I owe Rob one for his valuable advice on getting DNA unlimited prepaid sim during my stay in Finland. 7,90 euros for 7 days of ultra fast 4G mobile internet! Unlimited! How cool is that! Why is this not possible in Belgium? I would gladly pay 30 euros for a month of unlimited data! Here in Finland a month’s worth only costs 16 euros: https://corporate.dna.fi/en/dna-prepaid
Having internet in the palm of your hands makes traveling so much more efficient:
- What restaurants are nearby? Foursquare.
- What are the main attractions we should visit? Tripadvisor.
- What hotel can I book last minute in just a few clicks? Booking.com.
- My train tickets and timetables? There’s definately a local app for that.
- Forgot something (like a charger for your camera batteries?) and need it delivered the next day at the doorstep your hotel? Amazon.
- What rental cars are available in my area? Rentalcars.com
- Bragging to your friends back home about where you’re having dinner? Swarm.
- Bragging by sharing some photos: Instagram.
- Need a mental break from a busy travel-schedule: Headspace.
The possibilities are endless and I use them all.
Traveling has become so easy!
What a huge difference with our first citytripping adventures in early 2000’s. Our old Nokia 3210’s didn’t have Foursquare or Google maps. Sofie and myself often got hopelessly lost when trying following a city walk from a cheap travel guide or looking for a particular restaurant. Missing a turn here or there quickly resulted in losing hours and gaining painful feet. We often were too shy to ask for directions and didn’t have decent footwear back then. We were amateurs!
Where’s the romance?
Yes, I hear you… All the romantics among you who prefer “discoverying” a city organically… Well, hear me out. When Sofie and myself got lost, the neighbourhoods we ended up in were not really scoring high marks in the sightseeing department, to put it delicately. There is nothing romantic about that.
I completely agree: it can be very rewarding to go no-tech and allow yourself to go with the flow. You get surprised and can really get in touch with the locals and follow their advice… I cannot agree more, such days can and should be unforgettable experiences. Completely disconnected from everything. No distractions.
BUT… it’s important that you get to choose those moments at your leisure. Usually, if you’re hungry, you just want to get to the restaurant before your girl gets hangry. And if you are already late for that bus or train, you don’t really care for the scenic route, do you?
Bring your own music (and then some)
Having unlimited data also means that whenever you’re on the train or bus, you bring your whole music library with you. In my case over 10k songs, accessible at all times! Yes, I kind of miss my iPod classic days… back then I curated my music library through smart playlists. Meaning I had all my music on me, all the time… Offline available. 80GB!
The coming of Spotify (also thanks to the Finns by the way) was both a gift and a curse in that regard. While you gained the possibility to play ALL music in the world, you lost the ability to manage your library efficiently. (Don’t get me started on that topic). It was a trade-off I made reluctantly. Oh, how I wish making playlists available offline one by one was a thing of the past!
Here, thanks to the unlimited data, for the first time ever, I was able to enjoy my hand-picked Spotify library of 10K songs on the road. No longer limited to a single offline playlist or album, I could just put Spotify on shuffle, and I was pleasantly surprised when hearing music I had completely forgotten about. It took me back to my 80GB iPad classic days and I loved it.
Soon I’ll be going back home… Where I should be happy with my 3GB Proximus limit, but to tell you the truth: we need unlimited. In fact, I need unlimited data more on the road than at home! I don’t have Netflix and I don’t download movies… Even if I would start watching them again. (Nomoremovies, remember?)
I read something on Europe eliminating additional charges on data roaming somewhere in 2017. I sure hope that’s true. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope telecom providors will eliminate their data limits too, while they’re at it.
Smartphones and unlimited data make travel easier and more agreeable… OR they make sure you never disconnect and take away the charm and wonder of traveling. What do you think? Feel free to share you thought in the comments below.