Staying connected while traveling

WiFi, traveling

For years, I've struggled to find wifi hotspots to stay in touch with clients while traveling.

Last year while waiting for a 7 hour layover in Heathrow Airport in London, England I came across a UK prepaid aircard for $48 CDN.  It was considerably faster than the $15 per hour wifi hotspot, more reliable, and I didn't have to worry about disconnecting and reconnecting from the hotspot.

Since then, when I land, I go to the nearest cell phone store, and buy one of these prepaid wireless aircard usb sticks.  You don't need a credit card, social insurance number or anything like that. You just walk up, hand them cash, and walk away.

The cards are super easy to install.  Just pop them in, follow the instructions on screen, and you'll have internet in minutes.  I also lend it out to others as well. They just put it in their usb port, and wait a few minutes for the install and voila! they are connected as well.

I was recently in New Zealand, and purchased the Vodaphone stick for $45 CDN and it lasted my entire two week trip.  (in fact, I think I'm going to attempt to use it in Canada just to use all of the prepaid time up and see how quickly it uses the time up.

Recently, Telus, Bell and Rogers announced in Canada that they are unlocking any cell phones (except iPhones) for $75.  I paid to have my Blackberry unlocked at the Telus store and was thrilled with how easy it was to use overseas. While in Indonesia, I purchased a sim card from a vendor on the street for $10 + $50 worth of airtime. I used the phone for about 100 minutes of talktime back to Canada.

In my opinion, the best way to service our existing customers is to ensure that we are accessible when we are out of the office.  I find I'm more relaxed during my travels knowing that I've got a reliable connection to the internet, and I'm able to make skype calls from anywhere.  Rather than sitting in my hotel room typing emails, I am now on a two hour train ride typing emails, and sipping a latte at an outdoor cafe making skype calls back home.

Bob Sheddy

Bob Sheddy

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