How much travel data do I need?


By Heather

Travel & Tech Writer


A travel data plan is the smartest way to stay connected while you’re traveling, but there are many different plan sizes to choose from.

How much travel data you need depends on a couple of factors, like how connected you’d like to be, the ways you’d like to stay in contact with friends and family, and where you’ll be vacationing.

First up, how connected do you want to be?

Some people use less data while they’re on vacation because they’re busy sightseeing, reading, swimming, eating, and exploring — rather than sitting around, bored and glued to their phone.

But other people use more data while they’re on vacation because they’re used to being at home (or in an office) with a constant Wi-Fi connection, and suddenly they’re relying on cellular data.

Will you panic if you miss a single call or message as soon as it comes in? Or are you content to unplug for a while and catch up on calls and messages a few times a day? It’s really just a matter of knowing yourself, and how you like to spend your trips.

What are the ways you’d like to stay in contact?

As we all know, there are many different ways to stay in contact these days. Calls. Texts. iMessages. Carrier pigeons.

While you’re away on vacation, are you okay with keeping in touch via social media messaging or internet calling apps? If so, great! You can rely on a Wi-Fi connection here and there.

But if you’re determined to continue receiving calls and texts on your usual phone number, then that requires connecting to a network via cellular data — Wi-Fi is not enough, unfortunately — so you’ll need to make sure you have enough travel data to let your phone connect to local networks.

What’s the Wi-Fi situation?

Location is really important when you’re trying to decide how much travel data you need.

If you’ll be staying somewhere with spotty Wi-Fi (either because it’s in a remote location, or because of external factors like thick cement walls) and you want to be connected at all times, you might want a couple of gigs of travel data to keep you going.

But if you’ll be staying at a beautiful resort with great Wi-Fi, then you’re golden! Maybe you just want 1 GB of prepaid travel data to stay connected whenever you’re away from the resort on a day excursion, or for traveling to and from the airport? That could be plenty — but it’s easy to buy more data if you need it.

Travel data usage can be tricky to calculate …

Rent famously asked how you measure a year (in daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee?) so how do you measure a vacation in gigs of data?

Gigs are a bit mysterious, especially when you’re outside of your comfort zone and maybe using your device differently. Netflix, for example, says it can use 1 GB of data for every 20 minutes you’re steaming an HD movie, depending on your connection.

Whether you’re a must-be-connected-at-all-times traveler who’s staying in a cute campervan with twinkly lights and terrible Wi-Fi, or a laid-back traveler staying in a palace made up entirely of super-powered Wi-Fi routers, the reality is that it’s almost impossible to *perfectly* pinpoint how much data you’ll want on your vacation.

… so why commit to a daily rate?

Your home carrier may try to sell you on a daily travel data plan (i.e. $15 or $20 a day, every day of your trip), but we don’t like the idea of paying a daily rate just to use your phone on vacation (especially when you’re not sure how often you’ll need data).

Let’s use a snack analogy because, well, we’re hungry …

Paying daily for travel data coverage can be like paying a daily rental fee for a picnic basket, even if most days you barely nibble on a cracker.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to buy a single box of crackers instead? If you eat the whole box and you’re still hungry, you can just buy another box.
You get exactly what you need, and nothing wasted.

Consider flexible travel data instead

Here at aloSIM, we believe travel data should be as flexible as the comfiest bathing suit. 

We sell prepaid travel data packages that start at just 1 GB, because sometimes that’s all you need to tide you over between Wi-Fi connections.

Simply switch off your usual travel data plan (to avoid those pesky roaming charges) and let your aloSIM travel data take the lead, smoothly linking you to a local network so you can stay connected during your vacation.

If you decide you want more travel data, it’s easy to top up your plan and keep going. But if you run out of aloSIM travel data and decide you’re fine with Wi-Fi until you’re back at home, that’s cool, too.