CELL SERVICE AND WIFI
Having cell service is a luxury we’ve all come to rely upon. When abroad, it can be essential for making your way around the country and enable you to use Google Maps, text, train ticketing apps, posting on social media, etc.. We HIGHLY recommend figuring out a way to use your cellular device while you’re traveling for this trip. There are two great options for you to utilize while you’re traveling that we’ll detail below.
- Using your carrier – First, you should look into what options your current cell phone carrier can provide. For Verizon users, you can use your normal plan after activating their “international feature” on the website BEFORE your trip. Then, each time you turn on your phone in the country you’re traveling to, it’s $10/day for unlimited data.
- Another great option is an Orange Holiday Sim Card. This will allow you to travel to many European countries and get 20 gigs of data, plenty of text and voice, all for $50. You can order the card BEFORE you leave for your trip and slip it into your phone while you’re on the plane and walk off the plane with cell service ready to go. You can also split the cost with a buddy. Buy one card, pop the card in one phone, then that person can turn on a hotspot for their partner!
If you do not choose to acquire cell/internet capability while abroad, please do remember to turn on “Airplane Mode” and just connect to free wifi networks when you can. This will keep you from a massive international cell bill. Airports and train stations often have wifi, though the speed may leave you trying to load your train ticket for 5 minutes.
Throughout our travels, there are a few apps we’ve found to be invaluable while navigating around and finding activities. In this section, we’ll explore some of the ways to use technology to make your trip more smooth.
- Trip it – This is a great app. You simply download the app on your phone and forward any confirmation emails to email@example.com. The app will automatically create a detailed itinerary for your travels. This is the easiest way we’ve found to keep track of flights, trains, hostels, hotels, and activity reservations. You can even share your “trip” with family members so they can stay up to date on your travels.
- Google Maps – This is by far the best way to get around a city. Be sure to download the areas you’ll be traveling offline before leaving for you trip. You can get some great details with this app, like from which platform you should board your train!
- Trainline – If you’re needing a train to get to our trip area, the Trainline app is a great option. It will display all the train options for your travel day and is simple to book. You can then use the digital ticket feature while on the train and there’s no need to print a paper copy. This is the easiest way to book from point A to point B, without having to track down individual trainline companies and purchase tickets from each parent website.
- Google Translate – Download this app for quickly scanning and translating signs, menus, directions, and more! (Most of the time, important information will also be in English on signs, directions, etc. There have been times that we have been grateful to the Translate technology though.)