While not suitable for most full-time US based nomads, short term data rental plans are available through several companies for data usage in the US, and beyond. These plans may be applicable to those who travel infrequently, or have limited data needs.
We track some of the options for companies that offer data and/or device rentals for short periods of a day, days, or weeks.
These plans are not typically cost effective for meeting usage needs beyond a few days.
However, for folks that require data for short bursts - or for part time nomads who don't wish to purchase their own equipment, there are options.
While this Gear Center entry does not go in depth on particular plans and companies, we do keep a list of interesting short term data rental options - and are always on the lookout for plans and companies that are highly applicable to US based RVers and Cruisers.
In addition, most Global SIM rental companies (who typically focus on International travelers) provide short term hotspot data solutions in the US (and beyond). We track some of these companies on our Alternative Global Cloud SIMs Gear Center page. These are worth a comparison with the plans listed on this page if you are considering a short-term data solution.
- DayPass Wireless - A US based company offering short term rentals of data plans and hotspot devices on two major US carriers. Must rent a device to use a plan. Devices can only be delivered to US based address/postal boxes, and returns of devices must be post-marked by the day after your final day of data usage. There is a shipping fee.
- Prices are calculated based on number of days of usage - ranging from $8.75/day to $4.75/day.
- Sprint - Only truly unlimited plan offered. Video streaming permitted. (We are monitoring to see if this offering will be affected by Sprint's merger with T-Mobile.)
- Verizon - 1GB of usage per day included in base price. Additional fee charged per GB after 1GB per day.
- Event Radio Inc - A US based company offering short term (minimum of 7 days) of Verizon hotspots or AT&T hotspots/aircards. Each rental includes 1GB/day of high-speed data. Additional data (up to 5GB) can be pre-ordered for a rental.
Potential Alternatives to Consider:
Some of our TOP PICK Cellular Data Plans to also consider:
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Here's our video going over ways to get LOTS of data for use in your travels:
But a data plan alone will not keep you online. You also need the right gear, signal enhancing strategy and planning your travels around the options you carry with you. Head on over to our collection of guides:
Top Data Plan Picks
Our constantly updated list of the BEST data plans.
Which Carrier is Best?
Is Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint best for your travels?
Selecting Data Plans
Our deep dive into understanding data plans and shopping for them.
Data Plan Pricing Grid
Our always updated spreadsheet comparing all data plans suitable for mobile internet.
Unliimted Data Plans
Learn about the limits on unlimited data plans (or rather: "unlimited").