Travel planning

In today’s day and age it’s easier than ever to stay connected. Yet, there are some questions to consider before using your phone abroad.

In order to make phone calls or use data you may either activate an international plan or rely on WiFi.

To find out what data and calling options exist for your plan, call your cell phone provider. Make sure to check into expected cost, options and limitations and ask them whether the international plan will need to be de-activated after your return home.

For further reading, Rick Steve’s post about calling and data-roaming is very detailed and helpful.

Some travelers enjoy navigating with GPS-tracks as a back-up. If you are planning to use your phone to do so via the RideWithGPS Experience provided by us, no data plan will be necessary as tracks are downloaded in advance for offline use. We recommend turning your phone on airplane mode to use the GPS to conserve battery life.

GPS-tracks are not necessary for navigating on our Classic, Expedition, Bike & Boat and Spotlight tours but we will provide them for you via RideWithGPS Experiences. On Explorer tours, travelers will be provided with a GPS with the tracks preloaded. Choose between navigating with the GPS, riding with your tour leader or a combination of the two! Read more about RideWithGPS Experiences and Tour Styles.

There are many options to make calls while you are traveling, e.g. via Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, or, if you have data, your own mobile number. They all follow one basic scheme for dialing.

You’ll need to know the International Access Code (IAC – sometimes called Exit Code) for the country from which you are calling. This is also the case if e.g. you are using your US-cell phone in Europe. Next, you need the country code for the country that you are calling (CC), followed by the local number (LN).

European local numbers can vary in length; whatever digits follow the country code is the telephone number. For more specific information on how to make phone calls in the country you are traveling to, please check out our country-specific instructions via selecting your destination country on the Travel Planning page, and the information on making phone calls shared with you on RideWithGPS Experiences 14 days prior to your tour start date.

Throughout your trip you’ll have the opportunity to connect to local internet and WiFi hot spots in a number of cafes, hotels and restaurants. Most of the hotels we use (on some tours 100%, on others 70%) have WiFi, although at times it is only available in common areas. We will note on the Hotel Itinerary (accessbile to you via RideWithGPS Experiences about 14 days prior to your tour starting date), in the event that there is no WiFi on any day.