Many travel services, such as airlines, cruise ships, and trains, are now providing travel WiFi connectivity to keep their customers engaged while in transit. This relatively recent trend follows the Internet access offered by hotels, motels, and resorts for the past few years. While some services provide Internet access at no cost, others charge a nominal rate, so pay close attention to any potential fees when you are traveling.
In a Hotel? Consider Using Your Own Mobile Bandwidth
While some hotels and motels do offer free Internet access, others only provide service for a daily charge of around 10 dollars. If you have extra bandwidth on your mobile account, you may want to consider using your own 3G or 4G service, if it is available at your location. Additionally, some hotels have been known to block websites such as Netflix to force you into paying for a pay-per-view movie from their in-house service.
Traveling the USA While Connected to the Internet on Amtrak
There is nothing like rail travel. It offers the opportunity to see parts of the USA not typically visible on an Interstate or from an airplane at 30,000 feet. Amtrak offers WiFi Internet connectivity free of charge on some of their train routes and in some stations. It is a cellular-based service, so bandwidth can be limited at times, but it’s a good way to stay connected to email when on the rails.
WiFi Internet Access in the Skies
Air travelers also can enjoy Internet access from most major air carriers. The recent decision from the FAA to allow the in-flight use of electronic devices makes it possible to access the Internet using a tablet computer or laptop. Expect to pay nominal fee for in-flight Internet access — usually anywhere from $8-10 per flight. Some carriers also offer certain TV channels and pay-per-view movies as well.
With more travel WiFi options — some even free of charge — it is becoming increasingly possible to stay connected while on the go without depending on a mobile Internet provider. Just make sure to pay close attention to any fees and/or charges for extra bandwidth.