Travelling is without a doubt one of life's greatest joys. The moment when most people book their flight tickets online, it solidifies something which they can look forward to and it signifies a journey to discovery-be it of oneself or of a whole new culture and experience.
With that being said, the way that we travel has changed over the course of time. The drive and motivation for vacations is still the same, and that is to take some time off to see the world. However, our basic needs and necessities for the trip are now different.
A passport is no doubt a must, but a luggage bag filled with clothing and toiletries isn't just the core necessities any longer. In fact, a survey done by Agoda in July 2015 revealed that there is one thing which trumped even the provision of free breakfast for guests. The one thing that travellers needed the most, as proven in the survey, is Wi-Fi connectivity.
The Overreliance We Have With Connectivity
It is no secret that we millennials are hooked on our cellphone and this has influenced the way that we see the world whilst travelling. We no longer need physical maps to guide our feet as we traverse through the cobbled steps of another country. Instead, Google becomes our compass.
When we travel, our Google history would be filled with the best places to eat, stay, visit-and yes, even where to get more free Wi-Fi. This sense of overreliance on our mobile devices has caused us to become Wi-Fi vultures, because hey, who would not want to immediately post up the highly stylised photograph of themselves on social media?
The problem with this then, is that it takes the fun away from the travelling and the journey, because at the back of our minds, we are always on the lookout for connectivity hotspots instead of connecting with the place where our feet are at instead. The next best bet which isn't Wi-Fi, would be a purchased SIM card at our place of travel, or internal data roaming on our cellphone.
The Common Way Of Getting Data Abroad
One option for connectivity overseas would be to purchase a SIM card of the country we are travelling to. There are those who would say that this is a good option, since despite the fear of not being able to obtain a SIM card in perhaps a non-English speaking country, the process is a relatively simple one.
Once we have purchased the SIM card, all we need to do is replace it with the one that we're currently using, for the entire duration of our stay. Alternatively, there is also the internal data roaming which is in line with the mobile provider we have signed up a package with back in Malaysia.
Though these two options are the routes most would take when planning an overseas trip, the one problem with it, is that we pay in accordance to how much bandwidth is being utilised. In essence, it means that the more we surf, the more we pay and that is the last thing we would want to consider when travelling. That would be one more uncertain expense that we have to factor in on top of other vacation costs.
The Better, Yet Less Commonly Known Way
However, there is one travel hack that we can use when abroad, and though it is not a common one, it could be an option to consider during our next trip. Starting from a flat rate of only RM15 (S$5), Wi-Fi Dongles, also known as the Pocket Wi-Fi is one way that we can connect to the Internet 24/7.
These pocket Wi-Fis by Malaysian travel company, Travel Recommends offers unlimited data usage for a fixed daily price, depending on our country of visit. They are shaped in pocket-friendly sizes, hence the name, and acts as a portable Wi-Fi connection for its users.
The first step towards connectivity is to reserve the Wi-Fi dongle online at least five days prior to the trip. With guidance through an e-mail with payment instructions, payment can be made via bank transfer and lastly, a confirmation email will be received. Now, you are one step closer to a hassle-free trip.
Convenience Right At Your Fingertips
Before heading off to your desired vacation, you could opt to do a quick stop at the Travel Recommends booth which is coincidentally located within the KLIA building itself. Alternatively, you can also have the Wi-Fi dongle delivered to and collection from your doorstep via courier service for RM10 each way.
The countries and regions which are available for the WiFi dongle rental as of now are Singapore (RM24/day), Taiwan (RM15/day), Hong Kong (RM28/day), Japan (RM24/day), China (RM28/day), South Korea (RM28/day), USA (RM28/day), Australia (RM35/day) and Europe (RM60/day).
Once you have landed safely back in Malaysia, the process of returning the Wi-Fi dongle is equally as simple. You can either drop off the device at the designated Travel Recommends booth located in KLIA, or if you have selected courier collection on your reservation form, the courier service will collect the device from you one working day upon your arrival back home.
The key to having a smooth travelling experience is planning. It may not be the easiest, but it is definitely necessary to ensure that all essentials have been sorted out. Internet connectivity is just one of those things that we have grown to need, and it's something that is indispensable, especially when we travel. Hence, it's always good to be prepared, and literally have everything sorted out-right in our back pocket.
Vulcan Post is all about living life with a digital edge, up and coming startups, and people who inspire conversations.
Visit Vulcan Post for more stories.