Why you should use a VPN while traveling

Carlos Martinez

June 2, 2021

Your dream vacation can quickly become a nightmare if you’re hacked on holiday. Imagine losing access to your device or your bank account during a trip to a foreign country. But even if you’re able to avoid the cybercriminals who often prey on tourists, there are still plenty of good reasons to use a VPN while traveling.

Woman looks at a VPN app's map on her smartphone while sitting next to her suitcase.

Benefits of using a VPN while traveling

A VPN is a powerful encryption tool that can function through an app on your device. It's a simple and effective way to protect your data and private information, at home and abroad. Let's dive into some of the many benefits offered by this service.

Enhanced security

When you travel to foreign countries, you’re likely to connect to public Wi-Fi in airports, cafes, parks, and trains. Maybe you even use public computers to print your visa information or flight tickets.

Hackers can set up fake hotspots or access unsecured public routers, and so monitor your online activity. Once you’re connected, they can intercept your internet traffic, infect your device with malware, and steal your personal information.

When authenticating yourself on public Wi-Fi, you often need to type in your email address or phone number. However, if you’ve accidentally connected to a hacker’s hotspot, you could be exposing yourself to real danger.

A VPN hides your IP address and encrypts your internet traffic. That means that, even if you’re using a malicious hotspot, the hacker behind it won’t be able to monitor your activity. Getting a VPN for traveling abroad is essential if you want to stay secure and private online.

Stream your favorite content

Due to licensing agreements, streaming providers might limit the content you can see abroad. A TV series available in America or Canada could be inaccessible in Colombia, New Zealand, or Italy.

Since a VPN changes your IP address, you can pick a server in a country where your favorite show is available, and stream anytime, anywhere. NordVPN has more than 5400 servers in 59 countries. One click and your traffic can be routed through a country on the other side of the planet.

This is especially useful for long-term travelers and digital nomads, as they change their location often and might occasionally bump into content restrictions. However, even for casual holidays, a VPN can make life much easier.

Access blocked websites

Imagine that you’re visiting the Great Wall of China, and you want to update your social media or check the news while you’re there. Suddenly, you encounter another kind of wall: China’s Great Firewall. This phrase refers to the country’s wide-ranging internet restrictions which ban access to Western media and websites, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Netflix, Twitter, and more.

China is not alone: Iran, Vietnam, Russia, Cuba, and many other countries censor the internet and decide what their citizens can access.

With a VPN enabled, you can change your IP address, bypass censorship, and browse the internet freely. NordVPN even has obfuscated servers that are specifically designed to use in restrictive regimes. If you happen to work, study, or travel in one of these countries, a VPN is a vital tool.

Grab the best deals

Depending on the country in which you’re located, the prices for airline tickets, car reservations, and hotels might vary. That’s because businesses know that people in different countries can and will pay higher amounts for certain products and services.

If you use a VPN for traveling, you can hop between servers in different countries and find the best deals available. If you change your IP address with NordVPN, you can start hunting for the cheapest deals around the globe.

Checklist before hitting the road

  • Update your apps. Hackers exploit software vulnerabilities, while developers patch flaws and introduce new security features. If you’re one of those people who likes to postpone updates, make sure to take care of this before your trip. Otherwise, you’re increasing the risk of getting yourself in trouble at the worst possible time.

  • Use unique passwords. If you’ve been using the same password for all your accounts, we recommend creating new passwords today. Otherwise, a stolen phone or laptop could give hackers access to multiple accounts and profiles.

  • Manage your bank account. Using the same credit card for online shopping, withdrawing money from ATMs abroad, and receiving your salary is not the best idea. Dedicate a separate bank account for traveling and keep a limited amount of money there.

  • Get yourself a local SIM card. If you’re only planning to stay in one country, it’s a good idea to purchase a local SIM card. This way, you can avoid public Wi-Fi and increase your security.

  • Use a VPN. Before hitting the road, install a VPN on all your devices. With one NordVPN account, you can protect up to six gadgets: smartphones, laptops, tablets, and more. The app is user friendly, so you can secure yourself with the click of a button.

NordVPN users benefit from the app’s CyberSec feature, which blocks websites known for hosting malware and other scams. It also prevents annoying ads and pop-ups from crowding your screen, making your online experience much smoother. Use a VPN at all times to stay secure on hotel Wi-Fi, public transportation, and airport lounges.

Read the original blog post on NordVPN.