As a techie dad who travels with my daughters and their tablets, having reliable Wi-Fi is essential to pass the time when we’re getting ready in the morning. If they can’t access Netflix or play Cut The Rope, then no one is happy.
We’ve all been there. You go away on vacation or a business trip and upon checking into the hotel of your choice, you find the Wi-Fi speeds to be terrible or worse, it’s an unsecured network.
There are many reasons for that so-so bandwidth in your hotel room. It might be that your corner hotel room with that amazing view is far away from the wireless access point. Or perhaps your favorite hotel has a slow connection that’s being used by 500 other guests wanting to stream Netflix in HD. So what can you do about it?
Pack your own hotspot. A wireless router that I’ve recently added to my must-pack list, and which I highly recommend.
And here’s the really good news: Many hotel rooms still have Ethernet – remember having to use that before Wi-Fi was the norm? – and all you need to do to access the Internet is plug your travel router into that Ethernet port.
In many hotels, the Wi-Fi network and wired (Ethernet) network are two separate networks. This means that if you hook into the wired network via your personal wireless router, you’ll bypass much of the congestion in most situations.
Also, you can configure your devices such as your laptop, tablet and phones to access your travel router, meaning you don’t have to type in the cryptic hotel WiFi passwords and agree to their terms and conditions (sound familiar?).
My router of choice
I’ve tried a few travel wireless routers over the years and my favorite is the Apple AirPort Express. Available for just $99, the Airport Express is easy to configure and is very reliable. Also, at only 1” thick and 3.8” wide, it’ll fit easily in your suitcase.
Using your iPad, iPhone or Mac/Windows computer, you can set the passwords and other necessary bits in a guided way that’s easy enough for even non-techies.
Where to use your router in Seattle…
I most recently used my AirPort Express on a family trip to Seattle over a weekend. We stayed at the Hyatt Place in downtown Seattle. This property is on the north end of downtown Seattle and is in the heart of the perfect spot for family travel as it’s located within walking distance to Seattle Center and the famed Space Needle.
After a quick game of Cut the Rope and a yummy (included) breakfast at Hyatt Place, we realized Seattle Center is a short 5-minute walk away. In fact, it was so close we easily walked even with our 4 year old on her own two feet.
With friendly staff, a new/updated décor and a robust morning breakfast, Hyatt Place is highly recommended for your travels, family or not.