Tag Archives: Travel Wi-Fi

THE RISE OF THE DIGITAL NOMAD – HOW WORKING ON THE BEACH WENT FROM DISTANT DREAM TO SPARKLING REALITY

If working from anywhere in the world, at a time of your choosing, sounds like your idea of heaven you are not alone. With millennials being hailed as an ‘asset-light’ generation increasingly looking to fill their virtual possession portfolio with life experiences rather than accumulating material wealth, the term digital nomad has never had more relevance.

Savvy citizens are moving away from traditional forms of employment where they are limited to an office space and ‘Groundhog Day’ desk between 9am and 5pm five days a week. The working population are both seeing and seeking the opportunities out there and engaging in a more free-spirited approach to work, where earning potential seeks to become a life experience embedded in your personal life rather than a separate entity that you have to endure in order to survive.

A CHANGING REALITY

Increased connectivity around the world has disrupted the traditional linear model of how the world works – people are thinking outside the box and making decisions to suit themselves rather than follow a generational dogma of the predictable path to success. Success is no longer simply about having a four-bedroomed house, 2.4 kids, a dog and a fabulous car. It is about living a life of freedom crammed full of extraordinary experiences with extraordinary people and digital nomads are those who are embracing this enlightened reality and possibility for a life less ordinary.

Digital hot spots, portable tablets and laptops, a plethora of marketing options through social media, and an increased desire for freedom, have all conspired to make this market grow exponentially. Millennials are embracing an opportunity denied to their grandparents of a work-life balance like no other. The digital nomad lifestyle encompasses flexibility, variety and crucially adaptability. It’s moving away from the job-for-life mentality and working to an assumption that people are now more self-reliant than ever and if anything, they are loving it rather than fearing it. In fact, from being seen as something exotic and obtainable to only the fortunate few, the digital nomad lifestyle is integrating into the mainstream with this year seeing the first Digital Nomad conference taking place in Berlin.

SO WHAT’S THE MAIN REASON TO BECOME A DIGITAL NOMAD?

It’s a low-maintenance, low-cost entry to business that appeals on so many levels – it’s lightweight and portable and eliminates many of the stresses associated with a more traditional lifestyle such as rent or mortgage, furniture and household goods, endless bills, mounting car costs ad infinitum.

The joy of the digital nomad lifestyle is that it creates flexibility meaning you can work abroad if you so choose, or simply hang out in your local café with your favourite work buddies. It’s all about the life that you want to create and your reasons for it, including the vision you have of that world. With technology literally at our fingertips, we can communicate around the world, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and anyone with access to a computer, tablet or cell phone could be a potential customer or client of the digital nomad. And we here at Tep  – being passionate arbiters of travel and connection – embrace this reality wholeheartedly and want to keep you in touch when you need to be and most importantly when you choose to be.

It’s not even particularly difficult to start out working life as a digital nomad. As long as you have access to a laptop/tablet/cell phone and a WiFi signal, you are almost good to go. You can choose to start by buying an existing online business (albeit if you have a little capital to invest); going freelance – for example being a writer, take a course in online digital marketing, becoming an online trainer or mentor in your area of expertise, sell on eBay or train to become an expert in social media posting, promoting your lifestyle and actually making money out of it – you might not even need training for this if you are a millennial who was born without a silver spoon but instead a tablet on tap – you may have mastered the minutiae of social media etiquette and be able to create your own social media brand with very little expenditure required. The truth is there are numerous ways to get started if workplace autonomy is what you require.

We live on a planet containing approximately 7.4 billion people and counting and around 40 per cent have regular access to the internet. The fabric of the internet is woven securely into our daily lives and we purchase and research on an increasingly frequent basis. We want answers – it’s out there at the click of a mouse or touch of a phone screen. And so the creative digital nomad taps into this massive market and seeks out his or her niche in this teeming sea. Technology has made this market super easy to access and the only thing possibly standing in your way is a dodgy internet connection! And that’s where Tep has got it covered. With a handheld device that creates your very own wifi hotspot, it has to be the digital nomad’s ideal travelling companion.

EMBRACING THE LIFESTYLE

To embrace the digital nomad lifestyle, the essential component (after your laptop/tablet) is an uninterrupted wifi connection, which is what makes Tep Wireless a match made in heaven for the digital nomad. Teps’ pocket WiFi is a wireless modem that connects any wifi device to 3G internet. The beauty lies in the fact it requires no installation, cables or software and you can, if necessary, connect up to five devices at any one time. And, critically, you can enjoy up to eight hours of uninterrupted work time before recharging – giving you the length of an average office day to do your thing but most brilliantly at the time of your choosing – so if burning the midnight oil is your thing in far-flung places, digital nomad-ing with Tep is no problem. To find out more about how Tep could be part of your digital nomad lifestyle click here.

Tep offers you the safest, securest and most cost effective way of accessing the internet when you’re away. For one fixed daily cost of just $9.50, you can enjoy truly unlimited data for up to 5 devices on the go (the device is pocket sized and works in over 80 countries worldwide). With Tep you’ll never have to worry about returning to a shock bill or being stranded without access to the web – so you can leave the drama to the writers!

Business Traveler Tips for 2016

In this post Tep has found insights that will help you with everything from avoiding queues at the airport to getting upgrades and even beating jet lag.

We’ve searched far and wide for the best-kept secrets from the travel industry’s frequent flyers to ensure you have the most comfortable and enjoyable experience on your next business trip.

Travelling doesn’t have to be such a struggle with these top tricks for the frequent business flyer:

Before you travel

Know the difference between Non-Stop Flights and Direct Flights

When booking your flight, make sure you know the difference between non-stop and direct flights. It sounds simple enough, but many people confuse the two and end up with a longer journey than they planned.

A direct flight may stop at an intermediary destination where you will have to remain on the plane whilst passengers board or disembark the aircraft. A non-stop flight will take you from your origin to your destination with no pit stops – so go with this option if you want to save time!

Earn Points When You Fly

Always make sure to sign-up to your airline’s frequent flyer program. In the long term, you could benefit from free upgrades and discounted flights plus many other ‘members only’ perks. Loyalty is highly rewarded in the airline industry, so wherever possible try and book with the same carrier to rack up those valuable air miles.

If you aren’t sure which frequent flyer program you need to apply to check out this comprehensive list by Globalflight.net. Most airlines will even let you collect points for flights you’ve already taken (up to six months previously in some case) just check their terms and conditions!

Travel light and pack only essentials

Carrying extra checked in luggage can mean long waiting times in baggage halls, so why not try fitting all your belongings into a carry-on bag?

We recommend packing only the essentials, bringing versatile clothing that can be mixed and matched and rolling up your clothes to avoid wrinkles. For more handy tips read this flight attendant’s guide to light packing here.

If you are planning to check baggage in and want to pick up some gifts or goodies whilst on your trip, consider buying a digital packing scale – like Tarriss’ Jetsetter (its under $20). It’s small, light and an inexpensive way to avoid hefty excess baggage fees.

Increase Your Chances of Upgraded to Business/First Class

If you are not travelling in business or first class, there are a few ways you can increase your chances of getting that elusive upgrade. Customers who are dressed smartly are more likely to be given an upgrade in the eventuality that economy class has been oversold – a good reason to be extra pleasant to the check-in staff!

You could also try requesting an upgrade when you book your flight and have your ticket marked with a Y or B booking code. This works best if you are signed up to the airlines frequent flyer program! Try reading Skyscanner’s 16 tips to get you bumped up to business class here if you want more tried and tested tactics!

Book the Seats with the Most Space

If you don’t manage to get an upgrade, make sure to ask for a seat that will give you plenty of room to stretch your legs during the flight. Usually ‘bulk head’ or front row seats and emergency exit row seats are the best for this.

If you’re not sure where the exit row seats are located on your flight, check out Seat Guru for a guide to the best seats on any airline.

Back up your Essential Documentation!

Always have copies of your essential documents, like passports, driving licenses, itinerary confirmations and insurance documents, backed up online. Dropbox and Google Drive are both free options that allow you to access your documents anywhere (provided you’re connected to the internet of course).

You never know when an emergency could strike, so don’t get caught out without a back up!

Save Time Queuing at Airport Security

U.S. Citizens can sign up for Global Entry service, which allows you to pass speedily through airport security on arrival and departure and eliminates wasted time filling out forms and long security queues!

It costs around $100 and will require you to attend an interview, but we reckon it’s fully worth it for frequent flyers.

Whilst Travelling

Don’t Miss Important Updates about your Flight

Downloading your airline’s app is a great way to get live notifications, check-in and avoid missing your flight. Larger airlines (and some budget) will have their own app available for you to download straight onto your mobile phone and will give you updates and reminders about gate changes and delays.

Beat the Jet Lag

Set your watch, mobile phone and electronic devices to the time in your destination before you depart. This will help your body clock adjust to the new time zone well ahead of your arrival. If you can, avoid sleeping at your destination before your normal bedtime and rising whilst it’s still dark outside.

Whilst it may be tough on the first day, it should get easier as you perfect your jet-lag busting strategy! Just remember to set your clocks after you board your flight, to save any unfortunate mistiming!

Keep Calm and Avoid In-Flight Discomfort

If you’ve ever suffered from in-flight soreness, you’ll be all too familiar with the pain that comes with it! Bringing a tennis ball with you to roll under your feet and thighs will help keep your muscles supple and can avoid nasty aches and pains when you land. Try and get up and walk around during longer flights, this will help with your circulation and avoiding nasty blood clots and deep vein thrombosis!

Airplanes and airports can also be unexpectedly cold, so an extra layer of clothing is always advisable even if you’re headed to the Caribbean. For more advice on how to stay healthy at 35,000ft check out this guide.

Invest in the Must-Have Travel Gadgets

Airports and airplanes can be extremely noisy places. If you want to get some rest or spend a few hours catching up on emails, remember to bring along a good pair of noise cancelling headphones – we highly recommend Bose’s QuietComfort 20. Whilst these are on the pricier side, they are fantastic at reducing background noise and will help you unwind inflight.

If you don’t want to invest in high tech headphones just yet, standard earplugs will also do a good job at cutting out noise. We also suggest bringing a USB charge cable or power pack, like Anker’s 2nd Gen Astro E4, with you on your journey to keep your devices charged before you arrive.

Most new planes will have a USB plug fitted in your seat, so you can even charge your battery whilst you watch your inflight entertainment. For more tech recommendations check out this post on the must have pocket gadgets to travel with.

Stay Connected and Productive on the Move

If you have some extra time whilst waiting for your gate number or at your hotel, why not get some extra work in or get your mind off business with a movie?

Having reliable internet access whilst travelling can make all the difference and could give you more time to explore your destination or get work done whilst you’re on the move! Tep’s portable travel Wi-Fi device lets you stay productive even when you’re away from your desk and it works in more than 80 countries worldwide.

The device allows you to connect your mobile, tablet and laptop simultaneously with your very own secure travel Wi-Fi hotspot. The usage is unlimited so whether you want to browse your emails, Skype your family or stream Netflix, you can make the most of your traveling time anywhere in the world.

We hope these tips and tricks help take the hassle out of travel and let you focus on making the most out of your next business trip.

What You Need to Know About the Changes to Data Roaming in Europe

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 WIFI – How to avoid unreliable Internet connections and high data roaming charges

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.

Share this Image On Your Site

The Horrors of Data Roaming

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.

Share this Image On Your Site