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.
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Tips for Playing Online Games While Traveling
Use Headphones in Public Spaces
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.