Traveling to foreign countries is both an exciting and stressful experience. On the one hand, you visit new places, gaze upon beautiful sights, and broaden your horizons. But on the other, tourists are frequently taken advantage of by scammers – both physical and virtual.
Popular destination Wi-Fi networks are frequently used for siphoning personal data, credit card information, and distributing malware.
Luckily, you can ensure a safe and relaxing trip by packing a VPN (Virtual Private Network) in your travel bag. It will protect your data and devices when connecting to publicly-available networks. Plus, you can use the travel VPN to redirect your connection back home and access TV shows or movies from your country of origin.
Enjoy safe holidays by getting one of our five recommended VPNs for travel!
Best VPN for travel: shortlist
- The best VPN for travel9.6
- Travel VPN with unlimited connections9.4
- Budget-friendly VPN for affordable traveling9.1
- Secure freemium VPN for traveling8.8
- International travel VPN with a diverse server fleet8.5
How to use the best VPN for travel
- Sign up to a reliable and secure travel VPN. We recommend NordVPN, now 68% off!
- Download the VPN on your device before your journey
- Connect to a nearby server for optimal connectivity
- Travel safely anywhere in the world!
Why do you need a VPN for travel?
A VPN can provide many perks to travelers, regardless of whether they travel for business or pleasure. Here are some key benefits.
- Cheaper flight tickets. You can utilize a VPN well before your trip to change your virtual location and eliminate location-based price gouging on plane tickets.
- Data and device security. Traveling entails frequent use of free Wi-Fi in airports, public transport stations, cafes, and more.These networks don’t have robust security measures and could have hackers lurking about with malware at the ready. A secure VPN prevents unnecessary data exposure and viruses from entering your device.
- Restriction unblocking. Virtual private networks work by redirecting your connection through a server in another country. That way, you can circumvent geographical restrictions and access content from your home country. Plus, a VPN enables website unblocking on restrictive networks.
- Privacy. When you’re without a VPN, snoopers can access your personal information, including travel photos, credit card information, and more. Thankfully, military-grade encryption ensures that your online activities remain indecipherable to ISPs (Internet Service Providers), governments, authorities, and other interlopers.
These points merely scratch the surface of what a good VPN brings to the table.
Of course, it’s worth noting that not every virtual private network provider is well-suited for every possible task. Therefore, you should consider your main use-cases and choose the most appropriate VPN for your situation. For frequent travelers, we recommend choosing one of these five VPNs.
Best VPNs for travel: overview
- NordVPN – the best VPN for travel. It has loads of servers, exceptionally-fast speeds, and top-notch features for keeping you secure on public Wi-Fi.
- Surfshark VPN – travel VPN with unlimited connections to protect all your devices in your holiday group. Enjoy cutting-edge technologies at a low price.
- PrivateVPN – budget-friendly VPN for affordable traveling. It’ll keep your online activities private and your favorite streaming content available anywhere.
- Atlas VPN – secure freemium VPN for traveling. Enjoy no-cost security or upgrade to unblock geo-blocked streaming content without any issues.
- PureVPN – international travel VPN with a diverse server fleet. It has the widest-reaching server network for travelers to distant destinations.
Although everyone’s travel habits are different, the devices they bring are usually the same. Namely, most travelers couldn’t do much without a mobile phone, while business travelers usually bring a work laptop. That’s why it’s crucial to choose a VPN compatible with your most-used devices.
Besides that, the apps should provide essential security features for data protection. For starters, a kill switch is paramount for preventing data leaks if the VPN connection drops. Meanwhile, a wide-reaching server network and modern tunneling protocols ensure high-speed connectivity no matter where you’re going.
For on-the-go entertainment, choose a streaming VPN with proven geo-block circumvention abilities on your preferred platforms. Alternatively, playing your favorite video games between flights won’t be an issue if you pick a well-performing VPN for gaming.
Consider your preferences and choose a travel VPN that best suits your style. We’ve picked five service providers that are great for traveling the globe securely and nuisance-free.
1. NordVPN – the best VPN for travel
24/7 live chat, Email
- Great connectivity worldwide
- Independently audited no-logs policy
- Packed with excellent features
- No router app
NordVPN is the best VPN for travel. It operates from privacy-respecting Panama, was audited independently multiple times, and has a wide array of features for various travel-related scenarios. Give it a shot during a week-long trip with the NordVPN free trial.
Flawless connectivity anywhere is ensured by combining a wide-reaching server network with the ultra-fast NordLynx tunneling protocol. NordVPN boasts a fleet of 5500+ servers across 60+ countries. Even if your specific travel destination doesn’t have a server location, connecting to a neighboring country won’t yield much speed loss.
Besides confidentiality, NordVPN users are protected against viruses, malware, phishing attempts, and more thanks to Threat Protection. And if the free web is restricted in your holiday country, obfuscated servers can easily remedy that and curb any online censorship. Plus, homesick travelers can unlock familiar content on Netflix or other streaming platforms without any issues.
Add this VPN to your travel bag for only $3.29/month by using a valid NordVPN discount code. If you’re not satisfied with the product, you may use the 30-day money-back guarantee and get a full refund. Furthermore, you can avoid sharing any financial data during purchase by using one of the many available anonymous payment methods.
For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark VPN – travel VPN with unlimited connections
24/7 live chat, FAQ
- Unlimited device connections
- Exceptional features at an affordable price
- Protection against viruses and malware
- Unaudited no-logs policy
Traveling is rarely a solitary endeavor. If this applies to you, consider getting Surfshark. One subscription allows unlimited simultaneous connections and provides solid security and performance. You can test out this VPN on a short holiday by claiming the Surfshark free trial on either the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
Customers can enjoy lag-free browsing anywhere by connecting to the wide-reaching 3200+ servers network across 95+ countries. Concerns about speed loss are a thing of the past if you’re using the modern and open-source WireGuard protocol. Moreover, paranoid travelers can connect to Multihop servers for enhanced security.
In terms of features, Surfshark users have no shortage of options. CleanWeb will keep your browsing experience spotless and unhindered by malicious ads or trackers. Meanwhile, Camouflage and NoBorders modes will penetrate any digital firewall and prevent online censorship while keeping you free from surveillance. Plus, you can use Bypasser to customize your connection and choose which apps don’t need a VPN connection.
See the world without exposing your personal data by getting this VPN for only $2.30/month. You can enjoy the best discounts by utilizing a Surfshark coupon code. And if your first trip goes haywire, don’t forget about the 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.
3. PrivateVPN – budget-friendly VPN for affordable traveling
24/7 live chat
- 7-day free trial
- Diverse selection of features
- Easy to use apps
- Lacks WireGuard
Many traveling enthusiasts know that a good trip doesn’t require breaking your bank. The same applies to VPNs and PrivateVPN exemplifies this perfectly. It costs around $2 per month and provides everything you need to secure your holiday.
With PrivateVPN, you gain access to a network of 200+ servers across 63+ countries. Rest assured that your data is safe thanks to complete server hardware ownership by the provider and the utilization of HQN. High Quality Network means that this provider purchases internet capacity directly from IP transit providers and not just from regular hosting companies.
A single PrivateVPN account can simultaneously secure up to 10 different devices, which is plenty for a typical holiday with friends and family. Each one will be able to unblock geo-restricted content on various streaming platforms, such as Netflix, HBO Max, DAZN, and more. Plus, network restrictions won’t hold you back when using Stealth VPN.
See how this VPN fits in your luggage by utilizing the 7-day free trial. After that, a PrivateVPN deal unlocks affordable $2.00/month pricing plans. Lastly, you can always reconsider and make use of the 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of PrivateVPN, read our PrivateVPN review.
4. Atlas VPN – secure freemium VPN for traveling
Email, tickets, FAQ
- Reliable free version
- Fast and confidential
- Limitless device connections
- No router configuration
Investment-free digital security while traveling is possible by using a trustworthy freemium VPN, for example, Atlas VPN. It has a no-cost plan with limitations but adequate security for traveling and enough data for essential online activities. But if you need an upgrade, the premium plan is surprisingly cheap.
Atlas VPN lets you select from over 750 servers across 37+ countries. Although the region selection is small, connectivity remains solid thanks to the WireGuard protocol. Moreover, the servers are split into Privacy Pro and streaming categories for convenient geo-block circumvention or bonus security.
Masking your current location won’t be an issue if you enable SafeSwap or Multihop+ servers. The first feature alternates your IP address intermittently for enhanced anonymity, while the second does the same and connects you through multiple servers. Plus, your online presence will be free from ads and trackers if you enable SafeBrowse.
Enjoy 10 GB of data every month on the free plan. If that’s not enough, unlock unlimited connections and bandwidth for $1.99/month by utilizing an Atlas VPN discount code. Best of all, you can reconsider during the first month thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of Atlas VPN, read our Atlas VPN review.
5. PureVPN – international travel VPN with a diverse server fleet
24/7 live chat
- WireGuard-powered connections
- Independently-audited no-logs policy
- Quantum-resistant encryption
- Some features are paywalled
Tech-savvy travelers know about the looming threat of quantum-powered computers and how they’ll be able to decrypt current encryption standards with ease. If you’re concerned about that, subscribe to PureVPN, a service getting ready for the future with quantum-resistant encryption.
PureVPN should appeal to travelers of exotic places with its expansive network of 6500+ servers across 70+ countries. A fraction of those servers are virtual, but that won’t impede performance, especially if your connections are facilitated with WireGuard.
If you’re concerned about some apps not working while the VPN is enabled, you can exclude them from the connection using split tunneling. Additionally, you can enable Secure Wi-Fi to ensure the VPN turns on whenever you connect to an unknown public network. Naturally, accessing geo-blocked streaming content won’t pose any problems while connected.
You can see what this VPN is like by investing a small sum for the 7-day trial. After that, long-term subscriptions start at $1.99/month if you’re equipped with a valid PureVPN coupon. Plus, you can always get a refund during the first month thanks to the 31-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of PureVPN, read our PureVPN review.
Best VPN for travel: video review
Our YouTube channel has made a short video about top VPNs for traveling. Make sure to check it out!
How we picked the best VPN for travel
While each traveler has different priorities, we believe a few crucial aspects need to be considered when choosing a VPN for overseas travel. We’ve outlined these criteria with a brief justification of why they’re important.
- Security. First and foremost, a VPN needs to protect your device against foreign invaders like malware, phishing attacks, viruses, and more. That’s why it’s crucial to pick a VPN with bonus features against these threats.
- Servers. VPN connections remain fast if the distance between you and the server is minimal. This scenario is only possible if the provider has a wide-reaching server network across the globe. Otherwise, traveling to an exotic country might leave you with abysmal connectivity. Check if a VPN has servers near your travel destination. Alternatively, see what overall connectivity is like using our VPN speed test.
- Tunneling protocols. Another equally important component of high-quality connections is the choice of VPN tunneling protocols. Your best bet is modern options like WireGuard, but a diverse selection allows you to deal with potential network restrictions on widely-used protocols.
- Privacy. A virtual private network provider ensures confidentiality by sticking to a strict zero-logs policy. You can be certain that a provider is legit if it’s based in a country outside the Five Eyes alliance. Additionally, well-established auditing firms frequently check the integrity of providers’ claims if you’re looking for third-party approval.
- Price. The best VPN services aren’t even the most expensive ones. Plus, a limited free trial can suffice for a short trip. And if you blew your entire budget already, consider a reliable free VPN with a generous data cap – it’ll be enough if you stick to basic browsing.
- Compatibility. Device compatibility is unimportant for travelers since most VPNs work great with mobile phones and laptops. However, it’s something worth considering if you want your VPN to remain useful once you’re done seeing the world.
- Customer support. Getting stranded abroad with an unresponsive VPN can be especially frustrating. Luckily, users can solve this easily if they opt for a provider with 24/7 customer support via live chat.
Countries where VPNs are illegal
Virtual private networks have the power to curb online censorship and surveillance. As such, some governments have outlawed this technology or only permit providers approved by the state. Otherwise, you risk getting fined or worse. Below you will find a brief overview of the countries that outright ban VPN software or impose debilitating restrictions on its use.
|VPN use is illegal||VPN use is heavily restricted|
|Belarus, China, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Oman, Russia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela||Bahrain, Cuba, Egypt, Myanmorth Korea, Turkmenistan, Vietnam|
You can find more information by reading our article about the legal status of VPNs in various countries. Keep in mind that secure VPN providers have technologies to mask their traffic and circumvent most restrictions and surveillance. However, traveling to such restrictive countries is ill-advised for various other reasons.
VPN not working while traveling
Unexpected issues are inevitable while traveling, and VPNs are no exception to these unpleasant surprises. However, you won’t be caught off guard if you know what to do. You can start by troubleshooting issues yourself or contacting customer support immediately to resolve the problem as soon as possible.
- Connect to a different server. Perhaps you got unlucky and connected to a faulty server or one with a blocked IP address. You can resolve this easily by reconnecting to a different one.
- Check for IP and DNS leaks. If you’re trying to get around certain restrictions, it won’t work if your IP address leaks and exposes your true location. Check whether that’s the case on websites like ipleak.net.
- Use a different tunneling protocol. Some tunneling protocols are better suited for dealing with online restrictions. If your provider has different options, try them out. Also, check the settings menu for special features against censorship and DPI (Deep Packet Inspection).
- Update your VPN app. No app ever works as intended if it’s out of date. This is especially true for VPNs because the technologies against them are also updated regularly.
Of course, troubleshooting issues with a virtual private network can be problematic if you’re in a place that restricts VPN traffic. That’s why you should also arm yourself with a backup service in case the first one falters. If you don’t feel like spending more money for a backup, we have some free VPN provider options for you to consider.
Best free VPN for travel
Like with many things in life, you get what you pay for when using a VPN. That means you can expect unsatisfactory results from fully free virtual private networks. Meanwhile, no-cost plans of premium providers are a viable option if you don’t mind a few limitations. The most common hindrances are:
- Data caps (between 2 and 10 GB per month)
- Bandwidth limitations (around 20 Mbps)
- Few server options (between 1 and 10)
- Less security features
- Lower customer support priority
- Excessive information gathering from your device
Free VPNs that tout no limitations at a free price shouldn’t be trusted. Most likely they’re gathering your data, infecting your device with malware, showing excessive ads, or using your bandwidth for their own gain. Point is, they have to make money somehow and you’re the product they’re selling to advertisers and data brokers.
Meanwhile, freemium VPNs make ends meet via premium subscriptions, while the free plans act merely as an introduction. You can also utilize a virtual private network free trial if your trip is less than a week. But if you want a carefree trip, use a VPN coupon code and get ridiculous savings on a paid subscription. Alternatively, get a risk-free trial of a reliable VPN, for example, NordVPN, and see how it performs while on holiday.
Good preparation is vital for guaranteeing a stress-free trip abroad. Don’t skimp on data security and make sure your most precious moments remain private. A VPN for travel prevents information theft on public networks and allows you to connect to your home country if you wish to stay up-to-date with local content.
Enjoy safe journeys by subscribing to NordVPN, a traveler’s best friend for online security!
What’s included in your digital arsenal while traveling abroad? Share your travel tips by leaving a comment!
Should I get a VPN for travel?
Yes, a VPN for travel is crucial for keeping your personal and payment data secure. Hackers on unsecured public Wi-Fi networks can potentially siphon your information and even payment details if you purchase something online. Additionally, you can use the VPN well before the trip to get around geographical pricing and purchase cheaper flight tickets.
Is it legal to use a VPN while traveling?
Most countries do not restrict VPN use and have no laws regarding VPN use. However, totalitarian countries, for example, China and Belarus, disallow the majority of virtual private networks due to their ability to circumvent censorship. In such locations, you have to invest in a truly secure VPN.
Can I use a free VPN for travel?
Yes, some free VPNs are secure enough to use while traveling. However, you’ll have to deal with certain limitations. For example, no-cost services typically impose monthly data caps to prevent overuse. Luckily, these restrictions are more than enough if you limit your online use to essential activities while traveling.
What is the best VPN for travel?
NordVPN is the best VPN for travel. It has excellent security credentials, a wide-reaching server network, and blazing-fast connections anywhere. Plus, you can use it to unlock geo-restricted streaming content for on-the-go entertainment while waiting for planes. Give it a try via the 7-day free trial on the Google Play Store.
Ethan is a security researcher and digital privacy advocate. He spends his time unraveling various anonymity and security tools, plus contributing to open-source projects. Otherwise, he keeps a low profile by hiking or cycling around the countryside.