How to stay connected on a world trip: GlocalMe Portable Hotspot review
There are multiple ways to stay connected online while you are travelling. During past trips we always bought local SIM Cards or used free wifi, but during our world trip by bike we have been testing GlocalMe's Portable, SIM Card free hotspot.
While writing this review we have been testing their Duo Turbo Hotspot for 2 months.
In this product review we try to explain our experiences as good as possible and share all pro's and cons about their Portable Hotspot. Not interested in reading all of our thoughts? No worries, you can jump straight to our conclusion here!
Even though we always look forward to those moments of deconnecting from the world and simply enjoying the simplicity of outdoor life, it also feels nice to stay connected online. We need to plan our routes, check out where to sleep, say hello to our moms every now and then and want to share our stories online. For this we use a very simple device called "GlocalMe". Check this short gear review about this cool piece of technology!
What is GlocalMe? Our First Impressions
GlocalMe provides cross-border connectivity through a SIM free device. This Mobile Hotspot creates very good connection without additional roaming costs. You can buy multiple devices but we feel the DuoTurbo is the one to get if you are planning a world trip. They also sell 5G devices but in our eyes this is not necessary (yet) because too many countries are not ready for this.
When opening the package for a first time, it seemed regularly small. The setup of the device is peanuts and they have plenty of options for Data Plans. Whenever we had a question, the responding time of their team was very quick, which is always a good bonus we think.
We opted to use their 12gb/month North American package (55 USD per month) but we will change this along the way once we enter South America. You can also use unlimited plans but for us this is not necessary. Check out there possibilities here.
Why do we use a Mobile Hotspot?
The go-to selling point, according to us, is that you do not need a sim card. That's right, no need to check out new providers every time you enter a new country. F.e. We have to cross 14 countries on our world trip and we don't want to start a quest for a new SIM Card every time we enter a new country. In the GlocalMe App you can very easily choose the data package you desire, depending on which part of the world you are travelling in.
A nice benefit that comes with carrying around your own hotspot is that we don't need to go and search for wifi places constantly. We know, they are everywhere, but like most people we then spend money on a coffee, a beer... in some places you even have to pay to get wifi.
GlocalMe Mobile Hotspot: Pros and Cons
There is no such thing as a perfect solution to stay connected online. Everyone who says they have found the holy grail, well... they are just not being honest or overlooking some very objective points. Every manner to try and stay connected online has its owns pros and cons, we happily share our thoughts about this for GlocalMe Duo Turbo Mobile Hotspot. Let's begin with the bad news first:
- Do not expect magic to happen. When you're travelling very remote in an area without any connection, this device probably wont work.
- The costs of the Mobile Hotspot. On top of the monthly Data Plan Fee (obviously) you also have to invest in a Mobile Hotspot itself. We might feel it could be beneficial for both parties to downgrade these costs a little bit if people opt for a long term Data Plan.
- The costs of the Data Plan: We feel their data packages are a bit more expensive compared to the cheapest providers out there. Keep in mind though that in some countries they charge you up to 30 Dollars for simply a sim card activation, this adds up quickly and in our opinion it will compare in the long run. All in all stil fairly priced!
- You need to charge an extra device: You can use the hotspot for 12 hours when fully charged, but it is an extra piece of gear to think about.
Here some reasons why you do want to start using GlocalMe.
+ Ease of use. You start the device, download the app and choose your data plan. Easy as that! To use it, you just turn on the device, type in the hotspot code and you are connected. You only have to do this once, afterwards your phone will connect automatically.
+ Flexible Data Plans. There is something for everyone and you can easily change your Data Plans along the way if you opt for the monthly payments.
+ You can connect multiple devices with the hotspot at once. A great way to make friends along the way or help someone out.
+ Lightweight. The hotspot is lighter than it looks and very convenient to take with you.
+ Better connectivity than a SIM Card. That's how we experience it. Because it's a hotspot, it will always search for the best connection regardless of providers,
Our verdict: Is GlocalMe for everyone?
After using it for two months through Canada and the US in the most remote areas but also in busy cities, we feel plenty confident in advising you whether or not to use GlocalMe.
This device might not be the solution for budget travellers who don't mind seeking out free wifi and steal some Burger King wifi (not judging, we've been there!). A monthly payment plan is sometimes not something you want to be burdened with if you are making a world trip. Especially if you like to travel low budget, we understand you'd rather spend some money on an extra beer of activity, it all depends how big the necessity is to stay connected.
However, we think it might be quite perfect for long term travellers who want a hassle free solution or people working remotely. For our world trip it is definitely a nice addition and makes our life a bit easier every now and then. What we love the most is that it's easy to use + if you would be down on your budget for a while, you can easily pause your payments.
For us it beats the struggle of finding that free Wifi and wandering around a city in every new country in the search of a new SIM Card, it's just so easy that the Mobile Hotspot is SIM Card Free. So yes, even though it comes at a price, we would recommend GlocalMe!
More questions? Don't hesitate to contact us here or through Instagram. We have also put together a small Instagram reel so you can check out how we are using this device.