Mom, well she just wants to see your face; just to relieve her wildest anxieties and prove you haven’t been hit by lightning or savaged by wolves. It’s a simple request, you have the laptop and you can easily use Skype or start a Google Hangout to sate her qualms and become guilt-free… for at least another week.
Oh! But it’s bitter-sweet because zip-lining across the lake and the decadent lemon ice cream you bought as a balm for your stinging lips after that second bowl of kickin’ jungle curry has used most of your funds. Yup, you were smart, brought your debit/ATM card with you, but the bank won’t be open for another 32 hours, you have an early bus to catch and you need to make this call before you go off the radar for a few days. You’re fully engaged in a frenetic pocket check for change to purchase just enough Internet service to phone home.
Stop the madness ’cause I have good news. It doesn’t have to be this way and if you don’t believe me, then listen to today’s Square Matrix comprised of world travelers: Tasha, Mike and Jonny who gladly lay out how you can get that call through via free Wi-Fi Internet service.
- If you can’t book accommodations that provide free Wi-Fi on location, buy a router that splits a signal and that way you only pay for one access code and the splitter will provide access to all your devices.
- When you’re at cafes or restaurants, check with the wait staff to see if they offer free Wi-Fi. Once you have their password (provided they don’t change it daily), all you need to do is search for their Wi-Fi and… Hooray! You’re in, even when you’re not inside their establishment.
- Tourist offices and visitor centers often provide free Wi-Fi access at least for a limited time period.
Tasha is a doctor, certified life coach, and interior designer, living a location independent lifestyle since June 2012. When Tasha isn’t coaching clients, you can find her blogging about her travel lifestyle at Tasha’s Travel Troves or crafting food critiques on her culinary blog, We Eat We Cook – both are packed with adventure and great tips.
- Hostels with shared rooms usually have decent Internet service but if you opt for a private room, request one near the router; proximity often gets you a faster/more reliable connection.
- Buy a dongle. Stop in a data shop (easily found in most cities around the world). In India Wi-Fi can be virtually nonexistent in places of accommodation. Even if there’s a sign saying: Free Wi-Fi, it’s often not the case. You can often get one month or even three months unlimited for a very reasonable price. Side note: Keep your laptop charged as often as possible as power tends to go out multiple times daily. When it does, unlike in the often intimately crowded Internet cafes, you’ll still have Internet.
- I’ve yet to buy SIM cards for the Internet. That option will vary greatly depending on where you are. Mobile phone shops seem to be ubiquitous to the planet, so inquire about it wherever on earth you may find yourself.
Mike is a world traveler and jack of several trades. I think it would be easier to list where Mike hasn’t been (yet) than to state where he has. Mike follows the tenants of therapeutic tourism and personal-culture shaping while moving across the globe and sending us unique reports via Earthdrifter guaranteed to entertain and educate us all.
- Don’t do ANYTHING ONLINE that you can do OFFLINE. Type your blog post, transfer photos onto a hard drive (great task while on a long bus or train ride), draft e-mails and save them to send later (or copy/paste from WordPad) and as a side note: create a list of things you MUST do the next time you’re online, then stroke them off as soon as you complete them.
- Hostels/guesthouses usually offer free Wi-Fi when to registered guests and some may even let you slide if you’re just hanging out in the lounge. Airports, some bus stations (onboard COT – had Wi-Fi on their buses when I was touring Uruguay and uploading on the road, literally!), coffee shops (the cost of the coffee/tea you’ll have to purchase while there is minimal).
- My personal favourite… PUBS! I LOVE updating my blog with a pint of Guinness – I know this might sound anti-social and it is, but remember my blog is my nomadic office – I live and work around it.
Jonny hails from Northern Ireland and has a self-proclaimed, absolute, passion for people, places, travel, beer and football; not necessarily in that order but sometimes… simultaneously. Jonny epitomizes the sentiments that every day should be different because life is an adventure so, Don’t Stop Living!
Now you’re educated, you’ve graduated from Tip-U and are ready for some quality face time with Mom – so what are you waiting for? Grab your bag and get going – it’s Mom we’re talking about, after all!