By Kim Jiskoot , SilverDoor
It's essential that business people travelling abroad are connected. In some cases, being well connected can be the difference between success and failure on a business trip. Mobile phones are expensive, however, and the internet available in hotels can often be an extremely limited resource. So what are the best options for staying connected whilst travelling abroad?
Mobile phones have become a near essential part of everyday life and many people, business travellers included, feel lost without them. They enable us to liaise with our contacts, stay in touch with our loved ones and, with the development of smartphones, even access our social media account and emails whilst on the go. When used abroad, however, mobile phone roaming charges often prove to be significant drain upon a traveller's finances. Within the EU, it costs up to £1.25 per minute to receive a call and anywhere up to £30 to make a mere 10 minute phone call. As an alternative to calling, texts are free to receive but can cost up to 50p per message to send. Added to all of these charges may also be significant amount of VAT.
The easiest solution and the one which represents the least amount of fuss to the business traveller is to buy special roaming 'add-ons' from network carriers. Whilst some are even free, others require a daily or monthly payment but all will slash the costs of using a mobile phone abroad. In response to the ever growing levels of business travel and the need for connectivity, there are specific roaming plans, such as the Feel at Home plan by Three Mobile, which offer minutes, texts and data for specific use abroad.
Potentially more important than the need for a mobile phone, is the need for a business traveller to be connected to the internet. Whether for accessing emails, doing research or using internet based calling programmes, such as Skype, as an alternative to mobile phones, the internet represents an essential tool for the modern business traveller. Smartphones such as the iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy S4 can be used as modem if plugged into a laptop or PC but using them as such will incur extortionate data roaming charges. The internet offered in most hotels is not much better as an alternative; connecting may be charged on a pay per minute or usage basis at vastly inflated rates and any extended use, therefore, will be a costly affair.
When you travel for business, the last thing you want to worry about is how to connect to the internet, contact friends and family and arrange the business meetings you have travelled all that way for. At SilverDoor, we take the hassle out of business travel and the majority of serviced apartments we offer have internet included in the nightly rate, making it easy to work and relax in comfort and ensuring that every trip is a success.