Best VPNs for travel in 2024

Best VPNs for travel in 2024
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A travel VPN is necessary to keep your personal data secure when you’re connected to public Wi-Fi. More so, going abroad may restrict you from accessing your favorite streaming services or other types of content, but with a VPN, you can bypass geo-blocks effortlessly.

However, a reliable VPN for travel should provide you with top-notch security features, a multicultural server fleet, and excellent connection speeds, making choosing the right service more complicated.

Therefore, we have thoroughly tested 35 VPN services in total to compile a list of the best 8 VPNs for travel specifically. In this article, you will also find more reasons why a VPN is important for traveling and learn how to select the top service for you.

Top 5 VPNs for traveling abroad

  1. ExpressVPN – Best VPN for travel
  2. NordVPN – Speediest VPN for international travel
  3. Surfshark – Best travel VPN for families
  4. Private Internet Access – Travel VPN with over 10,000 servers
  5. CyberGhost – Beginner-friendly overseas VPN

How to choose the best travel VPN

Using a reputable VPN while you’re on the move across different countries is essential for your online safety and freedom. Hence, the process of choosing the one should be just as responsible.

These are the criteria that can help you choose the best travel VPN:

  • Number of servers – The broadest server fleets ensure you have a stable connection speed and bypass geo-blocks in the most remote corners of the world.
  • Speed – The speediest VPNs ensure you get to your online inquiries on time, and the streaming experience goes by without lags.
  • Security features – Using public Wi-Fi increase the risk of online data breaches, hence, you’d need to select the most secure VPN for international travel. It should use AES encryption, follow a strict no-logs policy, and provide you with extra security features.
  • Compatibility – You should select a VPN for travel that works with all devices you have, including travel routers, so you can protect unlimited devices at the time.
  • Price – A VPN shouldn’t be your short-term solution, so ignoring its price would be a mistake. Ensure you select a travel VPN that matches your budget and allows you to try out the service first.

The best VPNs for traveling in 2024

Now that you’ve got a glimpse at what is the best VPN for international travel, it’s time to get to know the potential providers better.

In this list, you will find the best 5 VPNs for traveling that have been selected due to their extensive fleets of servers, advanced sets of features, excellent performance, and user-friendly approach to privacy.

1. ExpressVPN – Our top VPN for traveling overall

ExpressVPN
1

9.7

/10

ExpressVPN
Pros & cons
  • Ensures fast and stable speeds when traveling
  • Includes a tracker blocker
  • Obfuscates the VPN connection
  • Uses RAM-only servers for complete privacy
  • 30-day risk-free trial
  • Streaming servers aren’t labeled

ExpressVPN is the best travel VPN because of the level of protection and number of servers it provides. Using its proprietary Lightway tunneling protocol, you receive a combination of fast and secure connection.

Location British Virgin Islands
Number of servers 3000+ servers in 105 countries
Lowest price from $6.67/month

All of its servers run on volatile memory, so no information is retained after you switch the VPN off. It also uses AES-256-GCM and ChaCha20/Poly1305 ciphers to encrypt online traffic and has independently audited its no-logs policy.

Moreover, ExpressVPN has Stealth servers that obfuscate the VPN connection. Therefore, you can use it in regions and locations with VPN blocks, for example, in China.

This VPN has apps for all major operating systems including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Plus, it has pre-configured travel routers with a VPN, so you can watch geo-restricted content on any device when you’re abroad without compromising your security.

ExpressVPN’s prices start from $6.67/month, and it also has a 7-day free trial that you can combine with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Check out our in-depth review of ExpressVPN to see what else it offers.

2. NordVPN – Fastest VPN for travel abroad

NordVPN
1

9.6

/10

NordVPN
Pros & cons
  • All of its servers are RAM-only
  • Has a built-in ad and tracker blocker
  • Effectively bypasses geo-restrictions
  • Retains over 90% of the baseline speed
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • No refunds on iTunes/Apple App store purchases
  • 7-day free trial is available via Android devices only

NordVPN is the speediest VPN for international travel, as its proprietary NordLynx protocol helps you maintain over 90% of the original connection speed. Just like ExpressVPN, it has a substantial fleet of RAM-based servers that ensure none of your online data stays logged.

Location Panama
Number of servers 5810+ servers in 60 countries
Lowest price from $3.39/month

Apart from a fast connection speed, NordVPN guarantees unbreakable online protection. It encrypts your online traffic with an AES-256 cipher, provide you with a functional kill switch, and has built-in malware protection known as Threat Protection, among other features.

What’s also important is that this VPN works in heavily censored regions, such as China, Russia, Iraq, and others. It provides you with obfuscated servers that hide the VPN connection.

Additionally, NordVPN is capable of unblocking most major streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, or HBO Max. And it also has apps for all popular devices, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux platforms.

You can try out this VPN using its 7-day free trial (available for Android users only,) and a 30-day money-back guarantee. The prices start from $3.39/month.

Learn more about the features in our in-depth NordVPN review.

3. Surfshark VPN – Top international travel VPN for unlimited devices

Surfshark
1

9.5

/10

Surfshark
Pros & cons
  • Has RAM-only servers in over 100 countries
  • Allows unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Bypasses VPN blocks
  • 7-day free trial for Android, iOS, and macOS users
  • No split tunneling on the iOS application
  • One-month subscriptions are expensive

Surfshark is the top traveling VPN for families or groups, as it allows unlimited simultaneous connections per account. It boasts a worldwide server network of 3200+ servers in 100 countries, which is more than NordVPN and ExpressVPN have.

Location The Netherlands
Number of servers 3200+ servers in 100 countries
Lowest price from $1.99/month

Surfshark is also one of the most feature-packed VPNs on the market. It has the NoBorders mode, which lets you surf the web freely if you’re in a country or location where it’s heavily restricted. You also receive a built-in ad blocker and an IP rotator for complete anonymity. Moreover, Surfshark has a no-log policy that’s been audited by Deloitte, one of the Big Four firms.

Apart from security, this VPN is excellent for changing your Netflix regions and accessing other popular streaming services abroad. It works on all major operating systems and even has the Smart DNS for bypassing geo-blocks on non-VPN devices, like Samsung Smart TVs.

Surfshark is available from $1.99/month, and has a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can also get a 7-day free trial version on Android, iOS, and macOS devices.

Find more insights in our Surfshark review.

4. Private Internet Access – Travel VPN with a massive server fleet

Private Internet Access
1

9.4

/10

PIA
Pros & cons
  • Has over 10,000 servers worldwide
  • Offers a built-in ablocker
  • Includes a private browser
  • Cheap yearly pricing
  • Based in a 5-Eyes country
  • Can be quite slow

Private Internet Access has biggest advantage is the huge server network it offers, making it a great VPN for international travel. With it, you can select from 35000+ servers in 84 countries, with most of them being in North America.

Location Colorado, USA
Number of servers 35000+ servers in 84 countries
Lowest price from $2.11 per month

PIA uses market-leading encryption and works on RAM-only servers, ensuring your online activity remains private. You will also find additional security features, such as a kill switch, that protects your IP even if a VPN connection drops.

Even though this VPN has implemented the WireGuard tunneling protocol, it can’t be titled as one of the fastest VPNs on the list. Nevertheless, during our tests, we were able to unblock Netflix US, Hulu, YouTube, and some more popular streaming services.

PIA is available from $2.11 per month. But there is also a 7-day free trial, which you can get through Google Play or Apple App stores, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read more about the provider in our detailed PIA review.

5. CyberGhost – Best travel VPN for beginners

CyberGhost
1

9.3

/10

CyberGhost
Pros & cons
  • Its NoSpy servers secure your data when you’re traveling
  • Has specialized servers for streaming
  • Retains good connection speeds
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Connection in China may be weak
  • Apple apps are weaker

CyberGhost is a simple and easy-to-use travel VPN that has 9200+ servers in 91 countries. Moreover, it has dedicated servers that are optimized for specific streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. Therefore, you will have an excellent streaming experience anywhere in the world.

Location Romania
Number of servers 9200+ servers in 91 countries
Lowest price from $2.11/month

It’s an inexpensive international VPN that comes with multiple protocols including WireGuard and OpenVPN. Just like other top VPNs, CyberGhost safeguards your data with the best AES-256 encryption. Plus, it follows a strict independently audited no-logs policy.

When you’re traveling or using a public Wi-Fi network, CyberGhost protects your data with its NoSpy servers that are proprietary servers of the VPN provider. Additionally, you will be able to avoid adware thanks to the built-in ad blocker feature.

CyberGhost has a free 24-hour trial version. Meanwhile, the prices start from $2.11/month, and there’s  an extended 45-day money-back guarantee.

Get to know more about this VPN in our CyberGhost review.

Methodology: how we tested travel VPNs

Not every VPN is capable of protecting your data when you’re traveling overseas. Therefore, we carefully tested over 30 VPNs to find the best ones. Here are some things we considered when testing the travel VPNs:

  1. Server fleet – A VPN with a high number of servers will come in handy when you’re traveling and want to unblock geo-restricted content. Hence, we selected VPN services with the most extensive global server coverage.
  2. Performance – All VPNs impact the connection speed at least a bit due to added security later. However, we made sure our selected travel VPNs delivered as fast and stable connection speeds as possible.
  3. Security features – Internet access is restricted differently from country to country, that’s why it’s important to have a vast selection of advanced security features. To help you, we picked VPNs with unbreakable encryption, functional IP leak protection, obfuscated servers, and more.
  4. Compatibility – Most VPNs have limited apps for smartphones and tablets, but the ones on our list are fully compatible with most operating systems and platforms, and don’t exclude the most crucial security features.
  5. Ease of use – User-friendly cybersecurity applications increase the chance of a user enabling protection at all times. Hence, we tested each VPN application individually and selected the most intuitive travel VPNs.
  6. Price – All the VPNs on our list are top services that provide good value for money. They’re not too expensive and you can try them for 30 days before staying with the service long-term.

Comparison of best VPNs for travel

Here’s a table to help you quickly understand the differences between the best travel VPNs:

 

ExpressVPN

NordVPN

Surfshark

PIA

CyberGhost

Number of servers

3000+ servers in 105 countries

5810+ servers in 60 countries

3200+ servers in 100 countries

35000+ servers in 84 countries

9200+ servers in 91 countries

Location

British Virgin Islands

Panama

The Netherlands

Colorado, United States

Romania

No-log

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

RAM-based servers

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Tracker/ad blocker

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Number of devices

8

6

Unlimited

10

7

Money-back guarantee

30 days

30 days

30 days

30 days

45 days

Price

from $6.67/month

from $3.39/month

from $1.99/month

from $2.11 per month

from $2.11/month

Why do I need a VPN when traveling?

There are numerous reasons why a VPN is crucial when traveling. However, these are the main ones:

  • Access geo-restricted content – Due to copyright and distribution laws, various streaming services, including Netflix, have different libraries around the world. Moreover, when traveling in China, you may not be able to access Instagram or Messenger. With a travel VPN, you can bypass geo-restrictions wherever you are.
  • Stay safe on public Wi-Fi – Travelers around the globe tend to use public Wi-Fi without considering the risk of identity theft or getting infected with a virus. A robust VPN for international travel can help you protect your data and prevent you from getting threatened by a cyber-criminal.
  • Protect your data from the online surveillance – Online surveillance exists in nearly all world countries but the level of it differs. Some governments may monitor online activities to protect you; meanwhile, others tend to do that to control your online freedom or even sell it to third parties. A VPN encrypts your traffic and makes it virtually impossible to access it.
  • Work securely when staying abroad – A VPN for people who work and travel is essential, as accessing sensitive information without a protection layer in heavily censored regions may affect not only you but also your co-workers and the organization. With a travel VPN, you will be able to securely access bank accounts, read company emails, and more.

How to achieveHow to set up a VPN for traveling

  1. Pick a VPN with a vast selection of servers. Our top pick is ExpressVPN, now 49% off.
  2. Download and install the VPN app on your device.
  3. Enable the kill switch feature.
  4. Find and connect to a server of your choice. We recommend using obfuscated (Stealth) servers.
  5. Start browsing the web safely while you’re traveling abroad!

Should I use a free VPN when traveling?

No, you shouldn’t use a free VPN when traveling. Most free VPNs tend to sell their users’ data through advertisements, and they have limited security features, as well as small server fleets. In many cases, these free VPNs won’t be able to unblock geo-restricted content.

Premium VPNs are much safer than free ones because most of them have a strict no-log policy, RAM-based servers, and other top-notch security features. Not to mention their capabilities in unblocking geo-restricted content. Nearly all of them, including ExpressVPN, come with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a free trial on the side, so you can easily try them before making any commitment.

Do I need a VPN for traveling in Europe?

It is important to use a VPN when traveling, no matter the destination. Even though many European countries are technologically advanced and respect Internet freedom, cyber threats can still put your data at risk. Therefore, it is crucial to take proactive measures to protect your privacy and ensure the safety of your online activities.

It's worth noting that in the majority of Europe, using a VPN is legal as long as it's not used for criminal activities. The only European country that has banned VPNs is Belarus. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use a VPN there at all.

In countries where VPNs are restricted (China, North Korea, Russia, Belarus, Iraq, Iran, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Pakistan, and Myanmar,) you can use a VPN, like ExpressVPN, with obfuscated servers. This way, you will be able to secure your online activity and keep the VPN connection hidden from the ISP or other third parties.

The best ways to use a VPN for travel

Simply installing a travel VPN isn’t enough. To gain complete online security, there are steps to take when using a VPN for your trips abroad. Here are our main tips:

  • Choose a privacy-friendly VPN. A VPN with a strict and independently audited no-logs policy is essential when using it abroad or at home. The provider mustn’t collect any of your online activities, so in case of a system breach, your information wouldn’t be at risk.
  • Enable the kill switch feature. Using the kill switch feature will ensure that your real IP address doesn’t get exposed even if a VPN connection drops.
  • Use obfuscated servers. If you're traveling to a country with strict online monitoring, connect to an obfuscated server to use an encrypted connection even in regions with VPN blocks.
  • Enable an ad blocker. Adware is one of the most popular ways to infect devices with malware. Using an ad blocker in a VPN will help you prevent getting infected when visiting websited in unknown languages.
  • Take additional security measures. A VPN alone will never be powerful enough to provide you with fully-fledged online protection. It’s important you also use a password manager, a robust antivirus, and multi-factor authentication methods, among other measures.

Is it worth getting a VPN for travel?

Getting a VPN for travel is highly recommended as it not only allows you to access online content from your home country, but also protects your data when using public Wi-Fi or browsing in a foreign country.

During our tests, we learned that ExpressVPN is the best VPN for international travel.  The provider has an extensive server fleet with the opportunity to use obfuscated servers. It also applies top-notch security measures, like AES encryption and the proprietary Lightway tunneling protocol.

Note that we don’t recommend using free VPNs for traveling, as they come with poor security suites and may sell your data to third parties. Instead, make use of premium VPNs with free trials and money-back guarantees.

Frequently asked questions

ExpressVPN is the best VPN to use for travel because it has a large server network that spans in over 100 countries. It has various advanced security features to secure your data when you’re out and about and have no choice but to use a public Wi-Fi connection.