How to Get the Best Wireless Internet for Traveling

We aim high and dream big, but we do live in the real world. That means no matter how much I wish I was rich and could afford to travel without working, the reality is I have to work to support my family and afford to travel.

One prerequisite for traveling and working is that I need an Internet connection in order to work. No Internet access and/or a weak signal would be a deal breaker. I’ve written an entire blog on how to stay connected on the road, but wireless Internet is the most important.

When we first started traveling, we had mobile phones on a Verizon Wireless family share plan, so I added a mobile wifi device, called a JetPack, to the plan. It worked great, all over the country. The only problem was it was expensive for the amount of data I needed.

Another traveling friend referred me to Millenicom, which provided data plans at a much better rate. The best part was their service used the Verizon network. So I ordered a new JetPack through them and had great service at a discounted rate for a couple of years.

In an effort to save money, we also switched our mobile phone service to T-Mobile. Wow, was that a big mistake! We now call them “T-Maybe”, because we never know if our phones will work as we travel around the country. No amount of savings was worth the loss of the excellent network coverage provided by Verizon Wireless. They may be more expensive, but it is worth every penny.

I guess Verizon realized how valuable the mobile Internet service was, because they bought Millenicom at the end of 2014. I researched other options, but knew from experience that I did not want to lose the Verizon network. I didn’t care how cheap the data plan was from T-Mobile and AT&T had more expensive data plan than Verizon, for less network coverage…that’s just crazy!

Luckily, I was referred to Ryan Maharg, a Verizon Specialist. He hooked us up with a new JetPack, which is way more advanced than the older one. It is shocking how quickly things change. In just 2 years the JetPack technology has gone from basic display to full color user interface, with all the bells and whistles.

Ryan has been awesome, getting us a great deal on a data plan, and is also going to help us get new phones with Verizon again. Contact Ryan at ryan@wirelesssales.org, tell him KelloggShow sent you and he can hook you up.

8 Comments

  • Good to know. I hate the fees of Verizon and always feel scammed when dealing with them but going on an extended roadtrip with 7 kids next month is making me wonder what the best options are. So we may stay with Verizon after your review. And I will look into the jet pack now. Thx for the tip! ☺

    • I feel more scammed by the other carriers that claim to offer the same service at a lower price, because their network is nowhere close to Verizon. What good is cheaper if it doesn’t work? Have fun on your road trip. 🙂

  • Thank you! This is the information I’ve been looking for. I am traveling more now that my husband is retired, but I still run a full-time business online. Reliable cell phone and internet connection have been my biggest issue. It looked like Verizon was the answer, glad to have it confirmed.

  • This is the first time I’ve come across your site, so I don’t know yet if you’ve covered this elsewhere. I do intend to start reading it though, since my family is hoping to find itself in the same situation as yours (software engineer, remote work, moving into an RV, etc.).

    Do you have any experience with the AT&T network? What types of places are you travelling? In/near cities? Remote/wilderness? I’ve been surprisingly happy with AT&T where I live, and the few places I’ve traveled with it, but don’t know how well they cover all the places we want to travel by RV.

    • Hey Scott! Our problem is that we don’t frequent populated cities … there you have great signal. We prefer to go off the beaten paths, where fewer people go and really discover America and for that you must have Verizon!! 🙂 If you plan to visit big cities, you will be fine with even TMobile which I think is the worst carrier EVER! T-Maybe is what we called them!! 🙂

  • Hi Dan & Susie, I found out about your blog from an article in the newest FMCA’s Family Motor Coaching Magazine and have been reading it for the last couple of days. Wow really great blog!.

    I too am an independent contractor currently working as a AIX Systems Architect. When my husband retired 2 years (he’s 18 years older than me) ago he wanted to hit the road in an RV. At the time we had Thor Hurricane 34 ft gaser, which we used for my gokart racing outings. He said a gaser would not be a good candidate for cross country travel so we did our research and traded it in for a new 34 for Thor Palazzo. We have a side business where we design and make stickers for MINI Coopers and are big into the MINI Cooper world. I said since you want to go on the road why don’t we go to the all the MINI Cooper events throughout the country and attend the events as vendors. So 2 years ago we packed up our Roland Printer, our Graphtec Cutter, 3D printer, 3 business computers, 4 iPads and 1 work computer and all the stuff for running a business and crammed it into our 34 Palazzo and hit the road for 9 months. It was the most daunting thing I’ve ever done. I put in my notice to my director that I needed to quit because we were hitting the road, and he said why?, I don’t care where you work from as long as you get the job done. So like you I had to ensure that I always have/had a good internet connection, I’ve been working from home for the last 4 years so I’ve always had a Jet Pack. Our problem is like yours, we go through tremendous amounts of data, last month 46gb. We found out about and switched to Millenicom approx 6 months before Verizon bought them out, boy we’re we disappointed by that. But…. Verizon offered a really great deal 40MB for something like $150 a month which is pretty close to what Millenicom was charging, we are locked into that price now. I’m going to take your advice and email Ryan and maybe he can get us a better deal.

    Anyway, the Thor Palazzo was way too small to run a business (the printer took up the entire table and dinette booth so we had nowhere to sit to eat) and work without killing ourselves tripping over all the wires and computers. Last year we ended up trading it in for a brand new Newmar Dutch Star 4318. We had them take out the buffet and put in a huge buffet that could accommodate our big Roland Printer and cutter. We love it as I’m sure you love yours. I can’t image having 14 people in ours though 😀 By the way when did you guys get your Dutch Star and how did you decide that’s the one you wanted? We’ve had our eye on Newmar for a long time but wasn’t sure we wanted to spend so much money on an RV until we actually had to live and work in it for 9-10 months out of the year and if we ever get another one it will be a Newmar. Their service is top notch especially if you go back to the factory in Nappanee, IN for service.

    Wow, sorry, that was long. Hope to see you one of these days in your Dutch Star, we always love to see other Dutch Stars on the road.

    Travel safe and as the MINI people say “Motor On”
    Joanne
    Stuck On Minis

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