5 Best VPNs for Traveling Abroad in 2020

Last updated: September 2, 2020
Muhammad Hamza Shahid

Muhammad Hamza Shahid

Covering all aspects of your digital security when traveling abroad is crucial. Read this guide for information on the best VPN for travel that includes Surfshark (our #1 recommendation).

Best VPN for Travel

Need access to the best VPN for traveling? Well, exploring different sights, cultures, foods, and beliefs is probably one of the biggest joys of traveling. Nothing is more therapeutic than giving that brain a little rest from everyday exhaustion to breathe in the beauty of the world.

Now, avid-travelers have for long used technology for traveling. However, while it is awesome to stay connected when traveling abroad for posting photos and status updates on your social media, it is imperative to know that your digital privacy and security are at risk.

And, if you do not want your visits to different hostels/hotels, train stations, cafes, and airports to turn into something traumatic, you need to use the Best VPN! Subscribing to a VPN for traveling is no different than locking your valuables when visiting an unknown destination.

These online privacy tools protect you from the digital dangers of your endeavors. Of all the VPNs tested, Surfshark is my top choice for traveling. Continue reading to learn more about it and our other recommendations, which are fast, secure, and anonymous!

Best VPNs for international Travelers: Quick Overview

  1. Surfshark: Best VPN Service for Travelers. 1,700+ servers in 63 countries worldwide. Unlimited simultaneous connections. 2-Year Plan costs $2.49/mo
  2. PureVPN: Cheap VPN for Traveling Abroad. 2,000+ servers in 140 countries worldwide. Simultaneous connections on 10 devices. 2-Year Plan costs $2.91/mo
  3. NordVPN: Secure & Anonymous Travel VPN. 5,300 VPN servers and intuitive apps. Simultaneous connections on 6 devices. 2-Year Plan costs $3.71/mo
  4. ExpressVPN: Fastest VPN for Avid Travelers. High-speed RAM servers for travelers. Simultaneous connections on 5 devices. 1-Year Plan costs $6.67/mo
  5. CyberGhost: Great Balance of Price & Value. Dedicated IPs available for Traveling users. Simultaneous connections on 7 devices. 3-Year Plan costs $2.75/mo

How to Use a VPN for Traveling?

  • Access Geo-Restricted Websites: VPNs can help you unblock VoDs like BBC iPlayer, HBO Go, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Netflix, all of which impose geo-restrictions that prevent users from outside the US from accessing the VoD services and their content.
  • Bypass Blocks on Popular Services: A VPN can help you access chat applications like WhatsApp, Skype, and Facebook Messenger, which are not easy to use in places like Egypt, Iran, and Morocco. Even Google Services may be banned in regimes like China.
  • Make Payments via Local Credit Cards: VPNs help in circumstances where some services become very inaccessible due to localization issues.  For instance, if you live in the US and make all payments using local credit cards, a VPN can help you do the same elsewhere.
  • Keep You Safe on Public Wi-Fi Networks: Using public Wi-Fi can put your personal data at risk. Since you are using a variety of different Wi-Fi access points every day when traveling, secure all activities via a VPN for keeping you anonymous.
  • Get Access to Cheaper Flight Tickets: VPNs can help you leverage cheaper pricing on hotel bookings and airplane tickets. By connecting to servers in different countries/cities, you gain access to special discounts and pricing, which may otherwise not be available.
  • Secures All Your Banking Activities: By using a specific dedicated IP address assigned to you by a VPN service, it will also be easier to log into your bank account. Dedicated IPs go the extra mile in delivering security for online transactions.

5 Best VPNs for Traveling in 2020: In-Depth Analysis

Can’t access a particular site or get around a geoblock? Scared of getting connected to the public Wi-Fi network? Check out these 5 best VPNs for traveling.

1. Surfshark: Best VPN Service for Travelers

Number of Servers: 1,700+ | Countries: 63+ | Trustpilot Rating: 4.3 | Maximum Devices Supported: Unlimited | Price: $2.49/mo on a 2-year plan

Launched in 2018 and based in the British Virgin Islands, Surfshark is the best Travel VPN in the marketplace currently. It offers unmatched supports for unblocking, browsing, streaming, torrenting, and gaming, all while boosting your online security and anonymity when traveling.

For connectivity, users have access to 1,700+ servers in 63 countries worldwide, which offer amazing speeds and privacy. If you want to test the service, you even have a 7-day Surfshark free trial for iOS and Android devices. As for other platforms, there is a generous 30-day refund.

Surfshark even makes available static IPs, Multi-Hop servers, CleanWeb, and unlimited simultaneous connections on a single subscription. The best part of all: the VPN faces no issues in unblocking a multitude of streaming services, such as:


Pros

  1. 1,700+ Servers in 60+ Countries
  2. BVI is a Safe Jurisdiction
  3. Strict No-Logging Policy
  4. Automatic Kill Switch
  5. DDoS Protection

Cons

  1. Only Static IPs Available


For more information, check out this full 2020 review of Surfshark!

Get Surfshark Now!30-Days Money Back Guarantee

2. PureVPN: Cheap VPN for Traveling Abroad

Number of Servers: 2,000+ | Countries: 140+ | Trustpilot Rating4.8 | Maximum Devices Supported: 10 | Price: $2.91/mo on a 2-year plan

Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Hong Kong, PureVPN is a low-cost option for budget-hunter travelers. It has been endorsed by Forbes, audited by AltiusIT, and offers many advanced features like DNS Leak Protection, Automatic Kill Switch, NAT Firewall, and Dedicated IPs.

Those traveling can bypass all restrictions on social media platforms, Google services, and streaming platforms via PureVPN’s impressive infrastructure of 2,000+ servers in 140+ countries. If you want to test the service, you even have a 30-day refund and PureVPN free trial available.

To get the best value, I recommend going for their 2-year plan that starts at $2.91/mo . Once subscribed, you can get access to the “popular websites” menu in all available apps to unblock streaming platforms. These include:


Pros

  1. DDoS Protection Feature
  2. 2000+ Servers in 140 Countries
  3. VPN Hotspot and NAT Firewall
  4. Multiple Protocol Support
  5. Allows Split Tunneling

Cons

  1. Free Trial Unavailable


For more information, check out this full 2020 review of PureVPN!

Get PureVPN Now!31-Days Money Back Guarantee

3. NordVPN: Secure & Anonymous Travel VPN

Number of Servers: 5,300+ | Countries: 59+ | Trustpilot Rating: 4.5 | Maximum Devices Supported: 6 | Price: $3.71/mo on a 2-year plan

Launched in 2012 and based in Panama, NordVPN is an excellent choice for security and privacy-conscious travelers. It is also among the few to get their security audits done back in 2012, ensuring users remain safe at all times. Their apps are also incredibly reliable and lightweight.

Priced at a minimal $3.71/mo on a 2-year plan, travelers using NordVPN get access to over 5,300+ servers in 59+ countries worldwide. You can even test the service via NordVPN’s Free Trial and 30-day refund guarantee.

The provider is free from all WebRTC/DNS/IP address leaks, uses AES-256 ciphers with an RSA-4096 key and SHA384 for hash authentication, and provides binge-watchers with specialized list of servers for unblocking popular Video-on-Demand (VoD) services, which include:


Pros

  1. 5100+ Servers in 59+ Countries
  2. Dedicated IPs available
  3. Unblocks US/UK Netflix
  4. Multi-Logins on 6 Devices
  5. Torrenting/P2P is Allowed


Cons

  1. No Port Forwarding


For more information, check out this full 2020 NordVPN review!

Get NordVPN Now!30-Days Money Back Guarantee

4. ExpressVPN: Fastest VPN for Avid Travelers

Number of Servers: 3,000+ | Countries: 90+ | Trustpilot Rating: 4.6 | Maximum Devices Supported: 5 | Price: $6.67/mo on a 1-year plan

Headquartered in the British Virgin Islands and established in 2011, ExpressVPN is the preferred choice for many travelers, perfect for leveraging security and speeds. It has a verified no logs policy that even the Turkish authorities could not bypass, audited by two firms; PWC and Cure53!

You have apps available for all popular platforms that include Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux. For connectivity, users have access to 3000+ servers in more than 160 locations worldwide. You can even get an ExpressVPN free trial for testing the product or avail their 30-day refund policy.

The only catch; ExpressVPN’s price tag. A 15-months plan will cost you $6.67/mo , but considering the VPNs reliability and unblocking capabilities, the price is justified. You can also use the provider to bypass geo-restrictions and content limitations on streaming platforms, such as:


Pros

  1. Multi-Logins on 5 devices
  2. Torrenting/P2P is allowed
  3. Unblocks American Netflix
  4. 3000+ Servers in 94 Countries
  5. Round-the-Clock Live Support


Cons

  1. Plans are Expensive


For more information, check out this full 2020 review of ExpressVPN!

Get ExpressVPN Now!30-Days Money Back Guarantee

5. CyberGhost: Great Balance of Price & Value

Number of Servers: 6,200+ | Countries: 88+ | Trustpilot Rating: 4.4 | Maximum Devices Supported: 5 | Price: $2.75/mo on a 3-year plan

Based in Romania, CyberGhost is a renowned choice for unblockers and streamers around the world. It offers the largest server network in the industry, making it perfect for travelers who want to shift locations and appear as a local when browsing through discounts/deals.

CyberGhost easily manages to bypass geo-restrictions and VPN bans on Netflix and other popular streaming sites like Voot, Hotstar, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and HBO Now with ease. In fact, the service offers specialized servers that you can find through the search bar!

For connectivity, users have access to over 6,200 servers in 88+ countries worldwide, along with features like 7 simultaneous connections, Wi-Fi protection, and a navigation bar for finding specific servers. The provider even utilizes obfuscation technology for unblocking streaming platforms.


Pros

  1. Multi-Logins on 7 Devices
  2. 6,200+ Servers in 90 Countries
  3. 1-Day Free VPN Trial Available
  4. Dedicated Streaming Servers
  5. Zero WebRTC/DNS/IP leaks


Cons

  1. Slow Customer Support


For more information, check out this full 2020 CyberGhost review!

Get CyberGhost Now!45-Days Money Back Guarantee

How to Set Up a VPN for Travelers?

  1. Go to any reputable VPN provider website from the list provided above
  2. Sign up for an account and purchase a subscription that suits your needs
  3. Download and install the relevant VPN app from the website directly 
  4. Launch the VPN software and select an appropriate server location
  5. Hit the “Connect” button and enjoy a seamless online experience!

Keep Your Online Identity and Personal Data Safe

Most people are not aware that using public Wi-Fi’s are very insecure and put your personal data at great risk. Since you are using a variety of different Wi-Fi access points every day when traveling, this further hinders your online security.

Consider it this way that just like you may get targeted by pickpockets and thieves abroad, using public Wi-Fi’s open your information to cybercriminals.By connecting to a server in a different country, preferably more local to your residing destination, VPNs mask your IP address and shift your location.

This makes it impossible for any hacker or cybercriminal from figuring out your online activity and subsequently use your information against you, which may even include usernames/passwords and activity from your mobile apps and browsers.

How Your Data Can Be Compromised

Public Wi-Fi that are found in public places like hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, coffee shops, and airports are all unprotected and unencrypted. Since they are free and so widespread, many may not think twice before frequently establishing connections with them.

Well, there are tremendous amounts of risks that go along with these networks, with the most real being HACKING!  Here is a rundown on the types of risks of unprotected networks:

Malicious Hotspots

One of the many hacking techniques used by cybercriminals for stealing personal data and user information is to trick victims into connecting to “rogue access points”. These malicious hotspots act as a legitimate network by carefully choosing reputable names.

For instance, if you are staying at a hotel called GoodMorning Inn and want to connect to the hotel’s Wi-Fi, you may think you are selecting the right one by clicking on the network “GoodMorning Inn”.

However, you have just connected to a rogue hotspot, which though may provide access to the internet, but also can now view your sensitive data.

Snooping and Sniffing

As the name implies, this form of hacking by cybercriminals usually involves using special software kits and even devices that assist with eavesdropping on different Wi-Fi signals. As a result, it allows the attacker to access everything you are doing online.

All it requires is a simple connection and you can grant them the ability to see entire websites you have visited, along with the information that you might have filled out.

This puts your banking information and other accounts at risk of being hijacked! Using a VPN prevents will shift your IP address, which technically makes you invisible.

Malware Distribution

Another way that most hackers use for attacking innocent users and their personal data, particularly banking information is to take advantage of software vulnerabilities and lack of knowledge on online security.

Cybercriminals may slip malware onto your computer without you even knowing, by simply forcing a prompt to appear to update a software program. Recently many fell victim to fake Adobe Flash updates that injected malware onto user devices.

Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

As one of the most common threats and attacks on public Wi-Fi networks, you may have heard of Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks, which is another form of eavesdropping like the snooping and sniffing method.

It typically works by intercepting a connection from your device to the Wi-Fi and gaining access to the incoming/outgoing transmissions, which allows them to see all that you are doing online. So what you think was really private is now in the hands of cybercriminals

How to Use A VPN to Save Money on Flight Tickets

When it comes to receiving the best pricing for air tickets, most travel websites will consider your location via the above sources. However, they also assess the currency you will pay with and the point of sale.

This is why it is common for customers, who are located in different countries, to receive different prices for the same travel date, destination, and airline. Learn how to use a VPN to get the best deals on flight tickets.

Browse from a Low Income Country

One of the best ways to get the cheapest quotes on airline tickets is to use a VPN and connect to a server in a low-income country. You will notice a huge price difference.

For instance, if you browse Kayak.com from the USA, you will see higher pricing, as compared to visiting the website with an IP address from India.

Despite the timings and the airlines being the same, you will notice a considerable difference in pricing, saving you many dollars and boosting your motivation for budget traveling!

Use International Airline Websites

Another way to receive the best pricing for your airline ticket is to change your IP address to that where the airline is based.

This means you need to connect to the international airline website. For instance, if you reside in the USA and want to use the Brussels Airline.

Upon searching on Google, you will probably go to the local version of the airline. Changing your IP address to that of the official Brussels website will show you a different pricing, saving you almost a $50 to $70 minimum.

Clear Your Browsing History

Since travel sites use cookies for tracking your location and the access history, they can adjust prices upward accordingly, which can get incredibly expensive.

One way to counter this from happening is to regularly clear your browsing and cookies data to help reset the pricing, allowing you to pay the initial flight ticket rates. Though there is no guarantee, you may be lucky to spot a good bargain and leverage the opportunity at the right time.

Search Prices by Date Using Google Flights

One of the best things about Google Flights is that it offers plenty of benefits for the budget-friendly traveler. Among the many include the ability to select pricing based on varied dates.

For instance, if you already have a destination that you want to travel to, all you have to do is choose specific dates to and from your destination.

Google Flights will then use its algorithm for assessing various deals on different flights to find the best listing in each day. It is the best tool for those who have flexible travel dates!

Best VPN for Traveling: FAQs

Is using a VPN legal everywhere?

Using a VPN is legal in most countries. However, if you use one to commit an act that is illegal with/without a VPN, it would still be illegal. This includes selling copyrighted information, hacking without authorization, cyberstalking, cyberbullying, etc.

Can I use a Free VPN while Traveling Internationally?

It would not be recommended, as that would put your anonymity at risk. You are better protected with a paid service, but if you still want to get a free one, some less risky options include Windscribe, ProtonVPN, and Hide.Me.

Does Google Maps work with a VPN?

Yes, Google Maps will work with a VPN service. It is a common thing to get maps in local language when traveling in different countries. By using a VPN, you can get access to the normal version in English.

Can I Use a VPN to Avoid Roaming Charges?

No, a VPN will not help you avoid roaming charges, as the service will still be using your mobile service provider’s network. It will though make it harder for them to monitor what you are doing on the internet.

Is it safe to use credit card with VPN?

Yes, it is completely safe to use a credit card with a VPN service, but it is advised that you get a dedicated IP for such purposes (available as an add-on). Shared IPs could disperse the bad neighbor effect, which is why a private IP is the best choice!

Wrapping Things Up

The last thing anybody needs during vacationing or traveling abroad for business is getting all their accounts and IDs hacked by simply being a little careless about your online privacy.

The only way to truly enjoy any experience outside your home country is to cover all aspects of your digital security, and getting the best VPN for travel is crucial to meeting those needs.

With all factors taken into consideration, Surfshark wins this category and is the recommended choice for all travelers. As an alternative, you can also consider signing up with PureVPN.

Do share if our tips help you out in any way, and of course do not hesitate in sharing the article with your travel buddies, who are unaware of the increasing online vulnerabilities!

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