The Internet and, just as importantly, greater access to the Internet has greatly changed the way we travel in a number of ways – beyond purchasing your plane ticket online and even buying our favorite sport equipment from www.golf-clubs.com has never been easier.
First of all, Internet cafes, wifi hot spots and Internet access at hotels have made it possible for travelers to stay connected while traveling through Western Europe. While gaining access in some of the smaller towns – and for unknown reasons, Paris – can be challenging, you can’t walk 100 feet in cities such as Brussels, Amsterdam and Berlin without stumbling on an Internet café. For about 1 to 3 euros ($USD 1.25-3.75) per hour, you can log on and go about your business, such as:
1. Make hotel reservations.
When you’re backpacking or city hopping around Europe, making hotel reservations as you go can make things much easier. Now, if you’re the type who schedules your destinations down to the millisecond and has reservations all sorted out before you leave, this may not be a plus. For those of us who are, say, a little more flexible and go with the flow, it’s a helpful tool.
2. Check train schedules.
Find out the best time to get to the train station to avoid a major wait before you head to your next stop.
3. Get information about your destination.
Want to find out the must-sees in Vienna? Log on. Need to find the address for the museum in Zurich? Log on. Can’t find the Eiffel Tower? OK, you need more help than the Internet can provide, but you get the idea.
4. Keep track of currency conversions.
When you’re in a “euro” country, this isn’t generally a problem, but when you’re hitting “non-euro” countries, then it’s helpful to know how much you’re paying for your baklava.
5. Keep in touch.
Email friends, family, possibly your boss to keep in touch while you’re on the road. In addition, email makes it easier – and cheaper – to keep in touch with the new friends you make along the way.
If you’ve got your own laptop, it’s a good idea to find the wifi hot spots at your destination before you get there. Check out http://www.wififreespot.com/europe.html or just Google free wifi and your destination. Oh, and in Paris, you can find free wifi at McDonald’s. I’m lovin’ it.