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Have wifi while traveling?

Five weeks in Europe with no Verizon plan this time. We used Messenger (with video) on our tablet to keep in touch with family and What'sapp on my phone to keep in touch with a few people not on facebook. Worked like a charm and cost nothing extra. I did get several free messages from Verizon urging me to use their $10/day plan but I never had an emergency that warranted doing so.

Posted by
244 posts

We also used wifi at our hotels. Everything worked perfect. We used WhatsApp to communicate using wifi. Loved it. We were able to text, send pictures and videos to family and friends at no cost because we used the hotel wifi! I did purchase an international plan through ATT. The few times I needed to use data it was covered on my plan. No texting while we were sightseeing but isn't that the way it should be!!

Posted by
925 posts

pfresh - so glad that worked out for you too. We found wifi in so many places that I never found the need for the plan, even sending some of our pictures as they happened.

Posted by
1029 posts

Hotel wifi generally works well. I have found that between 5 and 10% of the time it's unusable. Either I can't log on or it is painfully slow for simple tasks like checking email. Also I would not suggest using it for sensitive tasks such as financial transactions.

Posted by
3 posts

Most hotels and restaurants should offer WIFI. Now a days, if the hotel doesn't, it would be very weird.

Posted by
18 posts

We're preparing for a road trip in the UK this spring. Our lodging has wifi as you mention. And I use the apps you mention. But what about in the car? for example to contact innkeeper for directions or early/late arrival. Those are the times I believe I need phone service. Any thoughts?
Deb in Naples

Posted by
16858 posts

Debfloet, I have spent two summers traveling through Europe without phone service, but there were awkward times, especially involving the need to contact lodgings, and I was not renting a car and potentially needing navigational assistance out in the boondocks. It would be helpful to have phone service so that you don't have to depend on the kindness of strangers when things go wrong. To equip one phone with a local SIM should not be terribly expensive if you do not also need a data allotment, but that phone will then have a different telephone number you might want to share with key family and friends in case of an emergency.

I'd suggest opening your own thread in the England (or other UK) forum if you want specific guidance so Nance doesn't get notification emails when other folks respond to your query.

Posted by
2 posts

I have a portable password protected hotspot. Would that be better, safer, more convenient to use than hotel, restaurant, etc. wifi? I am NOT tech savvy and haven't travelled to Europe in 40 YEARS, so I need ALL THE HELP I can get. Thank you in advance.

Posted by
182 posts

Limpywood, I don't use wifi in a hotel unless it is password protected. Also, if my ipad indicates that it is not secure, I won't use it. I travel with my password protected jetpack. However, I only use it when I need to because it uses data. Normally, I am using wifi to check if I have received any e-mails that I need to address.

Every hotel offer Wifi in my last visit I can also use hotel Wifi even during out site trip mostly restaurants, fast food place, offer free Wifi so I can connect and use, but some time in hotel I can receive low quality signal of wifi because room at 12 floor, so that why I connect data internet but its costly.

Posted by
2353 posts

I use wifi where available for general surfing but when out and about I use my data for maps & directions, looking up restaurants, and searching for info on what we might be viewing at the moment. I personally love instant access to information.

Nance, It depends on conditions. If you are traveling most of the time outside the hotel/resorts premises. Let me more clear," If you are on an adventurous trip like on mountains, on beaches or somewhere else like Bike Riding etc." Then It's necessery otherwise not.

Posted by
3141 posts

That is how we travel too, wifi only. The Verizon $10/day is for emergencies and we have never had one, knock on wood.

Posted by
1655 posts

That is how we travel too, wifi only. The Verizon $10/day is for emergencies and we have never had one, knock on wood.

Same here. Verizon $10 stayed unused in our hip pocket. Nice to know it was there, but wifi was ubiquitous.

We also tried our best to adopt the 'dolce far niente' concept. Instead of relying on the internet to tell us where to eat or (to a lesser extent) what to see, we asked locals. That led to a) some wonderful interactions and conversations and b) the discovery of some wonderful places that may or may not be listed on the internet. It's hard to make new friends with your nose stuck in an iPad.

Posted by
925 posts

" Instead of relying on the internet to tell us where to eat or (to a lesser extent) what to see, we asked locals. "

I like this idea!

Posted by
8640 posts

It really depends on where you are staying.

I just got off the RS Village Italy tour and in half the hotels there was no wifi in the rooms and some had weak wifi even in the lobby.

Posted by
309 posts

I work virtually and travel for work globally. I'm paranoid about lack of internet access not because I obsessively need to text or check Facebook, but because my job requires it. I don't mind that because with the virtual work comes a lot of flexibility to travel and spend time with my family.

Having said all that...I typically make sure I have three ways to access the internet: TMobile on my phone, wifi provided by where I'm staying, and a MiFi that I take with me that allows up to five devices to access the internet at one time. It may seem excessive, but when I need to get online and it's only the back up plan to the back up plan that works, I'm forever grateful for it. (The MiFi also allows a much more secure connection than hotel wifi or open wifi if I need to check a bank balance, etc.)

For years I've been using Cello Mobile. It was recommended on this forum back in 2010 or 2011 and have been a happy customer ever since. I've also been reading about Sky Roam, though, because I like the idea of buying the device outright and possibly saving some money.