Whether traveling for business or pleasure, no one wants to arrive at a hotel to find expensive Wi-Fi access. Hotels could potentially lose business by charging guests high or hidden fees for Internet. But many establishments — especially luxury lodging — still charge a pretty penny to go online, with little guarantee for a fast connection, either.
According to a recent J.D. Power & Associates study, about 55% of all hotel guests access the Internet during their stays — up 20% from 2006. About 87% of that group is using Wi-Fi.
Although most travelers have come to expect connectivity to be cheap or included, it’s not always the case. The good news is there are ways to avoid paying for Wi-Fi at hotels all together.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind for your next trip.
1. Tether Your Mobile Device
It’s possible to tether your 3G or 4G connection from your smartphone to your computer, but many carriers charge fees to do so. Once you have added the service to your data plan, turn on your phone’s personal hotspot option, located in settings. By setting a password, you will be able to prevent other guests in nearby rooms from connecting to your hotspot.
2. Buy a Wireless Router
Although many hotels charge for Wi-Fi, some provide ethernet cables for you to use free. You can then connect your Apple AirPort Express or similar portable Wi-Fi hotspot device to send connectivity to your laptop and mobile devices.
3. Check the Lobby
It might cost you more to access the web in your hotel room, but some places offer free Wi-Fi in the lobby. To prevent guests from using valuable bandwidth to stream media on sites such as Netflix — which also takes money away from in-room pay-per-view — hotels often restrict free Wi-Fi in rooms, but open it up to guests at no extra charge on the main floor.
4. Find Nearby Connectivity
WeFi has a database of more than 132 million Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide, from small towns to urban centers. The company also has apps for both iOS and Android, so it’s easy to locate the closest Wi-Fi on the go.
How do you avoid paying for Wi-Fi at hotels? Let us know in the comments.
BONUS: 15 Travel Twitter Accounts to Follow
Jeannie Mark tweets for her blog Nomadic Chick, where she shares tips, photos and videos from the far corners of the globe. She tackles thought-provoking topics on her blog, including whether it is safe for women travelers to couch surf alone and talks about her inspiration behind her travels: her mom.
Heather Poole is a flight attendant, blogger and author of the New York Times bestseller, Cruising Attitude. Follow her for funny anecdotes from her blog, tips on how not to piss off your flight attendant and information on her recently released book.
This account shares travel tips and news from the editors of IndependentTraveler.com. The editors deliver well curated content on everything travel related from booking hotels and flights, to traveling alone and even down to choosing the right stationary. They keep the conversation going with readers, making the account lively, informative and entertaining.
Keith Jenkins is Velvet Escape. He mixes up his content on Twitter, sharing posts from fellow travel bloggers, agents and news sources. You can count on him for unusual tips and pics from his travels around the world.
Flight View is a site that gives real-time updates on domestic flights in the U.S. There is an app with a flight tracker that lets you monitor delays, transfers and scheduled flight info, and the Twitter account shares out useful information on travel solutions and updates on major flight concerns.
Kristin Luna is the blogger behind Camels and Chocolate, where she shares her writing, photography and trip planning with readers. She’s written for the ‘Intelligent Traveler’ on National Geographic, Sunset, Redbook and various travel sites around the web.
Brendan van Son is a multimedia travel blogger that shares his excursions through photo and video. On the road for nearly three years straight, he is originally from Canada. His photos have appeared across web and in print and everyday he shares a video from his travels through the account, @itsmylife365.
Robert Reid is Lonely Planet‘s US Travel Editor and author of two dozen guidebooks and articles for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, ESPN & CNN. He uses Twitter to share his writings from his blog, Reid on Travel, interact with his audience and share his thoughts on the beautiful, delicious and strange gems he finds around the world.
Creator of the award-winning Pauline Frommer Guidebooks, radio talk show host, blogger and self-proclaimed “insatiable wanderer,” Pauline Frommer uses her account to highlight pieces from Frommer’s blog as well as showcase tidbits from her travels (she’s currently in London for the Olympic Games).
For those “with a yearning to get off the beaten path,” Intrepid Travel is a direct source for booking trips nearly anywhere in the world. The account focuses on responsible travel with a slew of tips for shopping locally, backpacking and street food.
Sustainable Travel aims to promote sustainable development through travel and tourism. They use the Twitter account to share news from their site as well as feature posts from other green travel blogs.
Melanie Nayer is a luxury brand consultant and “hotel insider”. She shares writings from her blog which focus on interesting topics like how Pinterest is shaping the way we travel, the Gramercy Park Hotel’s luxury design aesthetic and one thing every traveler loves: food.
This account is a great resource for all-around travel advice. The account shares interesting and useful articles from the Budget Travel site that include gadgets that will make you feel like James Bond, unconventional packing tips and the “reader photo of the day” selected from submissions around the world.
Chris Christensen is behind the Amateur Traveler, a video/audio web series that has racked up more than 300 episodes. From Indonesia to France and China, the Amateur Traveler (despite the moniker) has been almost everywhere. Follow this account for photos, hotel reviews and updates on new episodes.
Stacy Small is a luxury travel planner for high-end business and leisure travelers worldwide. She tweets as @EliteTravelGal and shares blogs from her site, Elite Travel International.
Via Mashable: http://www.mashable.com