Travel Tech: Why You Need KnowRoaming

Posted on December 6, 2016 by Olivia Balsinger

Amazong sunset Olivia BalsingerSmart roaming…even in the Amazon.

As someone who is always jetting to a yet-visited area of the world–often as a solo female traveler–I need a way to stay connected to the outside world. It’s nice to turn my phone and computer off every once in a while, to feel that “freedom” of disconnecting that this century doesn’t seem to bring about often. But the reality is, when your job is to travel and your office is the world, you will need some means of staying connected.

As a professional traveler, I spent the first month of 2016 entirely off the map. I lived in an eco-lodge in The Amazon, where the closest grocery store was about a three and a half hour canoe ride away. The only washing machine in sight was the river and my workout routine of 30 minutes on the rowing machine was replaced by canoeing the depths of The Amazon River.

I’ll admit, I had a pang of jealousy when we stopped to buy cerveza in the local village and, yes, locals were using their phones! I had this urge to check my email, to Instagram that picture of the baby monkey that had weaseled its way into my lodge at dusk, to tell my parents and colleagues that I was alive, safe and sound.

But I couldn’t.

I know what you’re thinking. Why didn’t you just turn your phone? Because that would rack up data and roaming charges that I couldn’t even begin to fathom. (Yes, mom and dad. I do remember that time I went to Canada and came home with bills in the thousands!)

And so I did my research. And I came to the conclusion that the answer was the Toronto-based tech company, KnowRoaming. “The smoothest [roaming] solution is KnowRoaming’s international SIM “sticker,” which you attach to your current SIM card, magically turning it into two,” said The New York Times.

KnowRoaming products_simcard01

KnowRoaming was officially launched in 2013 and has coverage in more than 200 countries. As a big fan of statistics, I was relieved and intrigued to learn that a sticker could save me up to 85% on calls, texts and data while abroad.

Manifested as a “sticker” that even those quite technologically challenged (read: me) can easily understand. The KnowRoaming sticker comes in a little box with an applicator and detailed instructions on how to attach to your SIM card. The applicator makes the entire process manageable.

The KnowRoaming sticker is quite adaptable and is comparable with iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile. Just remember to “unlock.”

If you’re someone who, like me, can go a little data crazy when there are just TOO many scenic moments to Instagram and upload to Facebook, KnowRoaming is the solution. You pre-pay into your account and cannot use more than your allotment.

My conclusion? It simplifies the process of traveling to many a country and also eliminates the annoying task of having to remember to take a variety of SIM cards with you. With the application, I was able to switch to a local provider as soon as my plane landed. And it wasn’t a gimmick–the sticker actually works!

Some quick logistics: The sticker costs $29.99 USD and comes with a $10 credit. If you’re a heavy data user like I am, I recommend purchasing the data plan $7.99 USD per day. Voila, now matter where your travels take you, you’re connected.