UPDATE Road Warrior Tips: Cheaper data abroad (KeepGo) and soft landings

UPDATE 7 October 2016

Some of you have availed yourselves of getting a KeepGo through the link I provided, below.   Thanks!  I have received some additional data. HERE

I was very satisfied with how my KeepGo kept me connected in both Rome and in Spain.  Great gizmo.

I am heading to Italy again for a pilgrimage.  After the first pilgrimage, I’ll remain in Italy, mostly in Rome, so I can take part in the Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage at the end of October.  As part of that pilgrimage, there is a Pontifical Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, this year with my old friend Archbishop Sample.  I’ll be one of the sacred ministers for the Mass, which should be a wonderful experience.

In any event, if you have any travel coming up, and you plan to use data on your phone, try a KeepGo.   If you use my link, I’ll get some data credited to my own KeepGo gizmo.

Also, you may see the Vatican flag waving on some posts for a while.  Feel free to click it early and often.


ORIGINAL Published on: Jun 20, 2016

I fly a lot. More than most. Less than some. But still, a lot.

These videos, sent by a priest friend, reminds me of how amazing is the technology that gets us from point A to point B safely.

First, landing in incredible fog at Malpensa. You’ll hear them counting off the feet from the runway. Keep in mind that the plane is at an angle, tip nose up.

Next, landing in New Zealand, skirting mountains, narrow swirvy approach. He wrote:

It’s an RNP (Required Navigation Performance) Approach, and its track is a 3D path, which before technology allowed it was limited to straight-line approaches. This kind of instrument approach (fully automatic) seems out of a sci-fi movie, but this is more and more common in commercial aviation.

keepgoFinally, a hint to those of you who travel out of these USA and who want to use your phones abroad.

Buying a data package for your international travel can be pretty spendy. During this last trip I used a KeepGo portable wifi hot-spot gizmo. It is a heck of a lot cheaper than, for the example the blood-drainers of ATT, and the data is usable for a year, rather than 30 days.

ATT will provide 800MB for something like $120 that expires in 30 days. KeepGo provides 1GB for $49 and it expires in 1 year. 5GB for $194 ($39/GB).

I used a KeepGo during my last trip to Rome and Spain and it functioned admirably. Also, you can easily monitor your data usage and top up.  You can connect multiple devices to the same little unit, that looks a little like a thin bar of white soap.  It fits in your pocket easily, charges quickly, and operates on a charge for a long time (depending on how heavily you use it, of course).

And have you stayed at a hotel that charges you to use wifi and… to add insult to injury… it’s lousy?

Or via Amazon

It works in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azores, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Canary Islands, Chile, China Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Great Britain UK, Greece, Guatemala, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay, USA, Vatican City, Venezuela.

Note: If you use my link to get a KeepGo, I will get some complimentary data added to my account because of the referral. HERE

I was really pleased with my gizmo.  It is going to save me a lot of money in the future when I travel abroad.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Just Too Cool, On the road, What Fr. Z is up to and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Papabile says:

    They don’t advertise it, but KeepGo also works in Iraq in some of the cities and by certain areas in Afghanistan. Great sin cards.

  2. Phil_NL says:

    Papabile, you meant sim cards, surely? ;)

  3. Traductora says:

    Great tip…I read the reviews and then just bought one (through this link, of course). I’m off to London next week, so I’ll report back.

    I kind of like the idea of sin cards…maybe better than selling indulgences?

  4. New Sister says:

    Fr Z: do you know if the KeepGo will provide data while driving? (using GPS app?) That’s where I end up using a lot of my data overseas. (Verizon charges $85 for 250MB in a 30-day billing cycle; it goes quick.)

  5. New Sister says: while driving

    I know this. When I was in Spain, I used it on the train from Madrid to Barcelona that went 300 kph.

    I can’t say other than that.

  6. Sonshine135 says:

    There must now be regulations around instrumentation that allow for that type of landing. Back in the day, you had to have visibility of the runway at a few hundred feet before you could land- even in instrument conditions.

  7. Jim Dorchak says:

    Ahh the big commercial guys have all the toys!

    As a corporate pilot I had to make these landings using my brain, even though we had the equipment. The problem is that when they do not do the landings by hand enough they forget how to do it WELL. I never relied too much on tech.


  8. robtbrown says:

    Good stuff.

    When I was living at the Convitto in Rome, there was a fellow Convittore named Fr. Clarence Danforth, who had worked over 30 years for the GE Jet Engine Division and was in their Engineering Hall of Fame. After retirement he studied for the priesthood. More than 10 years later he was still on consulting status even when he was living in Rome. He told that a few years before, when he was in a parish, GE had called him about a crash of a plane with GE engines. An executive jet was sent to pick him up and take him to the crash site. Shaking his head at the irony, he said, “So here I was in clerical clothes alone on an executive jet with a steward cooking for me.”

    His obit:


    BTW, I recommend David McCullough’s book on the Wright Brothers.

  9. Traductora says:

    Using it tomorrow on a trip to London. So far, I’ve been playing with it here and it’s easy to get other devices onto it and works very well.

  10. KateD says:

    Thank You!

  11. Laura says:

    Thanks for the personal recommendation, Father Z! Just purchased mine using your link and can’t wait to try it on our trip to Rome (family of 5 iPhones!) in the fall.

  12. Laura says: can’t wait to try it on our trip to Rome

    I haven’t tried a KeepGo with more than two devices at a time, but it worked well. Remember that 5 phones can deplete data quickly if you have all your apps active for roaming. Be tactical and lean when it comes to what you all have turned on.

  13. Well, T-Mobile’s simple choice plans come with free international roaming and texting, which really helps since I travel maybe twice a year. [On the other hand, I wrote about the KeepGo and the use of data, not roaming or texting.]

  14. pbewig says:

    Google Fi offers international calling and data in over 135 countries. Texts are free, calls to the USA are free, calls to other countries are at varying rates, and data is $10 per gigabyte. They also offer smartphones that can be used as hot spots to provide internet data to other devices. Note: I have used Google Fi in the USA but not elsewhere.

  15. Matamoros says:

    I usually just buy a local sim card with a data plan or pay as you go. That way you get around the high American charges, and many times have better service.

    [This is a different solution: you can connect some 10 devices and it is easy to recharge it.]

  16. ASPM Sem says:

    I also recomment pbewig’s suggestion; Project Fi is a great and affordable phone service, can’t wait to use it when I go abroad for my seminary trips.

    [It looks interesting, but it doesn’t do what I wrote of at the top.]

Comments are closed.