Updated: February 20, 2017
I spent the first two weeks of February outside the country. I went to Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Interestingly, I believe it’s my first time to visit at least three countries in one trip.
The primary purpose of my travel was to attend the IMG Convention in Singapore. But since I’m already going out and paying P1,620 for the Philippine travel tax, I thought I might as well make the most of my trip.
I booked roundtrip tickets to Singapore with a 2 weeks span. I did so to give me enough days for a couple of side-trips without much time pressure.
A couple of days after the convention, I traveled and spent 2 days and 1 night in Indonesia. Particularly in Batam Island, which is just a ferry boat ride away from Singapore.
And then, I flew to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam from Singapore and stayed there for 3 days and 2 nights. Finally, last week I traveled back to Manila from Singapore.
Using Singapore as a jump-off point is something I usually do. Because I learned that roundtrip tickets from Singapore to most ASEAN countries are normally cheap because it’s a hub for many airlines.
What is Skyroam?
As an online entrepreneur, it’s really important for me to have internet access. Generally, this meant booking hotels and eating in places that offer free WiFi.
However, this trip was different because Skyroam Philippines was generous enough to lend me a unit that I can use for the whole duration of my trip.
Skyroam is a Silicon Valley company and has been providing global mobile hotspot to travelers since 2009. Recently, they established Skyroam Philippines through Big Sky Nation, Inc., so their service is now available for Filipinos.
If you need constant internet connection when traveling abroad, Skyroam is a more affordable option than local telecom roaming services as its global data roaming rate starts at only P390 per day.
You’ll get unlimited wifi for up to 5 devices, so you and your friends could actually just split the fee. Plus, it allows the battery of your mobile phone to last longer because it’s just using WiFi to access the internet.
But this is not the only advantage of having Skyroam. Below are other ways that I was able to save money because I had a constant internet connection wherever I am.
Ways to save money when you have data roaming
1. No need to buy local sim cards for cheap internet connection.
This is a usual strategy for frequent travelers. They buy a local sim, and use it on their spare mobile phone to take advantage of local data rates.
But not everyone has a spare mobile phone. Fortunately, if you have a global data roaming hotspot device such as Skyroam, you don’t need to do this meticulous task anymore.
2. Use apps like Uber and Grab to avoid getting ripped by local drivers.
There are taxi drivers who overcharge or insist on a fixed fee. Yes, it is unfortunate that this happens in other countries.
But thanks to these apps, you can now have a better way to go around without worrying that the driver might be taking advantage of you.
3. Use public transportation with ease.
A cheaper way to save money when going around the city is to use public transportation. If you have an internet connection, you can use Google Maps to get commuting directions.
For example, if you use Google Maps in Singapore, it can give you the buses and MRT lines that you need to take to go to your destination. Or if it’s near, there’s walking directions as well.
4. Save money on packaged tours.
A packaged city tour in Ho Chi Minh costs about P3,000. Instead of getting that, I created a DIY itinerary and spent only less than P500, thanks again to Google maps and various travel blogs who wrote about the must-see places in the city.
5. Research online for great places to eat.
Popular restaurants are usually tourist traps, and they tend to be expensive. But food apps such as Zomato or websites like Yelp, can help you discover good and cheap dining places that only locals know.
Most of them don’t offer free WiFi, which is of course, not a concern for you because you have Skyroam. You can post your food shots on Instagram and Facebook in real time.
6. Secure internet connection helps prevent identity theft.
You just don’t know if a free WiFi network is safe from hackers. By having your own internet connection, you can avoid getting hacked. Plus, you don’t have to give your mobile number to those who require it to log on to an internet connection.
These are just some of the ways I was able to save money because I had a pocket WiFi with me. And I know these tips can help you too when you go and travel abroad.
A full-charge of the Skyroam device lasts for about 8 hours. But you can use a powerbank to recharge it while on the road. When plugged-in to an outlet, a drained battery reaches full charge in about 2 hours.
If you’re interested to learn more about Skyroam, you can visit the Big Sky Nation website, or send a message to their Facebook Page: Big Sky Nation, Inc. – Skyroam Philippines Partner.