Tag Archives: Holiday Wifi

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.

Technology has made its way into the heart of modern life. Just 24 years ago the smartphone didn’t even exist and now 2 billion people worldwide own one. The only problem with the massive infiltration of technology is the very technical language that comes with it.

Even if you get your hands on the latest gadgets, there’s no way of explaining to your friends and family why you decided to splash out on that new upgrade when you have no clue what words like, 4G, ISP and MB mean. Most people can recognize those buzz words, but how many actually know what they mean?

In this post we will be deciphering some of the technical jargon associated with your mobile phone and internet connection. Let’s remember you’ll have to be able to keep up with the next generation – who are practically born with an iPad in their hands – so get learning!

Here is a list of the most commonly used technical terms with a less technical and easy to understand explanation of what they mean:

Bandwidth

Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be pushed across a channel. Imagine a stream, if it is narrow, only a bit of water can flow through, however, if you have a wide river (think: the Nile), lots of water can flow through. This is the same with bandwidth, the larger the bandwidth, the more data can flow through and the faster you’ll be able to access the internet!

GSM (“Global System of Mobile Communication”)

GSM stands for Global System for Mobile communications, it’s a digital technology used for transmitting mobile voice and data. It has managed to penetrate 70% of the global communications network and has over 1 billion active users. If you are connected to a network, chances are it’s based off of GSM.

GPRS (“General Packet Radio Service”)

GPRS was one of the first commercial communication channels, and is built on the GSM network. It had a limited amount of data you could push through which is why SMS used to have a 144 character limit. You may remember once having to go back through your text messages and replace ‘you’ with ‘u’ just to save those precious characters! Whilst it’s old, it is still widely used.

EDGE (“Enhanced Data for Global Evolution”)

Edge, like GPRS, is also built on top of the GSM network, however the key difference is that it allowed users to access the internet for the very first time. When it launched 10 years ago, this was cutting edge technology that facilitated much faster data transmission. However, when compared with today’s data download speeds, Edge is very slow, so when you see an ‘E’ at the top of your phone you’re likely to avoid trying to connect.

3G (“3rd Generation”)

Until 2010, 3G was the fastest speed available anywhere in the world. With a 3G connection you can achieve up to 3 Megabits per second of speed – to put that into context, you could download and listen to one song on YouTube every minute. This leap in technology helped pushed mobile browsing to the forefront – finally people could browse their facebook feed unhindered by slow internet!

4G (“4th Generation”)

4G is the next level up from 3G in terms of speed. A mobile phone with 4G available simply means you’ll be able to enjoy the fastest upload and download speeds available currently. 4G connections are typically 5 times faster than 3G – and also likely to be more expensive. You’ll also need to make sure you mobile is “4G enabled” before you can enjoy the faster connections, so make sure to check before you upgrade!

ISP (“Internet Service Provider”)

Think about every internet-connected device; they have to get their internet from somewhere right? These are the ISPs, Internet Service Providers, they supply the gateway to the internet. Interestingly enough, they don’t actually provide the internet, they just allow you to access it from wherever you are. To give you an example, imagine you want to get to a building, you’ll need to have a road first in order to get there. In this example the ISP would be the road that leads you to the building, which represents a website on the internet.

Network Infrastructures

This describes the hardware and software resources of a network that allow your computer, mobile phone and router to communicate with each other so that you can carry on using the internet.

Router

A router is a networking device that is used to relay data packets from a source to a destination. The entire internet functions on sending these data packets from one location to another. As an end user, you can find a router in your home, which receives data from a source somewhere, and relays it to your computer.

Kilobytes (KB)

A kilobyte is a unit of measurement of the size of information on your mobile or computer. A kilobyte is made up of 1,000 bytes – to give you some context, 1 single byte is equivalent to 1 typed letter on your computer. In terms of data usage, an email, without attachments could use between 3 KB – 20 KB and a social media update with a photo could be up to 500 KB of data.

Megabytes (MB)

A megabyte is bigger than a kilobyte and 1MB is roughly 1,000 kilobytes. To give you an idea of how much data 1 MB is, a song on YouTube will use around 1 megabyte per minute.

Gigabytes (GB)

A gigabyte, or 1,000MB, is the largest of the units of measurement that we typically associate with data usage on mobile phones. 1 GB of data could get you approximately 280 app downloads on your mobile or let you watch a movie on Netflix. As data usage varies so greatly, depending on what you use your mobile for, you can expect to get through anywhere between 3GB and 10GB per month – or even more if you’re sharing with the family!

What is roaming?

Normally you are charged by your ISPs rates when you use your mobile phone. ISPs are typically country or region specific, and because they don’t operate globally they cannot provide you with cellular connection everywhere. Your ISP will have deals with other ISPs globally to ensure they can cover their customers in areas beyond their reach. Roaming occurs when you connect to a network, not owned by your ISP but that it has a deal with. It’s usually a lot more expensive, as your ISP will be passing on the extra costs to you the customer!

When does mobile roaming happen?

When you’re at home using your mobile to browse the internet, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will either charge you for the amount of data you use or they will charge you a fixed monthly fee for using a set amount of data that rolls over every month. For example you could be charged $5 per 100Mbs of data or $50 per month for 1Gb of data to use. Mobile roaming occurs whenever you leave the area covered by your ISP, usually when you go on holiday, and you connect to the internet. Mobile roaming can be very costly as ISPs can charge a huge premium for using your mobile phone abroad – with some horror stories of customers being landed with shock bills they didn’t expect when returning from their holiday. Check out our post on how to avoid data roaming here before you travel!

To avoid getting lumped with huge roaming costs you should definitely take a look at getting your own portable wifi device. A portable wifi device allows you to connect to the internet from wherever you are using a mobile data connection to give you your own ‘hotspot’ or wifi connection.

Instead of having to pay a premium to use the internet when you’re abroad or risk your data on dodgy public wifi, with Tep’s device, you can enjoy your holiday with the comfort that you’ll know exactly how much you’re paying for a safe, secure and reliable connection. The device costs just $9.95 per day to rent for unlimited internet access for up to 5 people at the same time! No more fighting over who gets to use the internet, as everyone can enjoy it – and all on the go. Tep’s got you covered in over 80 countries worldwide so you won’t even have to worry about needing to change SIM cards or buy a different package. It’s one fixed daily cost for your entire holiday! To find out more or to rent or buy a Tep wireless device click here.

Long stay holidays are the perfect way to submerse yourself in an exotic new world and actually find out what it’s like to live like a local; there’s only so much you can get from 5 star resorts with pristine private beaches and packed hostels in the middle of a bustling cities! In order to truly experience your destination away from the overpriced tourist hotspots, you’ll need to venture off the beaten track. With just a little research and some cash to burn you could be enjoying weeks or even months of authentic adventures in a new found home. Here’s our pick of the best options for travelers who want to lodge abroad:

The Homestay – Your home away from home

If you’re looking for the real deal when you go abroad, there’s nothing quite like staying with a local family. Homestay is a great site to check out if you’re looking to return each day to a delicious home cooked meal instead of an all you can eat buffet. They advertise homestays all over the world and are very reasonably priced for long trips (on average you can expect to pay around the same or less than a hostel). You can also read detailed reviews for every host to help you decide which will be most suitable for your needs. Airbnb also offers a selection of homestays where your host will be available during your stay. We also recommend trying GoDifferently if you’re interested in visiting Vietnam or Thailand. Apart from offering amazing homestays with local people, GoDifferently also give their guests the opportunity to mix holidaying with volunteer work. For some handy do’s and don’ts whilst living with a family check out this blog post by GoOverseas. If you’re willing to compromise a little, MonasteryStays offer incredible deals on rooms in stunning churches and monasteries all across Italy. All their accommodation is run by real monks and nuns, so be warned of their strict room policy, like no unmarried couples sharing rooms. If you’re cool with sticking to the rules and are in the mood for a tranquil location in some of Italy’s most idyllic cities this might just be for you.

If you’re a homeowner yourself, you could even try a home swap vacation. Instead of paying to stay in someone’s home you can search the internet and find someone who’s willing to come and live at your house whilst you try theirs! It might sound like a logistical nightmare but there are entire sites dedicated to matching people who want to find the perfect swap. LoveHomeSwap, Homelink and HomeExchange are some of the best sites to use on the market and are tried and tested by thousands of users. Home swaps are a fabulous option if you can find your ultimate match, but they aren’t free. Most sites will ask for a monthly or annual subscription to access their property swapping services, which can range from $50-$100 per year – even if you only plan on using it once in those 365 days we think it’s totally worth it!

Free Accommodation – Give a little, to get a whole lot more!

If you don’t have savings in abundance but still want to escape to your dream destination you could always volunteer your time in exchange for a free stay. So it’s not exactly ‘free accommodation’ but it is as close as you can get without sleeping on the streets (especially for those on a shoestring budget). There are plenty of people all across the globe that would love an extra pair of hands to help them out with the daily running of their businesses. For just a couple of hours of your time you could be enjoying a holiday with free food, free accommodation and the opportunity of a lifetime. Volunteering can give you the chance to try out some pretty extraordinary (and sometimes outrageous) things like milking goats in Hawaii, conducting llama treks in Peru or meditating on an organic farm in the Himalayas. Some of the best sites to search for work-trade volunteering opportunities include, WWOOF, Help Stay, Workaway, Caretaker and HelpX. For a really in depth guide to volunteering abroad make sure you read blogger Nomadic Matt’s post on ethical volunteering.

Private Lodging – Get off the beaten path

For people who like their privacy whilst on holiday, private lodging is a great alternative to homestays. If you have the budget for the additional costs you could enjoy a dream home all to yourself. Airbnb is a leading site and has a very good range of properties all over the world including castles, penthouses and cottages – if you’re feeling extra fancy. Their prices can be on the higher side if you’re looking for a long term options so make sure you factor this in before you book. Spotahome is another great site that specializes in mid to long term holiday rentals – so it’s naturally much more cost effective plus it gives you way flexibility. Spotahome currently operates in major European destinations like Barcelona, Paris, London and Rome so you’re guaranteed to have a true taste of chic city life. For a slightly more rustic experience away from the big city lights Tep highly recommends trying out ‘Glamping’ (aka glamorous camping). It’s the perfect blend of outdoors and comfort so you’ll be able to take in the scenery, go on long walks in the countryside and will still have all the luxuries from home like running water, a bed and even electricity. GoGlamping or CanopyAndStars are the top websites to check for unique camping experiences all over the world.

For any travel plans you make, we always suggest you research the location and all of your options carefully. Apart from comprehensive travel and health insurance we also recommend you bring along your mobile, tablet or laptop (if you’ll have a safe place to store it) when you go on holiday. Not only will these devices let you stay in touch with loved ones, they’ll also let you explore the world around you more quickly and efficiently – Google Maps and TripAdvisor are on our ‘must-not-travel-without’ list for obvious reasons. Unfortunately adventuring comes with a high probability that internet access will be sparse and when you do find it, you’ll either be logging onto to dodgy public wifis or will be getting charged the earth for using your mobile’s data roaming. For a full overview of the pitfalls of holiday wifi and data roaming check out our informative post here.

Thankfully Tep has come up with a solution for modern wanderlusters who need to stay connected even when they’re off the beaten path. For a fixed daily cost you can have access unlimited internet through Tep’s portable wifi device. The small pocket sized device can easily be transported when you’re moving from one destination to the other and it works seamlessly across over 80+ countries so you won’t even have to worry about buying local SIM cards or paying for overpriced wifi access! It’s perfect for uploading holiday snaps, blogging about your travels, keeping in touch with friends and family or just simply helping you navigate unchartered territories. For more information on how Tep works or to rent a device for your next trip click here.

Finally, Tep’s affiliate program is one way for bloggers to generate income from their website and we already have a few on board such us Travel with Bender, Gypsynester, TravelingMom and Traveling Well for Less.