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From podcasts to Netflix, and reading a good old fashioned book, there are many ways to stay entertained while you’re traveling, though one of the most popular ways to pass the downtime is by playing online games.

The world is increasingly more connected, and now that many cities have WiFi on the streets, and you can even connect from the plane, more and more people are turning to online gaming for those moments you find yourself needing to kill time.

From playing Candy Crush while you’re sitting out an airport delay, hunting Pokemon across Venice, or mr bet online pokies NZ if your luck has run out on the Vegas tables, there are many reasons people log in to play.

However, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind before you start your game.

Tips for Playing Online Games While Traveling

Use Headphones in Public Spaces

Apps that work with inflight wifi phone plane

You’re most likely to be playing games during travel as a way to kill time inbetween your transit days; while you’re sitting bored on a bus, in an airport, or on a plane. But this means you’re also likely to be in a public space.

If you find yourself bored in a public or enclosed space, make sure you have headphones with you so your gaming doesn’t disturb those around you. Or make sure you silence your device.

You might have an urge to play casino games on the plane, but the three rows in front and behind you are going to get fed up if they keep hearing slots ringing repetitively.

Noise cancelling headphones are well worth the investment.

Once your headphones are on, make sure you don’t get so wrapped up in the game that you start yelling or commentating out loud at your device; the people around you won’t appreciate that either.

Stay Aware of Your Surroundings

Female woman traveler phone RF

Traveling makes us more vulnerable to all kinds of risks because we’re in foreign places and aren’t familiar with our surroundings. The best way to stay safe overseas is to be aware of what’s going on around you, so make sure that your online gaming doesn’t distract you.

If you’re playing in your hotel room at the end of the night to decompress after an action packed day, that’s great. But if you’re playing while you’re walking down the street, you’re probably going to land yourself in danger.

There have been hundreds of deaths from people playing Pokemon GO and walking into traffic as just an example. And it’s more important than ever to stay alert when you’re traveling.

Also Read: Safety Tips Most Travelers Take For Granted – Do You?

When traveling, you need to be switched on and aware of a whole range of new things; like which side of the road cars are driving on if you’re crossing, or that your gate at the airport has been changed.

Gaming is a fantastic way to pass the time, but it’s important to make sure that it doesn’t become all consuming so that you’re not aware of what’s going on around you.

Don’t Connect Without a VPN

Phone Mobile VPN

Online games require an internet connection, but because we’re traveling, and constantly connecting to different networks, this makes us quite vulnerable to cyber security threats.

Whether at the airport, hotel, or a café, public WiFi networks tempt us at every step of the way, and we often don’t hesitate when connecting. But most of these public networks are open networks, which aren’t safe, and allow anyone else using them to access your information.

For someone who’s internet savvy, they can see data like your usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers. Criminals have even been known to set up WiFi hotspots specifically to trick people into connecting, so they can hack or infect your device with malware.

Also Read: Your Privacy is at Risk When You Travel: Here’s Why You NEED a VPN

Virtual Private Networks (VPN) have been around for a while now, and while they might have previously been viewed by travelers as a ‘nice thing to have’, nowadays they’re internet security 101, and firmly on the list of “must pack”.

A program you run on your devices which gives you security and privacy when you surf the internet, a VPN allows you to encrypt your traffic before it reaches the Internet Service Provider (ISP), and everything stays private.

It’s essentially a middle man between you and the internet, meaning people using the same network can’t even tell that you’re there. We use Hotspot Sheild.

Don’t Use Your Mobile Data

Traveling with technology cell mobile phone laptop RF airport

Yes, you need a VPN when you’re connecting to the internet, but don’t try to get around this by thinking you can use your mobile data for online gaming. You’ll come back with one hell of a phone bill!

Most travelers understand the importance of switching off data roaming when you’re traveling overseas. And for those who don’t, it only takes one $700 phone bill for this realization to hit hard!

But now that the internet has become such an integral feature on our phone, it’s not just international calls and texts that cost an arm and a leg; data roaming is expensive unless you turn it off before you leave home.

Pro tip: If you’re planning on spending a while in one country, consider getting a local or travel SIM card, which will usually come with data. This is by far the cheapest way to maintain data overseas. You’ll have to make sure your phone is unlocked though.

Most monthly phone plans are for use only in your home country, and you’ll find that when you start using your device, you are immediately in “roaming” mode and hit with steep fees for using the internet overseas.

Make sure you switch this off and connect to local internet for your online gaming; you don’t want to have to rely on online pokies to try and pay off your phone bill!

Be Conscious of Your Battery Life

Battery phone charge RF

Playing online games quickly uses up data, but it also sucks a lot more battery out of your device than regular use does. This may not be an issue if you’re always near an electric outlet, but if you’re in transit for 30+ hours, it’s something to be conscious of.

You’ll want to leave at least some power in your phone / laptop as opposed to letting them run dead, as these are often important lifesavers if you find yourself in trouble and need to contact someone for help. And make sure you travel with a charger.

It’s worthwhile traveling with a portable power bank which means you can recharge your devices while you’re on the go if you can’t find any power points of electric stations.

Don’t Let it Distract From Your Travels

Female traveler hiking phone RF

There are many reasons to play online games while you’re traveling, and certainly it’s important to stay entertained while dealing with long, boring transit times. But don’t become so consumed with your game that you let it distract you from your actual adventure.

If you find yourself staying in for an extra hour before going out because you have to make another level, remind yourself that your game will always be there. Your destination might not!

After-all, you’ve traveled to the other side of the world and spent all that money to explore a new place, and bask in new adventures; make sure you fully embrace the travel experience, and use gaming simply as an aid to get you through the downtime.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.



  1. Excellent post! I love playing online but on my laptop because my cellphone battery doesn’t run for very much time if I’m playing on it! But when I’m traveling I only play on the nights when I finish my adventure for one day, but I didn’t know about using a VPN you have a good point there! Thanks for the advise Megan I will be using it!

    • Thanks Alex, so glad the post was helpful for you :) Yes I learned pretty quickly not to let it run the battery out on my phone, it tends to go quite quickly which is a pain on travel days! So it’s the laptop for me too when I’m traveling.

      So glad we could suggest using a VPN, cyber security is really becoming more and more important so I use mine now for everything.

      Thanks for reading and sharing your experiences. Happy travels!! (and gaming!)

  2. Being mindful of others is important. It drives me crazy when people act as if they are alone and don’t care if they are bothering other travelers. Great tips.

    • Me too!! It’s so important to be respectful of those around you, especially when you’re in such a small space like a plane or an airport.

      Thanks for reading Marie :)

  3. So glad we could suggest using a VPN there, cybersecurity is really becoming more and more important. so I use mine now for everything. when I’m traveling I only play on the nights when I finish my adventure for one day, and Being mindful of others is important.

    • Fantastic to hear Anna :) Absolutely re cyber-security; it’s just as important as our physical safety, maintaining a safe online presence.

      Happy travels!

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