Sometimes, you’ll want to share your experiences with others back home; at other times, you’ll need Internet access. Connecting to a hotel’s WiFi can be pricey, but with a little looking, you may be able to find free wireless Internet service in a variety of places.
In some locations, you may be able to connect to the WiFi at, or just outside of government buildings. Not all offer free WiFi and those that do may be limits on access. This option can be dicey.
In the United States, it is common knowledge that Starbucks offers free wifi access for patrons who settle in to enjoy a hot coffee, tea or hot cocoa. There may be other coffee shops that do the same thing, so be sure to ask if you don’t see anything that announces the service.
McDonalds is another common location where patrons can find wireless internet access, but it is by far not the only fast food restaurant that offers the same service. You may find that some locations have a strong enough signal that you can sit in your car and connect to their network.
Find a public library and you’ll likely find a wireless Internet connection. You may have to go inside and use the internet inside though, because many libraries require users to input passwords before they can connect to the service. Like government buildings, libraries often put restrictions on the web sites you can access or the distance within which you can connect to the network.
Large grocery store chains often have Wifi. This is especially true of those that have coffee shops inside, like Safeway, and even some Whole Foods stores. If you’re inside a grocery store and can take a few minutes, a short break from your shopping (before you have started or after you’ve paid – the stores would probably frown upon you stopping in the middle of your shopping experience to log on to the internet) is perfectly acceptable if you want to check your email or send a note to a friend back home.
If you’re a book lover who spends a lot of time in big bookstores like Barnes and Noble, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that big bookstores sometimes have free Internet access . When you travel, you may want to seek out a bookstore to see if they have wifi access that you can take advantage of after you peruse their shelves.
If you’re near a university or college, there’s a good chance you might be able to tag into the wifi there. Some areas require access codes – like departmental buildings. Libraries, book stores, administration buildings and admissions offices, which often expect to have public foot traffic, might be better places to scout out a wireless internet connection. In some cases though, you might be able to find a connection in the common grassy areas between buildings.
When traveling, if you need to send a photo, check your email or access Trekeffect, now you know where to go. Enjoy your trip!
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