Staying Connected to the WWW With Travel WiFi

Many of you know that I work on the go. Therefore, before embarking on an international trip, one of the things that I arrange is my internet connectivity, which is as important as my passport and foreign currency.

For my recent trip to Taiwan, I opted for the travel WiFi by Travel Recommends, as suggested by fellow travel bloggers. Travel Recommends is not a new service to me. I also know of two other similar services and have used all of them previously during group travels within the country.

my rented WiFi router is picked up from Travel Recommends' kiosk at KLIA
my rented WiFi router is picked up from Travel Recommends’ kiosk at KLIA

Similarly, I have tried to rent Travel Recommends travel WiFi router for my trip to Jordan, unsuccessfully, as the company does not have service in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

On another occasion to Thailand, I was unsuccessful in renting from Travel Recommends as I flew out from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (Subang Airport). The company allows for self-pick up only at their kiosks in KLIA and KLIA2, which are open 24/7.

For this Taiwan trip, I totally forgot about renting a travel WiFi router as I had planned to buy a local SIM pack upon landing at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

It was only after discussing with my friend the accessible options that I sent in a rental request, less than 24 hours to boarding. Now, that’s rather risky, so do plan ahead if you are travelling.

I was lucky that a pocket WiFi was available for me to pick up at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) the following day before my flight. However, I was dismayed that should I damage the equipment accidentally, I would have to pay the following penalty charges:

WiFi router and SIM card: RM600
Power bank: RM80
Carrying case: RM50
Converting plug: RM50
Other accessories: RM25

It’s a reasonable request for the RM200 deposit (refundable within 7 working days upon return of device) but I was apprehensive regarding the total penalty charges of RM805 if the entire set was lost. Of course, I don’t go out of my way to damage the equipment or to lose it, but life is unpredictable on the road, so sometimes, minor mishaps happen.

I was on the verge of cancelling my rental, but was offered a RM30 insurance plan to cover the damage or loss. I took up the coverage, and it certainly gave me peace of mind throughout the trip.

By the way, when I was in Taiwan, I fused my universal power adapter when I was charging my devices. Luckily, I was not charging the WiFi router then. Even if I did, and should it get fused in the incident, it was already insured. Conversely, imagine stumping up RM600 for 6 days of use, or less!

checking out my rented travel WiFi router from Travel Recommends at Zhou Ye Hut Farm in Sanyi Township, Miaoli County
checking out my rented travel WiFi router from Travel Recommends at Zhou Ye Hut Farm in Sanyi Township, Miaoli County

During my Taiwan trip, from landing at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, I travelled south to Lukang, down to Tainan, and back north to Taipei, before flying home to Malaysia.

Being on the road for the good part of the day, I was delighted to have internet connection without waiting for the WiFi offered by our accommodation.

Also, I’m sure you know what a headache it is when there is internet but it cannot get connected somehow. That’s way more frustrating than not having an internet package at all.

Thank god there was no such inconvenience for me in Taiwan, as I could get connected at all times, except for the few hours, out in the Taiwan Strait oyster harvesting. Being too busy to learn its procedure, I couldn’t spare the time to “play with my phone” anyhow.

update IGStory on the go in Taiwan
update IGStory on the go in Taiwan

For general knowledge, the price for unlimited 4G WiFi connection in Taiwan offered by Travel Recommends is currently RM15 /day. On the other hand, the price for a local SIM pack by Chunghwa Telecom with 5 days of unlimited 4G WiFi connection and some airtime (of no use to me) is RM38.

The WiFi router is able to connect up to five devices simultaneously, which reduces the cost of the rental. No doubt, the smart phone can do likewise, but the maximum number of devices to connect to it and still enjoy reasonable speed is probably three only.

I can assuredly share my experiences because I had no issues getting an internet connection. Therefore, that was one less hassle faced while working on the move as a digital nomad.

For more information about Travel Recommends, plans and rental, feel free to check out their official website.

This trip to explore Taiwan was made possible by Ipoh’s premier travel agency, Golden Century Tour & Travel, with the support of and in collaboration with the Tourism Bureau of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Ground tour was handled by Polo Holidays Co. Ltd.

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With love

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