Although most of us hit the road to unplug, we still carry our electronics with us. Even if you’re headed to remote places, you’ve probably got your laptop and phone with you. And chances are, you want to blog about your travels, share images on social media, update your ride report, or simply keep in touch with your loved ones at home.
Many riders worry that staying connected on the road is going to be hard. However, the world is changing and developing rapidly, and even kids in remote, cut-off Andean villages in South America know what Facebook is. The truth is that everyone is more connected than ever, and in Central and South America, finding decent WiFi is not going to be a problem at all. In fact, the longest I went without WiFi in South America was two days, and it was a rare occurrence.
Personally, I need good connectivity not just for work, blogging, or staying connected, but also for downloading maps, checking the weather, and so on. Sure, you can get most of that done before you go, but chances are, you’ll still need to Google things, get your insurance renewal emailed to you, download a section of iOverlander, etc.
So here’s what you can do about staying connected on the road.
If you know you’re headed somewhere seriously remote but need to be online often, book an Airbnb or a hotel before and after your trip into the unknown. That way, you’re guaranteed to have a connection before and immediately after your ride into the wilderness and can keep up with your online stuff easily.
International SIM Card
I use the OneSimCard service to have a working SIM card anywhere in the world. You can, of course, buy a new SIM card in each new country you visit, but I just find it easier to have one SIM that does it all. One Sim Card works in over 162 countries, including data which costs $10 a month. Normally, I use WiFi and WhatsApp if I need to call someone, but I like knowing that my SIM will work anywhere if I need it to.
This one is for serious explorers. A satellite phone is not necessary for South America unless you’re heading out into the high Andes on single tracks that aren’t used anymore (Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile still have vast Andean regions of untouched wilderness with no population). However, very few travelers ever attempt it, and chances are, you’ll be staying on paved and off-road tracks that are still used by people. If you’re going somewhere like Chukotka in the Far East, on the other hand, a satellite phone might be a good idea.
Featured image: Pixabay