cherry blossoms in japan

Planning an overseas vacation takes a great deal of effort. Leave has to be applied for, work has to be cleared in advance, and budgets have to be set aside for pretty much everything.

It can be tough setting up these overseas jaunts, but when we arrive at our destinations, our worries melt away and suddenly everything’s been worth it. 

Now, it’s important to stay connected so everyone’s able to keep in touch with you, and you’ll want to share your favourite moments with friends and family too. Needless to say, that all requires one final, crucial element – data roaming, and we’ve whipped up an easy guide to highlight exactly what you should be looking out for when selecting a subscription. As a bonus, we’ve even tossed in some interesting holiday tips on the side.


1. Figure out the headcount before you travel


To clarify, most data roaming plans fall under our DataTravel umbrella at StarHub, and there are two main branches: DataTravel and DataTravel Unlimited. But before we can begin demystifying these, you’ll need to know who’s going on the trip, because depending on the size of the group, you might end up choosing a different subscription. 

For those travelling in smaller groups, like with your spouse and a baby in tow, DataTravel’s bundled data plans (which start from as low as $5) is the more practical choice. After all, unless your infant is somehow capable of wielding a smartphone, you’ll only need enough data to keep a handful of people connected, and 2-3GB should be more than enough for that. Plus, if you’re worried about “going off the deep end” with your roaming expenditure, you can manage it through the My Account Manager feature on the StarHub app or contact StarHub’s customer service hotline at 1633.

Additionally, you’ll even be able to institute a data roaming cap through the former in future. Setting a monthly limit of $100, for example will automatically cut off your data roaming expenditure beyond that point, thereby preventing you from coming home to a nasty bill shock. 

On the other hand, if you’re travelling with a larger group of around 5-6 people, then you’ll want to check out DataTravel Unlimited. Unlike the former subscription, DataTravel Unlimited offers well, unlimited data starting from as low as $19/day

This is more practical here since large family trips tend to last longer (meaning you’ll need more data!), and you can technically work with two subscriptions. Simply put, the more hotspot connections you support at any one time, the more value you’ll be getting out of the Unlimited subscription in the long run.  

woman in kimono walking through japanese torii

2. Here’s an idea: Japan’s cherry blossom season in Spring!


Naturally, you can’t have a holiday without a destination in mind, and we’re assuming a staycation isn’t on the menu. Otherwise, you’d have no need for data roaming in the first place. 

Let’s reuse the example from before and assume you’re heading to Japan to see the cherry blossoms in spring. Word is on the grapevine that you’ll be able to catch the pretty pink blooms around late March this year in urban hotspots like Tokyo, and around early May if you’re travelling to Sapporo in Hokkaido. 

Apart from checking out the cherry blossoms, you’ll also want to do some shopping and indulge in Japan’s gastronomic delicacies. Despite the country’s excellent reputation for safety and hospitality, it’s probably best to err on the side of caution and add an extra layer of protection alongside your DataTravel subscription. From just $3.80 a day, TravelProtection provides you with coverage of up to $200,000 for overseas medical expenses (including Covid-19) and up to $3,000 for lost or damaged personal property and more.

Needless to say, Japan is but one example. You’ll have to do your own homework on the best times to visit certain countries, or better yet, ask everyone where they’d like to go and work from there. Speaking of which, do keep in mind that DataTravel plans are priced differently depending on the regions you visit – DataTravel Asia-Pacific has 19 destinations covered, while DataTravel Global features a total of 81 different destinations. Check out the full list and other FAQs here


3. How do I know if my roaming is activated?


So, you’ve decided on a data roaming plan and figured out the who and where. Frankly, all that’s left to do is ensure the aforementioned data roaming plan is active, and that’s a simple task. Basically, as long as you can connect to the Internet via the best available network in whatever country you’re visiting, you’re good to go. 

In fact, if you have selected DataTravel Unlimited, you won’t even need to check on it, as it is automatically activated. However, those who opt for a DataTravel bundle will usually have to activate their data roaming subscription manually via SMS, but if you’re afraid you might forget, you can schedule it to go live on a certain date using the StarHub app. 

young woman on holiday

4. Please have fun when travelling. Yes, you. 


So maybe there were only three actual steps in this guide. But that doesn’t make this last point any less important. 

Given that you’re exploring foreign lands, we understand the planning process also means accounting for a number of unexpected scenarios. Some of these can be good (like having your significant other proposing to you - congratulations!), but most of them tend to be less-than-desirable, like flight cancellations and theft cases. While we definitely can’t predict these, the point is that you’ll have more freedom to enjoy your holiday with TravelProtection backing you up.

So, above all - have fun. You’ve earned your break, and all you need to do is get out there and have a good one. Make sure to take lots of good shots and share them for friends and family to enjoy as well. 

Of course, for those who don’t mind doing some additional digging into DataTravel or TravelProtection, feel free to check out the links at your convenience, and since we’re on the topic, 2023 happens to have lots of long weekends for us to take advantage of too. 

Safe travels!


TravelProtection is underwritten by Chubb Insurance Singapore Limited, offered under a group policy.