranteed to make a great impression with one of these affordable but delightful chocolate boxes. If you really want to push the boat out, why not take your partner to a chocolate making class where you can perfect your chocolatier skills together.

4. The Dinner Date

This year’s Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday, so why not give her something money can’t buy, your precious time and a home cooked meal. She’ll really appreciate the effort and it’s a great way to show her how much you care (without spending tons of cash on a fancy meal). If you need some inspiration check out these 25 delicious and decadent recipes. We also recommend doing a test run (with your kids or friends) before the big day, to make absolutely sure your chef skills are on point.

If you’re worried your cooking skills aren’t up to scratch, a romantic meal for two at your favorite restaurant is a great alternative. It’s an excuse to get all glammed up and will give you both the chance to focus on each other – whilst someone else worries about the dishes! If you’re up for something more adventurous, you could always pick an exciting new restaurant to try out and critique together. Whichever option you choose make sure to book your reservation well ahead of time (spaces go notoriously fast on Valentine’s Day).

3. A Treasured Gift

Money can’t buy you love, but it can give your partner something they’ll treasure for years to come. If you’ve budgeted for something extra special, Tiffany & Co. is the go-to destination for timeless pieces of jewelry. Alternatively, you could pick out a fragrance that will compliment her personality and keep you head over heels for her with a gift that benefits both of you. This list has some amazing options including some of the most seductive perfumes of the year. If you’d rather not splash out on a gift or don’t have the time, you could always evoke your DIY creative side and make her something that she’ll truly appreciate – here’s 40 easy gift ideas from Buzzfeed you can make yourself.

2. A Life Experience

Valentine’s Day could be the perfect opportunity for you to help your loved one cross off an item from their bucket list, or simply do something they love. Whether it’s booking tickets to an Opera, taking them to see their favorite band in concert or even going bungee jumping, an activity will bring you closer together and help make this Valentine’s one to remember. If you want to up the stakes, you could even try re-enacting the moment you fell in love, by taking her to that cherished place where you first laid eyes on each other.

1. A Romantic Holiday Getaway

Our top Valentine’s Day treat will require the most planning and preparation but will guarantee you blow your significant other away. Hop on a plane and jet your loved one off on a romantic getaway they will never forget. If all you have is a long weekend to elope we suggest the city of love a.k.a. Paris. Apart from the famous ‘love-locking’ on the Pont des Arts (which is sadly now banned) here are 10 romantic things to do in Paris.  If you’ve already been to Paris or would like to try something different this year, Venice and New York are two great cities for a passionate weekend away.

If you’ve somehow managed to steal away for longer than just the weekend and want a Valentine’s with a difference, Tep highly recommends an escape to the magical Kyoto in Japan. February is a great time to experience the first plum blossoms and the fascinating Setsubun festival. If you want to spend Valentine’s Day in the warmth, there is no better and more picturesque location than Bali where you can enjoy an ‘aphrodisiac picnic in bed’ whilst watching the sunset or horseback riding on the secluded Yeh Gangga beach.

Your romantic getaway wouldn’t be complete without your own Tep portable wifi device that will allow you and your beau to stay connected to the internet, and plan which famous landmark you’ll adventure to next or what rustic cuisine you’ll woo her with come the evening.

The device works in over 80 countries including all of the romantic destinations we’ve mentioned in this post. It costs just $9.95 per day for truly unlimited data so you can upload as many cheesy photos, videos and memories as you like without worrying about data roaming costs!

We hope this posts helps score some serious brownie points for you this Valentine’s Day and makes you and your partner feel extra special.

With Christmas just around the corner, children everywhere will be eagerly awaiting the visit of Santa Claus. Traditionally, children contact the infamous Saint Nick by posting a handwritten wish list to his home in the North Pole. But with the next generation of kids growing up with technology at their fingertips, we wondered how the modern Santa might cope? For the first post in our festive series, we’ve reimagined how a tech savvy Santa Claus would manage demands of modern Christmas if he had Tep’s portable wifi device with him on his travels.

It must be a pretty lengthy task, compiling lists of all the 2.2 billion children around the world and making sure each one gets a gift that their heart truly desires. This would be made infinitely easier if Santa had access to the internet on the go, making everything from composing gift lists to the logistics of worldwide delivery, a whole lot easier.

Thankfully for him, Tep’s device works seamlessly across 72 countries, meaning he no longer has to worry about switching SIMs or buying costly data add-ons.

If Santa had Wi-Fi he would be able to create his own Pinterest Boards so that children can log in and pin the latest toys and gadgets that tickle their fancy.

Instead of having to write letters and posting them to the North Pole, kids would be able to tweet to @Santa__Claus directly with their wish lists. Parents would be able to live tweet when their children have been ‘naughty or nice’, so that Santa doesn’t have to check his list twice.

Santa would also be able to maintain his own blog which gives children and adults helpful tips on how to stay in his good books this holiday season. By hosting an ‘Ask Me Anything’ on the web he could invite children to ask him those burning questions – how does he get around the world in just one night?

As soon as the gift registry is updated online, Santa would be able to Skype his elves back at H.Q. to make sure everything’s running smoothly.

Even Santa’s little helpers would be able to join in by taking ‘elfies’ and Snapchatting newly wrapped presents! With the ability to connect wirelessly to the internet wherever he goes, Santa would be able to live update the world on his travels. He would even be able to use GPS tracking on his sleigh and reindeer so they would never get lost, even with Rudolph’s guiding red nose.

Once Santa sets off on his epic journey around the world in 24 hours, his loving wife would never be more than a Whatsapp message away, sending him gentle reminders to go easy on the mince pies!

For those eager to catch a glimpse into the life of the elusive man, Saint Nick would be able to reveal his location on FourSquare or even share live videos of himself climbing down chimneys via Periscope.

A selfie stick would be an essential tool for the tech savvy Santa who has millions of instagramming opportunities to pose alongside cookies, mince pies, or whatever delicious treats are on offer from around the world.

With a portable wifi device to accompany him on his Christmas Eve mission, Santa would be able to stay connected to the world and make sure his delivery happens seamlessly.

But even If you’re not orchestrating a global mission impossible like Santa, Tep’s device is perfect for any holiday abroad and will ensure you stay connected during this festive season.

Happy Holidays, from the Tep Team!

If you’ve had any experience with traveling abroad whilst roaming, you’ll know the risks of receiving a shocking bill are high – as many as 4 in 10 people have been landed with one. In this informative post we’ve given you a breakdown of the new measures, who will benefit from them and some useful advice on how to stay clear of excessive roaming charges for those who are left out.

The new ban on all roaming surcharges was announced by the European Commission this year and will come into force in June 2017 across all its 28 member states (plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein).

The new measures will also include a 14-month period from April 2016 where an interim cap on charges will be in place. During this period surcharges will still be allowed but will be significantly reduced; calls and data will be capped at €0.05 extra and SMS will be capped at €0.02 per message sent.

A timeline of the changes

– October 2015 – Agreement formally adopted by the Council and by the European Parliament.

– April 2016 – Interim period on charges will come into force: Network providers will still be able to add surcharges but will be capped at €0.05 extra per megabyte of data, €0.05 extra per minute of calls and €0.02 extra per SMS sent.

– June 2017 – Roaming charges abolished in 31 European countries

Who will benefit from the EU’s new measures?

For the 10% of the global population with a smartphone who live in Europe, the horror of bill shocks will no longer be a fear once June 2017 comes around, so long as you travel to one of the EU member states that the new regulations apply to.

Here is the full list of European countries that are included and excluded from the ban:

EU Countries that are included:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy,Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK

EU Countries excluded:

  1. Albania,
  2. Andorra,
  3. Croatia,
  4. Russia,
  5. San Marino,
  6. Switzerland,
  7. Turkey.

As you can see from the list, a few European destinations will be excluded from the new regulations – including tourist hotspots Croatia, Turkey, Russia and Switzerland. Even with the interim data cap at €0.05 per megabyte, costs will still be significant for any data usage – 300 Mb of daily data usage could set you back at least €15 per day, and 1Gb of data will still cost you €50. So, if you are from the EU and want to travel to countries outside the roaming ban, make sure you take a look at our post on holiday roaming here to avoid the common pitfalls.

How will the changes affect the rest of the world?

Unfortunately, the abolition of roaming charges in Europe is unlikely to be implemented in other parts of the world.  In fact, high roaming charges between continents looks here to stay for at least the foreseeable future. In other words, holidaymakers from the rest of the world who want to travel to Europe, or European travelling to the Americas, will still have to be extra cautious in using their mobile data, as excessive usage will likely cost a fortune.

The U.S. in particular shows no signs of improving, with network providers AT&T and Verizon charging overseas travelers as much as $20 per megabyte for data roaming, meaning streaming a movie on Netflix could cost you a whopping $18,000! We’ve highlighted some of the most shocking data roaming stories in our Horrors of Data Roaming post if you want to read more.

Our verdict

Mobile data roaming consumption has been steadily increasing over time, which clearly shows that whilst the cost are high, the modern day travelers considers staying connected on their trips an essential not just a luxury.

We believe that the EU’s step towards abolishing hefty roaming surcharges is most definitely one in the right direction. We fully support any measures that make sure consumers get savings and more affordable access to the internet. However, there are many gaps left by the new legislation that will still mean costs stay high for travelers from outside the EU, people traveling to destinations not included in the ban and for heavier data users.

Savvy travelers have learnt to adapt to the surcharges in a number of different ways; by using free public wi-fi, capping their bill, buying a data add-on or even turning their mobiles off entirely. Yet all of these options make accessing the internet a hassle, more costly and in some cases even risky (public wi-fi has some serious pitfalls – which you can read about here).

Thankfully there is a solution that solves all of these issues. Tep portable WiFi devices delivers you cost-effective, reliable, fast and secure internet for almost any destination in the world. The device will even be cheaper than the EU’s interim price cap, at €8.95 / £6.5 / $9.95 a day for unlimited usage for up to 5 devices, you’ll be hard pushed to find a more competitive price on the market.

Until roaming charges are abolished worldwide, we recommend using Tep’s wireless device for an all-encompassing solution, regardless of where you are planning to travel next.

Pitfalls of Holiday Wi-Fi

The High Cost of Data Roaming

It’s a problem many well-seasoned travellers are accustomed to, 4 in 10 people polled by USwitch have been landed with a shock bill just for using their mobile phone abroad. Even for the careful user, turning your phone on in a foreign country and receiving texts or voicemails can cause costs to soar. Using mobile data is particularly expensive as one British holidaymaker found when she racked up a £2,318 bill simply by using her mobile data to navigate the confusing and congested streets of Istanbul.

Why are the costs so high?

The carrier you are roaming on whilst you are abroad charges your network per megabyte, and does it at an astronomical price. The reason for this is rather interesting, because every country you visit will have multiple networks and your phone frequently switches between them, there is no incentive for roaming providers to push down prices. On top of that, your network carrier has to charge you for the highest network out there, in case you stay with them the entire time. The net result is that you get totally screwed over.

What can you do about it?

The reality is most modern travellers like to stay connected wherever they go, especially in a new country, where having access to Google maps could mean the difference between being lost and getting to your hotel safe and sound. Mobile data is also really useful for quickly evaluating a local restaurant on Trip advisor, finding out the opening times of a local attraction or staying in-touch with friends and family. If you don’t want to be paying a premium for uploading your holiday snaps to Facebook or checking directions to that great Bistro you’ve been recommended then there are few standard ways you can avoid it.

Contact your network provider and ask them to cap your bill – this will make sure you don’t return to a shock bill but will mean you won’t be able to use your data after it’s reached the limit.

Buy a data add-on that will give you a set amount of data to use whilst your away – this is a good option if your provider has reasonable offers on but will again mean you can’t use data after it runs out.

According to a recent Deloitte report 53% of people say they turn their phone off entirely or turn off data in order to avoid the costs of roaming. Just 18% said they would activate a data-add on.

Holidaymakers are clearly fed-up with having to pay excessive amounts for using their mobile phone abroad and want to be able to connect to the Internet whilst travelling without risking overcrowded Starbucks and unsecure connections.

If you don’t want to risk your mobile phone bill skyrocketing whilst you bask in the Sicilian sunshine you could always resort to turning your mobile data off and sticking to public Wi-Fi. You might think that this is an easy fix but connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots has its pitfalls.

Public WIFI

Public Wi-Fi hotspots, typically found in Hotel lobbies, Airports and Coffee Shops, allow you to connect to the internet for free (or for a small charge) and will usually require a password or registration. Whilst this option is incredibly convenient and free to use, there are several pitfalls which many people remain unaware of. The main risk to always be aware of is your data’s security. When you are logged in to a public network it becomes infinitely easier for a hacker to access and steal your personal information, think passwords, logins and credit card details – here’s a useful guide you should read to make it harder to steal your data.

Some Wi-Fi providers will also ask you to sign-up with them in order for you to access their service for free, whilst this may seem like a reasonable trade-off you are leaving yourself open to spamming and having your email address sold on to third parties. Make sure you always check the terms before you click to agree! Even if you do manage to jump through all the security hurdles, you are still hugely restricted to where you can use your Wi-Fi enabled devices and cannot enjoy access to the internet unless you are close to a hotspot.

Another problem many travellers face when they eventually locate a coffee shop with free Wi-Fi, is that they then have to deal with the noise, overcrowding and having to pay for a $4 Caramel Macchiato they never even wanted.

Portable WIFI

Portable Wi-Fi allows you to connect to the Internet from a secure, safe and convenient device that fits in the palm of your hand and can be taken anywhere. The device effectively creates a wireless hotspot with a 3G connection. By connecting to the internet through your portable device, you can save your mobile phone’s battery from draining, giving you more time to make your friends back home jealous with your photography skills.

Avid travellers David and Veronica James, better known as the ‘Gypsynesters’, were through with paying an ‘arm and a leg’ to use their devices abroad and found themselves quickly eating through data add-ons which they purchased from their U.S based network provider. Read their experience of using Tep Wireless’ portable Wi-Fi in Europe and South Africa here.

Tep Wireless’ device is available to rent for a fixed daily cost of $9.95 and allows you to travel and use the Internet seamlessly in 64 countries worldwide, making it great for that Euro trip you’ve been planning. It also gives you unlimited access for up to 5 devices, which means you can share your fuss-free connection with your friends and family. The main benefit of using a device such as Tep’s is that you no longer have to worry about your bill skyrocketing or your connection being insecure – it’s truly unlimited and completely secure.

So there you have it, our top tips to avoid unreliable Internet connections and high data roaming charges. If you need some holiday inspiration, why not check out our last post on the top cities to visit in Europe.

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We love travelling and keeping our customers up-to-date with the latest technology that will make their time abroad more comfortable, enjoyable and memorable. The basic tech essentials like a smartphone, camera or Wi-Fi enabled tablet will ensure you stay connected but there are now a whole host of options and add-ons you can buy to make your trip even better.

We’ve now entered the age of the pocket traveler, where bigger is no longer better and the latest technology comes in forms that you can easily fit into your weekend bag. We’ve put together a list of some our favorite pocket gadgets that will compliment any holiday plans. In this week’s blog post we’ll be taking a look at five gadgets that you shouldn’t leave home without.

Portable Charger

Most smartphones will easily drain through a full charge of battery in just a few hours by using common apps like TripAdvisor, WhatsApp or Instagram. If you don’t want to spend the best part of your holiday wandering the streets in search of that elusive free plug, there is a solution. A portable charger (also known as a power bank) allows you to recharge your electronic devices on the go, making them especially handy for extending the longevity of your smartphone.

We think Anker’s 2nd Gen Astro E4 charger is perfect for the gadget-wielding traveler. It allows you to charge two devices simultaneously and no it doesn’t matter if you’re partial to Apple, Android, Windows or *gasp* Blackberry, it will charge all without prejudice! We love it because it has enough power to give your devices another day of use, its light (less than 300g), portable and won’t break your bank account.

You can check out a video review here or buy it directly on Amazon.

Our Pick: Anker Astro E4 (2nd Gen)

Price: $29.99

Noise Cancelling Headphones

Any frequent flyer will know that crying babies, noisy children and coughing passengers are obligatory additions to in-flight entertainment, but thankfully technology can come to the rescue.

Noise cancelling (or active noise reduction) headphones can help shut you off from the rest of the world and allow you to listen to your blockbuster movie or smooth jazz sessions completely free from noisy interruptions.

We can’t fault Bose’s Quietcomfort 20 – it does exactly what is says on the tin. The headphones are comfortable, great at minimizing annoying ambient sound, and (perhaps unsurprisingly given the brand) sound fantastic. These headphones aren’t cheap, but given that Bose is one of the most trusted brands for audiophiles, we feel these headphones are completely worth the price of admission – if not simply for the 40 winks you can finally enjoy 30,000 ft. in the air. Here’s an extremely thorough review by Forbes Tech if you need further convincing, and if you’re already convinced, here’s the link to buy them.

Our Pick: Bose Quietcomfort 20

Price: $299.00

Portable Speakers

If you consider yourself the life and soul of the party, and don’t mind imposing your music on those around you, you’ll want to invest in a portable speaker. It’s a relatively low-priority item on most people’s holiday shopping list, but one that can completely transform the ambience of your trip.

We’ve managed to find a really compact Bluetooth speaker that will be a welcome companion on any holiday; whether you’re day tripping to the beach or simply lounging by the pool. The Philips Shoqbox Mini may be pint-sized, but it packs a punch; it reaches high volumes, is waterproof, dustproof, floats and doubles as a conference-call device. It’s also reasonably priced for a speaker of its spec and could equally make a welcome addition to bath times at home, if you fancy retiring from pool party DJ-ing and taking up tub time sing-a-longs. Here’s an in-depth review by CNET.

Our Pick: Philips Shoqbox Mini

Price: $49.99

Portable Wi-Fi Device

Staying connected to the Internet has becomes an essential aspect of life, so why should it be any different when you’re basking in the glorious rays of your well-earned holiday? We know travelers are some of the most data-hungry people, so we’ve designed a pocket-sized device that gives you unlimited internet on the move – so you can scroll, swipe, snap, click and play to your heart’s content.

We also know that data roaming is expensive and public Wi-Fi is unreliable (click here read more about the pitfalls), so we’ve come up with an all-encompassing solution to both. Tep Wireless’ device costs a fixed daily amount ($9.95), there are no hidden charges or risk of your bill skyrocketing, you can connect up to 5 devices simultaneously (including mobile phones, tablets and laptops). It’s completely secure and you don’t even have to buy the device yourself – just rent it here as and when you need it. Check out our review section here or this overview from independent blogger, Pommie Travels.

Our Pick: Tep Wireless

Price: $9.95 per day (rental)

Portable Action Camera

Meet the modern day equivalent of VCR tapes for your family holiday. Video recording devices now let you capture those candid moments without having to reach for your smartphone or camera. Portable action cameras like the GoPro Hero make it super easy for you to ‘share your world’ with first-hand perspective, high quality videos – while they don’t guarantee to make you an internet sensation, they do look pretty damn epic.

The camera itself is very compact and easy to use, you can read the full review here. It’s perfect for when you go mountain biking in Austria or surfing in Hawaii or simply if you want to record your journey through the streets of magical Paris. We love the fact that its durable, waterproof, compact and makes sharing your memories really fun. You can buy it here.

Our Pick: GoPro Hero

Price: $129.99

So there you have it, our list of the best portable gadgets available on the market to give you that extra piece of mind on your travels. If you need some holiday inspiration, why not check out our last post on the top cities to visit in Europe.

Tep-Horrors-of-Data-Roaming-Infographic

Data roaming is not cheap, but do you really know what monsters you might awaken by turning your phone on whilst on vacation?

In the U.S., providers AT&T and Verizon charge up to $20 per megabyte. Doesn’t sound terrifying? To put that into context, a 3-minute YouTube video would cost you a spine-chilling $100 or worse still, a movie streamed on your iPad would set you back $18,000.

Forget vampires, these horrendous figures are enough to drain the blood out of you – and your bank account. In this shocking post we will be giving you a glimpse into the nightmare situations which mere mortals have been experiencing all over the world.

Our series of unfortunate events begins in Spain, where one woman unknowingly racked up a bill of £16,000 ($24k) for sending text messages whilst roaming. In Turkey the misfortune continued for Ms Mills who went away to relax but was instead greeted with a bloodcurdling bill for $34k – she was just trying to Facetime her friends and family.

Even the careful sort (who only use Wi-Fi) can get caught in a sticky web of data roaming charges as this woman found whilst visiting the States. Parents should be particularly wary of the data roaming demons, as one father experienced a nasty surprise when he received a $22,000 bill after a trip to Mexico – his son had been innocently playing with his phone. Even for businesses, roaming can be a nightmare as one employee got himself thrown into Dante’s inferno for using $15,500 worth of data in Sri Lanka – on his work phone (ouch).

Not even the Canadian government was immune to the horrors of roaming – one of their officials was billed $20,000 for just 2GB of data whilst in Poland. Music lovers be warned, a Neil Diamond album could cost you $4k, as Katie Bryan realised after she returned from holidaying in South Africa.

Are you frightened yet?

We’ve done some number crunching and figured out what a bad roam-ance could cost you. At $20 a megabyte for data-roaming:

  • 15 YouTube videos just lost you a new MacBook Pro
  • 4 Movies could have paid for a brand new Tesla Model X
  • 65 Skype calls later and you could have been a homeowner

If our stories and statistics don’t give you the ‘hebejebes’, we’ve heard Fear Factor may be hiring. If however, you do want to save your soul from the data roaming demons we suggest you avoid going trick or treating with your mobile data plans – we checked and they don’t accept candied apples or sweets. We also recommend making sure your data roaming is switched off when you go away and getting your hands on a portable Wi-Fi device to save you from the horrors above.

To find out more about how our wireless Internet device could save you money on your next holiday, click here.

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