Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Tech Essentials helps you get the most out of your summer vacation

Summer is in full gear and a vacation is upon us! Even though I tell myself I’m going to unplug when I’m away, I know I’ll still be on my phone for the things that are really important to me like sharing photos, and chatting through Facebook or navigating my way through New England on a little trip to the U.S.

To ensure I’m using my phone smartly when I travel to the States, I always take 5 minutes before crossing the border to visit our Tech Essentials site for great info on how to roam wisely. The site not only gives me info on the basics like different roaming packages, it also walks me through steps to disable apps I don’t need running all the time. There’s even a short how-to video that I watched as I waited for a flight to Chicago last summer. The video showed me how to make small smartphone setting changes that helped me stay well within my data allotment, even though my phone was my tour guide for the weekend.

 

What I’m loving about the Tech Essentials site this year is that it’s even simpler to find the info I need. With a fresh new look and updated content throughout, it’s easier to use than ever. For example, the data calculator lets me estimate my usage by day, week or month, helping me decide how much data I need for my road trips. The site also clearly explains streaming vs. downloading for all my entertainment on the go.

In addition to roaming insights, the site has further info to help me get the most out of my technology and communications services. For example, it provides best practices for staying safe online, tips to avoid overage fees, tech insights for parents, and more. I’ve got it bookmarked so I can visit periodically throughout the year.

But for now, it’s all about vacation. Tell us, are you roaming in the U.S. this summer?

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Stay connected on every adventure

RoamingDoes the thought of travelling without your smartphone induce FOMO (fear of missing out)? If you’re a Rogers customer, don’t fret! We totally understand the importance of staying connected as you travel and our new international travel packs and daily data-only rate let you keep using your smartphone overseas.

Check it out:

Globe-trotting packs

These packs, a triple-threat connected experience including voice, data and text, are ideal if you’re travelling for three days or longer. All packs can be purchased by texting “TRAVEL” to 7626 (free in Canada and abroad) or clicking a link in the SMS Rogers will send you once you’ve arrived at your destination.

For example, say you’re on your way to Venice to float down the Grand Canal; you can now buy a pack for $60, which includes 40 minutes of talk, 150 texts and 40 MB of data for the month.

Daily data for $9.99

You may already enjoy our $7.99 pay per data-only rate when travelling to the U.S. Now we’ve rolled out a $9.99 data-only rate to help keep you connected as you traipse to international destinations. The amount of data you receive will vary by region and travel zone.

If you’re travelling to England, for example, $9.99/day will give you access to 20 MBs of data. That means you could easily send about 400 emails, visit 80 websites or access 20 maps. If more than 20 MB are used before the 24 hour period is up, another 20 MB will be automatically added to your account at the $9.99 pay per use rate.

For most customers, Rogers will automatically apply the data-only rate to your account upon the first MB of data used while travelling if you don’t buy a travel pack in advance. This will help if you’ve forgotten to plan ahead! Customers in Newfoundland and Quebec will need to opt-in one time only.

Track your data

Rogers will provide you with free text alerts when using both travel packs and the $9.99 data-only rate, letting you know when you’re nearing the end of your available data. Or you can text “USAGE” to 3330 for free to see how many daily data rates have been used or if you’ve been charged overage costs on your travel pack.

While you’re travelling, buying a local pre-paid SIM is an option, but we think travel packs are more convenient.

For more information about our new ways to stay connected as you travel internationally check out rogers.com/roaming.

Tell us, where will you be travelling this spring?

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Roam for the holidays: What Canadians need to know about data use while travelling

RoamingThere’s nothing more important to me than being home for the holidays. But travel during the holiday season rarely resembles the romance of Love Actually. In reality, it’s long drives in crowded carpools and delayed flights at the airport. So, when I embark on the long road home, I want my smartphone as a travel companion – but also worry about spending too much on roaming when I’m out of town. And I’m not alone, according to new research from Rogers:

  • Seventy-eight per cent of Canadians would be more likely to roam if they knew exactly how much they would be charged;
  • More than half of those who turn data off while travelling feel negative about the experience – twenty-nine per cent feel disconnected and out of touch if they can’t go online or use data and 28 per cent feel dependent on others for information;
  • Data while travelling is important to them – eighty-one per cent of respondents who never roam admitted they see a need for data connectivity while travelling;
  • Seventy-nine per cent admit to not understanding how roaming charges are incurred though most (69 per cent) know that certain activities use more data than others when roaming
  • Messaging and use of maps are the most important tasks when travelling with sixty-one and sixty per cent, respectively, of respondents ranking them above email, checking the weather and social media.

Fear not! Just in time for your next trip, we’re introducing changes to make roaming even easier and more affordable:

    • New U.S. Travel Packs. Fifty-four per cent of Canadian smartphone users consider access to voice, text and data equally important when purchasing a roaming package so we’ve added data to select packs while lowering the price points and increasing the bucket sizes.
    • Coming soon: New International Travel Packs: We’ll soon introduce new simplified International Travel Packs that offer a lower price point, larger buckets and give you access to all three services – voice, SMS and data – bundled in one accessible package. These new Travel Packs will also provide notifications as you use data, so you can better manage your usage. Talk & Text only plans will continue to be available. Plan details and pricing will be announced in the coming weeks.
    • More resources and tools available on TECH Essentials, a website packed with the information and tools you need to make informed decisions when travelling to the U.S. and overseas, including a data calculator to help estimate your usage.

Do you think you can just rely on Wi-Fi when you travel? If so, you’ll want to watch this video where we debunk some of the most common roaming myths.

To learn about how to get the most out of your wireless services, visit techessentials.rogers.com. For more information about Rogers roaming offers, visit rogers.com/roaming.

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Rogers Smart Home Monitoring provides peace of mind when you’re travelling

Smart Home MonitoringWhether you’re travelling to score some sales or to visit family for the holidays, it’s hard not to worry about your home when you’re away.

For Rebecca Stanisic, also known as @BitofMomsense, Rogers Smart Home Monitoring reassured her that all was well at home while her family travelled this summer, visiting Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Windsor, Ont. Thanks to the app on her smartphone, she was able to check in on her home from the beach, see if a parcel was left on her stoop, and make sure the doors and windows were all secure.

“I love knowing a text, email and phone call will come if something happens, but we weren’t looking at the security of the house so much as the other utilities – the temperature, the camera and so on.  It’s just that extra peace of mind that I love,” explains Rebecca, who is test-driving the system for a year. While she was in P.E.I. in July, Ottawa was hit by a heatwave, but Rebecca was able to adjust her air conditioning on the go.

The system has become part of their family routine, with the console in the kitchen letting them do everything from check the weather to arm their security system at night.

Rebecca says Smart Home Monitoring has also given her a sense of freedom. Impromptu weekend trips are easily planned “without worrying about anything.  If there was an issue, we would have gotten notified.”

Do you protect your home when you go away on vacation or for a weekend?

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Get even more from your phone in the U.S.: Check out our new Travel Packs

U.S. RoamingFrom Buffalo Bills games to Florida beach getaways, we know that our customers regularly travel to the U.S. and want to keep using their devices south of the border just as much as they do at home – without paying more than they expect. We’ve taken significant steps this year to keep you connected at an affordable rate, including the launch of our $7.99 per day U.S. roaming Internet rate. Now, we’ve simplified our Travel Packs to make it easier than ever to pick the one that’s right for you.  We’ve cut prices while more than doubling the amount of data and minutes on select packs – just in time for the busy holiday travel season.

How do these packs work?

If you’re planning on travelling to the U.S. and want to keep using your device as you would at home, these new monthly Travel Packs are a great option for you.

To get started, you’ll need to decide if you want a combination of Talk & Text or Talk, Text & Internet. Then, choose whether a small or large monthly pack works best for you.

If you’re a Rogers customer, you can quickly and easily add a roaming offer to your account:

  • Text TRAVEL to 7626 and click the link you receive (this is always free)
  • Or, visit rogers.com/m/roam from your wireless device (free access from anywhere in the world)
  • Or, visit rogers.com/roaming from your PC

Keep in mind, to keep your personal information secure, roaming offers cannot be purchased over a Wi-Fi connection so we recommend you plan ahead and choose your package before your trip.

If you’re travelling to the U.S. and have not purchased a roaming package, you will be automatically subscribed to our $7.99 per day U.S. roaming Internet rate. This will give you 50MB per day, providing nearly twice the data a Rogers wireless customer would typically use daily on their smartphone in Canada. When you’re using this rate, you can text USAGE to 3330 anytime for free to check how much data you’ve used. We’ll also let you know when you’re at 50, 80 and 100 per cent of your data usage for the day.

Here‘s the full breakdown and pricing for these new packs:

Service

One-Time Fee

Bucket

Duration

Voice

(Minutes)

Text

(Sent Text*)

Data

(MBs)

Daily Standard Rate

$7.99/50MB

-

-

50

24 hours

Talk & Text – Small

$20

25

100

-

1 month

Talk & Text – Large

$40

100

Unlimited

-

1 month

Talk, Text & Internet – Small

$40

50

Unlimited

200

1 month

Talk, Text & Internet – Large

$80

100

Unlimited

500

1 month

* Incoming text messages are free for Rogers customers subscribing to a travel pack when roaming.

To prepare for your U.S. trip this holiday season, check out our data calculator to see how much data you’ll need on your trip and catch up on our tips for travelling with an Android device, or managing and tracking data usage. To learn more about Rogers Travel Packs and other roaming options, visit www.rogers.com/roaming. For information and tips on how to roam with confidence, visit techessentials.rogers.com.

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Five tips for travelling with your Android smartphone

New YorkTravel blogger Matt Gibson joins RedBoard for a guest post sharing his top tips for Android-toting travellers. 

Guidebooks – once a necessity – are quickly being rendered obsolete by the wealth of information that can be accessed online and by the multitudes of travel apps available on our smartphones.

As a professional travel blogger, I travel a lot and have come to rely heavily on my Samsung Galaxy SII Android smartphone for information. Here are a few of the apps and tricks I use on the road.

Find great restaurants

The days of taking a chance on an unfamiliar restaurant are over. Yelp (free) has become far and away the most-used app for user-generated bar and restaurant reviews. Yelp is hooked in to your smartphone’s GPS, so it will find restaurants near you and recommend the best based on other people’s reviews. When you choose your restaurant, just push the ‘get directions’ button and Yelp will open up Google Maps and auto-load driving directions. You can also try Alfred (free), which is similar to Yelp but is programmed to learn your taste and make suggestions based on the restaurants that you enjoyed in the past.

Stay Connected

Checking your email and Facebook from your phone on the go is convenient, but if you spend a significant amount of time online like I do, you need to find Wi-Fi. WiFi Finder (free) finds both free and paid hotspots near you so you can plop down and crack open the laptop to really get some work done.

Save Your Battery           

Using maps to navigate can drain your battery and power sources aren’t always readily available on the road.  Getting the most out of my battery is a top priority, and Juice Defender (free) is an exceptional power saver. When I installed it, my battery life appeared to last 20 to 40 per cent longer. You can also purchase second batteries fairly inexpensively.

Roam worry-free

When you find yourself lost on a back road in Minnesota, you won’t need to worry about the potential costs of opening up Google Maps for a couple of hours, thanks to the Rogers U.S. roaming rate.  Rogers offers a $7.99/day roaming rate for Canadians travelling in the United States, which allows for up to 50 MB of data download per day (way more than most people use). For more information visit Rogers.com/roaming.

Stay Safe

On some trips, everything seems to go wrong. It’s as though Murphy’s Law applies tenfold while travelling — so it’s important to be prepared for the worst. Fortunately, there’s an app for that. You can also protect your smartphone from loss or theft using Lookout Security (free), which enables you to remotely lock your lost or stolen phone, locate it using GPS, or wipe all the data.

Matt Gibson is the blog manager for FlightNetwork.com and an award-winning outdoors and adventure blogger.

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Driving up the California coast with Julia Dimon

JuliaTravel blogger Julia Dimon has a hard time choosing the top moment from her road trip through California.

“Do I really have to pick just one?” she asks the day after completing her four-day trek.

Finally, Julia settles on Hearst Castle, located in San Simeon, Calif. With nearly 200 rooms, including one that reminded her of Hogwart’s from Harry Potter, Julia said it definitely was the top of her list. “It had amazing views of the Pacific Ocean,” she said, adding the property even has animals, such as zebras and cattle.

But her favourite spot at Hearst Castle reminded her of the Roman Baths, with marble tile and columns and statues as well as a swimming pool. “It’s one of the most beautiful rooms I’ve ever seen.”

Julia travelled from Los Angeles to San Francisco this week, via the Pacific Coast Highway. She documented her trip on a Rogers Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone, which was enabled with the new Rogers U.S. roaming internet rate. For only $7.99/day, Rogers customers get up to 50 MB of data.

Julia said it’s really important to be able to stay connected while travelling. Thanks to the Rogers U.S. roaming internet rate, Julia was able to plan her trip as she travelled, and look up area restaurants and attractions while she was on the road, instead of waiting until she got back to the hotel.

“It was so nice not to have to search for Wi-Fi. I could just pull up (the info) on my phone.”

The Rogers U.S. roaming internet rate also allowed Julia to stay in touch with her friends, family and followers on social media. She was able to share up-to-the-minute travel photos in real time, so those following along on her trip could share all the sights.

You can get a full roundup of Julia’s travels on Twitter or on her blog, Travel Junkie Julia.

Looking for a road trip idea? Julia recommends the route she took this week because there are lots of places to stop and explore. After all, being on a road trip doesn’t mean you spend all your time in a car.

There’s still time to enter the Rogers Roamtrip contest. Click here and tell us what you would do with the new Rogers $7.99/Day U.S. roaming internet rate. You could win a Rogers Ultimate Roamtrip prize pack: which includes a cash prize of $5,000, a Samsung Note 8.0 tablet and a Samsung Galaxy S4. Contest closes August 15, 2013. Open to residents of Canada who are 18 years or older. No purchase necessary. See full rules for all details.

Where have you road-tripped this summer?

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Tech on the street: How do you travel with your smartphone?

We’ve been a little travel-crazy this summer, talking about everything from the best apps to get you through your vacation to how to manage your data when you’re on the road. So, we figured, why stop now? We hit the streets to find out how travellers are using their smartphones this summer.

With our new worry-free U.S. internet roaming rate you can get up to 50 MB of data per 24 hour period for $7.99 – that’s a lot of mapping, social networking and sharing! There’s no sign-up required, so you can get started the second you cross the border. Existing customers in Quebec and Newfoundland may need to opt in, one time only, by visiting www.rogers.com/m/dus on their mobile device. For more, visit http://www.rogers.com/travel.

How do you use your smartphone when you’re on holiday?

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Julia Dimon’s travel tips

JuliaJulia Dimon knows a thing or two about travelling.

She caught the travel bug on a trip to Italy at 16. Since then, Julia has travelled to 80 countries on all seven continents.

The Canadian writer, who now lives in Los Angeles, is currently taking a Rogers Roamtrip along the Pacific Coast Highway in California. Her road trip started yesterday in L.A., and she’ll make her way to San Francisco by Thursday.

She’s documenting her trip on a Rogers Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone, that’s enabled with the new Rogers US roaming internet rate. For only $7.99 a day, Rogers customers get up to 50 MB of data.  You can follow Julia’s travels on Twitter or on her blog, Travel Junkie Julia. Of course, we’ll also be posting the highlights from her trip here on RedBoard and on @RogersBuzz.

Before she left, we asked Julia for her travel and technology tips.

How do you use your smartphone on the road? 

I use my smartphone for maps, getting from point A to point B with the least amount of traffic in the quickest amount of time. I also use it for restaurant recommendations or areas of interest that might be nearby.

Was there a trip from the pre-cellphone age where you wished you could access the internet from your wireless device? What happened? 

I went on a road trip with my parents through Arizona when I was a teenager. As a cranky teenager, a family road trip was the last thing I was interested in. I know my teenage self would have wished to have the technology of today, so I could stay in touch with friends, tweet, share photos and stay connected.

Why is it important to stay connected while you’re travelling? 

For safety, for ease, to have information at your fingertips, to stay in touch with loved ones and share the travel experience in real time.

How has technology changed the way you vacation over the past 10 years? 

The ease of acquiring and sharing information has changed the way I travel. With the click of a button you can pull up maps, reviews, apps, language translation services and currency exchanges.

Is there something you used to bring on trips that your smartphone replaces now?

I used to bring paperback guide books with me when I travelled, but having a smartphone changes that. I can now pull up valuable travel info (from maps, to hotels, attractions and transportation advice) using my phone.

What advice do you have for someone planning a U.S. roadtrip? 

  • Don’t get too ambitious with your itinerary. You don’t want to be pulling 10-hour drive days.
  • Make plenty of stops — at least one every two hours;
  • Pack a phone charger for your car;
  • Use these apps:
    • Gas Buddy (Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows): Select a city, plug in your zip code and the aggregator will present all of your fuel options by distance and price;
    • SitOrSquat (Android, iOS): A bathroom finder that provides a list of nearby places to make a pit stop;
    • Sites like Groupon, yipit and Living Social have deals to the cities you may be visiting. Sign up and check out the activities they offer.

Rogers and Samsung would like to send you on your own Rogers Roamtrip. Click here and tell us what you would do with the new Rogers $7.99/Day US roaming internet rate. You could win a Rogers Ultimate Roamtrip prize pack: which includes a cash prize of $5,000, a Samsung Note 8.0 tablet and a Samsung Galaxy S4. Contest closes August 15, 2013. Open to residents of Canada who are 18 years or older. No purchase necessary. See full rules for all details.

Where would you go on your ultimate summer road trip?

Update: Aug. 21: We’re happy to announce Victoria Smith from Halifax has been awarded with a Rogers Roamtrip. She is super excited to take her “extremely good-looking” boyfriend to New York this September. While in New York, she’ll be using her new Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone to stay in touch with friends, snap photos, and resolve arguments she has with her boyfriend. Her new Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 LTE tablet will be used to take and view pictures, keep up with work and play scrabble. Thank you to everyone who participated in our Rogers Ultimate Roamtrip Contest! We’ll stay in touch with Victoria as she travels to the U.S. in the fall and share her experience here on RedBoard.

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Tweeting away at the Buffalo Bisons game

Bisons gameI’m the kind of person who always has to be connected.

While I work in social media (catch me @RogersSarahM) I’m also active on social networks — particularly Twitter — in my downtime. It’s rare to see me without my smartphone in hand.

I’m also a huge fan of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team, so I was so excited about a summer road trip to the U.S. to see the Jays Triple-A farm team, the Buffalo Bisons I wasn’t sure if I could live without my phone.

Normally, I turn off my roaming internet when I cross the border. But this time, thanks to the new Rogers U.S. roaming internet rate, I didn’t have to. For $7.99, I got 50 MB of data for 24 hours. That was more than enough for me to tweet, Instagram and Vine my way through my 24 hours in Buffalo (not to mention use Google Maps when I got lost).

How it worked

My husband and I decided to walk across the Rainbow Bridge from Niagara Falls, Ont., to Niagara Falls, N.Y. Once we got through customs on the other side, I got a text message from Rogers telling me I was roaming and would be charged the $7.99 rate. There was nothing for me to subscribe to, and I didn’t need to call ahead, it just happened.* So easy!

One of the first things I did with my data was to check-in on FourSquare, naturally.

As we navigated our way to Buffalo, I looked up our hotel on Google Maps as well as where we would be eating dinner.

But the game was where I really made use of my data.

When I attend events, especially baseball games, my tweeting goes into overdrive. Thanks to the U.S. roaming rate, I was able to do the same at the Bisons game.

I sent out tweets, shared photos and even shot videos on Vine as I normally would do at a Toronto Blue Jays game. In total, I sent nearly 40 tweets, created four Vine videos, and posted seven photos to Instagram and on Facebook.

I knew I didn’t have to worry about my usage, because as part of the U.S. roaming internet rate, Rogers would send me a text message when I hit 90 per cent of my data (used 45 MB). Of course, I did all my social media activity without coming close to the 50MB — so there was no need for a text message alert! On top of that, I could check my usage at anytime by texting 3330, as my colleague Katie did when she was in San Francisco.

Before the U.S. roaming internet rate, I would have switched my phone into airplane mode before I crossed the border, but now I’m able to stay connected just like when I’m at home. Now I can travel and keep my fellow fans up to date on every pitch, catch and stadium hotdog!

* Existing customers in Quebec and Newfoundland may need to sign up, one time only, by visiting www.rogers.com/m/dus on their mobile device.

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