Four Ways Budget Travellers Can Save On Hotel And Motel Internet Costs
For travellers across Australia, Internet access remains a considerable cost. It's not unusual for an Australian hotel to charge upwards of $25 per night for Internet access, which is unthinkable for travellers on a budget. Fortunately, there are ways to stay online without breaking the bank. Here are four of them.
Smartphone manufacturers now offer tethering or mobile hotspot functions from their devices. In simple terms, this allows you to convert your smartphone to a mobile Internet hub. You can then connect the device to your laptop or tablet computer and get online.
The cost of the data falls within your normal contract, so if you have unlimited data, this won't cost you anything. However, tethering will drain your battery life, so this option is often better for people who want to get online for a short period. Make sure you use a password, too, or other people could get online and use your data.
Sit in the hotel or motel lobby
Free Wi-Fi doesn't often extend to guest rooms, but many hotels and motels now allow guests to connect to the Internet free of charge in the lobby or reception area. Ask the receptionist when you check in for details of the password. Bear in mind that free access is often subject to restrictions. For example, the hotel or motel may strangle the bandwidth to avoid people downloading large files, so you may only want to check emails or surf a few websites.
Check out the local area
Hotels and motels are often near places that offer free Wi-Fi, so it's worth venturing out for a meal or a coffee to take advantage of the free Internet access too. There are various apps you can download to your smartphone that allow you to quickly find shops, bars and public buildings that offer free Wi-Fi in your area. Of course, you should check the mileage before you set off. If you have to drive too far, the cost of fuel will outweigh the savings you make on Internet access!
Join a hotel loyalty scheme
Many hotels and motels offer loyalty schemes for regular guests, and a common perk is free or discounted Internet access. In most cases, you can sign up when you arrive. Failing that, sign up online before you check in and brandish your membership number.
Internet access in a hotel or motel can cost a lot of money. Nonetheless, with some planning and forethought, you can get online without paying a cent.