While Germany never had many restrictions for visitors from Singapore, returning to our home country called for a mandatory 14-day stay home notice (SHN) that proved troublesome and costly for most. On 19 August 2021, Singapore unveiled it’s first-ever Vaccinated Travel Lane arrangement with Germany, allowing (returning) travellers from Germany to skip the hindersome requisites in place of a relatively fuss-free COVID-19 test upon arrival.
Before you switch your tabs and book your ticket to Germany pronto, remember that COVID-19 changed quite a few things in Singapore and around the world, including Germany. Check out this article which highlights important travel options and restrictions that every traveller should be aware of before hopping onboard a flight to Germany.
What has changed?
All things considered, living in the digital age means that we’re all so reliant on mobile connectivity and being able to stay in touch with our loved ones via our mobile phones still ranks as one of the most important considerations when travelling.
While there used to be free WiFi at every café in Germany, it is fair to expect that COVID-19 has taken its toll on some cafés and with social distancing requirements in place, connectivity is not as ubiquitous as it used to be. Keeping up to date with the evolving situation and even revisions for opening hours of attractions are all necessary so that you can adapt your itinerary on the go.
All these mean that, more so than before, having steadfast mobile connectivity is not only crucially important but also, relying on publicly available hot spots for WiFi has become a much less viable alternative. So how do you ensure that you stay connected no matter what? Read on to find out our top three overseas mobile data recommendations based on traveller types and our thoughts for each of them!
If you’re travelling in larger groups of 2-6 people, ChangiWiFi is the way to go
Travelling in groups certainly has its privileges apart from extra buddies looking out for each other. For one, renting a portable ChangiWiFi router allows for up to 6 devices to be connected at the same time without compromising on download speeds, making it the most cost-efficient way to stay connected when travelling with family and friends. Not only that, because different telcos may have their stronghold regions especially in a country as big as Germany, the ChangiWiFi device smartly teeters between telcos to tap on the network with the best connectivity no matter where you go!
There’s also 24/7 customer assistance via a hotline or WhatsApp messaging so you know that help is only a phone call or text away. It’s also quite straight forward to use and boasts unlimited data. Although data speeds will be throttled down after the daily quota of 500MB has been reached as per German telcos’ Fair Usage Policy (FUP), you can still google your way around the country – just no more HD video streaming until the cycle refreshes at midnight. While it is recommended to charge up your pocket WiFi every night so that you’d have enough juice to last the next day, I’ve come to realise that if your group isn’t that big and everybody’s a light user, a full charge could last up to 3 days!
Price: The going rate for ChangiWiFi is S$12 per day, per router to Germany. Get your ChangiWiFi router from Changi Recommends.
Travelling solo or in smaller groups? Get a local SIM card
Probably the most traditional way to get your overseas data roaming connectivity, SIM cards bring about a fair mix of pros and cons depending on your needs. If you’re conscious of your spending, not travelling with a bunch of folks and/or going on a long trip, SIM cards would be best alternative since you pay a fixed price for the selected data package rather than based on variables like per pax or trip duration.
SIM cards are also relatively convenient since popping it in before the trip means you won’t have to carry around or charge an extra device. Here’s a pro-tip: switch out your SIM card before departing Singapore. Don’t do it on the plane or when you touch down in at Frankfurt International Airport – those are the likeliest ways to lose your original SIM card! What I normally do is to drop by the Changi Recommends counter before my flight to purchase an overseas SIM card, and the staff will help set everything up for me. It usually takes no more than 5 minutes, and when I’ve touched down at my destination, I simply turn my phone on and I’m good to go!
Price: S$16.80 for 2.5GB for 7 days. Get your local SIM card from Changi Recommends.
Traveling for business? Telco roaming is your best bet
Telco roaming is outrightly the most convenient and fool-proof of the three options, but it comes with one major drawback – it can be costly. Usually priced at a premium rate regardless of whether it is charged per GB or per day, I’d only recommend this option if you’re not the one paying for it i.e., business trips. Sure, you won’t need to carry around a portable WiFi device or worry about losing your original SIM card, but a few funny videos every day to keep you entertained on a weeklong trip will easily result in a hefty bill from your telco. Worth it or not, the decision is ultimately down to each individual and their wallets, but I’m definitely saving that extra money for now until the prices come down (hopefully) in the near future.
Price: Data roaming rates differs per telco, so check in with your preferred telco for the best rates.
All in all, WiFi eggs should be the preferred choice for most travellers with it being affordable and straightforward to use. Reserving your ChangiWiFi is also as easy as ordering your dinner online (input your trip details over at the Changi Recommends website and you’re good to go!), and collecting/returning your device is extremely convenient via multiple Changi Recommends counters available across all Changi Airport terminals.
Now that your data roaming needs are settled, all that’s left is to pack your bags and start planning your itinerary in Germany! Check out our stories on top places to visit in Munich and top tourist attractions in Frankfurt for inspirations!
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