Beach, sunshine, wilderness, culture, history, health-tourism or hedonistic-hideaway – whatever you are looking for when booking your holiday, you will more than likely need a speedy internet connection to keep you abreast with wherever, whoever and whatever is most important to you.
In today’s world, a fast internet connection can be the difference between being able to take a break, and not. Certainly we at Nomadic Thoughts have become increasingly more aware that when our clients travel, a fast internet connection is essential. Whether extending a business trip to enjoy some additional downtime, travelling during an otherwise busy work period or planning an escape with the family, you are a rare breed if you can survive without a decent connection to t’internet these days.
We have for example, had families book our holiday house in the Brecon Beacons, simply because it offers the dual fix of peace and quiet with the all important high speed internet connection – whether for homework, revising, business connectivity or film downloading.
Equally, easy access to the internet when planning a visit to an environment offering wilderness escapes, remote accommodation or historical sites, can be essential. Not only for real time local information regarding weather, safety, traffic, restaurants, bars, museums, transportation, emergency services or tourist attractions, but also for updates on markets, offices, family, friends and news on the other side of the world.
As a travel blogger I have found that a well-connected internet speed can make the difference between spending most of the day on a beach or squatting under a distant stairwell trying to upload images through a whistle and comb dial-up internet host.
It is surprising how destinations vary in internet speed, price and efficiency. For example, when I posted my Icelandic blog on the Vatnajökull Glacier I picked up the fastest connection standing outside a remote, closed camping site office shed. It offered instant internet access to all, for free. In contrast when I posted ‘Dubai – Seen to be Believed’ my preferred choice of internet access was through a hotel only offering a glacially-slow, room-only-plug-in internet access for US$25 a day.
Many top-end hotels in wealthier countries in the Middle East, as well as the USA, still believe it is acceptable to charge customers for a wifi connection, whereas forward-looking destinations such as Estonia and Singapore offer free wifi pretty much everywhere.
And good luck to travellers trying to access any web connection, paid for or not, in relatively backward internet countries such as Nepal, Nigeria or China. Forget travelling by road, train or plane… sometimes you have to give up. Which is often more than fine, as long as you foresaw the situation. In Cuba, for example, thanks to pre-trip realisations on how limited (non-existent) internet options were, we travelled as a family, unfazed and wifi free.
So, as you get the atlas out to plan your next trip, remembering that the average global connection speed is 5.6 mb/s, here are the ‘Top 10 Countries with Fastest Internet Speed’:
- South Korea (26.7 mb/s)
- Sweden (19.1)
- Norway (18.8)
- Japan (17.4)
- Netherlands (17)
- Hong Kong (16.8)
- Latvia (16.7)
- Switzerland (16.7)
- Finland (16.6)
- Denmark (16.1)
Ultimately I guess it’s up to you, the traveller, to decide in advance how important high speed internet connection is.
For the record, we have on the one hand advised clients on how best to access high-speed internet from a motor-home (satellite, cellular or hot spot wifi), and on the other, arranged a three week holiday for parents who wanted no access to the internet at all (a bigger challenge).
“Yes, we have Wifi” – alternatively you may be happy with the safari camp that got so fed up with people asking if they had an internet connection, they named their camp dog ‘Wifi’.