With smart-phones, mobile devices, and laptop computers becoming an essential part of life these days, more travellers are expecting to have wireless internet access while they’re on holiday. From making travel plans to checking email, uploading holiday photos to staying in the social-media loop – your guests will be grateful for holiday accommodation with WiFi internet, and makes your property more appealing to potential visitors.
Setting up your holiday home as a convenient Wi-Fi hotspot isn’t a complicated task, and most devices come with built-in compatibility – which means your guests can easily connect without much set-up or technical know-how. It’s also secure, and because there aren’t any cables involved, guests aren’t forced to stay indoors. If you can make it easy and accessible, providing free Wi-Fi to holiday travellers can be a really valuable feature to your rental house.
What you’ll need for your Wi-Fi network
A wireless transmitter (or router) is going to be located in your holiday home, and will be your guests’ gateway to accessing the Internet. This is usually a box, or a “hub”, that’s connected to a phone-line and an electricity supply. You should also plug an Ethernet cable in to your router, which can be very helpful if your guests have trouble connecting wirelessly with their computers.
To get this up-and-running, you’ll need an Internet Service Provider (ISP) – who should provide any hardware you’ll need, including a router.
A Wi-Fi adapter (or receiver) is on the computer that will use wireless internet. Most of the time, this will be built-into the device your guests are using. The wireless transmitter in your holiday home will interact with the Wi-Fi adapter in the computer for your guests to connect to the internet.
Making Wi-Fi easily accessible to your guests
The Wi-Fi network should be set-up and fully functional prior to your guests’ arrival. Next to your Wi-Fi hub, there should always be a clear set of instructions outlining the necessary information your guests will need to connect to the internet.
1) The name of your wireless network, the username, and the password required to connect to Wi-Fi. This should be printed-off from a computer, or written-out in neat and readable handwriting. You can laminate and tape this to the router itself (if it is visible) or frame and hang this near a desk or table on which a laptop user would commonly sit.
2) All relevant instruction manuals (in English) that came with your Wi-Fi equipment. This will help your guest find specific information and try to solve any problems that may come up.
3) The name and contact details for the service provider (ISP) for direct technical help in English. Additionally, if you were the one who set the Wi-Fi network in your holiday home, you should also include your own contact details, since you’ll have a better understanding of the network. You may also consider setting your Wi-Fi connection to “open” – which means your guests won’t require a password or WEP key to access your Wi-Fi network. However, this would also mean anyone can connect and use your internet connection, so is not suitable for every rental.
4) Clearly labelling the power cord to the router/hub, so you can perform a “hard reset”.
5) Having an option to use the Ethernet cable if your guests have trouble making a wireless connection. As a handy alternative, an Ethernet cable plugged-in from the router can provide wired access to the internet.
The instructions should be clear and simple to follow, yet detailed enough for your guest to connect to Wi-Fi. Consider a set of instructions you’d prefer to read and follow along to, without having to call the ISP’s customer services help-line. Remember, if you’re abroad, you wouldn’t want to refer to a foreign technical-help department unless you can speak the language fluently.
The benefits of Internet-friendly holiday accommodation
Many people rely on internet technology, and understandably, it can be disappointing for those who don’t have the convenience and access to the internet during their stay. Providing Internet-enabled holiday accommodation means your guests can search for local travel information much faster, and helps them explore more holiday ideas. Additionally, travellers love to keep in touch with family and friends, check their email, interact on social media, and stream online-entertainment.
As Wi-Fi becomes more of an expectation to travellers around the world, providing holiday accommodation with Internet access will make your property more desirable to potential guests who are considering your holiday rental.
Choosing a broadband package for your holiday let
When setting up your holiday let with Wi-Fi you will need to select an appropriate broadband package from an Internet Service Provider (ISP), and perhaps the most important thing to consider is the monthly usage allowance.
Some ISPs place a restriction on their services which limit how much the connection can be used each billing period, and exceeding this can result in additional charges or a reduction in speed. In a normal home it may be possible to personally restrict or limit usage to stay within this limit but when it comes to holiday lets this isn’t practical. Unless you’re going to go to extreme lengths to control guest’s access to the internet to stay under the cap it is best to select a broadband package with a suitable data use limit so it is never an issue.
Thankfully many ISPs now offer unlimited use deals and they are not expensive. Unless your options for broadband providers are very limited you should always select an unlimited package for your holiday let to avoid additional costs or service restrictions. You can compare unlimited broadband packages easily on Broadband Genie.
This post was written by Umar Khan – a travel blogger for HomeAway UK.
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