I was recently introduced to Hassan Wardani, the founder of a new adventure travel business called www.thrillseekeradventures.com
His new venture aims at connecting adventure seeking travellers to holidays and experiences in all corners of the globe, and has taken an initial focus to boarding - kitesurfing, snowboarding, and surfing. Pretty awesome bunch of places on his destination list and his unique spin on it all is really looking at the people who are running these trips and camps, not just do this in that place.
My top 5 SIMs for adventure travellers:
Being a man of SIM cards and part of the broader travel game I told Hassan I would write up a blog and shoot through my Top 5 list of SIMs that might be of interest to his customers who are keen to stay connected.
I’ve also included a few other tips they should keep in mind when they are travelling- for hardcore adventure, or not.
1. AT&T SIM card for surfing in the US
Surf, sand and even more surf suit your style? Aloha, Hawaii!
Thrillseeker can connect you to the guys at the Royal Hawaiian Surf Academy for anything from beginner lessons, stand-up paddle boarding, to private lessons or adventures at Maui’s number one surf school.
The US is definitely one of dataGO’s main markets, where we help thousands of travellers each year get set, before they go. AT&T covers Hawaii no problem, and is actually the fastest network, with the best coverage for foreign phones heading to the US. An AT&T SIM, say on the $60 plan with unlimited US calls and text, unlimited international SMS, and 2GB of data - you’ll be surfing the web in no time when you touch down!
2. telecom NZ SIM card for kitesurfing in New Zealand
Keen to see what Kiwi-land has to offer? Why have a go at something like New Zealand’s No 1 kitesurfing school OceanXtreme ?
While you are at it, we recommend staying in touch with a telecom NZ SIM, which by jumping online and adding the $19 big value pack, you get 500MB of data (you can add more), 60 min of calls and unlimited texts. Don’t miss out on the bragging rights of posting a few cheeky pics from the ‘Long white isle of adventure’ using your data SIM in NZ.
3. DoCoMo data SIM card for snowboarding in Japan
The Thrill Seeker guys have a cracking 1 week skiiing and boarding trip to Niseko, Japan. That looks like a bunch of fun.
Easily the best option for Japan is our data only Japan SIM, which gives 1GB of data for 30 days, to keep you connected whilst you are carving up that powder on the Niseko slopes!
4. Virgin Mobile SIM card for snowboarding in Canada
Canada is one of the snowboarding meccas of the world where Whistler is probably the big brandname that dominates. A quick search on Thrillseeker turned up this alternative gem. Mount St. Louis Moonstone is one of the largest family owned ski resorts in Ontario offering great ski hills for skiing and boarding.
Regardless of whether you hit Whistler or Moonstone, make sure data doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket- and thats where the dataGO Virgin Mobile SIM will have you covered. Activate and choose your plan before departure, a quick top-up from a convenience store when you land and you are all set to go.
5. AMAYSIM SIM card for kiteboarding Exmouth, Australia
I checked out this Trip Update from a couple of crazy French guys Trillseeker have helped board their way around the sites of WA. And I have to say, I wouldn’t mind doing the same!
If you are thinking of heading to Aust kiteboarding, surfing, or just seeing the sites, keep grab one of dataGO’s SIMs to keep connected. AMAYSIM is our current value for money option (which runs on the OPTUS network), with those looking for coverage - Telstra prepaid being a good bet which should be in store shortly!
Bonus options; either the dataGO Travel SIM or the World Roaming SIM to cover pretty much everywhere else in between.
The dataGO Travel SIM is a data only SIM with great pay per MB rates for 130 countries.
The World RoamingSIM, has an incredible 240 country coverage list and covers calls, text and data.
dataGO data roaming top 5 handy tips:
There are also a few handy tips that should be front of mind of any globe trotting traveller that is hoping to stay connected.
1. Unlock your phone
This is number one culprit of causing an troubles for aspiring world data roaming travellers (who want to avoid massive bills using local and roaming SIMs).
Your phone must be unlocked from any network- normally if you bought it (particularly on contract) from a telco, they lock it. A quick call to them, and most times they will unlock it for you.
2. Check your SIM size
This is SIM card 101, or more 123… SIM come in three sizes (largely lead by Apple’s ever hungry desire to change things).
i) Mini-SIM; is your standard of normal size SIM card (used in most old-school phones and the original iPhone 3 and 3GS)
ii) Micro-SIM; probably the most popular SIM size, used in iPhone 4 and 4S and most iPads.
iii) Nano-SIM; Really only in Apple products at this stage- this is in the iPhone5, 5c and 5S...and iPad Mini.
3. Know your settings
Two things here; firstly check your phone has the network capability for the country you are heading to. Secondly, make a note of the APN settings for the SIM/network you are planning to use. Most times they load automatically, but if your phone is connecting (in the signal bar in the top left-corner), but you aren’t getting any data- it is most likely your APN settings.
4. Order your dataGO SIM in advance
This tip is really just about making your life easier and cheaper.
Don’t put off getting a SIM now, and leaving it until the last minute. Most SIMs don’t have any expiry issues (if unactivated), and leave plenty of time for the postman to drop-by so you don’t have to pay extra for Express Shipping...did I mention dataGO does free standard shipping to anywhere in the world?
5. Check the rates
If you made it to here, and really if you are the sort of person to line up a better deal by going through dataGO, this is probably something that doesn’t need to be said- however it is amazing how many people continue to get stung with ‘bill-shock’ and the like, purely from being blissfully unaware until that bill arrives in the mail at the end of an amazing (adventure) holiday!
Do yourself (and your bank balance) a favour, stay informed and stay connected on your next holiday with dataGO!
Written by Peter Cain
Peter Cain is the Founder and CEO of dataGO.co, a company committed to making it easier and cheaper to stay connected whilst travelling. You can find him on Twitter and Google+. You can also find dataGO on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, andGoogle+ for all the latest info on local and roaming SIMs and data hotspots.