Visiting the US on business usually requires you to have a well-planed itinerary and to stay connected so you can communicate with your office. Being able to make calls and answer emails is essentials especially if the goal of your trip is to establish business contacts like vendors or potential clients. The US is one of the most connected countries in the world and offers many options for you to stay in touch. But for a reliable and hassle free workflow at minimum cost you have to carefully consider your options. Depending on your length of stay in the US and your specific needs you want to consider one of the following options.
Your hotel will most likely have WiFi but that connection is location specific and in some cases it comes with extra charges. In most cities, you can get WiFi in cafés when you buy a cup of coffee to quickly check your email but the speeds are usually not good enough to make calls via Skype or other apps. Libraries and even some public parks have WiFi but they are location specific and speeds are not great. These types of connections are convenient for the casual user of messaging apps and social media.
Some internet providers have location specific hotspots usually on airports or train stations where you can login and pay per use, usually by the hour. These services are convenient if you don’t have another option and have to get online but are usually steeply priced and not a long-term solution. Reserve the use of airport hotspots for when you have no choice and need to get in touch with your office or clients right away.
Mobile WiFi Hotspot
If you plan ahead you can get a mobile WiFi hotspot for your business trip. This is a small device that connects to wireless networks and can provide internet for all your devices. You can get pricing by the day if your trip will be short, or monthly pricing if you will be travelling for extended periods. This way, you have access to email, voice apps and the cloud anywhere you are and can work remotely on your laptop at a fixed cost.
International SIM card
Another option is an international SIM card provider that enables you to make calls and use internet on your phone. If your phone can turn into a hotspot you can get internet on your laptop but speeds will be slow. With this option you pay per minute for calls and per MB for internet so this is not suited for heavy users of data but mostly for backup use. This is a convenient option when you need to make an emergency call or respond to an important email.
RoamingYou can also turn on the roaming of your existing mobile carrier. This is good for emergencies, but not for everyday use of data and calls. Charges are usually high per minute and per MB and internet speed depend on the local provider. This option is fine for the occasional call or email but for the most part it is too expensive and you are better of using mobile hotspot of public WiFi.