Five reasons it sucks not having data on vacation


By Heather

Travel & Tech Writer

667489e183c44-It sucks not having data on vacation

It seemed like a smart way to save money.

“I’ll just use Wi-Fi on vacation,” you told yourself. “It would be a waste to spend $20 a day on a carrier travel plan.”

After all, you’re not addicted to your phone. Certainly not! You’re perfectly willing to wait until there’s free Wi-Fi in a coffee shop, or back in your nice, cool air-conditioned hotel room.

Except … what happens when you’re out and about, exploring a new city?

1. You can’t find anything (or anyone).

West? East? Never heard of them. We’ve gotten so used to asking Siri how to get anywhere that we’re lost (literally and figuratively) without our map apps.

  • The hand-drawn map on your napkin just got soaked. Turn left at the blue streak?
  • Three hours away? Well, maybe the car in front of me is heading to the same spot
  • Surely the gas station map will … read the directions aloud, just like Siri?
  • I’m not sure we’ll still be married when we actually get there
  • Why am I driving in sad, increasingly crooked circles?!

We also rely on our phones’ location feature to ping towers and keep tabs on each other. But if no one has a steady data connection, you’re out of luck when it comes to watching anybody’s dot.

  • Well, they made it to the airport … and then I’m not sure what happened
  • Did their phone die? Did it get stolen? I can’t see anything after they left the hotel
  • “Last seen three hours ago?” Well, they didn’t just vanish?!

2. You can’t message with anyone.

If you don’t have data and you’re not connected to Wi-Fi, you might as well be using 1980s tin-can phones connected by a dirty piece of string.

  • You can’t use totally awesome VoIP apps like Hushed
  • You won’t be able to keep up with group chats on WhatsApp
  • Your iMessages won’t go through (even the really funny ones)
  • Messenger? DMs? Nope, don’t even think about it

3. You have to use a book to translate anything.

Translation apps make it super easy to know what’s happening around you when you’re in a country where you don’t speak the language.

But apps require data, and you’re outta luck, pal. Good luck carrying around a thick guidebook with popular phrases, and trying to decipher all the words around you.

  • That restaurant menu? Might say ‘fries,’ might say ‘eels.’
  • The sign with all the warnings? Um, that seems important
  • Your Uber driver understands you even less than your ex
  • Time to play Train Roulette and hope you picked the right destination

4. Standing in line is so incredibly boring.

Like, obviously you can make small talk with the people around you. But … ugh.

Sometimes the only way not to lose your collective cool is to quietly go on your phones and pretend you’re not in the world’s longest lineup.

  • No data? Sorry, you can’t scroll through social media
  • Seriously, TikTok is not going to load
  • Why is Instagram spinning like that? Right, no data
  • You can’t make witty observations on X (*cough* Twitter)
  • Even going on Facebook would be better than nothing … but nope

5. You can’t make, check, or change reservations

We’re so used to having our phones do the heavy lifting when it comes to making plans. But when we’re stuck without data, we realize we can’t just buy tickets, check confirmation numbers, or make reservations in two seconds flat.

  • Buy tickets online? Right, well … I just need to find some Wi-Fi
  • You emailed me my confirmation number? Uh …
  • Change the dinner rezzy to eight o-clock? How do I look up the restaurant’s phone number?
  • Swap our tickets for later ones? Ah, let me just … find a phone book.

Who needs data on vacation? Umm, everyone!

So if you’re looking to book a retro-inspired trip to the Dark Ages, definitely plan not to use any data on vacation. You’ll get the full experience! No maps, no apps, no messaging, no convenience, and zero fun times. Just lots of frustration, sadness, and crusts of old bread.

But if you’re a fan of living in 2024 and you’ve decided it makes sense to have data on vacation, we suggest installing an eSIM (downloadable SIM card) from our really special app, aloSIM.

Get data in five minutes, for five bucks

  1. Download the free aloSIM app (available on the App Store and Google Play)
  2. Choose where you’ll be visiting (175+ countries available)
  3. Purchase a prepaid data package (starts at $4.50/week)
  4. Install the eSIM we provide
  5. Activate your package for instant prepaid data on vacation

With aloSIM data, you’ll be able to use all of your favorite apps anywhere you go. 10/10 would recommend. (But don’t take our word for it.)