How to Stay Connected Online when you’re Travelling Overseas

If you spend any amount of time travelling, either for business or pleasure and sometimes both, then there’s never been a greater need to stay connected on the move. With the plethora of gadgets now available, getting online pretty much wherever you go is cheaper and easier and hugely convenient too.

Unfortunately though, if you’re going overseas then mobile broadband might prove more expensive to use or possibly not work at all. So, in that respect, how do you stay online when you’re trekking around Europe? Well, it’s actually easier than you might think and the reason is WiFi. Now that wireless broadband is prevalent across most of Europe, it’s now pretty straightforward to tap into its charms.

One of the best things about the UK, for example, is its large number of WiFi hotspots. Many of these are located in restaurants and traditional pubs, which means that you can have a drink or a meal and catch up on your online activities all at the same time. In many cases, using the WiFi is free, although you may be required to buy a coffee or something as a gesture of goodwill; it’s pretty much commonplace to see holidaymakers and backpackers with their mini laptops at a table enjoying a latte and happily tapping away on their mobile device.

All the benefits

Another bonus with going down the wireless route, as compared to using a mobile broadband signal, is that the speed and efficiency is usually much better. If you’re a business professional who needs to get work done, or even just a regular tourist who wants to upload holiday pictures to the web, then this is a quick and easy way of getting the job done.

If you really don’t want to do without a mobile broadband supply, which might be the case if you think you’re going to be travelling in an area that doesn’t have wireless hotspots, then consider a local SIM card option. Simply buy a pay as you go mobile broadband dongle and SIM package when you get to your destination and this should keep you connected when you’re in those more remote locations.

Another angle

However, many of us also travel with other people, which often means that they’ll also want to enjoy the benefits of being able to stay connected to friends and family. And now they can, thanks to a device called the MiFi. This works in much the same way as a home wireless router, and distributes the available mobile broadband signal to up to five authorised users.

This is obviously a real boon if you’re travelling with work colleagues or family members. So you can all upload your photos, email loved ones and update you’re social pages with your latest ‘I am here’ photos. Although it’s worth bearing in mind that data allowances are divided up between users, so be sure that you buy a package that supplies enough of a quota to meet the needs of your fellow travellers. Nevertheless, having a MiFi with you on your travels means instant internet for everyone.

Guest post contributed by Rob Clymo, from, the online consumer portal where you can click to compare cheap netbooks, tablets and smartphone choices to keep you connected to mobile internet on the move.

Disney holidays in 2012 – and a road trip or two

Florida, lying at the south eastern tip of the US has been a popular destination for British tourists in recent years. A number of factors contribute to the State’s appeal – the climate, which is sub-tropical and considerably warmer than the UK, is probably the first. Florida holidays are also surprisingly cheap despite, or perhaps because of the recession, offering families an affordable destination with a range of attractions. The State has been catering to tourists for many years and has a world-class hospitality industry – not to mention more theme parks than the kids could ever dream of! Florida is also a good choice for those looking for twin centre holidays. Combining time in the theme parks around Orlando, with a visit to Miami in the south to round off the holiday with a touch of the high life is an ideal way to experience some of the best that Florida has to offer.

Orlando – the city of dreams

If you are planning a multi-centre holiday to Florida, the city of Orlando and the surrounding region should be a great starting point; especially if you plan to tire the kids out at the start of the holiday. Theme parks have sprung up in the tropical climate almost as fast as the local lush, green landscapes. Walt Disney World® Resort is great for kids of younger age ranges, the Universal Orlando Resort ® provides thrills for older kids (and adults), and now includes the ‘Wizarding World of Harry Potter ®’, which is great for kids of most ages. SeaWorld® Orlando should offer something for everyone, with its unbelievable collection of exotic – occasionally scary – sea creatures and experiences; SeaWorld® Orlando is ideal for those with kids of any age but particularly good for young children and toddlers.

The road trip

For the second part of multi centre holidays, a road trip south should be considered. Cruising along the highways that run alongside palm-fringed coasts, is a relaxing way to get to your destination – so relaxing you’ll not care when cries of ‘are we there yet’ start issuing from the back seats. Miami is about as far south as you can get in the continental US. Popular with the rich and famous, the city sparkles on the Straits of Florida and is home to many a star for at least some of the year. The city is full of excellent restaurants, bars, nightclubs and some extremely high-class shopping opportunities present themselves for shopping enthusiasts. Miami is a great place for sampling the high life for a little while and accommodation in the city is generally of an excellent standard – though there are options to suit most budgets.

Beyond the sea

Miami should be it, when it comes to the US, but one last and very relaxing way to end your holiday is just down the road. The Florida Keys are a string of tiny coral reef islands that stretch out towards the Caribbean; Highway One – telling known as the Overseas Highway – continues south from Miami, apparently ignorant of the fact that the sea is in the way. The lifestyle on the Keys is probably where the phrase ‘laid back’ originates, making them the perfect place to round off a busy, exciting multi centre holiday in the USA.

Why Skiing Makes a Great Holiday

If you’re feeling a bit jaded with city breaks and ‘del sol’, drenched resorts, there’s one thing that will truly invigorate you: snow. And I don’t just mean watching it fall from the warmth of your arm chair, or the slushy brown stuff you see on your way home from work. I mean booking a ski chalet and taking to the slopes.

If your only experience of skiing is watching the Winter Olympics, you might be thinking that it’s an activity reserved for elite athletes. Granted, it’s fantastic exercise, but you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to enjoy it. Europe has a deep skiing tradition coupled with warm hospitality that’s just begging to be enjoyed.
All resorts offer expert instruction on gentle beginner slopes. There you’ll learn sound technique before graduating to the mountain.

If you have a fear of the cold, ski clothing is designed to keep you warm and dry, and with all the falling down and getting up to try again, you might even break a sweat. If you’re considering your first ski holiday, it’s better to rent equipment while you’re getting a taste for the sport. All resorts offer equipment hire and expert advice from people who ski themselves.

Children are especially welcomed and with kids classes at every resort, they often master the basics quicker than adults.
Accommodation varies, but you’ll generally find that chalets offer comfortable bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom – in some cases en suite in every room – a log fire and TV with DVD player. Ideal for families. Basic accommodation in Europe is required to be of a good standard and while you do get what you pay for, cheap prices don’t mean dirty sheets and cockroaches. As with most holidays, you have the choice of a catered chalet or a self catering chalet within a resort town, just a short walk from the local gastronomy.

What do ski chalet breaks offer?
  • A comfortable and well equipped chalet – a home away from home.
  • Equipment hire
  • Lessons with qualified instructors in Alpine (downhill) and Nordic (cross country) techniques.
  • A variety of slopes to challenge your skiing abilities.
  • Friendly locals and welcoming atmosphere.
What should you pack for your first ski holiday?

Thermals: Even though you are doing a physical activity, a good base layer will help you retain the warmth you’ve generated and keep you body temperature constant.

Sun block: You don’t usually associate sunburn snow, but just as UV rays reflect off water, they also reflect of the glistening snow, leaving you will a sun burnt face. Lips are especially vulnerable and can be painful when exposed to icy winds. Sunglasses or goggles are also useful. Goggles can be rented along with other equipment.

Wherever you decide to choose to go for your ski chalet breaks, the cold mountain air will be invigorating, the welcome warm, the food hearty, the scenery beautiful and you’ll return home fresher and fitter than when you arrived.

TGV European Rail Map

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