Touring the world with kids and life packed on four wheels

Here is a post from our guest blogger Julio from Cuatro por el mundo. He blogs about his leap of faith, life on the road and how mobile internet has made a world of difference on his journey.

A bit over a year ago, when we started to plan our trip around the world, we really could not imagine what we were getting into. And that’s probably why we went ahead with the idea.

But before revealing more, allow me to introduce ourselves: We are "Cuatro por el mundo", a Spanish family with Elena and Julio as parents and responsible adults (most of the time), and Iker and Unai, our 7-year old twin sons. Our project consists of a campervan world tour divided into three stages: first Europe, then America and finally Australia-Southeast Asia. You can read more about our adventures in our blog where we share our thoughts along the journey.

Life packed on four wheels

As we advanced in the preparations, we realized that having an internet connection at any time and place, could make a huge difference in our daily lives on the road so we started to look for useful solutions.

The main problem was that the solutions that were obvious did not serve us. In most countries we were going to visit, it was possible to buy a local data SIM card for mobile internet access, but we could not afford to lose time to search for them in each country. Also the data packages sold could be enough for WhatsApp or Facebook but not for downloading maps, using Skype, streaming Youtube videos or downloading education material for children.

Travelling around the world looking for local public Wi-Fi was not a solution either because our idea was to be able to work when stopping at campsites or free camping areas.

What could we do, then?

The first workaround we found was the satellite internet. Searching the net it looked like it could be the solution for us as the speed, the data packages and price seemed perfect. The downside, after talking with different suppliers, was that these solutions were designed to be used within the range of 100-200 kms, not in a vehicle driving around the globe.

We found another mobile Internet solution that could be installed in vehicles, but it was necessary to install a considerable sized satellite dish of €2,500 plus pay some €600 a month for speed that was not enough for Skype calls. Another solution discarded.

That was when we came across with a tech blog talking about Uros. This company located in Finland, had recognized the need to have a reliable mobile Internet access anywhere in the world and had created a solution called Goodspeed consisting of a 3G Router and a service that connects to the local data networks when you travel. Simple and affordable. Someone had already created exactly what we needed!

At the time many of the destinations we were heading to were in their portfolio, some we needed were not. But as we got in touch with Uros to tell them about our project, we learned that they were planning to deploy new countries and that their plan was quite well suited with our itinerary. Very few countries were left out. We had found our internet solution. We immediately ordered our Goodspeed with the countries needed and began to test it before leaving Spain. It worked perfectly!

Today we have already been on the road for more than two months and we've travelled through five countries. Looking back our journey so far, we have used Goodspeed practically all the time. In the morning we share our greetings on Facebook, then check the email and consult the wheather. During the children´s classes, we access online resources, videos from youtube and other educational materials. Every few days we update our blog with new stories and photos of the places we have visited. In the evening we call our families using Skype and look for information on our next destination, where to stay overnight, places to visit etc. And of course, we use WhatsApp all day long to chat with our friends.

When we are at home with our local internet connection, we do not value all of this. I know many of these things we use the internet for are not essential but having them brings us a degree of safety and comfort that when travelling with children is very important. And of course, having this mobile internet allows us to keep in touch with friends and family regularly, something necessary on a journey this long. For us, clearly, it’s a bit easier to travel through Europe with Goodspeed at hand.

A big hug to everyone from Greece and see you soon again in this blog!

Julio @CuatroPorElMundo