Best VPN for Travel

Best VPN for Travel – Expert Reviews of VPNs and Comparisons

If you’re reading this we’re making the assumption that you’ve already decided that you need a VPN for your travels, but that you’re looking for which are the best VPNs for travel.

If you’re not sure if you need a VPN or why then you can check out our common sense guide to VPNs here.  We will touch on the benefits of VPNs but are focusing on which are the best VPNs for travellers and what each of these top VPNs for travel delivers to you.

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A VPN for travelling adds a layer of security when you access any of your online accounts from a public wifi hotspot.  It lets you protect your personal information, view content, TV and movies from home or other locations.  A travel VPN will let you access your banking, financial services, streaming services regardless of your geographic location.  The same VPN lets you use sites like Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia and others when restrictive governments put blocks in place.  You’ll also be able to communicate via WhatsApp and Skype when telecommunications providers want to stop you using them and charge you higher rates for calls.

Quick Comparison of the Best VPNs for Travel

Further, in this article, you can jump to our full review of the top VPNs and VPN comparisons when you are travelling.  You’ll notice that our list of the best VPN for travelling doesn’t include any free VPNs, although we do include some paid for services that provide a “free” or trial service.

In the following table you’ll find a comparison of the best VPNs available for travel.  We’ve been asked and compare ExpressVPN vs NordVPN, NordVPN vs Tunnebear VPN, Nord vs Cyberghost, Cyberghost VPN versus ExpressVPN.

Want to know why we don’t generally recommend free VPNs? Jump to that Content here.

Jump to Full Reviews of the Best Travel VPN’s

How To Use a VPN when Traveling

There are many ways and mayn benefits to using a VPN for travel – here are just of the ways in which we use a VPN for travel

  • Avoid geo-restrictions on content (access BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Hulu from around the world)
  • Use WhatsApp and Skype anywhere
  • Prevent monitoring of your content and activities
  • Protect your personal and financial data
  • Book Cheaper Flights regardless of your location
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Readers Questions on VPNS and VPN FAQs

We have included sections in each overview and each of the best VPN reviews, to cover questions that we have been asked about individual VPN services.  If you have other questions, please use comments and we’ll address them for you.  Our best VPN comparison table shows the main criteria by which people choose a VPN for traveling abroad.  We have included a general FAQ at the end of this article.

How to select a VPN for Travel – What to look for in a VPN for Travel

VPN services are not all the same.    There are a number of factors that you should consider before selecting one.    Here we’ve identified the key criteria to look for in a VPN for travel.

Number of VPN Servers and Size of VPN Network

VPNs are generally used to access content from your home country, so you want to look for a service that has server options in your home and major other countries.   Some VPN services, like ExpressVPN, offer thousands of servers, others have a few hundred.  Their location is important.    Remember that it’s the location of the server that’s important, not where you are.  For instance, if you want to access Facebook from China, you do NOT need a VPN server in China, you need one outside of China, in a country where Facebook is not blocked.

If you want to access content from BBC iPlayer you should select a VPN service that has a large number of servers in the UK. (ExpressVPN has at least 8 different servers in the UK).

Location of VPN Servers

VPNs that have a larger number of servers in a location tend to be faster.  The more locations in a geographic location the better.  Occasionally you may find that a certain server is blocked by a service, if your chosen VPN has multiple servers in that geography then you have others to choose from.  This has happened to us on occasion when trying to access the BBC iPlayer from Bulgaria when the Reading server was blocked.  Luckily ExpressVPN had multiple other servers in the UK to choose from.   Check out ExpressVPN here, which we’ve used for nearly 9 years now.  This link will give you up to 49% off RRP or 3 months for free!

Choose a VPN that works in as many countries as possible

Some VPN services are easy to block because they have a small number of servers.  If you are travelling a lot then you’ll want to select a VPN for travel that works in many countries.  The general rule of thumb is that if your VPN works in China it will work anywhere.  The Chinese government and telecommunications providers are renowned for working constantly to block VPN services.

PIN FOR LATER

Best VPNS for Travel Comparison

Countries where a VPN is required to access services

Countries that have restricted access and require VPNs for major sites that include Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Booking.com  (yes, really), Wikipedia include:

  • China
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turkey
  • Cuba
  • Russia
  • Vietnam

And yes, we have personally experienced these blocks to our access when we tried to access them without our VPN (Check out ExpressVPN here, which we’ve used for nearly 9 years now.  This link will give you up to 49% off RRP or 3 months for free!)

The Best VPNs have an Auto-connect Feature

It’s easy to forget to connect your VPN when you’ve FINALLY found a Wi-Fi hotspot that works.  If your VPN service has an auto-connect feature then you’ll be protected even if the Wi-Fi drops in and out of service.

VPN Speed is Important

Some VPN services can slow down your internet connection, this is usually because your traffic is going to another server rather than direct to the destination.  Free VPN services will for sure slow down your connection speed.    If your internet connection is “spiky”, then a VPN is likely to smooth out the connection and we have found that on slow, intermittent connections ExpressVPN has made the access MORE reliable.  We’ve never seen our VPN slow down our connection, which is why we have used ExpressVPN for 7 years now.

Supported Platforms and Devices for VPNs

The best VPN services will provide an app for each of the devices that you use.    You should be able to download apps for the devices and platforms that you use and will use in the future.  Check that your VPN service at least has apps for

  • Windows
  • MacOS
  • IOS
  • Android

A VPN Should be Easy to Install and Set Up

Despite the complex technology that VPNs use to secure you and your data, they should be simple for you, the end user, to install and setup.  You should be able to download the software or application, login in and install with a few simple clicks.

If you’re an Android or iOS user you should be able to download the app from the App or Play Store and it should come with good, secure options on install.

Using the VPN should be as easy as installing it – if it doesn’t have an auto-connect feature consider getting one that has, or at least check that one of two taps will start the application.

Number of Simultaneous VPN Connections

Regardless of whether you use a phone, tablet or laptop, the risks are all the same to your data, so you should ensure that the VPN that you choose doesn’t restrict you from simultaneous connections.   You will want to connect multiple devices at the same time.

We travel with two phones and two laptops and usually have all four devices connected via ExpressVPN at the same time.  ExpressVPN now allows up to 5 simultaneous connections from a single subscription – check out their latest offers here you’ll get 49% off RRP or 3 months for free with this link.

Online Support for VPNs

Sometimes things just don’t work.  That’s the nature of technology.  And while it’s usually the Wi-Fi connection that you’re on, sometimes it might be the VPN service.  Being able to access 24/7 (because it’s not always 9-5 where you are!) online support is a great feature to look for in a VPN service.    I must add at this point that I’ve never had to use the online chat feature, but knowing that it’s there is a great comfort.

What if there is no free trial of a VPN

Some of the best – and our most recommended VPN for travel, ExpressVPN, do not offer a free trial, however, it is possible to buy a single month subscription and then extend your subscription when you confirm that the service meets your needs.

We recommend ExpressVPN, which we’ve used in some of the world’s most difficult countries to access the internet – check it out here.  This link will give you up to 49% off RRP or 3 months for free!


What are the best VPNs for Travel?

We’ve reviewed the best VPNs for travel and have look at the criteria we outlined above to sort through all those available.  Here’s our choice of the best travel VPNs.

CyberGhost VPN

The Best Travel VPN for beginners. – get fabulous travel VPN offers now!

ExpressVPN

Simply the best VPN for Travelers – combining speed, security and easy to use features  – check it out here.  This link will give you up to 49% off RRP or 3 months for free!

NordVPN

The best budget option VPN for Travel – great for anonymity, lots of customizable options – check offers and pricing now!

TunnelBear VPN

The simplest Travel VPN to use – get offers and pricing now!

Hotspot Shield VPN

The best looking VPN for Travel – get offers and pricing now!


Full Reviews of the Best VPNs for Travellers

When considering what makes a good VPN for travellers, we’ve pulled together all the information that you need to make an informed decision on which VPN is right for you and your travels – you can see our comparison chart that we mentioned at the beginning of this article again here and now you can read our full reviews of the top travel VPNs.

VPN ServiceCost/month*Buy Now!ConnectionsProtocols SupportedServers AvailableSupport
CyberghostUS$2.75Buy Cyberghost VPN for as little as US$2.75 a month. 7OpenVPN, L2TP-IPsec and PPTP protocols3,700LiveChat support
ExpressVPNUS$6.67Buy ExpressVPN5OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2, PPTP and SSTP3,00024/7 Live Chat Support
NordVPNUS$3.49Buy NordVPN6OpenVPN5,33724/7 but via email
Tunnelbear$0 - freeBuy Tunnelbear VPN5OpenVPN, IPSec1,000Website and email support
Hotspot ShieldUS$2.99Buy Hotspot Shield VPN5Uses proprietary Catapult Hydra3,200Live Chat 24/7 for premium customers

Expert Review of CyberGhost for Travel

Fast to use, intuitive, a great VPN service for beginners

Cyberghost is registered in Romania and doesn’t have to comply with any data retention laws.  The company has been around since 2011, although it was acquired in 2017 by Crossrider and now has a large focus on streaming.  The company boasts more than ten million users.

Number of Countries with VPN Servers60 countries
Number of Worldwide Servers3,700+ and 115 server locations
Number of IP addresses available2,800
Country / Jurisdiction Based InRomania
Level of Encryption Provided256-Bit Encryption
User Log PolicyDoes Not Log IP Addresses
Apps ProvidediOS, Android, Windows, MacOS
Number of Simultaneous Connections7
Supported ProtocolsOpenVPN, L2TP-IPsec and PPTP protocols
In Business Since2011

Cyberghost has an internet kill switch and DNS leak protection as default, plus there is an internal policy of not logging any IP for additional privacy.  Cyberghost uses 256-bit encryption and contains security features like ad blockers, anti-malware defences and an anti-tracker.

The Cyberghost VPN helps you to pick a server if you want to unblock a particular streaming service – and for this supports Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and iplayer from the BBC.

Cyberghost is available on Android, iOS, Windows and MacOS – with a single subscription you can concurrently connect up to 7 devices, the most of any service that we are reviewing here.

Pros of Cyberghost VPN for Travel

  • Cyberghost VPN lets you use up to 7 connections simultaneously
  • 45 day money back guarantee
  • HD streaming without problems
  • Ideal for beginners, easy to use
  • Supports torrents
  • Geo-blocked streaming service automatically connects you to the best server for that service

Cons of Cyberghost VPN for Travel

  • The interface can be a little clunky, even complicated
  • Power and more technical users might find better alternatives elsewhere
  • The Desktop trial is just 24 hours

FAQs about Cyberghost VPN

  • Does Cyberghost work in China?  Sometimes.  We would always work with at least 2 VPN’s when travelling to China.  Just in case.
  • Does Cyberghost work with Netflix?  Yes and you will find details of this on their website.
  • What is the Cyberghost pricing? You’ll find the cost of Cyberghost VPN below.  Prices start at US$2.75 a month for 36 month plan.

Subscription Options – Cyberghost Costs

Cyberghost is the best travel VPN for beginners – you can get Cyberghost VPN for as little as US$2.75 a month.


Expert review of Express VPN for Travel

Simply the best VPN for overseas travel – combining speed, security and easy to use features.

ExpressVPN is our top choice of VPN for Travel, it quite simply provides superior service, a vast network of servers and superb encryption. – buy Express VPN now!  This link will give you up to 49% off RRP or 3 months for free.

Number of Countries with VPN Servers94 countries
Number of Worldwide Servers3,000+, 160 server locations
Number of IP addresses available30,000
Country / Jurisdiction Based InBritish Virgin Islands
Level of Encryption Provided256 AES Military Grade Encryption
User Log PolicyDoes Not Log
Apps ProvidediOs, Android, Windows, MacOS
Number of Simultaneous Connections5
Supported ProtocolsOpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2, PPTP and SSTP
In Business Since2009
BUY EXPRESSVPN NOW >>BUY HERE - 49% off RRP

ExpressVPN is generally accepted as the fastest and most robust VPN service provider available and has a 10 track record.  We have used ExpressVPN for more than 7 years.   It not only has a vast number of worldwide servers – more than 3,000 an essential requirement for unblocking geo-restricted content.  It comes complete with 256 AES encryption, the industry-leading standard and extensive protocol support.  There’s also a built-in internet kill switch – if the VPN isn’t connected, then you can’t access the internet (note you can turn this off).  DNS Leak protection is also provided.

Ready to buy ExpressVPN?  Get the 49% off RRP or 3 months for free here

ExpressVPN not only have native clients and apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and even BlackBerry. They even provide some custom firmware for some routers and also have content-unblocking solutions for smart TV’s.

Despite having all this capability ExpressVPN is incredibly easy to set up, install and use.  They have a fabulous support team and a great website with information, tutorials and guides.  If you do have problems their 24/7 live chat support can help – and they do it REALLY quickly too.

We have tested it against other VPNs in China and Turkmenistan and found it to be the best VPN for China.  For us it was also the best VPN for Turkmenistan and also the best VPN for Cuba.  ExpressVPN was also the best VPN to use in Turkey (which blocks booking.com and Wikipedia).  ExpressVPN was the only VPN that would connect to WhatsApp, Facebook and other censored sites in those countries.  Other VPN providers did not even make a connection despite trying multiple services.  ExpressVPN easily streams content from Netflix, Hulu and BBC iPlayer.  In general, we have found ExpressVPN to be the best VPN for international travel.

ExpressVPN does not store detailed user logs or IP addresses and their commitment to user privacy is a superb feature.  A subscription allows for 5 simultaneous connections.  The company provides a 24/7 online support service.

Pros of ExpressVPN for Travel

  • Robust, fastest speeds and superior service
  • Excellent customer support
  • Huge server network
  • A strict zero logging policy
  • Accept bitcoin as payment
  • Filesharing is allowed
  • 49% off RRP or 3 months free GET THIS DEAL NOW!

Cons of ExpressVPN for Travel

  • No free trial, but a 30-day money back guarantee
  • Slightly more expensive than other providers
  • While enough for most users, just 5 simultaneous connections are provided

FAQS for Using ExpressVPN

  • Does ExpressVPN work with Netflix?  Yes
  • Does ExpressVPN work in China – Yes.  Our experience is it does.  However, we would always travel to China with more than one VPN just in case!
  • What is the ExpressVPN pricing?  You can see the cost of ExpressVPN below – a special ASocialNomad ExpressVPN discount code gies you up to 49% off RRP – use this link.

Subscription Options – ExpressVPN Costs

ExpressVPN is our highest rated VPN for Travel – check out this offer now! 

We’re so happy with ExpressVPN that we’ve been clients for more than 9 years.  Here are the ExpressVPN plans and prices.


Expert Review of NordVPN for Travel

The best budget option VPN for Travel – great for anonymity, lots of customizable options.  Buy NordVPN now!

NordVPN has a great reputation for being able to unblock geo-restricted content and bypassing government restrictions.

Number of Countries with VPN Servers60 countries
Number of Worldwide Servers5573 server
Number of IP addresses available5,000
Country / Jurisdiction Based InPanama
Level of Encryption Provided256 AES Encryption
User Log PolicyDoes Not Log
Apps ProvidediOS, Android, Windows, MacOS
Number of Simultaneous Connections6
Supported ProtocolsOpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec
In Business Since2012

NordVPN’s security standards include 256-bit encryption, this is supplemented by some unique features that include double VPN encryption – where your traffic is routed through two servers instead of one.  The company is based in Panama and doesn’t answer to any data regulatory authorities, but also has a 100% guaranteed no logging policy.

See the best deals on NordVPN now!

NordVPN uses the OpenVPN protocol, a similar type of internet kill switch to ExpressVPN and also DNS leak protection.  They offer unlimited bandwidth and data transfer and span 61 countries, allowing up to 6 simultaneous connections.  At the time of writing NordVPN provides 5,573 servers in 60 countries.

The NordVPN services allow you to access geo-restricted content using their Smart DNS service, called Smart Play without losing internet speed without encrypting data in the process.

NordVPN apps are easy to use and provide support for Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android. Customer support is available 247, although this is via email, not live chat and you may find a slight delay in responses.  The website has some guidance on setup and usage, but it’s not extensive.

You can take a monthly subscription, plus the company offers 1, 2 and 3-year subscription options.    The 3-year subscription is the best value.

Pros of NordVPN for Travel

  • Privacy-focused service, with zero logging commitment
  • Budget option
  • Suitable for power users
  • P2P friendly VPN service
  • Payment by Bitcoin, Paypal and Credit card
  • Up to six simultaneous connections
  • 30 days money back guarantee

Cons of NordVPN for Travel

  • Desktop app can be a little clunky
  • Monthly subscription is not that affordable
  • Speed can vary during peak hours
  • Might be some glitches in performance

FAQs for NordVPN

  • How many NordVPN concurrenct connections are there? You can have up to 6 simultaneous concurrent connections with NordVPN

Subscription Options – NordVPN Costs

NordVPN is the best budget travel VPN for your money – you can get NordVPN for as little as US$3.49 a month.   Get our best budget VPN for Travel for just US$2.82 a month


Expert Review of Tunnelbear VPN for Travel

The simplest VPN for travel to use – also includes a FREE option of up to 500mb per month.

Number of Countries with VPN Servers22 countries
Number of Worldwide ServersAbout 1,000
Number of IP addresses available?
Country / Jurisdiction Based InCanada
Level of Encryption ProvidedAES 256-bit encryption
User Log PolicyDoes not log
Apps ProvidediOS, MacOS, Windows, Android
Number of Simultaneous Connections5
Supported ProtocolsOpenVPN, IPSec
In Business Since2011, acquired by McAfee in 2018

Tunnelbear is based in Canada and provides an extremely user-friendly experience.   The focus from Tunnelbear is on ease of use (and bear related humour too!).  Everything about Tunnelbear is easy to use, which means that there are very few settings that the user can change, so advanced users will want to look elsewhere.

If however, you’re looking for simplicity, and easy to understand privacy policy and a wide range of client software, then Tunnelbear is the VPN for you.  There’s a kill switch (called Vigilant Bear),

The company only provides 20 locations and the support website doesn’t contain much detail.  You’ll get support for Windows, Mac, iOs and Android and there are also extensions available for Firefox, Chrome and Opera.

Tunnelbear provides a free service, and also this limits you to 500mb of data per month, it is at least a way of trialling the service for free before buying.  Paid plans give you unlimited data.

Pros of Tunnelbear VPN for Travel

  • Simple and easy to use very user-friendly interface
  • Supports MacOS, iOS, Windows and Android
  • Free service provides 500mb of free data per month – enough for intermittent use.
  • Transparent and great privacy policy – Tunnelbear uses external independent specialists to run security audits on their code, servers and systems.
  • Very affordable.

Cons of Tunnelbear VPN for Travel

  • Very small number of server locations available
  • Lack of features for advanced users

FAQS for Tunnelbear VPN

  • Does Tunnelbear allow torrenting?  Technically yes, but you won’t find any data about it on their website.
  • Does Tunnelbear work with Netflix?  Sometimes.  It’s not (in our opinion) the best VPN for Netflix.
  • Is Tunnelbear free?  Yes there is a free limited data option.
  • Does Tunnelbear work in China?  Tunnelbear claims so yes.  We would ALWAYS travel with multiple VPNS if going to China (just in case!)
  • Is the Tunnelbear premium account free?  Tunnelbears paid for accounts give you MORE concurrent connections and more data, all other features are the same.
  • Are there Tunnelbear US server locations? Yes.  You can find Tunnelbear server locations here

Subscription Options – Tunnelbear Costs

Tunnelbear is the simplest travel VPN to use – you can get Tunnelbear VPN from as little as FREE!  – check out their offers here!


Full Review of Hotspot Shield VPN for Travel

A great looking VPN for Travel, this VPN uses proprietary technology and is very fast – check pricing now!

Number of Countries with VPN Servers70 countries
Number of Worldwide Servers3,200
Number of IP addresses available?
Country / Jurisdiction Based InSwitzerland
Level of Encryption Provided256-bit AES encryption
User Log PolicyNo logging
Apps ProvidediOS, MacOS, Windows, Android
Number of Simultaneous Connections5
Supported ProtocolsUses proprietary Catapult Hydra
In Business Since2005

Hotspot Shield offers a one click connection VPN with 256-bit AES encryption.  They have 3,200 servers over 70 countries.    They provide very fast connections that they say are because of the proprietary protocol used, Catapult Hydra.  There’s an internet kill switch included.

There are no limits on browsing or bandwidth and the company provides a free VPN as well as a premium service.  The Hotspot Shield free VPN has ads and does not include unlimited bandwidth.  You’ll need to use the premium service to remove ads and get unlimited bandwidth, although they do provide a 45 day money back guarantee for this.  The premium service includes 24/7 technical support.

Hotspot Shield has a very pretty interface and its probably the nicest looking Travel VPN out there!

You’ll get support for Windows, Mac, iOs and Android and there are also extensions available for Firefox, Chrome and Opera.

Pros of Hotspot Shield VPN for Travel

  • Fast download speed
  • Smooth app for Win & Mac
  • Simple, one-click connection
  • Torrenting is fully supported
  • Unlimited bandwidth and server changes
  • Dedicated, live tech support
  • Military-grade security and encryption
  • Hassle-free 45-day money-back guarantee

Cons of Hotspot Shield VPN for Travel

  • Ads with the free version
  • Free users can only connect to the US Servers
  • Poor Privacy Policy
  • Smaller number of locations
  • Not possible to view Netflix with this

FAQs on Hotspot Shield VPN

  • Where is Hotspot Shield Based?    Hotspot Shield is based in Switzerland
  • Does Hotspot Shield work with Netflix? Yes.  HotSpot Shield works with Netflix.
  • What is the Hotspot Shield Pricing?  – Hotspot Shield pricing can be found below.  It starts at US$2.99 a month for a 36 month plan.

Subscription Options – Hotspot Shield Costs

Hotspot Shield – probably the nicest looking Travel VPN out there – get offers now!


Why Use a VPN when Travelling

When you travel your internet access is most likely to be provided by free Wi-Fi hotspots in hotels, hostels, parks (Cuba and Colombia for example).  You may use the Wi-Fi at an airport, in a café, bar or restaurant or on long-distance bus (good luck with that).

The three primary reasons that travellers use VPNs are

  • To protect themselves from people seeing their data on the Wi-Fi network that they’re connected to
  • To avoid government censorship and restrictions in the country that they’re travelling to
  • To access content from home that isn’t available abroad (e.g. Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer)

Here’s a little more detail on those reasons – don’t forget if you want EVEN MORE detail on using a VPN, you can check out our Common Sense Guide to VPNs.

NordVPN

Protect yourself with a VPN at Free Wi-Fi Hotspots

Most travellers regardless of the length of their stay will use a free Wi-Fi hotspot while travelling.  It may be at the airport, the train station, in the hotel or a coffee shop.   Connecting your VPN service once you connect to these Wi-Fi hotspots provides a decent level of encryption for your data.   When you connect to a public Wi-Fi hotspot you have no way of knowing whether the route has been configured securely, or who else is accessing the hotspot and maybe sniffing your data.

Access Geo Restricted Content with a VPN

When you access the internet via a VPN you select the server location you wish to connect to.  When you select a server, for instance, in the USA, then all the services and sites that you access will believe that you are in the USA.  So if you want to stream Hulu or Netflix, simply connect to a US VPN server and stream your content without problems.  This also works for the BBC iPlayer when you are outside of the UK.

Equally, certain governments and telecommunications providers place restrictions on what can be accessed within certain countries.   When you open a VPN, your PC, tablet or phone’s REAL address is hidden from view and you are assigned a virtual identity and location.  If you choose a UK VPN server from your provider, then it looks like you’re in the UK.  If you’re travelling in China then this will allow you to access Facebook.  It will let you access WhatsApp from a large number of countries, use booking.com and Wikipedia in Turkey.

Anonymize your activities with a VPN

If you don’t want to advertise your location online and want to remain digitally invisible then masking your activities while not limiting what you can access is important, a VPN will provide this anonymity for you.   You’ll want to ensure that your VPN does not maintain logs.

This is especially important if you’re working in the area of journalism.

Book Cheaper Flights with a VPN

Usually, flight tickets are cheaper if they are bought from the place of origin rather than abroad.  This works online too.  Mask your location with a VPN to show that you are in the country where you want to buy the ticket from and you’ll see a huge difference in price.

We’ve seen this time and again, and saved hundreds of dollars and euros by opening our VPN.

See how much you can save by getting yourself ExpressVPN – our top choice VPN for Travellers. 

Tether and use Mobile Data Packages from Home

Whether you have a pay as you go or a contract package on your data from home, some providers will allow you to carry that package with you to countries abroad.  They will, however, place restrictions on whether you can tether other devices to your phone and use that data for your laptop or tablet.

Using a VPN while travelling, allows you to mask your location – and thus you can open up your hotspot and tether devices to use your data allowance while travelling.


 What will a VPN let me do when I Travel

Here are just some of the activities that we use our travel VPN for while on the road

  • Booking cheaper flights – by using the geo-location facility
  • We use a VPN to check that affiliate links are working in different countries.
  • Streaming content from the BBC, Netflix and Hulu through our VPN
  • Using at home mobile data packages for tethering abroad
  • Protect your information when you connect to the internet on public wifi connections

You can Use a VPN in these Countries to access this restricted content

  • China: Facebook, WhatsApp, Google
  • Turkmenistan: Facebook, WhatsApp
  • Turkey: com, Wikipedia, WhatsApp
  • Cuba: https sites were blocked for us without a VPN – read about internet access in Cuba
  • Azerbaijan: WhatsApp

Free VPNs versus Paid for VPNs – what’s the difference

There are two types of free VPNs.  And the use of the word free is somewhat of a misnomer.  Nothing is ever free.

The ONLY type of Free VPN that you should consider is one that offers the free in order to prompt you to upgrade to a paid version.  These will come with some (or all) of the following limits:

  • Time
  • Bandwidth
  • Speed
  • Number of Servers
  • Slower servers

They may also come with advertising that interrupts your internet access.  The paid for version of these VPNs will remove some or all of the limits above.

Good FREE VPNs

Good VPNs that have a free trial period that you can upgrade to a full service include

Free Trial VPNs and Limited Bandwidth VPNs

The first type of free VPN is the one that provides the “free VPN service” for either a short period of time (3 days, 7 days) or that provides a certain amount of bandwidth or data download or upload through their service.  These VPN services then enable you to upgrade to their paid for service when you inevitably realize that the free bit isn’t enough.

Not sure if you need a VPN for Travel?

If you’re not sure if you need a VPN or think you’ll only use it occasionally, then these services provide a free either limited time or limited bandwidth service that you can upgrade if and when you need it and they come highly recommended:

Free VPNs provided in return for showing adverts and using your data

You’ll want to avoid this type of free VPN like the plague.  The first reason you want to avoid free VPNs when travelling is the level of service.  They have huge numbers of users, many fewer servers and you’ll inevitably get incredibly irritated with the adverts.  Service will be slow.  These services don’t invest enough in the technology to protect you and are always playing catch up when their limited numbers of services are shut down and blocked.  Want to stream the latest Game of Thrones through a Free VPN?  Forget it.  The services are generally WAY too slow for streaming services or even accessing your bank account online.

The content streaming services like the BBC, Hulu and Netflix are required contractually to restrict their media to certain geographic locations.  They do this by restricting is to IP addresses in certain countries.  If they don’t they’re liable for enormous fines.  And so they are constantly blocking access to what they know to be VPN services attempting to circumvent their controls.  The Best VPNs have thousands of VPN services worldwide and are extremely sophisticated in how they make regular changes to provide you with the service.  Free VPNs rely on a small number of services and are easily detected and blocked.

The second reason to avoid free VPNs when travelling is the questionability of their ethics.  Many of these types of services have been caught illegally mining YOUR user data and selling it to advertisers, or even infecting your devices with malware.

Is a Free VPN Better than No VPN?

The answers in general to this is no, it depends on which Free VPN it is.  Check carefully their terms and conditions and look at what you actually want to use the VPN for and what your data will be used for.   If you MUST use a free VPN when travelling, please choose one of the selection that we recommend above.


How to Set Up a VPN for Travel

Once you have selected your VPN setting it up is easy, and I don’t intend to repeat what you can find on each of the provider’s web sites as it is such a simple procedure. Here, rather I ‘m going to give three pieces of advice for using your VPN while travelling.

Purchase and download your VPN BEFORE you leave home

You must download and I stall your VPN BEFORE you get to the country that likes to block its access.  Most countries that block VPN services also block the downloads of them.

Buy your favourite VPN for Travel Now!

Install your VPN for Travel on all your devices

Make sure you install your VPN on all your devices BEFORE you leave for your travels.   Even if travel with more devices than you can have connected all at the same time, install it on your devices.

Try out your VPN before you leave home

Be sure to try out your VPN before you leave home.  Give it a short work out and make sure you know how to operate it.  Usually, this isn’t difficult, you open the app and click the ON button.  Try selecting different servers and see what your experience is like.  If you’re based in the UK you could try selecting a server in Canada and then trying to access BBC iPlayer, or if you’re in the US, select a German server and see if Netflix works.

General VPN for Travel FAQ

  • Do I need a VPN when travelling?  We think so yes.  Using a VPN while travelling can help you to save money, protect your data, anonymise your browsing.  VPN’s let you access censored data in countries which block certain sites and data.

When you’re happy with your VPN

When you’re happy and using your VPN do your friends, family and colleagues a favour and tell them what it’s doing for you.  Help them to understand how using a VPN while they are travelling will make them more secure, save them money and protect their personal data. Heck, you could even send them to this article too!


Conclusion- the Best VPNs for Travellers

We hope that this article on how to select a VPN for travel and which are the best travel VPNs has been useful.  We’d love to hear of your travel experiences and especially if you use your VPN to save money or connect to restricted sites – do let us know!

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