Tips on WiFi and internet
Recent Thoughts for the Blog
Well I had a long think recently about what this blog really is about and came to a decision. The last bunch of posts just make me seem like I’m trying to sell you stuff. In some ways I am, as I’m trying to build a career doing this but I’m going about it the wrong way.
One thing I have never done since doing my trip is actually write about it. This could be really good for me as I’ve already forgotten half of it but sitting down and writing, brings back certain memories.
This will give anyone who is interested in a trip themselves, a better understanding of what is involved from the preparation before, during and even afterwards.
So what do you want to see on here?
- Tons of writing
- A mix
Photos are great but you want to have other stuff, plus having too many photos can make the website load slower and you don’t want that.
Videos has the same issue.
Too much writing, will make most switch off.
A mix seems to the best option so let’s stick with that.
If you have been following since the first post, you will know I’m looking to work from home, so even now currently trying other methods. I may in future posts discuss this, as not all job places will allow long periods of time off work. The last place I worked at, wasn’t comfortable with me having 3 months off. Three people on my trip though all worked at a supermarket and were given the time off, plus they got discount at Walmart as its under the same company.
Now not every post on here will be trying to sell stuff but I will have affiliate links as I do spend a lot of time creating all this content for nothing in return.
I will just keep it natural and write about my trip and if certain things pop that would help or did help, I’ll mention them as well.
Will try not to drag things on too long so will set a limit to each post.
I now have several new social media accounts purely for this.
At the moment I try to post once a day to the following.
I plan on looking at creating others but its finding the time to get them done.
Those will feature photos and videos from my trip.
Tips on WiFi and Internet
Right so where to begin, have already discussed choosing a trip, sorting out the money, visa etc.
Maybe it’s time to talk about the preparation of the trip, will see how this pans out as I continue to type away.
As you know I did the 80 day trip across America so will add some tips for you.
WiFi – Internet – Mobile phone
Sort out your mobile phone before you go.
This was an issue for me, I’m on o2 and should have sorted something out before I went. I assumed it would be easy enough to just get a simcard whilst over there. For some this may work, but for me it didn’t. I bought a sim card and I struggled to get it activated, signing up to things without any internet or very slow internet, made it near impossible to sort. Plus some requested me to call a number and without a signal was also impossible.
Usually as you arrive at a campsite the trek leader will disappear to sort out details at the desk whilst you wait in the van. On return they may hand you the WiFi name and password. Often though as you arrive, you can find the WiFi straight away. A lot won’t require a password.
Eventually I gave up and just used the WiFi when available. Which by the way is often, literally 90% of campsites we went to had WiFi, even the huge ones where you’re in the middle of nowhere. Grant it the signal maybe weak in a lot of these places so don’t expect to be posting videos or large photos. I used it mostly for talking to family via messenger.
WiFi at hotels and hostels though are a big improvement so save any video, photo posting till you get to these places.
Chicago was the first place the WiFi was good enough for me to use Skype.
So basic answer is do nothing, take your mobile and just use WiFi during your trip, saves you money. I’m on Pay as you go so not really a problem for me but if you have a contract, might be best to speak to your mobile provider.
If you do want a good cheap option for your phone, I would recommend using the Three network. Get yourself a simcard from them, couple of people on my trip had them, zero issues the entire trip.
Obviously had no signal in certain areas where you’re in a deadzone of the internet like at the bottom of the Grand Canyon or the middle of Yellowstone.
Love those moments though, when you have no devices connected, you feel so free.
But yes go with the Three Network, you would need to double check the pricing but my friend would pay something like £20 a month and get unlimited data and calls.
IPhone Users Beware
I’m not an iPhone user but from speaking to people, running out of space can be a problem. If you’re going to be taking a lot of photos and videos, have a back up camera with SD cards. Alternatively prior before your trip, go through all your apps, data and delete what you no longer need to free up space.
Plan ahead so day one you might be in Miami and the following two weeks you might be in areas with bad internet. When you are good areas, upload to the cloud, back everything up.
I personally went for a phone with a memory slot and had a spare card just in case. This way if my phone is damaged, i can still take out the memory card. Plus if I do fill up my phone I can just swap the memory cards out.
Don’t forget you will get many chances to buy new memory cards with visits to Walmart. This was handy for me as I did run out several times using my GoPro.
With phone technology today though, it’s easy to think you only need one device for everything but the biggest problem with that is you use your mobile for everything. Photos, videos, music, Skype, Facebook, and all the other apps.
Mobiles though are getting better with being water proof, better quality cameras that they can outperform some point & shoot cameras but still have one huge flaw. Battery life is a killer and with limited power points on this journey, it is recommended to have an alternative.
If you would rather just have the one device though and not be carrying around several cameras, then we do have options. Some of which I learned along the way.
Be sure to grab one of these, USB CAR PORT this will help, think about it, everyone in the van will want to charge their stuff at the same time. This way several people can charge at the same time. Some vans have more than one port, ours had two so we were about to charge about 5 items at a time.
This one allows four devices being connected at the same time. Fairly cheap as well so grab two and that’s 8 devices being charged at the same time.
As much as you may hate it as well, whilst charging, try not use your phone, put it in Flight mode for a quicker charge.
When out and about, turn off your WiFi and 3/4g, saves battery life, turn off apps, you’re not using. All these help save battery life.
If you’re in an area which is cold, keep your phone warm, colder battery, dies quicker.
Most campsites will have a power point by your camp but this does raise issues again with everyone wanting to charge. I recommend getting one of these, lets you charge several at a time
If you get chance to speak to others on your trip before you go (Which you will get the chance to) then direct them to this site so your not the only buying the good stuff.
You will find the best places to charge though are always going to be the hotels, hostels, as you usually get a USB port by your bed.
Now another thing you could always do, is get yourself one of these:
I didn’t get one of these till half way through the trip but it definitely helped a lot. Was a campsite with no power points, next day was going to be out and of course my camera battery was almost dead. This device can give you several charges so its a must. Plus its nice and small so not to get in the way.
Do remember though to charge it up whenever you can, keep it solely as a backup rather than using it all the time.
Now as you’re in the States you will be in the Sun a lot, so take advantage of this.
I wish I did myself but never got round to buying anything whilst out there. Couple of people on my trip though did, one used this solar tablet. Technology is changing and these actually do absorb a lot of energy to power your devices.
So whilst your lying on the beach doing absolutely nothing for a few hours, why not take the device out and power your items.
I think if I were to do the trip again, I’d buy some of these myself as it would make things a lot cheaper. After looking around as well, I found this:
Not the best bag in the world but perfect size for those day trips out hiking or walking round big cities. With those on the back, keep your stuff charged whilst on the go.
Everyone has different taste though, check out this similar one
It’s always the way though, when you return, you wish that you had done certain things differently. Well at least you can read all this and get the best tips for your trip.
So hope you found some good tips here, I know I certainly have after reflecting on what I should have took with me.
Trying to organize future posts, so looking to add new ones every 1st and 16th of the month. Be sure to come back to read about the next bunch of tips.