high speed internet

Stay Connected While Traveling to Sports Events

Having access to a reliable, fast internet connection when traveling is vital. If you’re preparing to head to a big sporting event to catch your favorite team, staying connected may not be top of your list of things to sort out ahead of your trip. However, being able to connect to high-speed internet will make your trip run smoother in all sorts of ways. As well as being able to stay in touch with family and friends back home, it’s also an important means of staying safe while you’re in another country. Plus, such a connection allows you to download maps, guides, and location information, so there’s no chance of getting lost in a new city.

We’re going to take a deep dive into your options for accessing high-speed internet while traveling for sporting events, including a look at how to keep your mobile usage as low as possible. So, all you’ll need to worry about is the right result coming in on matchday!

Why Communication is Important When Traveling to Sporting Events

Still not convinced that having access to high-speed internet is vital to help your trip run without a hitch? Here’s why you really need to ensure this logistical element of your adventure is covered:

  • This will make life for football fans during the tournament far easier.
  • Means you can get information, maps, and guides as needed.
  • Real-Time Information – If there are important changes about the sports events; matches or special events, you can track the website and apps.
  • Gives you the ability to buy tickets online – even last minute.
  • Can be vital in an emergency.
  • You will be able to track the instant social media updates about the matches, activities, fan zones and last minute events
  • If there will be change with your accommodation or transportation plans, you will be able to check new places or transportation options immediately.
  • Being online all the time, is a way of bringing fans closer to the action, extending the reach of the sporting experience beyond the stadium, and sharing the spectacle with everyone.

Not to forget, of course, that reliable, fast internet lets you check in on all the other fixtures and results whenever you like, so you can keep an eye on who your team could face next if you are traveling for a sports tournament.

Easy Ways of Staying Connected While Traveling

There are 2 ways of staying connected when you are abroad. One of them is having high speed internet and the other option is to have a local or international SIM. We will cover both options in detail.

How to have High-Speed Internet Abroad

So we know it’s important to be able to access high-speed internet connections during your sports travels – but how to go about doing this? Figuring this out in advance of your trip is a good way to ensure everything runs smoothly. After all, the last thing you want is to find yourself in an unfamiliar city with no way of, say, accessing online directions or calling home. Happily, there are several different ways to ensure you always stay connected – having two or more of these options up your sleeve is likely to be your best bet.

Mobile Data

First off is mobile data, the bread and butter of staying connected to the internet when you’re away from home. The amount of mobile data you have will be determined by your provider and contract. There’s a catch, though. Unless you have an unlimited roaming plan, you could get hit with (potentially significant) charges while using mobile data to connect to the internet while abroad. Check this carefully as you’re planning to a trip to a sporting event. It may be cost-effective to add a roaming element to your existing package or even switch to a different contract or provider to save money.

Be aware that some apps may use mobile data when they’re running in the background. If you want to prevent this from happening, simply head to your device’s settings and disable mobile data use.

Public Wi-Fi

Of course, you can also use public wi-fi during your travels. However, these may or may not offer high-speed internet, depending on the status and quality of each individual connection. Using public wi-fi is certainly a cost-effective way to stay connected, but there are some downsides to consider. 

Firstly, relying purely on this option is risky. You may find yourself in a dead zone or using a connection that’s slow or unreliable. But most importantly, public wi-fi may not be secure. This means that snoopers or hackers could have access to your browsing, and your personal and financial details may be stolen. Check out this video to see some of the dangers associated with using a public wi-fi connection.

Consider using a VPN (virtual private network) to connect to the public internet. VPNs are relatively cheap and easy to install, and this is something that you could get sorted out before traveling to allow you to access high-speed internet when traveling for sporting event. They’re also useful for when you’re back home, too, and want to connect to public wi-fi when out and about.

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Portable Hotspot

Another solution to access the internet when traveling to sports events? A portable hotspot. These handy little devices allow you to get online from pretty much anywhere – and are small enough to fit into a pocket. They work by connecting to mobile broadband, emitting a wi-fi signal that you can hook up to your device. Think of it like bringing a small, personal router along with you on your travels. Plus, most allow you to connect to multiple devices. Watch out, though: you’re likely to be subject to fairly restrictive download limits, so portable hotspots tend to be best for light, occasional use.

You may also be able to turn your smartphone into a portable hotspot – most now have this function – and tether other devices to it. Again, there are things to consider with this option. It’ll quickly drain your phone’s battery and is likely to significantly eat into your mobile data allowance.

Rent Pocket Wi-Fi

To save you from having to buy and pack a portable hotspot device, you could opt to rent pocket wi-fi in most countries around the world. From less than five euros a day in certain countries, including Germany, Japan, the UK and many more, these little devices can be connected to multiple phones, tablets, or laptops, and many rental companies will even deliver to your hotel prior to your arrival. So you’ll be all set up with access to a high-speed internet connection from the moment you set foot in your accommodation. This option can be a great way to avoid potentially expensive data roaming charges during your time abroad.

SIM Options

Using your Own SIM card

Roaming charges kick in whenever you use your phone outside your mobile network’s coverage area. This is typically when the user is abroad. Some providers offer roaming plans, which means that, in some countries or regions, you won’t pay roaming charges to use your device – unlimited roaming packages are an example of this. Before traveling to a sporting event, it’s important to understand your current contract, to avoid paying an excessive amount of roaming charges. If roaming isn’t currently included in your contract, it may be worth adding this element to your plan or switching to a contract that allows for it. Looking for more ways to cut down your roaming charges? Take a look at this video for some tips.

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Using Local SIM

Many sports travelers wonder, “Is it more cost-effective to use my home SIM card or an international SIM card during the tournament?” I can say that it could be both cheaper and more convenient to buy a local SIM card. Doing so will give you access to a local number and data plan – and potentially significant savings.

Purchasing a local SIM card with a prepaid data plan before your trip may be a little more expensive than buying a SIM card once you arrive to the country, but the added convenience could still make this the best choice. Alternatively, buying your SIM card once you arrive in the country will save you money, as long as you don’t mind needing to track down a retailer once you land.

ESIM is also an easy alternative

Alternatively, if you’re thinking about staying overseas for a significant period – perhaps for the duration of an entire sports tournament like the FIFA World Cup, a tennis tournament, or the Olympic Games – you may wish to use eSIM. You could also consider buying an international SIM card like Airalo, which is programmed to work in different locations and on different networks around the globe. As well as being, in most cases, much cheaper than paying roaming charges, an international SIM is a convenient option if you’re planning on traveling abroad multiple times throughout the year. A word of warning with international SIM cards, though: if you don’t have an unlimited plan and run out of credit, you could well rack up some major charges quickly.

Finding Wi-Fi and Hot Spot Locations Overseas

Depending on where you’re traveling to, you may be able to get by using free public wi-fi and high-speed public internet hotspots. Some countries are really good about offering public wi-fi and hotspots in communal areas like parks or train stations. However, in other places, this is almost unheard of – make sure you do your research before relying on high-speed hotspots! 

For example, in Germany, the most common wi-fi service is the Telekom HotSpot Network and visitors to the country can check out the company’s website to find out where to find these hotspots. Further, if you’re a T-Mobile USA customer, consider signing up for this provider’s HotSpot service to make accessing high-speed internet even more convenient. Be aware, however, that you’re likely to have to pay a per-minute or flat-rate roaming charge to use this service while you’re overseas.

Ways to Avoid Exceeding Your Data Usage Limits

If you anticipate using your data allowance to access high-speed internet while traveling to sporting events, keeping this as low as possible is the best way to avoid exceeding your data usage limits. Here are some easy ways to do this:

  • Turn off mobile data on your device or switch to airplane mode – this will prevent apps from accessing mobile data in the background.
  • Disable background operations that use data, such as automatic backups and updates.
  • Prevent apps from refreshing the background.
  • Connect to public wi-fi (using a VPN) where possible.
  • Consider purchasing an international data roaming plan.
  • Buy a local SIM card.
  • Use lightweight versions of apps.
  • Use a messaging app to stay in contact with friends and family.
  • Limit the cellular data access for iOS apps.

Using a range of these methods will be a really effective way to cut down on your data usage and stay within your limits.

Final Thoughts for Stress-Free Sports Travel

Taking a little time to figure out how you’ll access high-speed internet connections or which SIM to use while you’re traveling for sports is definitely time well spent. You can use the guide above to think about the pros and cons of each, to choose the option that’s right for you. 

Being able to use reliable, high-speed internet while traveling to a sports tournament will make for more convenience and greater safety and boost your overall experience. Or in some conditions, it will be better to get a Local SIM or eSIM will make your life easier. Whether you need a map to navigate your way around Melbourne during the Australian Open or to find the best bar for a quick pint before a Premier League game in London, access to high-speed internet means that any drama on your trip will be confined to the sporting arena!