International data plans have so improved that they're fast becoming favorite travel buddies. No matter the time zone or which part of the world you're in, being able to connect online anytime renders a safety net and dispels any nagging worries of things not going as planned.
While most budget travelers have gotten so used to the free Wi-Fi or cheap SIM cards on the destination country, the digital world has so changed that local carriers now offer more reasons why travelers would be better off with an international data plan. Gone are the days when using your mobile phone overseas can land you global-sized phone bills. Local phone providers have now made their data plans more competitive so that you're ensured at your convenience of high-speed data as well as calls and texts when you're out of the country.
U.S.-based carriers like T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Google's Project Fi and MetroPCS offer competitive and reasonably priced international data plans, according to NerdWallet. Travelers can even choose among prepaid and postpaid plans. Choosing which plan to avail would just depend on your budget, length of travel time and usage.
So an international data plan can be a real treat even for penny pinchers who would normally opt for local SIM cards. According to Mapping Megan, those local SIM cards in destination countries can, in fact, be inconvenient, especially when there are people back home who need to reach you. Besides, you wouldn't want to spend a great deal of time figuring out the best and cheapest SIM card deal in exchange of your precious travel time.
Most travelers also rely on the free Wi-Fi in the hotels, restaurants or cafes but this also means you'll be offline once you're out of these hotspot zones. There may be times family members back home would want to call you but can't because you don't have an online access. With an international data plan, you won't have to dread such scenarios as you know they can reach you anytime, anywhere.