Internet & Mobile

On of the bigger issues is how to stay connected to your loved ones and to the internet.
Depending on the country most of the hotels and Restaurants have WiFi but for instance in Australia it is rarely free and sometimes very expensive. Usually the cheaper the hotel the better the internet and the higher the chance that it is free.

I never tried those worldwide WiFi access spot offers and also not the mobile pre-payed SIMs you can have that work in several countries. In your vacation you do not want to go hunting for hot-spots.
It is also cumbersome to always check and sort the hotels if they have internet.
That is OK if you are staying in just a couple of hotels during your trip. If you are planning to stay in 50+ Hotels this gets tiring. Therefore: stay independent.

This is what I did:

  • Have a second mobile, preferably not a smart phone, use this for your normal SIM cad (i.e. your normal phone number). Make sure that “data network mode” is DISabled. On Android press the Power Button long enough. I used my old phone. This is especially important for Switzerland. An accidental 100k Android system update with Sunrise sets you back 3000 CHF!! Robbers.
  • In each country I bought a prepaid SIM card (i.e. for the mobile phone), if possible right at the Airport. Put it into your smartphone.
  • Cost is about 10-30 $/Month.

    The difficult part is that the setting for MOBILE DATA is correct. If not: not internet.
    How this is done differs completely for each country.
    Therefore: do not leave the shop until you are sure you can surf one the internet!

  • Sometimes internet just works immediately, like magic (Oman)
  • Sometimes you automatically get setups and you basically just have to accept them (Singapore?)
  • Sometimes someone has to manually setup something on your phone (Lao)
  • Sometimes you can barely figure out what you have to buy so that data-traffic is included (Philippines)
  • The Good news: Sooner or later it always worked.

    If you are just checking your E-Mails, some surfing and some Google-Maps then 300 MBytes/Month should be enough.
    Bigger things you do in your Hotel.

    What operator you take? I have not clue, usually I just took the first I found. We were always lucky.
    You have to check the internet yourself if you are concerned about coverage.

    Thailand:
    I took the one that is sold in the 7-up stores. Worked well.

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