I haven’t traveled out of the country extensively, but when I have, it’s always been pretty much entirely disconnected. My eighth grade class traveled to Italy and we used calling cards (ha) and payphones (HA) to reach our parents. When I was in London training for Henley, we bought prepaid basic mobile phones for emergencies and relied on slow/spotty wifi in cafes. And then in Mexico with my family, well we took it as an opportunity to totally unplug!
Traveling to Scotland though? It was technically a work trip (albeit an awesome one!) and I knew I would need to have access to email throughout the trip… and, you know, the occasional Instagram. My friend Hallie went on this incredible trip to Asia and she tweeted about XCom Global keeping her connected.
I researched the company a bit, knowing that I was soon making a trip abroad, and asked her all sorts of questions. She put me in contact with XCom and they offered to let me use a device for free while traveling.
Let’s just say… I will never take a trip abroad without it.
XCom provides mobile hotspot devices for your travels and it ensures that you will always have a wifi connection. I kept the little hotspot in my coat pocket and turned it on when I needed it. You can keep it on all the time, but I personally liked being able to disconnect and connect whenever I wanted. I kept the spare battery and charger in my tote bag, but I honestly never even needed it…. The charge lasted all day.
I think I kind of expected the connection to be slow or weak, but I was really surprised at how fast the wifi was. In fact, I didn’t notice any difference than when I’m connected at home.
Seriously, it was such a relief to know that I could look up directions (you know, for when I’m lost in an unfamiliar city….) or read reviews of a restaurant that looked good or to research attractions when we had a spare afternoon of. I answered urgent emails, Snapchatted my friends, and uploaded Instagrams on the go.
(Not kidding… I actually got lost….)
Our hotels had wifi, but when a bunch of people were signed on, it would get super slow and I could power on my own private wifi. Hello, productivity.
So thankful XCom Global let me test it out!! If you’re traveling abroad, you can choose the country you’re going to and they send you the device right before your trip. When you land in the new country, you can turn it on and access the wifi right away! Super easy and highly recommended!