The ultimate road trip? Alexander Georgi and Sascha Quade must have come close this summer, as they covered some 7500km in 10 countries around the Baltic Sea, in just 16 days. Driving and sleeping in an old VW camper van, they spent at least 10 hours a day on the road.
Competing in one of the seven Superlative Adventure Club (SAC) rallies from around the world, the rules meant they could only use paper maps, not GPS. Each team also had to complete challenges along the way, such as getting an Estonian border official to autograph the van.
And it was all for a good cause: Alex and Sascha raised money for a friend with blood cancer, as well as for Viva con Agua, an organization advocating for clean drinking water in the developing world. Overall, the 200 teams in the SAC rally raised nearly 400,000 Euros.
To help them stay online while travelling through the 10 countries, Alex and Sascha used a Goodspeed mobile hotspot device, which created a portable Wi-Fi broadband connection for secure and fast internet access. Goodspeed uses local SIM cards to provide a convenient, cost-effective service.
“It was plug and play,” says Alex. “Once we turned on Goodspeed, all our devices were connected automatically to the internet. Wi-Fi range was surprisingly good, and it couldn't have been easier.”
Alex and Sascha used Goodspeed to connect two smartphones (iPhone and Android) and two laptops (Chromebook and MacBook). They used it to upload content to social media, to update the organisers on their progress, and to write and upload virtual postcards for their supporters via mypostcard.com, one of their sponsors.
Alex reports that charging Goodspeed in the van was fast and easy, and battery life was good – lasting up to 24 hours, depending on usage and mobile signal strength.
“Internet access was fast, and we could upload videos in just a few minutes once we had a 4G connection established,” says Alex. “Even in the remote areas of Norway or Sweden, we had great internet connections, and Goodspeed just took a couple of seconds to change country when we crossed a border.”
“Other teams bought expensive roaming packages from their network operator,” continues Alex. “These had limited data usage, and they didn't have 4G.”
In Russia, the other teams had to buy SIM cards or drive around looking for free Wi-Fi, since roaming packages were not available.
“Goodspeed saved us a lot of time and money – without it we wouldn't have posted so much media content,” says Alex. “Due to non-stop data connectivity, it was possible to track our team in real time, which was much appreciated by the people following us.”
“Finally, it was super easy to just have one device that everything could connect to – no tethering or other devices needed,” says Alex. “We just put Goodspeed in the glovebox and were online all the time: inside the van, or even outside sitting around the bonfire, with mobile broadband under the stars.”
- Hanne @Uros