Travel writer Madeline McInnis gives her top tips on how to survive without mobile phone data while you’re travelling
Surviving without the internet seems like an impossible feat in itself. When you put yourself in a new place, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, lost, and feel like you have gotten in over your head.
Going to a new place can be challenging on its own, but being completely disconnected brings an added level of discomfort. However, there are plenty of ways to rock your travels without service.
Before you leave your data area, take screenshots of the maps you will need to get to your accommodation. Most hostels and hotels will have paper maps that you can take with you around the new place, but you have to actually find them first!
If you’re ever lost, do not go to the petrol station like all of the films tell you to do. The pizza place likely delivers, and they will know the area way better than the people who stay stationary in a building.
If that is not an option, look for any major shopping centre — almost all of them have free wifi these days for you to check Google Maps and get your bearings. They are usually well-lit and with lots of people around, so you can feel safe while you are disconnected.
While you are actually out travelling, try to enjoy being disconnected. You can sit on Facebook at home, enjoy the area that you are in now!
To get around posting those beautiful moments you want everyone to see on Snapchat, send every photo like you would if you had data. The photos will just bounce back to you, whether you were sending them to a specific person, a group, or your story, and you can just ‘retry’ the post the next time you are on wifi.
If you have some kind of social media inspiration while you’re out, you can always just write it down in your notes to post when you’re connected again.
Make sure to have a check-in time with a trusted friend or family member so they know that you are okay. As soon as you get onto wifi, send your status along. If something does go wrong, that person will know to look for you.
Keep checking in with them throughout your journey, as well. Being disconnected is scary, and they just want to make sure that you are safe.
It goes without saying to be safer than you usually would when you are out on your own without access to the internet. Be vigilant, do not take unnecessary risks, and have a plan before you go out anywhere.
The more you know about the place you are going, the more comfortable you will be without your virtual safety net. So, as always, plan ahead and keep an open mind — there are very few things that cannot wait a few hours to be posted!