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Finding WiFi on the Road

Working while traveling on the road isn’t ideal. Traveling is meant to be a fun experience full of adventure and new sights. But there may come a time when work must be done and you find yourself in the middle of nowhere and in need of internet access. It’s times like these that can make life on the road a bit frustrating but we’re here to help you through it because we experienced it.

Finding the Elusive WiFi

These tips are built for adventurers who don’t have WiFi built into their campervan, car, or RV. These guidelines are for more rugged trips where you’re farther removed from civilization. Perhaps on the beach enjoying the ocean breeze or you’re in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness and you need the internet to see exactly what bear that was outside your window.

Traveling extensively in a vehicle can be exhausting – which we cover here – and if you add on finding internet to the mix, you’ll be even more exhausted. More often than not if you’re away from cell towers, your phone won’t have the necessary juice to connect to the internet. One bar may be enough for browsing Pinterest but it won’t be good enough to stream Netflix so you can watch Henry Cavill strike down monsters as the handsome Witcher Geralt of Rivia. Prepare to do some driving.

Parking Lots

There are many options when it comes to tracking down WiFi. One of the best is Starbucks (which is not one of our sponsors). Of course buying a coffee or dessert is preferably if you plan on parking outside and eating up their delicious WiFi – that is if you’re lucky enough to fit the vehicle in the drive thru and parking lot. Or you could just go inside if regulations allow.

Another location is McDonalds and trust us the urge to consume your own weight in nuggets may be high.

Public libraries are also great for finding WiFi and for hunting down that book on your read list. Or you could check out our fantasy series Thread of Souls.

Also, many rest stops may have their own WiFi you can pull from.

Hotspots

One we found most useful was a WiFi hotspot. If you are absolutely unable to locate a strong and dependable WiFi signal, the next best thing is to use your phone’s service. By either plugging it directly into the computer’s USB port or turning on tethering, you’ll have access to WiFi in no time, as long as the cell service is strong (three bars or higher should be fine).

Aside from using your phone – which will consume battery rather quickly – an actual hotspot device is another viable route. Keep in mind that these work similarly to a cell phone plan, each can be paid on a month to month basis or an upfront fee where you choose how much data you think you’ll use.

Hotels

If fast and reliable internet is something you desperately need, hotels may be the best choice. Though you will have to pay for a room if you want to use their service. Or you may be able to ask them for the WiFi password and if you’re lucky enough, they may oblige.


As we’ve learned from experience, doing work on a laptop in a camper isn’t the most comfortable. Having a table or area specifically designed for working is key. Backs and necks can get sore without having a chair with good lumbar support.

Working and traveling on the road is a time consuming process. There may not always be a restaurant, rest stop, or coffee shop nearby so plan accordingly and find whatever way works best for you.

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What we Learned After One Week Adventuring

Test the waters. It’s a popular saying and one we put to test just one week ago. After a few weeks of converting our campervan it was time to set off. We routed the journey, created a travel playlist, and set out on the road. We’ve been traveling before but always stayed in hotels or with relatives. This would be the first time we didn’t book rooms and instead opted for sleeping in the camper wherever we could find. After one week out, we can say adventuring like a Dungeons & Dragons party is difficult but completely worth it.

Plan Ahead

It’s always fun to throw a dart at a map and head wherever it lands but for our first outing we developed a plan. Our destination was Galveston beach and we had found three sites to camp before reaching the shore. The first was a few hours away from our location. Once we got there we decided to keep going as we still had energy and determination.

Having a plan isn’t necessarily key but it does help knowing where you’re going and what time you need to set off to avoid rush hour, traffic, or driving at night. From our first stop we worked out our next location and made plans to journey the following day. We still had that wanderlust feeling the next morning and drove several hours to the ocean. Was it worth the exhaustion and sore muscles? Yes, but that leads to the next step.

Exhaustion

Driving for hours on end with little to no stops is exciting, if not challenging. Sitting in an uncomfortable seat can lead to sore backs, shoulders, and necks. As soon as our muscles locked up we noticed we grew more tired. Not to mention the growing headaches we developed as the hours droned by. It’s always helping to pack medicine in these situations and Icy Hot always helps reduce tension. That and drinking caffeinated beverages but we’re trying to cut the habit.

Expect the Unexpected

Fuel

There are a few things to keep an eye on or be aware of while traveling on the road. Among the most important may be fuel. Our Nissan NV2500 with its beefy 28 gallon fuel tank isn’t necessarily a gas guzzler but it does get expensive.

Restrooms

Another top priority of traveling is finding a restroom. While RVs and campervans may have them it can be rather difficult to use it on the road especially for the driver. You can easily take care of business while getting fuel at a gas station.

Water

Water and food are other important factors when considering the open road. Ensuring there is plenty of H2O in the car is beneficial. Being by the beach or higher altitudes can dry out the throat quite quickly and having a water bottle with fresh water will quench thirst and may even make you feel better.

Traffic

Traffic is not something easily planned for. Always consider the destination before attempting to drive through it. Larger cities will naturally be busier than smaller ones and rush hour traffic will be especially difficult to contend with – specifically if you’re in a larger RV or campervan. If you end up driving at these times just take it slow and try taking back roads or longer routes to avoid it.

Bogged Down

By far one of the most unexpected events you can run into is being stuck. Knowing what terrain your vehicle can drive through will ensure it doesn’t get bogged down. Not everything is built for sand, mud, or snow and even having off-road or snow tires doesn’t mean everything will be fine. When in doubt a simple shovel can be a best friend in times of trouble.


Adventuring in a campervan or RV is a great way to see the world. Having a set plan and schedule is just one part of a travel plan. Ensuring all the other aspects will make for a more comfortable and simpler time as well.