What’s the craziest thing about being travel writers on the road, enjoying the experience, taking it all in?
No. It’s not the part where we’re constantly clicking photographs or notes to remember later. Neither is it the crazy bit where we return to our hotels to stay up till the wee hours editing images and writing, researching for the next day or trying to squeeze in a bit of sleep so we’re all set for an early morning.
Nope. None of that. It’s the bit where we download documents to view offline on our phones. It’s the bit where we do funny dances, laptop in one hand, phone in the other, trying hard to find the perfect spot in our hotel room where both the WiFi signal and power cable can connect to our Macs. It’s the bit where we have to carry around pre-marked city Moleskins, pull out maps, internet print outs and scribbled notes to find our way around. The bit where we infuriate cabbies and locals trying hard to explain where it is we want to go. (Multiple that by a million if we don’t speak the same language). The bit where we wish we didn’t have to rely on scheduled tweets and Facebook posts, and could update real time instead.
So when X Com Global gave us an opportunity to road test their portable MiFi Device – a rental mobile hotspot wireless internet access for international travellers.
It works brilliantly.
Step 1: Send them your trip, shipping address and device details. Select the add on options (Plan, Insurance, Spare batteries)
Step 2: Make your online Payment.
Step 3: Receive the delivery of this compact little package a couple of days before you’re scheduled to leave.
Step 4: Use their easy to understand instructions to set up the device and password on a computer.
Step 5: Stay connected on your trip. Pop this nifty device in your pocket, and use it on the go.
Step 6: Return from your trip, and return the package in the prepaid shipment envelope they sent you within one business day.
Doesn’t that sound super easy and convenient?
It did for us, and boy are we glad we got it. It was such a boon since we were going to be hotel and city hopping on our 3 weeks in Thailand.
- It helped us find our way around the city, even by showing the Google Map to our cabbie sometimes.
- It helped our excitement soar as the Facebook Page likes and Twitter followers kept pouring in and we could track it real time.
- It helped us share our updates real-time, and sound like real people not mechanized robots talking through scheduled posts.
- It was amazing for when some hotel WiFis couldn’t support multiple devices and both of us needed to do our thing.
- It helped us give a silent up yours to hotels that charged exorbitant hourly rates for internet.
- The speed was fabulous and we could hook up both our SmartPhones and the Mac at the same time, download and email high res files, and it didn’t falter. Not for one second.
- The signal was great. With the device in our pocket/ bag at all times, we never really needed to test that bit out anyway.
- The battery lasted about 6 hours and they’d kindly sent in an extra battery so we never really had a problem with it, (unless I’d forgotten to charge it the night before!)
The only downside was perhaps the kinks in the particular piece we received. This being a rental service, rents out devices that have been used by other travelers before, and will be used again. Which means these pieces have seen the world, and with it, a fair amount of battering as well. What that meant for our particular device was a loose battery, that had to be pressed in place at all times, or a bit of jiggling (from being bumped around in a pocket or bag, or just on the backseat of a cab) would disconnect the power and the device would die. Nothing a bit of tissue and rubber-band couldn’t fix. But if you’re paying for something.. well.. Just be sure to check your device is all the advice I can give.
Otherwise, happy travels staying connected!
Going somewhere? What are you waiting for! Grab your XCom Global MiFi Device here now. This post was made possible by the kind folks at XCom Global, but the opinions, as always, are our own!
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