Whether conducting business or on vacation, today’s travellers need to be readily accessable to clients, colleagues, business contacts, friends and family to keep in step with today’s fast-paced world. And the increasing role social media plays in our daily lives just adds to that. Here are some of the most effective ways for staying in touch, wherever you are.
Internet on the Go
Without a doubt, internet access is a foundation in effective communication. An excellent device offering maximum mobility and convenience is MiFi. Whether a user is staying at a Seven Mile Beach resort or at a private villa in Kaibo, this powerful little device provides 24-hour access to the internet, across the Island.
Flow’s MiFi features mobile Wi-Fi, which connects up to five devices. With an affordable retail price of CI$50, users just need to go online to add credit to their device and then choose the data plan that best fits their needs.“What’s great is that you can pop this device in your pocket,” says Julie Hutton, head of marketing at Flow. “As it connects to the Flow mobile network, you can carry it with you. So you have Wi-Fi on your devices wherever you go, including the beach or the golf course.”
Another powerful option for internet access is pre-paid LTE Home Broadband from Digicel. Operating with a Digicel modem that is literally plug and play, with access to the internet in less than a minute, it is perfect for frequent or long stays on the island. The only upfront cost is a CI$99 deposit for the modem then visitors can access a flexible one-, seven- or 30-day plan, which fit a range of needs and speeds of up to 12 Mpbs. Visitors who plan on returning within a few months will not have to pay interim fees and can maintain their modem and internet access. This is an ideal plan for users needing access to company email, social media or download trade journals.
Cell Phone Service
Visitors staying on island for a few days or a few months can check with their mobile provider in their home country before travelling for their roaming rates. There are many stories of people thinking they don’t need to bother checking into an overseas package, because they are sure they will only use a few minutes of calling or data, then the reality hits when they receive the bill.
“What users need to remember is that if you have apps running on your phone, particularly apps like the weather, news and social media — they will be constantly updating and using data in the background,” says Hutton, explaining that if users don’t want to use their data, they will need to make sure and turn off their apps.
In most situations, visitors will find it worthwhile to check with their telecom companies at home for roaming packages, which give users an allowance of minutes, texts and data for a set fee whilst overseas. Purchasing an overseas plan will almost always be more affordable than using a cellphone to roam without a package.
A practical and effective alternative to an overseas package is buying a pre-paid account with Flow or Digicel for your Cayman trip. If you have an unlocked phone, you can tap into a local telecom whilst on Island. It’s easy to pick up a pre-paid SIM card from a retail store or gas stations throughout the island for either Flow or Digicel.
Flow offers a wide range of prepaid bundled plans for different needs starting with 250 minutes of Cayman minutes and 5GB of data for seven days, stepping up to a deluxe package of 200 minutes and 50GB of data for 30 days.
With Digicel, there is a nominal charge for its prepaid sim, which comes with a $5 or higher credit. Moreover, their bundles of local minutes allow users to call any number on island for one-, seven- and 30-day plans and pay as little as three cents per minute — that’s a whopping 90 percent savings off the standard rates.
Getting Around a Locked Phone
If your cellphone is locked, there are still a variety of options for inexpensive smartphones available. With Flow, smartphones start as low as CI$99. Flow also offers a worldwide package for a prepaid phone that is simple to activate and gives the user a bundle of 60 minutes to call over 100 countries for less than 15 cents a minute.
Flow has 100 percent 4G LTE mobile coverage across all three islands, which makes this local telecom provider an easy choice for users, who need premium coverage 24/7.
Digicel also offers great value to buy a smartphone starting at just CI$49 with full access to calls, email and internet browser. Their 4G LTE cellphone coverage is effective for all three islands and has an extremely fast LTE network for data.
Both the pre-paid and post paid plans with Digicel offer great value and flexibility for short and lengthy stays on island.
For year-round residents who need cellphone service when they travel overseas for business or pleasure, both Flow and Digicel offer packages that will keep their telecom bill on budget. Flow offers its base roaming package to the U.S., Canada, UK and the Bahamas with 30 minutes of call time, unlimited incoming calls, 30MB of data and 30 SMS messages for CI$9.99 a month. Need more data? Flow offers additional data packages for 500MB and 1GB data whilst travelling.
Digicel’s Roam Like You’re Home roaming package is available for residents who are travelling within the U.S., Canada, Caribbean and Panama, as well as the UK and Ireland. Residents have maximum flexibility to call over 100 countries at Cayman’s discounted rates, including Jamaica, Europe and the Philippines for calls, text and data starting at CI$17.50 for 30 days on the post-paid plan and CI$15 for seven days with pre-paid cell service.
Author: Shurna DeCou