How to stay connected while travelling with your iDevices

Taking your MacBook, iPad or iPhone travelling with you? Chances are you’ll want to stay connected. Check out the following tips for travelling within Australia and overseas, so you can stay connected without breaking the bank.

Travelling within Australia

If you’re travelling within Australia, you don’t have to worry too much about keeping your iPhone connected. As long as you are with a good carrier, you should be able to connect around Australia as you would at home.

The same applies if you connect via SIM on your iPad, or you have a mobile broadband dongle for your MacBook – whatever works at home will generally work within Australia (although you may have issues getting connected in some remote areas).

If you don’t have a SIM-enabled iPad or a dongle for your MacBook, you could use the Personal Hotspot function on your iPhone. Just switch on your Personal Hotspot (Settings > Personal Hotspot) and take note of your phone’s Wi-Fi Password.

On your iPad or MacBook, turn on Wi-Fi to find your iPhone’s Wi-Fi network. Enter the Wi-Fi password to connect to the internet using your iPhone’s data. Just be aware of how much data you are using to avoid going over your data limit and getting charged.

Travelling Overseas

iPhone and iPad

If you are travelling overseas with your iPhone or SIM-enabled iPad, you have a few options open to you. First up, contact your Australian carrier and find out whether they offer an international roaming plan. This can be an expensive option, but it is cheaper than getting hit with data roaming charges.

Alternatively, you could pick up a local SIM when you arrive at your destination. Do some research online to find the best option, or ask at your hotel or tourist information centre when you get there. Just make sure your iPhone or iPad is not locked to your Australian carrier before you leave. It’s also worth remembering that with this option, you won’t be reachable on your Australian number.

When travelling overseas, your iPhone and iPad will automatically select the best network for use while roaming. However, you can choose to manually specify a network (Settings > Carrier > turn off Automatic > choose carrier from list when it populates).

The last option is to turn off Cellular Data and rely on Wi-Fi (iPhone: Settings > Cellular. iPad: Settings > Cellular Data). With some models, you may be able to turn of Data Roaming (Settings > Cellular > Data Roaming).

MacBook Air or MacBook Pro

When travelling overseas with a MacBook, you have similar options to travelling with an iPhone or iPad. If you have a mobile broadband dongle, you could get an international roaming plan with your current carrier, or you could pick up a local SIM (make sure the dongle is unlocked before you leave). You could also use your iPhone or iPad as a Personal Hotspot, or you could rely on Wi-Fi only.

Utilise free Wi-Fi

But how do you find free Wi-Fi? There are several apps that you can download before you go that allow you to search for free and paid Wi-Fi. One of the best is Wi-Fi Finder. You can search for free and paid internet around you and in searched locations, you can filter your results, and you can even install an offline database.


If you’re looking for an affordable, reliable, fast internet connection at home, check out cheap broadband from iiNet.