As a traveler blogger, I’m constantly in need of WiFi when I travel. I have researched portable WiFi hotspots that are country specific, like when I went to Ireland I used an Ireland specific travel Wifi hotspot and when I was in India, I used Trabug, a mobile phone solution. While these were great solutions for those specific trips, with a solid month of travel in 3 different countries looming, I knew I needed something better than localized service. I am happy to report that I have finally found an awesome solution to providing global WiFi for me and my son when we travel – SkyRoam Solis.
This orange portable WiFi hotspot is a lifesaver. If you are American you probably already know that AT&T isn’t the greatest phone company when it comes to international data plans, but I just haven’t wanted to switch since I have been with them forever, (probably the exact reason why I should switch!) which meant that I was left floundering and constantly on the hunt for free WiFi on our travels. This is no bueno when you are traveling solo with a kid and need to get around easily and quickly.
Skyroam Solis to the Rescue!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
PORTABLE WIFI HOTSPOT: HOW DOES IT WORK?
In a nutshell, Skyroam Solis uses a universal SIM card that does not require an unlocked phone, subscription, or dealing with any other bureaucratic red tape across destinations.
That being said, as long as there is local cell service in one of the 100+ countries that it’s currently available, you’ll be good to go with the Skyroam portable WiFi hotspot with unlimited data! Having used the Solis so far in only South America, coverage has been pretty great. The only place it didn’t work was in the middle of the Amazon, but really, who wants to get WiFi there anyway? Next up on our test will be Singapore and Malaysian Borneo.
The two main features of the Skyroam Solis is the portable WiFi hotspot and a charge bank for emergency charges for your phone. I haven’t had to use the power bank just yet as I have been lucky enough to still have decent battery life on my phone, but I think it’s amazing to have this feature added on.
Another great feature for the Solis that beats out just using your own phone service is the ability to connect up to 5 devices at a time. During my recent trip to Brazil I was able to connect my laptop to work, my son’s Kindle as well as give a friend the password to log on as needed.
Furthermore, with the Skyroam Solis, you have unlimited data which means that you don’t have to limit your internet browsing, uploading of photos or scrolling through Instagram.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
For shorter trips that are from one weekend to a couple weeks, I suggest renting a Skyroam hotspot, especially if you don’t travel that often. With that said, it always makes sense to price it all out. In general however, with the rental option you will be charged a daily fee even if you don’t use the device which makes it only cost efficient for shorter trips.
Current rental plans cost $9.95 per day for the Solis (Note: If you use this link, you can also get 10% off by using the code NOBACKHOME). Considering the quality and convenience of having your own data and wifi hotspot when you travel, I’d definitely say it’s worth it to rent for a shorter trip.
But that is the same as my phone carrier charges per day?
Yes, you are correct that this turns out to be very similar to data plans provided on many US mobile phone carriers. However, the difference is in quality of data and in how much data you can use. In most cases, your mobile phone carrier does not provide 4G LTE data while abroad, nor does it provide unlimited data, which is the biggest benefit of using a device like the Skyroam Solis.
If you travel frequently like we do or are going on a longer trip, you can also buy your own Skyroam (Note: If you use this link, you can also get 10% off by using the code NOBACKHOME) hotspot device, and purchase the days you will need as you need them. Alternatively, as I did for our trip this summer, you can also purchase a monthly plan at a greatly reduced rate.
For me, having the unit myself makes more sense so that it is always available when I need it. I then just purchase passes as needed or buy the monthly plan for longer trips.
NEW PLAN UPDATE!
A new update in service plan options brings us Skyroam GoData which allows for everyday on the go use at home or on the road. I envision this to be an easy way to bring WiFi to my son while we are at home. He doesn’t have a data plan for his iPad which means on long car rides he is relegated to just using what doesn’t need internet. Now, with our plans of worldschooling, we will need internet more often so he can complete his work no matter where we are.
The new plan allows for 1 GB of FAST data for only $9/month. You can purchase more if needed, but I am thinking if we stick to using it only for the times when we don’t have free WiFi at the hotel, that we can get by with only 1 GB. However, if more is needed, it can be purchased for $9 per GB. Much better than getting a full data plan with my mobile carrier!
If this is something you think might also work for your homeschooling or worldschooling life, check it out. I will update after we have used it for a bit and let you know what we think!
MY THOUGHTS ON THE SKYROAM SOLIS
Honestly, I LOVE it! Yes I got the device for free with a few day passes thrown in, but I had to purchase the monthly service plan myself and I still LOVE it! I plan to keep this baby going as long as it is offered.
The Skyroam Solis really has changed the way I travel. Previously I was always messing with my phone looking for WiFi hotspots or going to places that I knew had internet to the detriment of actually enjoying my trip. I also ended up spending more in countries where I needed to rent a car because I wasn’t certain I would have WiFi often enough to rely on Google maps on my phone, so I would also rent a GPS system. Annoying! Now it’s all in one.
Purchasing the day passes (or monthly service), putting it into service and using it all over the world has been amazingly easy. I highly recommend this for any traveler who travels frequently, especially for families. Honestly, I have also found this quite useful even on road trips in the US allowing my son access to stream Netflix on the road!
Disclaimer: I am a voluntary brand ambassador for Skyroam, meaning I am not paid to say any of this, however I do get commission if you rent or buy a Skyroam through a link on my site. You also get a 10% discount by using the code NOBACKHOME. (Note: Discount code is not valid on the GoData Bundle)
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