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5 WIFI Options for Traveling in Iceland: Pros & Cons of Each + BONUS tip!

It’s 2016 and everyone still wants to be connected to wifi, even while they’re traveling. Posting your beautiful photos to Instagram, keeping people updated with your Insta-story…adventurers don’t quit just because they go on vacation! And then there’s GPS navigation – we can’t live without Siri telling us where to go!

In this post, I’m sharing the pros and cons of 5 different options to stay connected to wifi during your time in Iceland + one BONUS tip that will blow ya mind!

*The included video was originally a Live broadcast that I do every week in my Iceland Travel Planning Facebook group. I’m going to start sharing them to help more people plan their trip to Iceland!

When I was planning my trip to Iceland I had to search all over the internet for information. I wish I could have asked questions and get quick responses…so that’s why I created this Facebook group.

If you have questions about Iceland you NEED to get in this group ASAP!

Join the Facebook group – ask questions, connect with hundreds of travelers, and get help planning your best trip ever!

Oh, and did I mention, LIVE videos every week?!

Watch the video here:

 

Today I want to go over five ways that you can stay connected to wifi while you’re in Iceland.

Someone this week asked about it in the group, and I thought it was a fantastic question.  There are a lot of different options for modem rentals and internet in Iceland, so I’m going to go over the pros and cons of each!

Let’s begin.

Hook up an international plan with YOUR cell phone provider

Pro

  • Simple – call to switch it over
  • Can easily call for questions about your bill

Con

  • Possibly expensive depending on what provider you use, etc.
  • Could be limited on data/calls/text

Buy a sim card when you arrive

Pro

  • Simple – swap it out with your current sim card and go!
  • Great coverage

Con

  • Another thing to do/stop to make before you get started on your journey

Rental car company

Pro

  • Easy! Could already be built into the vehicle
  • Convenient! You’re picking up rental car anyway

Con

  • Limited amount of data
  • Could have bad service (reporting based on a friends recent experience – they spent a lot of money per day and it didn’t help them at all)

Trawire

Pro

  • Reliable – I worked with them and had a great experience
  • Unlimited data for multiple devices (good for families traveling together!)
  • Very reasonable daily fee (price varies based on package you select)
  • Local company with great support
READ MORE:   Grocery Shopping Prices in Iceland

Con

  • Have to make sure it’s charged

Rough it old school style!

Pro

  • Save money!
  • Limits distractions (I sound like a grandma)
  • Internet widely available at restaurants, cafes, hotels so you will still be able to connect at the end of the day

Con

  • We rely on internet for almost everything these days including research, GPS navigation, and updating snapchat!

BONUS TIP!

I just learned about this feature this year and it’s fabulous so GET EXCITED!

Downloading offline Google maps.

This is pretty much amazing and revolutionary

Google maps released a feature where you can download a section of a country and save it to your phone and use that with straight up navigation like Siri telling you to turn here and turn here and you have arrived…ALL without using wifi.

WHAT?!

I’m going to step you through how you can use it on your phone.

You will need:

  • Google Map app (not apple maps)
  • An adequate amount of space

Open Google Maps app
Click on Menu (3 lines next to search bar)
Click on offline areas
Select custom area
Zoom out to desired area
Download
Navigate as usual!

*works with perfect navigation WITHOUT wifi!
*Stays on your phone for 30 days

We used this when we were in Ireland and then my friends used this when they were traveling in Iceland and they had zero problems. You’re talking step-by-step navigation without using wifi. Amazing!

SO.

That was my super secret bonus tip, I hope you guys learned something!

If you have any questions please let me know – these live videos are fueled by your questions and comments!


 

Question: Which method did you use while traveling in Iceland and what was your experience?

 

Pin it for later!

Planning a trip to Iceland?

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  • Danielle
    January 20, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    Oh I should probably clarify that I have a mobile device that I used the app and Icelandic Sim in for the maps and data – I just don’t use a smartphone as a phone in the UK – just realised that possibly didn’t make much sense to say I don’t use a smartphone then talk about apps!

  • Danielle
    January 18, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    I dont use a smart phone in the UK so wanted something I could use in the UK as well as in Iceland and not need data. I used this free app and it suited me fine. it has maps downloaded to your phone so it doesnt use data.

    http://navigatorfree.mapfactor.com/en/

    I did set all my locations before hand or when i had wifi access but i did also have an icelandic SIM to make sure i had a back up, but didn’t use it for my navigation, apart from if i differed from what I had planned for that day (i used google maps a few times – but i didn’t know about the feature you mention above). So i guess my ideal set up would be a local SIM and then use the free app as it wont eat your data and you’re free to use that for social media, email etc when needed. I also have an app called Tu from my mobile provider in the Uk (02) which meant i could send and recieve texts via the app using the local SIM card data, rather than pay extra via international charges.

    i bought the SIM on the flight out with Icelandair and added data online package when i returned the following years. hoping when i go back ill be able to use the same SIM (it wont be this year so dont know how long it stays valid). the above might not be the most straight forward way (i am a bit of a luddite) but it worked fine for me 🙂

    • Jeannie
      January 20, 2017 at 3:26 pm

      Great to know, thanks for sharing your insight Danielle!

  • Anna
    December 21, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    Any other reports other than the one negative experience with renting a wifi modem through car rental agency? We are renting through blue car and they said they have them available for rental. Trawire is not super great for us because we want to have wifi as soon as we start out–and we are arriving too early to have pickup close to the airport. The only option is closer to Reykjavik, and we want to take the southern route to visit Krysuvik on the way to Jokulsarlon. Just was curious if you had more info than just one person who had a bad experience…..

    • Jeannie
      January 3, 2017 at 11:04 am

      Hey Anna – If the rental car company is more convenient for you then use that. I of course can’t speak for everyone, but just like to pass on any information I get from reviews! Hope you have a great time 🙂