Why You Should Use A VPN While Traveling

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Since we live in a digital world these days, it’s common to ask yourself; do I need to use a VPN for traveling?

The truth is, cyber crime is on the rise and it’s becoming all too easy for your social media to get hacked, and for people to bypass your internet censorship remotely.

Lady on her laptop on a river cruise
Avalon Danube River cruise

Often when traveling you’re relying on free Wi-Fi provided by hotels, cafes, and public wifi networks, you may think that it’s safe to simply connect and go about your online browsing – but without knowing it, you are also putting yourself at risk of being a victim of online crime.

Wearing a money belt doesn’t seem to be as big as a priority now as protecting your data and privacy online, does it?

If you’re wondering why you need a VPN while traveling, then keep reading to see why it’s important to use a VPN and what you can do to protect yourself.

It’s time to focus on travel internet safety.

Why Use A VPN While Traveling?

I’ve been oblivious to internet safety and data protection for many years.

I can be very blasé about things like security, often leaving my bag wide open for someone to walk by and nimbly swipe out my wallet.

When it comes to online safety, I admit that I was blasé about this too. I thought if I was connecting to a hotel wi-fi with a password it would be safe, right?


Many people are getting access to the same internet password as they come in and out of the cafe or visit the hotel.

Who knows how often these establishments change the password or if they even do?

It’s pretty scary to think you could be enjoying some cool Jack Johnson tunes and a creamy cappuccino while uploading your favourite travel photos to Facebook, while an innocent looking fellow cafe lover secretly scans your laptop and steals all your private information over that insecure internet connection.

Yep. Creepy.

Hackers can access your computer or tablet by using insecure public wi-fi networks and bypassing security features.

Here’s how they do it:

stay internet safe when traveling with VPN NordVPN

How Do Hackers Access My Computer? DNS Leaking

You may have heard of the acronym DNS, which stands for Domain Name System – it’s what is responsible for translating domains.

A DNS leak refers to a security vulnerability where a user’s internet traffic bypasses the encrypted tunnel and is revealed to the user’s internet service provider (ISP).

In other words, people can see what you’re doing.

Through Open Port Software

If you’re catching up on some work remotely from a cafe and logging into a piece of software, then you may be putting yourself at risk if that software is Open Port.

If someone knows you are running that particular software, and knows it’s faulty, they can use the public wifi to send you malicious commands, malware and viruses, or even take over your computer through Remote Adminstration Tools (RAT).

They can then scan your hard drive, reveal passwords, get into your bank and so on.

How Can I Stop This? Use One of The Best Travel VPNs

With the rise of the cyber crime comes the rise of tools to help keep you internet secure and your data protected.

One of those is a VPN, otherwise known as a Virtual Private Network. They work by providing you with a private IP address, allowing you to have private internet access and therefore block any unwanted hackers from connecting to your devices.

Travel VPN’s have other benefits aside from keeping your internet secure, but more on that later.


How Does A VPN Work?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a network technology that creates a secure network connection over a public network such as the Internet or a private network owned by a service provider.

To access the private network, you connect to the server with a unique personal ID and password.

When you connect to a VPN, you launch a VPN client on your computer (or click a link on a special website), log in with your credentials, and your computer exchanges trusted keys with a remote server.

Once both computers have verified each other’s identity, all of your internet communication is encrypted and secured from eavesdropping.

It all sounds so complicated, but it’s easy to use and keeps you secure. Internet safety check!

Other Benefits Of Using A VPN For Traveling?

caz sitting on balcony of hotel room
On the balcony of my Nafplio hotel
  1. Protect your online activities when you are using public Wi-Fi. For example, if you are shopping online or doing online banking, you are vulnerable to hacking attacks, even by a hacker or software. The VPN gives you an added layer of security so no one can steal your personal details.
  2. Access banned sites: Many countries ban access to certain sites, like Facebook in China. If you use a VPN you can connect to these banned sites. You can choose to connect to a VPN network from multiple countries. So connect to a VPN via Australia when you’re in China and you get Facebook access.
  3. With a VPN, you can access most streaming services that have local restrictions just as if you were in your home country. You can also connect to live streaming from other countries. For example, with our VPN service provider, we connected to the US Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Disney Plus, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc and had access to different movies than what is in our Australian account. Did you know US Netflix has way more on offer? There are very few VPN providers that get this Netflix access anymore. NordVPN, is our provider and one of the only ones that still can!
  4. Save money on flights. We’ve written a post on using a VPN to save on flights. If you can make it appear like you are accessing a flight booking website from another country, you may be able to buy flight tickets at a much lower price. That alone makes the small cost of a VPN worth it. Experiment by switching between different countries with a VPN to find the lowest airfare.

What to Look for in a VPN Service Provider

hand holding a cell phone

There are many VPN providers out there, some are better than others.

Typically, a free VPN will only have basic features and isn’t always secure. It might work for accessing American Netflix, but may not be the most secure in terms of safety.

Most VPN plans are not expensive, so we recommend you look for ones with the best reputation over value for money.

  • Ensure that the VPN provider you’ve chosen is open and honest about its traffic and security policies.
  • Find a VPN service with accessible documents that detail how your data is handled from point to point.
  • Make sure that the VPN provider you sign with won’t cap the bandwidth or the quantity of the data going through the tunnel. Sign up to a plan that doesn’t limit your traffic or cap you based on certain download quotas. What’s the point of paying for a VPN, only to have it cut you off halfway through the month?
  • Keep an eye out for a VPN provider that will give you mobile options as well as desktop support. The internet goes everywhere with you on your smartphone, so your VPN should be able to as well.
  • Easy to use and install – and look for a VPN provider that gives you instructions on how to do this and use the VPN service.
  • Fast and reliable speeds. A VPN will slow down your internet connection as it is passing through a server rather than direct. But, find a provider that can give you the best possible speeds. Test it with their trial versions first.
  • Use a VPN that works in multiple countries. China probably has the strictest rules so if a VPN service works there you will most likely be covered in a lot of countries.
  • Use a VPN that can connect multiple devices. We rarely travel with only one device anymore, so having one that allows unlimited simultaneous connections is a plus. Geez! Remember when we travelled with none!!
  • Does it work on IOS or Android? Not all VPNs work on mobile phones, so you may need to look at providers that have multiple platforms or look for specific VPN apps.
  • Get one with a year plan. It’s usually cheaper to pay annually than monthly. You don’t have to use a VPN strictly for international travel, you can use it when working in cafes at home as well.
  • Look for a 30-day money-back guarantee. We have tried VPNS that just didn’t work, so look for one that you can refund if it’s not working on your device.

NordVPN: Our VPN Service Provider

close up of a computer

If you’re not sure where to find a service provider, then we’ll share a bit about our experience with our provider: Nord VPN.

There are many VPN providers to choose from and they have great reputations. ExpressVPN and Surfshark are two companies that have great reviews, but we haven’t used them so can’t comment on them.

I have not tried multiple VPN service providers so cannot tell you what the best VPN service is.

But I can tell you about Nord VPN. We use NordVPN, are happy with them.

I did some research, tested NordVPN and liked them. I’m not great at shopping around –  I bought the first wedding dress I saw and the only one I tried on.

If you find something that works, why bother wasting your time trying to validate or verify your gut decision?

I found it really easy to use. When I went to do use the free LAX airport Wi-Fi, it wouldn’t let me top up my account because it was an unsecured connection – which reminded me to use my VPN.

I manage to connect straight away, top up my account and wipe the sweat from my brow.

It was easy, effortless, and secure.

Check prices on their website. It can fluctuate and they have many deals each year.

Currently they have 5500+ servers in 60 countries. NordVPN offers encryption proxy extensions for Chrome and Firefox browsers.

NordVPN has an Ad Blocker (CyberSec) feature that blocks dangerous websites and lets users avoid annoying ads.

vpn review of nordvpn

How to Access NordVPN

Accessing NordVPN is a simple as installing a software on your computer and the clicking the connect button when you want to use the VPN.

Sometimes I don’t get connected straight away. I have to try a few different servers first, which can be annoying. Once I do get connected through NordVPN, the speed, so far, has been fast and secure.

We’ve been able to watch Netflix on it without any interruptions, so speed has been good.

I love the cool way the NordVPN interface helps you choose the right connection for you. Select what your main aim is for when using the VPN for your session and it will show you which country the best servers are to fulfil that purpose.

vpn review nordvpn

You can also choose your server based on the map or a list of servers.


Internet security and VPN’s aren’t really a sexy topic so all I can say is it does its job of keeping me securely connected to the internet and allowing me to continue my current obsession with Bloodlines and Netflix streaming.

About NordVPN and Their VPN service

  • NordVPN has been in business since 2012 and is registered in the Republic of Panama. This is useful for VPN purposes as the country does not include legislation to spy on internet users through enforcing communications providers to maintain logs of their customers’ internet use.
  • NordVPN is a free download with a subscription. Pricing is very flexible, with three tiers. Check website for current prices. NordVPN does offer a 30-day money back guarantee, but it applies only if the NordVPN service doesn’t work.
  • NordVPN lets you select one of the company’s 80 VPN servers located in 27 countries. NordVPN lets you select the type of connection and server location. Connections are grouped by type, including ultrafast servers for streaming video along with DoubleVPN and Tor-over-VPN servers to better protect your privacy. There are FAQs and tutorials to help you understand what they all mean.
  • NordVPN also provides a Kill Switch feature. When configured, this monitors applications and processes you select. If your VPN connection is interrupted or dropped for any reason, those processes on the Kill Switch list are automatically closed. This is great, as it ensures that no unsecured data sneaks out.
  • NordVPN also allows unmetered access for up to six devices, so you can keep all your devices secure at the same time.
  • As mentioned, NordVPN is one of the few that can get you access to Netflix in other countries.
  • NordVPN has global network (i.e 51 countries covering every continent except Antarctica), a 30 Day Money back guarantee (if the service doesn’t work) and excellent support.

Final Thoughts

VPNs are becoming the future in the world of tightening online security, and soon using a VPN will be as common as going online.

It’s cheap, effortless and gives me a lot back in return – security, safety, access to variety, and freedom to move around geographical restrictions!

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stay internet safe VPN NordVPN

Do you use a VPN? Would you use one now? Let us know in the comments.

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