Six Reasons Why You Need a VPN When Traveling
A few months before we left on our journey around the world, I came across an article about internet privacy and why it’s necessary to install a VPN (Virtual Private Network). I was sceptic towards the use of a VPN but I decided to install one on my phone and laptop before we started traveling. I’m glad I did.
Main reason: I don’t want to give anyone the possibility to check and see what I do on the internet. And no, I’m not doing any illegal or weir stuff… I just don’t trust any government or large company. The internet is a major part of our lives and I want to protect my privacy as much as possible and be able to access an uncensored internet. Here’s a video that explains what a VPN is and how it works.
So, I decided to install ExpressVPN on my MacBook AND phone because it’s one of the easiest VPN’s to use and it has a 30-day money-back guarantee. I don’t want to fiddle with settings or read difficult manuals. Plug and play. And that’s exactly what ExpressVPN does. I’ll write a review about it later but now, I just want to talk about why you need a VPN when traveling. There are more advantages than just protecting your privacy and data.
1. Security & safety
Of course, this is the main purpose of a VPN. It protects your data when accessing the internet from your phone or computer and keeps your connection secure. If you’re using a VPN, all of your data will be encrypted—making it useless to anyone. Hackers or people with bad intentions won’t be able to access your data or see from where you’re accessing the internet because you can select any location in the world.
This is also important when you access a public WiFi for example. At some point, you might be in a situation where you have to use a shady WiFi connection to access your bank or any other important account. I don’t know about you but I feel a lot safer if I just push the button of my VPN and know that my connection is secure. The VPN will encrypt everything from passwords to credit card details and e-mails.
2. Prevent from being locked out of your PayPal account
Here’s a very important one for me. When I’m on the road and traveling, I need to access my PayPal account a lot. One time, I wanted to access my account from the Dominican Republic and I couldn’t get in. Nothing worked, not even resetting my password.
I looked around on the internet and apparently more people have the same problem. PayPal notices that your account is being accessed from a country that it doesn’t recognize as your home country and thinks you’re being hacked. They just lock your account and it takes a lot of hassle and waiting to fix it.
Solution? A VPN let’s you pick a location. I selected my home country and I could access my PayPal account again. At the same time, the connection was secure. Now, when I travel, I never access my bank or PayPal account without using a VPN set to my home country. You never know when they’re going to flag your account.
3. Access blocked websites
Some countries and governments block certain websites and I don’t want my internet to be censored. You’ll encounter this a lot when you travel to Asian countries. Facebook, YouTube or certain media websites are a target for governments.
Other examples are Skype, Facetime and Whatsapp being blocked in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Use a VPN to select a country where the internet is not censored. You’ll be able to access everything you want and no one can snoop around and check what you’re doing.
4. Watch Netflix when traveling
We love to watch Netflix when we travel. The problem is, that not every country offers the same range of movies and series. In India, we wanted to continue watching a series that we started at home but it wasn’t available. Only the US version of Netflix had it. So, we used a VPN to select the United States as the country of our connection and we had no problem watching our favorite series and movies.
Watching Netflix in a foreign country with a VPN
In 2016 Netflix cracked down on VPN's. Netflix has stopped loads of VPN's from allowing people to use their service, though there are still some VPN's that work with Netflix. ExpressVPN is one of them and their team is more than happy to assist you when you’re traveling.
Use a VPN to watch Netflix content that’s not available in your current region because it has expired, licensing fees, or is yet to be released.
5. Cheap flight tickets and better deals
I’m sceptic about this. Some people say you can get better deals on flights or travel activities by using a VPN. The idea is to use your VPN and select a country where the prices might be lower.
I’ve tried a few times to book flight tickets with a VPN but I was never able to find cheaper ones. I’m not going to say it’s not true but so far, it hasn’t worked for me. Let me know if you have had a different and better experience with a VPN with trying to get cheaper flight tickets or better deals.
6. Privacy privacy, privacy!
How many times have you heard that online data has been leaked or misused? I know a VPN doesn’t solve all those problems. And, what about the VPN companies themselves, right? I hope they stay honest. At this point, I trust ExpressVPN to keep unwanted looky-loos from looking at my data and the main thing is that by using a VPN, you’re saying your privacy is important and that you’re aware of it.
No government or company should be able to check what you’re doing on the internet and it’s getting more and more difficult to protect your privacy. You have to make a statement yourself. Act and take the matter in your own hands as much as possible.
Transparency Alert! I didn’t get paid by ExpressVPN to write this. I honestly love to use their software. However, there are affiliate links in this article. This means that if you buy a subscription through one of those links, we’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support is highly appreciated and keeps the site going!