After a long day of exploring a new destination, sometimes you just want to unwind in your hotel room with some good TV. Although watching foreign language television can be highly entertaining for a bit, if you’d rather catch up on your favorite shows, a streaming service can let you view your shows and movies abroad just like you do at home. Here are our picks for the best streaming services for travelers.
If you need to keep your kids entertained on a flight or road trip, Disney+ will be a lifesaver. The streaming service allows you to download any movie or series you want and watch it anywhere, even if you don’t have WiFi. You can stream on up to four devices at the same time, so the whole family can watch without fighting over what to put on.
Disney+ is only available through a bundle with Hulu, and plans range from $9.99 per month for a basic subscription to $19.99 a month for a Hulu/Disney+/ESPN package.
Amazon Prime is a great tool for travelers (who might need a last-minute item delivered ASAP before their next trip), and a Prime subscription automatically includes access to Amazon’s streaming service, Amazon Prime Video. On Amazon Prime Video, you’ll find a mix of original and syndicated tv and movies that can be downloaded and watched offline. Live Thursday night football is also included for those who don’t want to miss a game while on the road.
If you like having a variety of content all in one place, Hulu has some of the most options for a streaming service. Plans range from the basic to premium:
- Hulu: $7.99 per month for ad-supported streaming.
- Hulu (No ads): $14.99 per month for Hulu without ads.
- Hulu (With ads)+ Live TV: This plan costs $69.99 and includes Hulu, live TV, Disney+, and ESPN+.
- Hulu (No ads)+ Live TV, Disney+, and ESPN+: For $82.99 you can skip all the ads for nonstop streaming.
If you want to be able to watch live TV without paying crazy cable prices, check out Philo. This affordable streaming service costs just $25 per month for access to more than 70 channels. The unlimited DVR feature makes Philo a good choice for travelers who won’t be able to watch their favorite shows live.
For sports fans who don’t want to miss a single game while traveling, Paramount+ is a great value. The streaming service starts at just $4.99 per month and includes NFL games on CBS Live and soccer on Champions League. You’ll also get access to shows and movies from popular networks including CBS, BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV, and the Smithsonian Channel.
Fans of dramas like Yellowstone or reality shows like Below Deck should consider a subscription to Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming network. You’ll get access to more than just NBC, as content from other channels like Bravo, Hallmark Channel, and Syfy are also available on the service. Note that for offline access to Peacock, you’ll have to splurge for the Plus plan which costs $9.99 per month (compared to $4.99 per month for the Premium tier).
Sling TV was the first app-based TV service designed to help people cut the cord with cable, and it’s still going strong today. The streaming service offers a number of subscription options for watching live TV, starting at $40 per month for 31 channels.
Bundles are available for premium content, like the Basket Ball bundle (which includes ESPN and NBA TV) and the Premium Pass (featuring Showtime and MGM).
HBO Max is available as an add-on through a variety of other streaming services, including Hulu and Amazon Prime, or you can purchase it as a standalone subscription. Sign up directly through HBO Max and pay upfront for a year ($99.99) and you’ll save 16% compared to paying monthly ($9.99).
If you want to subscribe to just HBO, you’ll pay $15.99 a month (more than HBO Max), which is an odd pricing structure since HBO Max includes access to all regular HBO content.
Apple TV is home to popular shows such as Ted Lasso, The Morning Show, and Shrinking—all for the affordable price of $6.99 per month. Even if you don’t have a paid Apple TV subscription, you can still use it to stream Friday night baseball, which now airs live on Apple TV.
You can download and stream Apple TV content offline, but note that there are limitations which could be a dealbreaker for some frequent travelers.
Netflix recently scared frequent travelers by announcing plans to crack down on password sharing by forcing users in certain markets to designate a primary location for their account. Fortunately, these changes haven’t been rolled out in the US yet, so subscribers can still stream from anywhere in the world.
Netflix plans range from $6.99 to $19.99 a month and include a mix of content, from original shows to blockbuster movies. Netflix plans with ads do not allow for downloading content to watch online, so if you want to stream on the plane, you’ll need to spring for the more expensive ad-free plans.
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