Wi-Fi isn’t just a luxury anymore, it’s an essential part of life. No longer are we suffering through hours hunched over a massive computer at home, waiting for the modem to dial-up only to be cut off every time the phone rings. We are now connected on the go through smaller, smarter devices we can take anywhere and it’s pretty dang fantastic! It’s so easy to catch up on news, find that shop you need to visit, post photos and videos of your holiday, interact with friends and family back home or send emails. With Wi-Fi being so essential, I’ve put together my Quick Guide to finding free Wi-Fi access in any city, to help you stay connected on your travels without breaking the bank.
As a traveller, touring artist or media-obsessed user, acquiring a decent Wi-Fi service is one of the first things we look for when booking accommodation. Never mind the comfort of the bed or the Italian marble vanity, Wi-Fi is the number one priority. Hotels all over the world, ranging from standard to luxury, are teaming up with Wi-Fi and Internet service companies in order to compete with other hotels and keep their guests Wi-Fi happy.
There’s nothing better than teaming up a hard core Wi-Fi session with good food and drinks. Seeing the beautiful golden ‘M’ as you walk the streets of New York or Melbourne usually means you’re nearby a McDonalds. However, the golden ‘M’ turned upside down is a ‘W’, a signal for free Wi-Fi! Many chain restaurants including McDonalds, Gloria Jeans Coffee, Starbucks and Bagels & Beans in Amsterdam offer dependable Wi-Fi connections. Nevertheless, not all chain restaurants provide free Internet services, so make sure you ask someone or look for the Wi-Fi signal at the restaurant before attempting to sign in.
Soak in the fresh air and tread the city park whilst browsing the news or posting countless images on Instagram for your friends and family to gaze over. It’s true, the best things in life are free, and many public parks and urban spaces now provide communities with wireless Internet free of charge. If you’re travelling in New York, one significant park that delivers on metropolitan ambience and free wireless Internet is Joyce Kilmer Park, delivered by AT&T. Here you can stay digitally updated from the comfort of your smartphone, laptop and other mobile devices for free. Numerous parks around the world provide free Wi-Fi services to help tourists with their way around and as a tool to get the community to connect during public events or concerts.
Broke university students fear no more, libraries in major cities are running free Wi-Fi services, perfect for last-minute presentations and deadlines. A suitable hotspot for Brisbane students and communities is The State Library of Queensland, located at Stanley Place. With contact points located on all public levels, all users require is their laptop or mobile device to access the Internet, no login required. Usually all users have to do is sign up for an Internet account using one of their desktops or their own device. Nevertheless, some libraries don’t allow the use of electrical outlets in the library, such as The Oblate Library in Florence, Italy. Ensuring your device is charged and ready before you access any public location’s Internet is highly recommended
5. Public Transport
Making that early morning commute to work and still have a couple of emails or final social media posts you want to share? Trains in Japan, Germany, Australia and other contemporary cities have developed free Wi-Fi services, making the travel a little more convenient for the public. It is also an effort to fill empty seats and a strategy to implement digital advertisements. For example, an ad-supported Wi-Fi system engineered by Arriva Trains in Denmark use small banner ads from Internet company Mobile Operator 3. In a sense, the Internet provider, the train and the passenger all win in the process!
Phoebe Lee is a writer, award-winning blogger and travel lover sharing helpful travel tips, insight and reviews for regular people. Follow her adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box and on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.