Traveling & Internet
I kid you not when I say we have spent thousands of dollars on trying to stay connected with the world and entertaining ourselves on rainy days. I’m not telling you this to brag; quite honestly I’m embarrassed by it, but I’m trying to help you learn from our mistakes.
This particular topic really irritates me because I feel in this day and age how do people do anything without Internet? How is it acceptable for companies to charge so much money for something that is required in day to day life. I guess it’s the same as asking why it’s normal practice for companies to charge an arm and a leg for life saving medication.
As a Canadian citizen I am unfortunately the victim of Canadian cell phone companies. Yes, I said victim and I meant it. Canadian cell phone companies have a monopoly on the industry that is supported by the government, somewhat the same as our airline industry. What that means is we pay some of the highest fees for cell phone data in the world and domestic flights are ridiculous.
When I first started traveling I just assumed I had to “take it dry” as they say. But as I traveled and learned and met people, I figured out this wasn’t the case. I’ll give you a brief rundown of what we have done and what we have ended up with.
Firstly, roaming through our Canadian cell phone plans. The bills physically hurt us. And we had no service in a lot of the places we camped which had pros and cons.
Secondly, we had a Solis which was a little pocket sized wireless Wi-Fi device. It worked great in central areas but once again not in a lot of boon docking areas. And while not as expensive as our Canadian phones still not cheap.
Thirdly, we got Mexican and USA cell phones. There are pros and cons to all the plans and there are way too many to list but its still a good idea to have one. Just go into a TelCel store and talk to a representative. If you have a passport and 3 Mexican references and a Mexican address you can get a plan with TelCel but if not you can buy a phone and data for a very reasonable price! If you have an American address (any address) and a phone you can get an American SIM card. We put a SIM in an old phone and one in a Wine-Gard for data only. Some American plans work in Mexico and Canada as well.
And for the big finale!!!!!!! We got a Starlink!!!!! This is Elon Musk’s project and I can’t thank him enough. We have boondocked with Starlink and have had perfect service. It’s also available all over the continent. I won’t try to educate you on it but trust me when I say it’s simple and easy. The way an essential service should be.
With a Starlink and such apps as Messenger and WhatsApp we have little to no need for our Canadian phones. We can get voice messages and return calls with our Mexican or American phones. Yes we kind of feel like drug dealers with all of our phones and numbers but I’d rather look like I was selling meth, than an feeling like an idiot for paying thousands of dollars a month for what I consider in this day and age; an essential service.
Anyways I hope this was helpful and I hope your connectivity issues aren’t as painful to your pocket book as ours were. That’s the thing about this lifestyle; your always learning as you go. As long as your learning in this crazy life your doing good and of course; I hope you enjoy the ride.