Packing And Prepping for One Week In Idaho

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International Travel can be expensive if you take your phone with you.

I’m going to Boise, Idaho. Why you ask? I’m going to shake up my perceptions and experience an adventure in a part of the world that I might not have visited if it wasn’t for 30 Days Of Summer. Besides I hear they have a great food & wine festival along with a burgeoning craft beer industry. Today though I am focusing on the confusion I faced when getting ready for this trip. Luggage choices and roaming packages require a degree in brain surgery. I’ll share what I ended up deciding on.

First up let’s deal with luggage. I need a new set because what I’ve been using for the past few trips just won’t do anymore. It’s a day bag that I have to carry. It’s great for car trips or simple overnight trips but it’s a pain in the shoulder when you are walking all over the city and an airport.

After extensive research online the bag I want is a TUMI. Gorgeous, durable and full of great storage but unfortunately it’s a bit out of my price range.

Tumi Cargo

On the advice of many friends I checked out Costco, The Bay, and 3 luggage stores on Robson including the new Samsonite Store at Bute. Nothing inspired me and to be quite honest the sticker shock was hard to get over. What I settled on was an inexpensive Delsey brand that I picked up at Winner’s for only $69.99 + taxes. Lucky for me they had one in my colour Smile

Delsey Carry On

Ok my luggage has been settled. so now it’s time to deal with Roaming & Data charges while I’m traveling. This is the real challenge I am facing for this trip. How to stay social (it’s my job after all) without getting a massive bill when I return home. This is what I came up with.

For Data I settled up a trip to the London Drugs computer department. There I purchased the Roam Mobility Liberty Hot Spot for $99.99 and it included a $29.95 data plan credit worth up to 500MBs. The Hot Spot works like a portable WiFi spot and once I land in the USA I will connect my phone to the Hot Spot via the WiFi log in screen and voila, no roaming data.

London Drugs Granville and Georgia

Liberty Hot Spot from Roam Mobility

Last but not least it’s time to call Fido and deal with roaming charges for my phone. What I discovered is that if you don’t have a roaming plan activated on your cell phone you are charged from the minute you are in US cell phone air space until you return to Canadian cell phone space. One day alone without even answering the phone could result in a $300 phone bill! eek. The simple solution is to pick a plan any plan. Once you’ve activated a plan you no longer get charged for just having your phone on, you only get charged for the calls you make and receive as per your plan. I chose the $35 plan which gives me 40 minutes of talk time and 100 text messages. Plenty considering I don’t expect to be taking any calls while I’m gone.

Fido Talk & Travel Plan

So there you have it. A new carry on suitcase, a WiFi hot spot to cover 500mbs of my data so I can tweet and a talk & text plan that eliminates the fear of a massive roaming bill. Phew I feel a lot better.

What are some of the things that worry you when you are planning for a trip abroad? Share cause I hope to be travelling further afield soon and I’d love your tips.

That’s it I’m off to Idaho….. bu bye.

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About Author

Marc Smith is a former event planner turned vagabond adventurer. He loves strong Americano's, great wine, cold beer and zip lining over tree tops. Formerly of Vancouver, most of Marc's time when not travelling is in Canada's largest city, Toronto. Follow along on his nomad adventures and discover places to stay, things to do and where to eat & drink as he explores the world one city and region at a time.

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