Whether you want to stay connected to social media, use google maps or to catch up on your favourite tv show, phone service is becoming an essential tool for many travellers. People often worry about the risk of using their phones abroad and coming home to a nasty bill. If you’re travelling to Japan, there is a perfect alternative in renting a pocket wifi unit. Continue reading my Pocket Wifi Review to discover why you should use this rental service.
Money Money Money
I really love having phone service abroad, but sometimes the price isn’t worth it! Doing some research on Bell Canada’s website, the best option appeared to be $75 for 300MB over the course of 30 days. If you reach this limit, there is an option to buy more data. I would consider this to be okay for a solo traveller who intends to use their phone minimally and for security purposes.
If you’re travelling as a pair, getting pocket wifi is a no-brainer! For 21 days, the cost is $140 and includes UNLIMITED internet. Split between two people, this is already a better deal than using my regular service provider and I don’t have to worry about using too much data. This is a really good thing because I would have eclipsed 300MB within my first week in Japan!
How does the service work?
Renting pocket wifi in Japan is super easy and is done online through this website. You can pick up a device at the airport or have it sent to your hotel. Included is a pre-paid envelope which is used to return the pocket wifi after your rental is over. You can mail it through any Japanese postal box.
Why do I need Pocket Wifi?
If you have access to Google Maps and Rome2Rio, it is almost impossible to get lost. Google Maps will give the best walking directions while Rome2Rio will provide awesome information for train and bus routes. I was already using my two favourite apps just moments after receiving my pocket wifi. Getting from point A to point B can be stressful for people in a foreign environment, having access to directions at any time can alleviate those concerns.
Don’t speak Japanese? Have no fear, Google Translate will allow you to gain a better understanding of the basics. The app also allows you to take pictures which can read and translate script. This is perfect for menus and signs that are only in Japanese. In addition, having access to Google Images can help you communicate in a different manner. For example, showing cab drivers a picture of that temple you want to visit but can’t quite pronounce the name. I cannot count the times I used my phone to help me communicate.
Last but not least, you’ll want to have access to all the luxuries of the internet you have back at home. Staying up to date with social media can be important for people on vacation. Everyone back home wants to know what you’re doing! I’m also a sucker for music streaming, which happens to be one of the fastest ways to consume data. I also chose to download a couple episodes of the Walking Dead to watch before bed. We all have that one friend who’ll spoil what happened once you get home!
Pocket Wifi is a wonderful tool that most people should consider renting during their time in Japan. Those who travel in small groups will find that renting will be a fraction of the cost versus purchasing a data plan from local service providers. I found that having access to Google Maps and translating apps was invaluable, making my trip much more enjoyable and stress-free.