One of the easiest ways to make traveling with kids affordable is to find free things to do. And free wifi to entertain the kids is always high on my list of travel wishes. In fact, I am always surprised to find that some airports and other transportation hubs don’t offer free wifi. When I travel with kids, if I have a choice of connecting cities on a flight, I always choose the one with the airport that offers free wifi.
But sometimes free isn’t worth the cost, especially when I have to enter passwords or do my banking on the road. Then I want to know that the wifi network I’m using is safe.
Boingo: Easy Access, Secure Web Surfing
Boingo, the ubiquitous wireless Internet provider, offers service in 600+ airports, 25,000+ hotels and 70,000+ coffee shops. Because the service is paid and password protected, I feel secure using it even for banking on the road.
I tried Boingo because I was given a two-month free trial. Here is what I found:
- It’s easy to sign up and stay connected, even if you change flights.
- It was fast in the places where I tried it–Miami and New York.
- It can be tough to get a list of Boingo locations. The online list doesn’t help me when I cannot connect to wifi and the mobile app is too difficult to use in a hurry.
- It will be available in New York City subways through 2017, but many more locations in NYC are needed.
- It’s affordable.
Boingo is offering a deal in the United States right now–half price for the first three months. That means unlimited surfing for two devices for $4.95 per month ($5 more per month for each additional phone, table or laptop you connect). After the promotional period ends, the monthly rate is $9.95. It’s billed monthly to your credit card and there are no contracts so you can cancel at any time with no cancellation fees.
The unlimited monthly access for two devices is an even better deal when you note that the 24-hour Boingo costs anywhere from $6.95 (at Chicago’s two airports) to $19.95 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for just one device.
More Boingo Locations Needed
Boingo boasts that it offers service in more than 100,000 shops, airports and hotels, but I somehow managed to find the one hotel in New York City that did not offer Boingo (Intercontinental) and it is not available on the train I take to commute in and out of NYC.