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Tep Wireless: the solution to avoiding scary data roaming charges? 

10 Commandments of Backpacking on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Anyone who travels a lot will know just how dreaded the words “Data Roaming charges” are. Unless you’ve got a good prearranged deal with a mobile phone company it’s more than likely you’ve been stung with overinflated phone bills while trying to access the internet abroad. We’ve also all heard the horror stories about people going on holiday and coming back to eyewateringly high bills – sometimes reaching into their thousands!

As travel bloggers we rely so heavily on Wi-Fi and the few times I have dared to turn on the data roaming (probably in an emergency when I’ve got lost in a city and needed to access Google Maps) my phone bills have come back almost three times the price. To combat this we’ve developed an unhealthy obsession with Wi-Fi spots – from hotels to back street cafes, we’ve always got to know where we can tweet or upload a post next. As you can imagine this can get pretty exhausting and that’s not even getting started on the inconvenience.


Until the happy day that these overinflated charges get abolished, there are a few telecommunication companies that offer a solution. Tep Wireless for example, provides broadband on the go for international travellers in handy pre-paid MiFi devices – otherwise known as pocket Wi-Fis. The devices can be ordered through the company’s website, VisitBritain, or Expedia and then delivered before your trip, or picked up at various airports. As long as you can get a 3G connection (which you can in pretty much any city around the world), you’ll have your own personal Wi-Fi hotspot which enables you to get online with your phone, tablet or laptop.

Admittedly it’s not going to have a connection strong enough for seriously heavy internet usage but having used these devices before I can confirm they’re extremely handy and saved me on a number of internet emergency occasions! It’s best to view it as a stop gap between getting to a stronger Wi-Fi signal in order to check your emails, use Google maps etc. on the road. 

The battery has around 4-5 hours usage and to charge it all you need to do is plug it in to a power outlet using the adaptor provided. You can also save the battery by turning off the pocket Wi-Fi when it’s not in use (and handily there is also a spare battery inside the case).

At the end of the trip the Tep Wireless MiFi can be conveniently returned by post or dropped off at airports. If you’re planning a city break and need that all-important internet access on the go, this could well indeed offer a solution to those very scary data roaming charges.

Ever since he was knee-high to a grasshopper Michael has always been a sucker for an adventure. As a kid he was lucky enough to live for many years in a handful of exotic far flung locations including Hong Kong, Pakistan, Kenya and Tanzania and since then he’s developed a taste for seeking out new cultures. So much in fact he now travels the world as a trading digital nomad, exploring sizzling street markets in Bangkok to random back alleys in Sri Lanka and everything in between! He also has a special fondness for Cohibas, street food, playing carrom, and fine wine and knows his clarets from his chiantis. He counts Cuba, Amsterdam, Laos, Cambodia and Italy as his favourite destinations.


  • Danny

    21 December, 2015 at 10:07 am

    In my experience I can say that ChatSim is a great alternative to avoid roaming charges. It’s a sim card design for people who travel a lot. It works with all phones and lets users chat free of charge anywhere for a flat annual fee of €10. After this initial expense you can use all the world’s leading chat apps to chat for free with anyone, anywhere in the world, without limits for a year. So it’s cheap and easy to keep in touch everywhere!!

  • sylvio

    28 October, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    In France especially in Paris, you will have MOXX (www.moxx.fr) a well known portable Wi-Fi hotspot provider, to get your device during travelling. While using the small portable device for internet, you can use our given hotspot for more than 10 devices at a time. If you order for MOXX Wi-Fi hotspot, you will get it to your hotel room or any other place in time.

  • Jay

    24 September, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    That’s a really neat device! If there is any way to avoid insane data charges, we owe it to ourselves to give it a try. This seems like a very great alternative and a value-adding travel buddy. lol


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