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Escape Hunter Planning How to Find WiFi When Traveling?

How to Find WiFi When Traveling?

July 7, 2015

In the digital age, the traveler needs internet like a plant needs water.
Finding that good internet connection when traveling is vital for your trip to run smooth - this is what this guide is about: how travelers can find good WiFi connection when traveling abroad.

The internet helps and facilitates travel, but from certain points of view, it makes our life terribly complicated. Almost everything is internet dependent, have you noticed?

WiFi abroad for travelers

Source: © iStock.com/adventtr

And, what happens when you can't find a connection abroad... you feel like Robinson, stranded on a desert island.

Yes, you can withhold yourself from browsing the internet, Facebook and other "vices"...

But you might want to contact your hotel, check for travel direction, use Google Earth for better orientation and you must print that online check-in document.

Suppose your hotel's internet isn't working and you're in a foreign country, in great need of a WiFi connection...

There are things you can do - some of these measures are best taking well in advance before setting-off for the trip.
But there also are a few things you should never do - which at first glimpse may seem innocent. Please read below...

Warning: WiFi piggybacking (connecting to others' WiFi signal) is illegal in some countries - Singapore, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, USA, UK, Italy all forbid it more or less.

Singapore punishes piggybacking harshly. The offender may get a fine of 10,000 SGD or 3 years imprisonment, depending on the situation.

There are levels, of course. Connecting to an unprotected WiFi network with no malicious intent it one thing and breaking into someone's password-protected network is another thing...

I only encourage ethical and legal ways to connect to the internet.

Here are the ways you can find WiFi abroad and connect to it.

#1 When in France - get your "minibox"

WiFi for travelers in France is as easy as a snap - just rent a minibox and carry it with you!

Bienvenue WiFi is a telecom service for travelers in France, which ensures a high speed Wi-Fi connection for up to 10 devices starting at 7 EUR/day.

Here's the downloadable Bienvenue WiFi PDF flyer.

And here's how the device looks like:

Wireless internet service in France

Source: © Bienvenue-WiFi.com

Forget exorbitant roaming fees. Forget paying for internet at your hotel with random connection. Rent your own pocket WiFi!

Thanks to a miniBox small enough to fit in your pocket, you get a quality LTE connection anywhere in France.

Bienvenue WiFi is registered with the French telecom authority and they deliver within three hours anywhere in Paris, in two days anywhere in France.

The company offers daily unlimited data plan and is user-friendly (no SIM card or material purchase is required).

Along with individual solutions, Bienvenue WiFi also provides B2B solutions for companies based abroad, organizing trips and events in France that want to offer connectivity at low cost to their clients.

#2 Cafes, bars, restaurants

A plethora of them have WiFi. Back in 2008, when I started traveling, there were only a handful of restaurants, cafes with WiFi, not it's almost "the general rule" in the trendy neighbourhoods of the big and popular cities...

They usually have password-protected networks and you'll have to consume something every now and then. Otherwise they'll kick you out.

If you're searching for WiFi hotspots in the USA, then I recommend you use OpenWiFiHostpots.com

Free internet in cafes, bars, restaurants

Source: © Morguefile.com/GaborfromHungary

#3 Malls, shopping centres

Many times they have free WiFi access and some have seats, benches and tables.
That way you won't be forced to consume anything (unlike in a restaurant or a cafe).

Again, OpenWiFiHostpots.com helps you find free WiFi in shopping centres, malls in the USA.

For your specific destination, please look up the shopping malls in the respective cities online, check their websites to see if they provide free WiFi.

Shopping mall WiFi

Source: © Morguefile.com/sweetgunner

#4 Hotels have better signals in their restaurant or lobby

There is no guarantee that a better hotel will have better WiFi signal. Some of the "best" hotels I've stayed at had some of the worst WiFi signals.

Anyway - what if your hotel has no or poor internet signal?

You can visit another hotel with WiFi connection: ask permission to connect to internet in their lobby (or pay, if required) or, consume at their restaurant (if there is such a possibility).

Hotel WiFi

Source: © Morguefile.com/AimeeLow

#5 Rent a smartphone with internet connection

Using your own cellphone abroad in data roaming will most probably generate you a sky high phone bill. It's a no do. Unless your cell network provider has special rates for the country you're traveling in.

Alternatively you can also use the smartphone as a WiFi hotspot here's a guide on PCAdvisor.co.uk.

Besides the online environment, it's the airports where you should look around to see if you can find such a smartphone rental service provider.

Escape Hunter

About the Author:

Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...


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