In all the years we have been visiting Ireland, we have struggled with our telecommunication options. When we lived in India and would visit the homeland, we were able to switch over to a local SIM card easily. However, it meant that we no longer received our texts from home, which was sort of a bummer.
Now that we have moved to the US, our phones are “locked” to our carrier which means we have no option to use local phone SIM chips. Instead, we typically borrow an old flip phone from the parents and head out with no modern day connection to the world! This means no GPS, no way to research restaurants and no way to solve our discussions (aka fights!) about some random topic that comes up on our road trip!
This year was going to be my first year traveling Ireland on my own while my son and husband were visiting the grandparents. I needed a way to stay connected at all times so they could contact me. Enter TravelWiFi Ireland, a pocket wifi device. A friend turned me onto this amazing company and I was quickly sold.
Perhaps I am a little behind the times (OK, well I know that I am!), but I did not realize that you could get a personal hotspot like this. Yes I have used my phone as a hotspot for my laptop in times of need, but I never knew how my fellow travelers seemed to have an internet connection 24/7 while on the road. Now I do and my life will never be the same!
TravelWiFi Ireland provides customers with a little box, not much bigger than a business card holder, that is a personal WiFi hotspot. It is tiny so it can easily be slipped into your purse or day bag. It has 4G service and can be used with up to 5 devices. You log in with the username and password and you are good to go.On my trip I was the only one using it, but I have to say the service was outstanding.
With TravelWifi, you get UNLIMITED data & can connect multiple devices!
I was traveling the Wild Atlantic Way in County Mayo which is quite sparsely populated with people or towns, however my service was almost always present and strong. Even on the Inishkea Islands I was able to get service using my TravelWiFi Ireland hotspot! It was strong enough that I was able to do a Facebook Live. I was sold!
Now I can’t imagine visiting Ireland without it. No more hopping into McDonald’s to use their WiFi quickly to map out our bus ride home. No need to pre-load our maps before we head out. And no need to continue fighting over something silly when we can just ask Google!
How much does it cost?
The most important question on everyone’s mind – how much does this wonderful world of connectivity cost? It’s actually quite reasonable! For use in Ireland only, a 7 day rental is €59, a 14 day rental is €79 and a month long rental is €104. Considering renting a GPS unit for the car is €14 per day, and the hotspot provides so much more, I think this is a great deal!
How do I get it?
TravelWiFi Ireland is located in Dublin. If this is your first stop, you can easily pick it up at their offices (for free) or you can have them mail it to your first stop for €8. I gave the address of my first hotel in Killarney and it was there waiting for me! Make sure to let the hotel know that you have a package arriving so they will sign for it.
How do I return it?
You can choose to return the device to TravelWifi’s office in Dublin (for free) if you are finishing your trip in town or you can choose the return by mail option for €8. If you choose the latter, you will be given a pre-paid stamped envelope that you just seal it up in and return on your way out. We popped ours into a mailbox at the airport which was perfect.
How is the battery life?
The battery life is pretty great actually, but what is even better is that the package comes with USB car charger! I wasn’t in a car often enough to utilize this for my trip, but for a typical visit this would have been amazing. Also, I found that my device could be charged using my external battery pack which came in useful.
How much data do I get?
It is unlimited data! During my 10 day trip I used about 6 GB. Often portable hotspots charge per GB, which is a total bummer especially when travelling with children who like to stream shows while on the road! I liked having the ability to use it as much as I wanted without worrying about extra charges.
Does it only work in Ireland?
Yes and no. TravelWiFi has several different plans that allow you to have service wherever you go. Travel WiFi Ireland has a plan for only the Republic of Ireland, one for Ireland and the UK and one that is Worldwide (note the worldwide plan is not an unlimited data plan). If you plan to travel to Northern Ireland, make sure to get the Ireland and UK package.
How do I rent one?
Head over to TravelWiFi’s website to get started. Choose which location package you want, how many days you need it and then BAM you are ready to pay and get it mailed out to you! It’s that easy.
Yay or Nay?
So my final assessment – yay or nay? A big resounding YAY! I did receive the TravelWifi hotspot free of charge, but I have to say I really really loved it and I will be ordering one for my trip next September. On one hand I sometimes enjoy a few moments away from the internet when we travel, but the convenience of having it in my pocket at any time really was great. I’m so excited to not have to waste money on a GPS rental for the car too.
I definitely recommend for any travelers to Ireland (or the UK) to check it out. This would have been so handy on our trip to Ireland and the UK last summer. Instead we just wandered around aimlessly looking for public WiFi connections! Don’t make my mistake – get the TravelWiFi hotspot for your next trip.
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