How to Get Portable International Travel WIFI

Meg Cale
Staying connected to WIFI while traveling is a not only a matter of convenience but also a matter of safety for many LGBT travelers. Sure, it’s much easier to navigate in a country where you don’t speak the language with Google Maps but having a connection can be much more serious in an emergency situation.

I’m not sure how we would have found an emergency room to help Lindsay when she got sick in Merida, Mexico without access to Expat Facebook groups, translation apps, Uber, and Google Maps. Especially, when we were both worked up and high stress. SURE – they did it back in the day – but why take the risk?

In the next few months, we’re taking dozens of trips to places as diverse as Louisville, Kentucky in the US to Cusco, Peru to Cairo, Egypt. As an LGBT couple, we just feel more secure when we have a WIFI connection. Which is why we ordered our Teppy. A Teppy is a pocket size device that transmits WIFI from your pocket or purse while you’re on the go.

It really just makes sense when you’re traveling internationally. We do everything online from booking our trips, banking and, for us, continuing to work so we can earn a living.

Finding reliable free WIFI is a pain when you’re constantly on the go. I didn’t want to change our travel plans or alter our daily itinerary in an effort to find wifi.

The Teppy comes with an international converter, charging cable, carrying case, and instruction manual.

How much does international travel WIFI cost?

Back in 2014, I spent a summer bouncing around Europe. I still had to work and passed on the pricey international data plans because I figured I’d just use wifi at the hotels. WRONG I ended up having to purchase a ton of international data from my cell phone service provider and ended up with a crazy bill. They charged me more than $200 USD for 1 GB of data, but I didn’t have a choice I had to continue working.

The other option is finding a local SIM card and setting up a local plan for your data. It’s a huge pain. Especially for folks from the US who may or may not have an unlocked phone before traveling.

Teppy is a much more affordable and convenient option. With Teppy I don’t have to worry about My phone being unlocked, finding a WIFI friendly location, or crazy phone bills.

They offer two different options. You can either buy or rent your Teppy. We decided to buy ours outright for $99 USD plus $8 a day for wifi connectivity. If you’re a less frequent traveler you can choose to rent your Teppy and pay for service at $8.95 per day. They’ll ship the appropriate Teppy to your house, hotel, or in some cases the airport.

If you travel just a couple times a year outside your home country, then renting a Teppy is probably best for you, so you don’t have to fuss with owning another small gadget. Plus, if you decide you’d like to keep it after the rental period they give you an option to buy the device.

How Teppy works

  • Buy or rent your Teppy.
  • Tep Wireless ships it straight to you
  • When it arrives it may need to be charged
  • When you’re ready to use it turn on the WiFi on the phone
  • Choose the ‘Teppy WiFi’
  • Type in the password, which is displayed on Teppy’s screen.

What I love about Teppy

  • You can connect from multiple devices. I had four different devices connected at once without a drop in speed.
  • Unlimited data. Lindsay says, “I’m a slave to the wifi” but in my defense, I run this entire blog and both our full-time jobs through the internet. Which means I use a TON of data. Unlimited was definitely a lifesaver.  
  • They send it straight to you. There’s no running around the airport or a city trying to find a sim card. They ship it straight to your house or hotel.
  • Secure connection. Call me paranoid, but I prefer to do all my internet creeping on a secure line. I’m not trying to have hackers stealing all my dachshund selfies. Gasp

What I didn’t like about Teppy

  • Size. Sometimes gurthy isn’t always better size queen or not. Teppy is about the same size as my iPhone 7 but it’s about an inch thick which makes it too big to put in the pocket of my lady jeans. Lindsay had no problem carrying it around in her pocket though so it’s a rather small issue. I just chucked it in my purse and it still worked perfectly.
  • Slow to connect when you turn it on. This is really small but I’m an impatient person and let’s be honest here, immediate gratification is life. When you turn Teppy on it take a couple minutes for it to wake up and connect. The wait is usually when I’m standing there trying to Google something. The obvious solution would be to just leave it connected – but shrug – I never did.
  • Battery life. The battery lasts about 6 hours which is pretty decent but definitely not a full day of touring. It wasn’t a problem when I turned it off and only turned it back on when actively in use but it is something to consider.  
  • More expensive. It is more expensive than buying a SIM card for each country you visit, but it’s far more convenient. If you’re on a backpacker’s budget you might have to go the SIM card route but as a business owner and an LGBT traveler, I can’t gamble.