Staying Connected while Traveling: The Good, Bad, and Ugly (2019)

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Staying Connected while Traveling: The Good, Bad, and Ugly (2019)

Unfortunately, most people today are connected to their phones at the hip and the slight thought of being disconnected can send shivers down their spine - but fear not! We have all the good, bad, and ugly ways we stay connected (or not) while traveling. 

There is simply no greater feeling that boarding a flight, turning off your phone, taking off to a new destination and landing in a country you've never been in. It can be easy to feel like slipping off the map, getting lost and completely disconnecting from the modern world, but let's be honest, few people actually do, and that's just fine :) 

While we love to leave our phones behind while we go trail running in the forest, swim in a hidden lake, or head off for a morning hike, staying connected while traveling is more important that ever to most people so here are our tips that keep us posting, filming, sending, and sharing from the road. 


1) Whatsapp

If you don't have this app by now you must be living under a rock, or simply have no friends. While we started using this app back in 2012 before it was a household name on every phone in the world, Whatsapp is simply the best, and fastest, way to stay in touch. 

With the creation of group conversations, and the ability to write and send messages all over the planet with the press of a button, it's just a no-brainer. However, you still need to be actually connected to the internet for it to work...

Is there any other messaging app you use to stay connected on the road? Let us know in the comments below so we can check it out!


2) TEP Wireless

TEP Wireless Copenhagen coffee shop

This amazing little device has become our trusty, go-to backpack buddy which both Anne and I carry with us everywhere - and make sure is charged up more frequently than our watches - the horror! 

For the best pocket wifi, which works in over 100 countries, the TEP wireless has been a lifesaver for us in whichever odd corner of the globe we find ourselves in. You can either rent or buy the device, and can buy daily wifi passes nearly anywhere in the world. 

Want to save 10% on your TEP? Simply click here and enter promo code 'WHATDOESNTSUCK'

Easily the most frustrating part about staying connected while traveling is trying to buy and activate a new SIM card in each country we end up in, which can sometimes be Tajikistan at 3 am (honestly...) so being able to flip on the little TEPPY 4g and immediately be connected is a huge relief.


3) Lonely Planet Thorntree Forum

Ok, this is a pro travel tip to staying connected while on the road, and while it doesn't have to deal directly with staying connected over the interwebs, staying connected with other travelers is a huge benefit and has saved us tons of time and mistakes on the road. 

The Lonely Planet Thorntree travel forums are packed full of every single problem or question any traveler could ever face, and if for some reason you have managed to get yourself into a problem so weird and unique that no one has posted about it before, within a few minutes you're more than likely to get a response from someone who has. 

You can search by topic, region, or country and get answers quickly. Staying connected while traveling can be vastly improved by taking advantage of all the amazing advice, tips, tricks, and mistakes other travelers have already made around the world. 

Just make sure you sign up so you can help others out as well when we need a helping hand when they're traveling around the world. 


4) Social Media Sites

Hear me out before you start yelling that you know what social media is. Since we took off on our trip around the world from Dubai, we've been surprised how many messages have come our way through social media sites, and some that we tend to miss messages on. 

Making sure to check all your profiles across all channels while traveling is important to staying connected as some people really prefer to stay on certain platforms. We've nearly missed seeing friends in certain cities because they are only on Instagram, or deleted their facebook and solely use twitter (really? yes). 

So if you're trying to stay connected while traveling and are active on many different sites, make sure to check them all, and use them to connect with others, along your way. 


5) E-mail

Eww, right? I mean who even checks their email anymore anyway? This is the "ugly" part in our list, and for no other reason than emailing somehow feels like an ancient way to stay connected while traveling these days. Remember the old days when you sent your parents postcards from summer camp? E-mail is sort of like that these days, it is just simply not the fastest or most efficient way to stay connected while traveling anymore. 

But rest assured, as long as there are links from your parents which they need to send to you, e-mail will always be a way, if even a last resort, to staying connected while on the go. 

6) LinkedIn (for the adults in the room…)

Maybe it’s just because I’m now a crusty old man, but I vastly enjoy using LinkedIn these days more than Twitter and Facebook. While traveling and trying to stay connected professionally can be tough, it is so much easier to stay engaged and connected with other professionals on LinkedIn than over e-mail.

We’ve found some amazing connections on LinkedIn while traveling and have been able to both enjoy the freedom of travel without feeling disconnected from the professional world while doing so.

SO... what did we miss? What tools do you use to stay connected on the road? Any specific websites, apps, or tools which have been especially handy to you? Share them in the comments below!