Friday, May 15, 2015

Japan 2015 | Changi Recommends Unlimited Overseas WiFi Travel Router

Usually when we travel, and depending on our length of stay, we'll either buy prepaid SIM cards with a data plan, use public hotspots / hotel WiFi or even pay for expensive global roaming services from our mobile service provider. We need the internet access not just to keep in touch with our family back home, but also to search for directions, plan travel routes, contact our friends in the places we're visiting etc.

For our recent Japan trip however, we decided to go with Changi Recommends overseas portable WiFi travel router to keep connected online. From reservation to return, it was very hassle-free.

Changi Recommends charges rental of its portable Overseas Wifi Travel Router on a daily basis {S$12/day for Japan} but there is no charge on the day of collection.

To reserve, just fill up a form on their website at least 3 working days {72 hours} before your departure. When the reservation is confirmed, they will send an email regarding your pick-up details at their counters located at each of the Changi Airport terminals. On the day of departure, bring your passport for registration purposes and a credit card for authorisation hold when you pick up the router.

Customers can also make reservations for the Overseas Travel WiFi routers for their last minute travels. Just call 6922 9508 or WhatsApp text 9427 6977 to reserve or inquire on the routers’ availability.

Changi Recommends overseas WiFi router is a pocket wireless WiFi router that is fitted with a SIM card to let multiple devices tether on it to access the mobile data network anywhere & anytime. The connectivity in Japan is on the latest LTE / 3G network to provide unlimited high speed internet connection.

The portable router is pretty small and light, and came with in a pouch with its own cable and user manual. The counter assistant told me that the battery should last up to 8 hours, and so the pouch was handy to bring out the router and charging cable together. However, I found that we didn't need to charge it outside at all even though we were usually out for about 12 hours!

In the last few days of our trip, we didn't even bother to bring out the charger and cable :P

Using it was a real breeze as we were connected immediately when we touched down. All we had to do was to switch it on, search for the WiFi connection on our devices, and log-in using the password provided on the back of the router. It was fully charged when we picked it up from the Changi Recommends counter at Changi Airport, so we were all ready from the get-go!

There was no hassle of activating data plans {from prepaid cards}, finding reliable connections {from free WiFi spots} or worrying about huge data roaming charges from our telcos. With the unlimited data limit, we did not have to worry about topping-up any extra usage charges as well. 

Our router could connect up to 10 devices, so that means the boy and I could use it at the same time to connect all our mobiles, iPad and laptop with no compromising connection speed. Of course if we had a bigger traveling group, this function would be more advantageous and prove to be more value-for-money as up to 10 people can tap in to share the data network with just 1 router!

The WiFi connection signal was pretty strong and I was surprised that the range was quite big. For example, we could be about 7-10m apart shopping at different ends of a store and we could still be connected to the router.

For this trip, we actually traveled a lot on the Shinkansen and various trains to 7 cities {Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Hiroshima, Akashi and Kobe} to see the Sakura flowers and visit friends.

No matter which city we were in, no matter where we were, even high in the mountains...

...or low in underground tunnels, our WiFi connection was still strong! Pretty impressed with that.

Sometimes our train journey was really long {e.g. 3 hours from Tokyo to Osaka} or we had lengthy wait-time for rides at the amusement parks {e.g. at Tokyo One Piece Tower} so having the reliable, unlimited WiFi connection was a god-send, especially with a young kid like Lil Pumpkin. We could keep ourselves entertained on the smart devices as a family to while the time away ;)

When we came back to Singapore, all we had to do was just drop it off at the 24/7 Changi Recommends counter in the terminal we touched down in. That's it! :)

Changi Recommends Overseas WiFi Travel Router rental is available for Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, USA, Japan, Australia, China, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, France, Spain, United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy. Prices start from S$12/day.

From 25 to 31 May 2015, Changi Recommends will be at Ang Mo Kio hub {10am - 10pm daily} to introduce the new Asia Pacific WiFi Plan, where travelers can rent an Overseas WiFi Travel Router at flat rate of S$15 to a maximum of 3 destinations in Asia Pacific {all the countries in the pic above}. Just in time for the June holidays~

Check it out if you're in the area, or see more info on their website for different travel plans, router models and prices. It really is very useful!

Read more about our Japan travels here
Also see the Sakura at Yoyogi Park, Sakura at Ueno Park.
If you like theme parks, read about Tokyo One Piece Tower and Asakusa Hanayashiki

* Disclosure: This is a review for Changi Recommends unlimited Overseas WiFi Travel Router. All opinions are my own.


Masshole Mommy said...

My sister travels overseas a lot, so I will tell her about this. She always buys SIM cards, but this might be a better option for her.

Fairlie said...

I'm going to have to organise a pocket wifi router for our trip to Japan in June. I think there are some I can get on arrival at Narita? The Changi Recommends system sounds great...I don't think we have anything similar at Melbourne Airport (but I'll check!). Glad to hear that you found coverage was good.

Sally@Toddlers on Tour said...

What a great idea, especially if you are out and about or those so called free hotel WiFi are so slow at times.

Susan said...

What a great idea especially since we travel quite a bit ourselves and it can be a hassle queuing for prepaid SIM cards at the airport. Thanks for sharing.

Ai Sakura said...

Masshole Mommy: yeah especially when traveling in a group, this is a better and cheaper option!

Fairlie: I'm quite sure you have to prebook, but there are vending machines for prepaid sims. The coverage for this was really good!

Sally: that's true. For some places we stayed in previously, hotel WiFi was limited to certain areas as well.

Susan: No prob :) Glad you found it useful!

An Apel a Day said...

This post makes me want to get a smart phone.

Unknown said...

This is such a cute post! Thank you for sharing this~ c: I love your blog<3
~Kiyomi from kokorosasa

Madeline Heng said...

Not a bad idea though not very cheap hor

Ai Sakura said...

Alissa: You should! Easier for us to chat :)

Kiyomi: thank you!

Madeline: it's more value-for-money with a bigger group and don't forget, it's UNLIMITED DATA!! :P plus pretty much hassle-free.

andha hikaru said...

nice article ^_^
thank you>

Grace said...

This would be perfecto take travelling.i did notice though from that chart, Japan has the best unlimited coverage and highest number of devices you can connect to.Australia on the other hand...our Internet infrastructure is a joke...:-/

mail4rosey said...

I'd love to have something like this for travel too! Absolutely.