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Staying connected during the holidays

Information sheets

Even during the holidays, nowadays it's hard to go without an internet connection and phone line. Unless it's a deliberate choice that's appropriate to your specific family or work arrangements, holidaymakers often need to stay connected during their stay.

Staying connected during the holidays

Access points

Today it's quite simple to find Internet connection points when travelling in France. There are many Wi-Fi networks all over the country, but you have to be able to find them.

  • When you need to access the Internet for free while on holiday, you should choose a place to stay that offers this service, preferably free of charge.
  • When you've subscribed to a service that gives you access to a French telephone operator, you can benefit from the many Wi-Fi hotspots dotted across the country. Sometimes you need a specific application provided by the operator to benefit from this access, which uses the bandwidth available on subscribers' boxes.
  • There are smartphone applications that list all accessible Wi-Fi networks near your location. Since you're not online when you're looking to find a connection, it's wise to choose an app that lets you download the hotspot database beforehand.
  • Most large urban areas have developed their own free Wi-Fi service, which is accessible in many public places. Thus, in Paris, Bordeaux and Montpellier, you can access the Internet free in libraries, stations, museums, public parks and universities. To do this, just copy the code which is accessible at the entrances to all these sites on your computer or tablet. These sites can be recognised by the WifiZone logo.
  • Many privately owned places such as cafés or restaurants also offer Wi-Fi access. The service is usually free for customers.
  • If you don't have a laptop or digital tablet on you, there's a more classic solution to connect to the Internet: cyber-cafés. At these establishments, you can pay to access a computer and webcam, so you can read your emails, call loved ones abroad or find information on the Internet. The cost of the service is based on time spent. If a traveller is staying in the same place for a long time, they may find it worth opening an account or negotiating a special tariff for a longer connection time.

Costs for foreigners

Holidaymakers who use a mobile phone on contract with a foreign operator must carefully check the cost of roaming services in France, or they may get a nasty surprise upon their return. Smartphones can be set up to avoid excessive Internet use. For example, app updates aren't always essential, and sometimes there's no need for automatic updates. Your phone setup should therefore be adjusted to prevent unused apps from gaining Internet access, or even totally disable data downloads. Mobile phone operators allow you to monitor your consumption and associated costs in detail. In the first few days of your holiday, we recommend connecting to your operator in order to check the figures and ensure that your phone usage isn't running up an astronomical bill.

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