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Six tips for getting free hotel wifi on the road

Here, a look at some of the top ways to avoid paying for an internet connection.

travel Updated: Apr 11, 2012 19:27 IST

The average cost of logging on in a US hotel is $13.95, a new survey from HotelChatter found this week, but if you plan and book carefully, it's often possible to dodge wifi fees altogether. Here, a look at some of the top ways to avoid paying for an internet connection.

1. Go budget

Paradoxically, budget hotels are among the most likely to offer free wifi, with Hilton Garden Inn, Holiday Inn, Choice Hotels properties and Best Western all among those offering free connectivity to users in the US and further afield.

2. Go boutique

The installation costs of wifi in large chain hotels make it more attractive for properties to charge -- stay in a small boutique hotel, and you'll often find that logging on doesn't cost a penny.

3. Join a loyalty program

If you sign up to a loyalty program before you check in, some chains will offer access to hotel wifi for free, including Fairmont, Kimpton and Wyndham. Other chains will offer free wifi once you attain a certain level, such as gold or platinum.

4. Upgrade

In some hotels, the next room tier can be a matter of just ten dollars or euros -- if it includes free wifi, it can often be cheaper than shelling out for wifi separately (and the room will be nicer!).

5. Book a hotel that offers free wifi as part of the package

Check out HotelChatter's guide, or use a booking site that can search for wifi that's included in the room rate such as Priceline.

6. Join a wifi program

Companies such as Boingo and iPass offer monthly subscriptions which include access to some hotspots that would otherwise be chargeable, and the plans generally work to be out much cheaper than paying per stay.

First Published: Apr 11, 2012 19:27 IST