Survey: 3 out of 4 Americans Can’t Live without Hotel Wi-Fi While Traveling
Now that COVID-19 vaccines are widely available, millions of Americans are making long-awaited travel plans. But even when they’re far away from home, Wi-Fi will still be a necessity.
That’s what HighSpeedInternet.com found in a new survey about Americans’ post-vaccine travel plans. Our researchers surveyed 1,000 people, and 83% said that they expect to go on trips this summer. Additionally, 84% said they’d be less likely to book a hotel room or Airbnb if online reviews showed the place had poor internet or no internet at all.
Hotel Wi-Fi is a must-have
Free Wi-Fi access is common at many hotels and Airbnbs, and it seems that most Americans depend on this amenity while they’re traveling. Asked how they feel about having internet access where they’re staying, 43% percent of respondents said it’s “very important.” Another 30% reported it as “essential.”
It turns out that a good internet connection may also be a strong selling point for Airbnb hosts. If you post a screenshot of internet speed test results in a listing for a short-term rental, 84% of the respondents said they would be more likely to book a stay there. Cha-ching!
All remote work—but some play—on travel Wi-Fi
A full 65% of the respondents in our survey reported that they’ve worked remotely while staying at a hotel or short-term rental (like Airbnb or Vrbo).
It’s hardly surprising that the majority of Americans place a high premium on Wi-Fi while traveling. Recent statistics suggest that most US workers embraced a remote-work lifestyle when the pandemic sent everybody indoors last year.1
For most people, that means setting up a home office. But amid the global lockdown, countries like Barbados and the United Arab Emirates also became popular destinations for Americans looking for a change of atmosphere as they go about their work week.2
It’s not all work and no play though. While 31% of our survey respondents picked smartphones and 20% chose laptops as their top tech items for travel, 10% said they always bring a streaming device like a Roku or Amazon Fire Stick as they sail the seven seas.
VPNs keep your hotel Wi-Fi secure
Of course, there are risks involved with using a public Wi-Fi network at a hotel or Airbnb—including hackers, malware, and other guests who could gain access to your streaming accounts if you forget to log out when you check out.3
To keep internet activity secure during a hotel stay, 69% of our survey’s respondents said they would use a VPN (virtual private network) while online. A VPN routes your traffic through an encrypted server in a different state or foreign country, keeping your web presence private as you enjoy the internet in your home away from home.
To see how Americans are traveling this year, we surveyed 1,000 people on their travel plans and how they stay connected while on the go at hotels and short-term rental stays.
- Ashira Prossack, Forbes, “5 Statistics Employers Need to Know about the Remote Workforce,” February 10, 2021. Accessed May 11, 2021.
- Natalie B. Compton and Shannon McMahon, The Washington Post, “These 8 Countries Are Accepting American Travelers for Remote-Work Trips,” October 23, 2020. Accessed May 11, 2021.
- Jamie Carter and Jonas P. DeMuro, TechRadar, “Why You Should Avoid Hotel WI-FI Like the Plague,” March 7, 2018.
Author - Peter Holslin
Peter Holslin has more than a decade of experience working as a writer and freelance journalist. He graduated with a BA in liberal arts and journalism from New York City’s The New School University in 2008 and went on to contribute to publications like Rolling Stone, VICE, BuzzFeed, and countless others. At HighSpeedInternet.com, he focuses on covering 5G, nerding out about frequency bands and virtual RAN, and producing reviews on emerging services like 5G home internet. He also writes about internet providers and packages, hotspots, VPNs, and Wi-Fi troubleshooting.