Many countries restrict or censor the internet, which can be a real pain for travelers. A travel VPN will not only safeguard your sensitive information from hackers and governments but also give you access to your favorite streaming content and essentials like WhatsApp, Skype, and banking portals. The best VPN can mask your real IP address and make it look like you’re in your home country, so it’ll be impossible for prying eyes to track your online activities when abroad.
However, the market is flooded with VPNs claiming to be the best, and choosing an ideal fit for your needs can be an uphill task. After comparing dozens of VPNs across criteria like server reach, speeds, unblocking abilities, security, and value for money, our team of experts and I have compiled this list of the top 5 VPNs for travel.
Our detailed guide will give you a thorough understanding of every provider, allowing you to make the right choice for your use case and budget. If you're looking for a quick answer, here are our top 3 picks right now:
1. ExpressVPN – An excellent premium all-rounder
ExpressVPN is our #1 VPN overall, with servers all around the world. No matter where you’re traveling, you'll be protected by its class-leading security and privacy features, including obfuscated servers and an audited no-logs policy.
With detailed guides, friendly 24/7 support, and a simple interface, ExpressVPN is one of the most beginner-friendly VPNs. It's also great for streaming, unblocking every platform we've tested it with. Try it risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and get 3 months free on the 12-month plan.
2. Surfshark – Great performance from budget provider
Surfshark is a superb VPN for traveling with large groups, with unlimited simultaneous connections and compatibility with all types of devices across the board. It’s also the fastest provider we’ve tested, edging past rivals ExpressVPN and PIA.
With servers in a huge number of countries, fantastic unblocking abilities, and nifty privacy features, Surfshark provides excellent value for money and is the best budget VPN. It also has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out and see if it’s for you.
3. Private Internet Access – The best Travel VPN today
Private Internet Access is a popular name in the industry thanks to its verified no-logs policy, unlimited simultaneous connections, massive server count, and dedicated streaming servers.
With tons of privacy add-ons, PIA excels on the security front. Also, it just undercuts Surfshark as one of the the cheapest providers. Be sure to make the most of its 30-day money-back guarantee to see how it compares with Express and Surfshark.
How to choose a travel VPN
You should look for a VPN provider with a wide network of servers around the world so that no matter where you go, there’s always a server nearby. It’s recommended you prioritize services with obfuscated servers as they provide more secure connectivity in regions like China, where the internet is heavily restricted.
Obfuscated servers make your VPN traffic look like regular internet traffic, and even your ISP wouldn't know that you are using a VPN. This will help you bypass tools that are meant to block VPNs.
You should also look at the streaming performance of a VPN before you make it your travel buddy. Ideally, you’d want your VPN to unlock all popular streaming platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, and BBC iPlayer, but there are several options that even unblock platforms like 9Now and 10Play.
Next up, your VPN should be fast enough to allow streaming in HD or 4K. A rapid VPN will also ensure stable connections, giving you peace of mind that your VPN protection won’t be sluggish or lapse unexpectedly.
It’s also important that your VPN has 24/7 friendly support because you’re going to want your issues to be resolved quickly when in a foreign country. Last but not least, a money-back guarantee gives you peace of mind in case you don't get along with a particular product.
Our expert choices of the best Travel VPNs in 2024
The best travel VPN
Server locations: 160 | Countries: 94 | Available on: Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Linux (command-line only), Routers, almost everything else | Obfuscated servers: Yes | 24/7 support: Yes | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, ITVX, All4, 9Now, 10Play
✔️ You want access to content all over the world: ExpressVPN's 160 server locations in 94 countries and excellent unblocking make it an ideal pick for streaming, regardless of the streaming platform or your location.
✔️ You want a beginner-friendly interface: All ExpressVPN apps are easy to navigate and user-friendly, with lots of helpful guides and 24/7 support.
✔️ Your top priority is privacy and security: With an audited no-logs policy and features like Threat Manager built-in password manager, ExpressVPN is one of the most secure VPNs.
❌ You're on a tight budget: ExpressVPN isn't cheap, but it delivers excellent value for its price. However, if you're looking for cheaper options, consider Surfshark or PIA.
❌ You travel with several devices: ExpressVPN allows just five simultaneous connections. While that's still enough for solo travels, if your needs are more ambitious, services like Surfshark or PIA will suit you better.
ExpressVPN is an ideal choice if you’re looking for a secure and reliable travel VPN that you can set and forget and bank on to unblock all kinds of content no matter where you are. With friendly 24/7 support, easy-to-use apps, and tons of helpful guides, Express is as beginner-friendly as they come. Try it first-hand with its 30-day money-back guarantee.
ExpressVPN has tons of individual server locations – 160 locations in 94 countries, even in obscure and restrictive countries like China, Indonesia, and Iran – making it my #1 VPN for traveling since there will almost always be a high-speed ExpressVPN server near your location.
It’s also one of the most privacy-focused VPNs with RAM-only servers and proprietary Lightway protocol that ensures a speedier, more secure, and more reliable connection. Couple this with an effective kill switch and Express’s auto-connect feature, and you’ll never have to worry about your internet traffic being exposed to governments or malicious users.
The auto-connect quickly re-establishes connection with a VPN server in case your current connection accidentally fails. This will save you the trouble of constantly having to check whether you have an active VPN connection – one less thing to worry about when you’re out and about.
ExpressVPN’s superior unblocking abilities add to its usability as a travel VPN – you can relax in your hotel room at night by streaming your favorite content from around the world without worrying about whether your current location has any geo-blocks or not.
Not only does Express provide the best coverage in US and Europe, but it also has 26 locations in the Asia-Pacific region. Express’s massive reach helps it unblock everything, from Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video, to 9Now, 10Play, and even K-Dramas.
In my ExpressVPN review I found its 5 simultaneous connections to be a little stingy, especially when competitors like PIA and Surfshark offer unlimited connections. But ExpressVPN wins in device compatibility – it has simple apps for not only Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux but also routers, Chromebooks, Amazon Fire Stick, and Kindle Fire.
ExpressVPN isn't the cheapest, and you’d be better off with Surfshark or PIA if you don’t want to spend a lot on a VPN. However, with reliable connections across the globe, simple and easy-to-use apps, helpful guides, and 24/7 customer support, it's the best overall package. Take it for a test run with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
|Minimalistic and easy-to-navigate interface
|Ease of use
|Ideal for both beginners and experts as it's both simple and configurable
|Not as fast as Surfshark or Nord, but still fast enough for just about everything
|Unblocks everything except a couple of obscure Netflix libraries
|Security and privacy
|Loaded with security features plus free add-ons
|24/7 assistance by friendly professionals
|Worth the money but not among the cheapest providers
An excellent affordable Travel VPN
Server locations: 143 | Countries: 100 | Available on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux (GUI), routers and more | Obfuscated servers: Yes | 24/7 support: Yes | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Amazon, Disney, BBC iPlayer, Hulu
✔️ You want a VPN for all your travel buddies: A single Surfshark subscription will cover the devices of all your family members and even friends, thanks to unlimited simultaneous connections.
✔️ You want a fast VPN: Surfshark is the fastest VPN I’ve tested, peaking at a speed of 950 Mbps, ensuring a smooth and lag-free experience.
✔️ You want a budget VPN: Surfshark offers excellent value for money, with prices starting at less than $2.50 a month.
❌ Kill switch is a priority for you: The kill switch isn't Surfshark’s strongest suit, but it’s overall decent and works well most of the time. However, for a foolproof kill switch, NordVPN or ExpressVPN are better alternatives.
❌ You're a Windows user: Surfshark doesn’t roll out updates for all Windows versions below 8.1, and there's no 7-day trial option for Windows devices across the board.
Surfshark provides exceptional value for money with industry-leading speeds and unlimited simultaneous connections. It’s a streaming beast and unblocks all platforms swiftly and securely with no shortage of security measures. Don’t miss out on one of the top VPNs for traveling with a group, and put it to the test with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
In my Surfshark review I named the Netherlands-based provider the best cheap VPN I’ve tested, and with unlimited connections as its key offering, it's an excellent travel VPN if you're with a family or a fairly large group. One Surfshark plan will cover as many devices as you want it to, and the device compatibility is on a par with the likes of Express and Nord, covering almost everything from Android to Linux devices to routers.
On the streaming front, there’s nothing Surfshark can’t unblock, be it Netflix, Amazon Video, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Disney+, 10Play, 9Now, or any other streaming platform. Despite the unlimited connections, Surfshark maintains a robust no-logs policy, and none of the users on any plan will have their data logged or privacy jeopardized.
Surfshark is present in more countries (100) than most VPNs I’ve tested, and although its server count (3,200) is not as impressive as Nord or PIA, it's more than enough for anyone traveling abroad.
In terms of speed, Surfshark is a runaway winner as it consistently clocks over 950 Mbps – higher than other VPNs I tested. However, the speed dropped down to 150 Mbps when I set it to use the OpenVPN protocol, meaning it’s not your best option if you’re looking to install Surfshark on a router or want to use it with a third-party app.
As a great China VPN, the Surfshark app will automatically switch on the NoBorders mode if it detects any kind of restrictions on your network. The NoBorders mode will then go ahead and fetch you a list of the best high-performing servers on your network capable of bypassing the restrictions you’re facing. This is ideal for digital nomads and travelers that keep moving from one country and network to another.
Surfshark offers excellent value for money, and its security suite with 256-bit AES encryption, an intuitive kill switch, ad and malware blockers, and Surfshark’s native antivirus Surfshark One add to the overall appeal of Surfshark. Try it risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee and see if it’s for you.
|Beginner-friendly with its cool and intuitive design
|Ease of use
|As simple as it gets, one of the best providers for beginners
|The fastest among all the VPNs I’ve tried
|Unblocks almost all streaming platforms with ease
|Security and privacy
|The kill switch could’ve been better, but everything else pulls through nicely
|24/7 reliable customer support assistance in case it feels a little difficult to navigate
|Budget VPN with excellent value for money
Great value and effective for the US
Server locations: 100 | Countries: 84 | Available on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux (GUI), routers, and more | Obfuscated servers: No | 24/7 support: Yes | Streaming sites unblocked: US Netflix, Amazon, Disney Plus, Hulu
✔️ You want a reliable traveling VPN: PIA has proved its no-logs claims in court twice, so you can rest assured that your online activities remain private.
✔️ You travel with multiple devices: PIA supports unlimited simultaneous connections, so you don’t have to worry about getting logged out before sharing it with your travel buddies.
✔️ You want a huge server network: PIA has over 20,000 servers, ensuring that no matter where you are, there’s a server nearby.
❌ You want to stream 10Play: PIA ran smoothly on almost every platform I tried, but unfortunately, 10Play couldn’t make the cut.
❌ You want a beginner-friendly VPN: The highly configurable PIA has a lot to offer to the tech-savvy, but newbies might find it difficult to wrap their heads around all that it offers.
❌ You want a built-in password manager: PIA is no doubt trustworthy when it comes to privacy, but it lacks a password manager. If that’s a must for you, go with ExpressVPN or NordVPN.
Private Internet Access is a superb bargain pick with a high degree of customizability and unlimited simultaneous connections. Although not the most beginner-friendly, it has professional 24/7 support and lots of resources on its website to answer any queries. With a massive server network and class-leading privacy, PIA is fast and unblocks everything with ease. Try it with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
PIA hits it out of the park as a travel VPN with over 20,000 servers across 84 countries, including a server in every state in the US. While its total number of countries is slightly less than both ExpressVPN and Surfshark, it still has servers in highly restrictive countries like Turkey and China and makes streaming local news sites and television shows there a breeze.
However, PIA falls short and is unable to bypass restrictions in countries like Iran, Syria, Cuba, Myanmar, and a couple of others, so unless you have any plans to travel to these countries, PIA is more than a decent option.
In my Private Internet Access review I was impressed that the provider had increased its simultaneous connections to cover unlimited devices (previously 10), and at just a little more than $2 a month, it makes for a compelling package, especially for the long term, where you get even more discounts.
PIA is one of the most secure VPNs, having proven its no-logs policy in court, twice. A unique MACE feature is a culmination of various blocking functionalities – ads, trackers, and malware. There’s also a super handy browser extension that comes with more blocks on intrusive internet elements like third-party cookies, location access permissions, website referrers, and more.
The only letdown I ran into was that PIA’s mobile and tablet apps are not the most intuitive and lack attention to detail – unlike ExpressVPN and NordVPN apps – but are still overall beginner-friendly.
PIA speeds do not beat industry leaders like Surfshark and NordVPN but given that you really only need around 20 Mbps for streaming content in HD, PIA’s 500 Mbps is more than sufficient. Talking about streaming, 10Play was the only streaming platform PIA couldn’t get through but other than that, I have no complaints.
To sum it up, PIA is the cheapest provider on my list today, and its free email breach scanner and Boxcryptor license to encrypt and secure your cloud storage make it all the more value for money. There’s a generous 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it without putting any money on the line.
|While the interface is customizable, it’s flooded with too many options which makes it cumbersome
|Ease of use
|Best suited for tech enthusiasts, not so much for beginners
|Fast for general day-to-day but doesn’t compare to NordVPN and Surfshark
|Couldn’t get past 10Play but for smooth sailing for every other platform
|Security and privacy
|Proven no-logs policy and class-leading configuration
|Tons of helpful guides and 24/7 friendly support
|Seriously good value
Security giant is a great VPN for traveling
Server locations: 60+ | Countries: 60 | Available on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux (CLI), routers, and more | Obfuscated servers: Yes | 24/7 support: Yes | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, ITVX, All4, 9Now, 10Play