During the May half term our family headed off from our home in Bolton to Eurocamp La Vallee in Normandy, via Brittany Ferries sailing from Portsmouth to Caen. If anyone has ever done the journey from the North West it is a long haul with limited things to keep the children entertained in the car. Electronic devices are a real bonus in preventing boredom and keeping the peace. Whilst most electronic devices can be used with out WiFi, there are many things that do require some data subscription to work fully, especially films and games. In the past I have used my phone as a hot spot for others to link into but this can quickly drain your data allowance. There is also the concern that once you are abroad any data allowance you have is reduced and going over this can lead to enormous bills – something you don’t want on your return home! With this in mind I looked into what options are available and came across a MiFi Data Sim Card Bundle supplied by www.cellhire.co.uk.
The a MiFi is a small, portable router for use on holidays or when travelling around in the UK or abroad. It works by using a data SIM card inside the router which has its own 3G or 4G connection (4G reverts to 3G where the 4G signal is weak or non-existent). Family members and friends with smartphones or devices like an iPad, Kindle Fire, tablet, etc. can all connect and use a MiFi at the same time. This is perfect for when you are travelling in the car or for when you are at your destination. This one off payment means you don’t have to worry about hidden bills on your return home.
It sounded ideal so we ordered one and it arrived promptly with next day delivery. The router has its own battery so all you have to do is turn it on on the day you want and the data bundle starts. Each device connects to the MiFi in the usual way that you connect to a WiFi signal by inputting the password given in your paperwork. Once we arrived at the campsite we plugged the router into the mains just like a normal router at home. We found that being able to send photos home to the children’s grandparents was particularly nice. We were also able to keep up to date with emails, check our bank account and do everything we’d normally do online – even order the food shop for when we arrived home! We were impressed that the MiFi didn’t suffer from dips in signal or patches of going slow, even when travelling. The only part of our adventure that the MiFi didn’t work on was the cross-channel ferry. However, there is no signal at all then and to be honest it wasn’t an issue. We imagine this is the perfect device for those people that need to be able to keep in touch with people back home whether it be for in an emergency or for work reasons (even if you are supposed to be on holiday!).
Cellhire.co.uk doesn’t sell MiFis: it hires them out in 30 day slots, along with data SIM cards. You can purchase a wide range of data bundles and as long as there is a 3G connection it will work. On your return home you just need to put the MiFi back in its box and place in the pre-paid bag and arrange for it to be returned to cellhire.co.uk via courier.
Having never used anything like this before and wanting to allow the kids to connect online to play games and watch films, for us to keep in touch with family and friends, send photos, post on social media, etc. this device was perfect for us. I can honestly say that on forth coming trips this will be one of the first things we order to take away with us.
The data SIM card for the 3GB offering is £29.99 per 30 days. With a MiFi it’s an extra £10.00 for 3G, or £19.00 for 4G. The total is therefore £39.99 or £48.99.
The data SIM card for the 6GB offering is £46.99 per 30 days. With a MiFi it’s an extra £10.00 for 3G, or £19.00 for 4G. The total is therefore £56.99 or £65.99.
The data SIM cards can be purchased without a MiFi – but the MiFi enables the cards to be shared by up to 10 people.
NB: Ian and family were sent the MiFi in order to review but all views and opinions are his own.