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The Tech-Savvy Traveller: How To Stay On The Grid When Off The Beaten Track

There is so much adventure that awaits when it comes to travelling, and often the best attractions and experiences are found off the beaten track. The problem is that visiting these hidden gems of destinations can often make it very hard to stay connected.

If you are travelling to a location that is far away and doesn’t possess the most optimal conditions for staying in touch with the world, then this is the guide for you.

Here are some tech-savvy tips on how you can stay on the grid when off the beaten track.


There was a time when VPNs in Australia were a new concept, open only to those who were very technologically advanced. Nowadays most people will either have an Australian VPN service or they will have a general understanding of what can be achieved with one.

VPNs will mask your location so that you can access connections and servers online that may have been limited to those whose IP addresses are visible. For example, many can use a VPN to watch American Netflix from their Australian lounge room without dealing with geographic barriers put in place by the streaming service’s American servers, which is just one example of what you can achieve. Do some research into VPNs before you set out on your trip to ascertain which option will be best for you.

Consider the right social media apps

Not all social media apps are the same, and if you are heading somewhere off the beaten track, you’ll want to know that your platforms of choice will be available to you. Facebook and Google are not allowed in China, for example, and so if you had planned to travel there and keep in contact with friends and family on Facebook, then you’ll absolutely need a specific plan in place to do so, which will more than likely involve the use of a VPN.

Instagram also has different rules in different countries, so if you had planned to post stories and communicate publicly with your network, make sure you know how to do so first. However, messaging apps like WhatsApp and Signal are considered to be fairly fit-for-purpose apps when it comes to communicating, so you may find them to be more reliable for Wi-Fi communications over Facebook or Instagram.

Encrypted text apps

Encrypted text apps are all the rage now. And while initially they were used for the pretty sinister activity, now most people are embracing them and enjoying that added level of security. The Signal app seems to be one of the most popular providers, and it seems to be quite similar to the WhatsApp interface while also looking a lot like Facebook Messenger. Maybe give this app a try before you leave and test it out with the friends and family you plan to communicate with. Doing so will help you get to grips with the app’s UI before you jet off overseas.

Research your local amenities and resources

It’s a pretty exciting idea to travel the roads that no one has before you, but only if it doesn’t prove to be very inconvenient. Take the time to do some decent research into what sort of amenities and resources are nearby where you plan on staying. For example, maybe that edgy, ‘back to basics’ hostel is best, but can you access the internet there, or will you have to travel far to do so?

Always try to ensure that you can get in touch with your friends and loved ones for social and emergency reasons, should you need to whenever you plan to travel. You could even purchase a prepaid mobile SIM and communicate that way if that’s your preferred method.

Know where your bank or ATM is

Carrying all your travel money in cash is not a good idea, regardless of wherever you happen to be. If you do plan to get off the beaten track, however, you need to know how you can access your money when you may need it. Is there a bank or ATM near your accommodation, or will you travel far to get to one?

Money management when travelling may be no problem to you at all, depending on how long you foresee yourself exploring any particular destination, and you may plan on surviving on a bit of cash, but it’s really just a good idea to know where you have to go to access financial assets should a need to do so arise. You’ll also want to consider the opening hours for banks or currency exchange centres, and if any holidays or special periods will influence the availability of these resources.

Talk to the locals

Failing any of these above-mentioned tips, you may find that simply talking to the locals will allow you to find out how best you can stay on the grid. They may know a completely accessible way to get online as a tourist (i.e. at the public library) or might even know where you can get access to an ATM at all hours. Of course, it also goes without saying that talking to local folk is a great way to further immerse yourself in your travelling experience and create stronger memories of your time away.

By following the tips outlined above, you can still have an immersive travel experience in a completely untouched location and be prepared with communication channels and support if needed. We hope that our little exploration into tech-savvy travel has made you feel even more excited and motivated about the trips you’re planning for yourself over the course of this year!

This website developed and maintained by Australian Travel & Tourism Network Pty Limited for Australian Travel Service providers © last updated 13-May-2022