When we go on holidays, we want to be intentionally disconnected, particularly from the stressful demands and deadlines of work and to spend precious time with those closest and dearest. However, there are times where WIFI connectivity during the holidays is important to ensure your holidays go as planned.
As a family who travels with our young kids at least twice a year, we do plan quite thoroughly before our trips. Anything from attraction sites, directions and other essentials are usually planned way before by the Mrs.
Why Remain Connected?
From experience, here are our reasons why good and stable connectivity is still essential and key to a stress-free and enjoyable holiday. It’s definitely more than just for social media updates.
1. Get Updated Information: Staying connected helped us check updated information on the attractions and bus/train schedules when we are there. Sometimes, due to unforeseen weather or traffic conditions or local holidays etc. the opening and closing times of attractions may be changed, and these may affect your itinerary. There are also apps which give you info on real-time crowd and queue situations (esp. helpful for popular theme parks). These apps require you to be connected to a strong, stable WIFI.
2. Plan for Alternatives: For the reasons above, when there’s a need to refine the itinerary, staying connected help us to check for viable alternatives quickly and accurately. More often than not, we also need to use WIFI to check flight info, hotel booking confirmations, make restaurants/theatre reservations etc. along the trip. It can be extremely frustrating when the WIFI connectivity keeps dropping.
3. Help with Navigation: Whether you are self-driving or walking, the ability to access online navigation maps e.g. Google Map can be a life-saver. In our recent winter self-drive trip to Hokkaido, staying connected to Google Map rescued us from being stranded. When our original route shown on the GPS was closed due to heavy snowfall, Google Map directed us to alternative routes to the next town. Read about our Winter self-drive experience in Hokkaido here.
When we self-drove in Boston and New York, staying connected to Google Map helped us meander through peak-hour heavy traffic to get to our attraction (a circus performance) on time. Last year in Scandinavia, we relied on Google Map to provide us with directions to explore the labyrinth of historical old towns in Norway, Denmark and Sweden on foot.
The Trouble with Prepaid SIM Cards and Hotel WIFI.
Despite having experienced the convenience of using a Changi Recommends WIFI router before, we had forgotten to pre-book a WIFI router for our Penang trip last December. We thought we could loan a unit in person at the airport but they were all fully booked. So for that trip, we had to depend on prepaid local SIM cards to help us stay connected…Cheap as they are, I was reminded why local prepaid SIM cards are inferior to having your own portable WIFI routers. Here are some inconveniences we encountered:
1. Blind Spots: A local prepaid card may be cheaper but one may not know where the local service provider’s network may have weak signals. During our Penang trip, there were certain places in town and even at the popular beach areas where signals would just drop unknowingly. Fortunately, I could still navigate my way around (in our car) with a little help from the locals.
2. Exceed Data Usage: Local SIM cards start by giving a preset amount of data usage free. I realized that those free data can be quickly wiped out by all the other apps that are running in the phone. When the data usage has reached its max, you either have to pay extra to extend the data usage or you have to register the service provider with your personal details and emails. That can be quite unsettling in a foreign country.
3. Invasive, Inconvenient: SIM cards may be quick to install but it is nevertheless a hassle as I had to gingerly remove my existing SIM card and insert a foreign SIM card. Also, once the foreign SIM card has been installed, you need to ensure that your Singapore SIM card is well-kept (and not misplaced)!
4. One for One…Only: SIM cards once installed is used for only one user (or one device, i.e. one mobile phone). With the Changi Recommends WIFI router, you can have up to 8 persons (or 8 devices) linked up with that single WIFI-router…This way, various users on the trip need not fight over taking turns to be connected.
Hotel’s ‘Free’ WIFI:
Don’t get me started on this one. Having travelled frequently, I have yet to experience a hotel’s free WIFI that is constant and consistent. From experience, hotel’s free WIFI are quite unpredictable and sometimes it may not handle the capacity of the crowd logging on at the same time. It’s good only for non-critical usage like social media updates.
Stay Connected…Always with Changi Recommends:
We first experienced the use of the Changi Recommends WIFI router in 2014 during our DIY Japan trip. Here’s why we love the router, especially for free and easy trips:
1. Constant Connection: Yes, even in the massive Tokyo underground, I was connected. Even on the bullet train, I was connected. It was pretty impressive. Really.
2. Compact: The WIFI routers are smaller and lighter than average mobile phones these days. It’s real easy to put it in the pocket or tucked away in a bag.
3. More than One: The router allowed for more than 1 user to be linked to it. Together with its amazingly reliable connections, we are able to use it confidently to navigate and update us on our next destinations on the go!
4. Long Lasting: The fully-charged battery lasts between 6 to 8 hours when the router is in use. Longer if you turn off when you don’t need it. We usually charge it at night when we are back at the hotel or Airbnb Apartment.
Now, Even to Europe!
Yes, amazing but its true. From Croatia to Luxemborg, London to Estonia, Changi Recommends WIFI router now helps us stay connected with one single router over many countries in Europe – yes, all on one WIFI router (no need to buy multiple SIM cards)!
Follow us this June as we travel back to Scandinavia, specifically doing a self-drive trip in Iceland, relying on the Changi Recommends WIFI router as a means to stay connected and navigate to the many splendid destinations planned on the Free & Easy itinerary.
Remember to Book Early:
Don’t make the same mistake we did on the Penang trip. Head over to goo.gl/IxcB07 to reserve online now.
You can find out more about Changi Recommends WIFI router here: https://www.changirecommends.com/owifi.aspx