When it comes to avoiding irksome miscellaneous hotel charges, everyone knows to steer clear of the in-room mini bar. While this charge is obvious, many travelers mistakenly assume that in-room, wireless Internet access will be free and will overlook this potential expense in the trip-planning stage.  After three days of being socked with a noon-to-noon, daily access rate of $11.61 per device ($23.22 a day for our two laptops) at a large casino hotel, we now consider Internet fees when pricing out accommodations and actively seek out hotels with free Wi-Fi.  Like electricity and running water, free, wireless Internet access will eventually be an included amenity. Until then, avoid those pesky fees by carefully scrutinizing Internet access policies prior to booking your room.

Things to consider regarding hotel Wi-Fi

  • Hotel websites may advertise free Wi-Fi, but do they mean in the lobby or in your room?
  • Before booking, directly contact hotels whose websites don’t mention WiFi at all.
  • Many hotels require membership in their loyalty program to qualify for free Wi-Fi in your room.
  • Some hotels have limits, such as 30 minutes of free, in-room Wi-Fi—after 30 minutes, fees apply.
  • Watch out for this fine-print disclaimer with large hotel chains: “Amenities are available at most U.S. locations.  Amenities vary at international locations.”
  • Does the daily access fee cover multiple devices in your room or is it charged per laptop, iPad, etc.?
  • WiFi signal strength and speed may be less than what you're used to at home or work.
  • Free, in-room Wi-Fi is usually geared towards surfing the web and checking email.  Activities like movie-streaming may cost extra.

Hotels with free, in-room Wi-Fi

This is a guest post by Deidre from Dania Beach, FL.

 

For similar tips, read 10 Tips to Get a Free Hotel Upgrade