Sophomore Manson Tung is currently in Switzerland and Germany on the school’s trip and will be writing periodic travel blogs from Europe. 

I made many assumptions when I came to Europe. The first was that free WiFi would be readily available.

How wrong could I have been?

At both of the hotels we have stayed at so far, WiFi hasn’t been free; it has been downright expensive.

The first hotel was fairly reasonable—the rate was two euro a night (2.8 USD). But I held out hope that the second hotel would be free.

Instead, when we arrived in Munich, the check-in lady informed us that WiFi would be five euro for two hours. That’s $3.50 USD (1 Euro = 1.4 USD) an hour just for Internet!

As a cheap traveler, I refuse to pay for something that I can get for free.

I had assumed that WiFi would be readily available for free because when I went to China last summer, WiFi was free practically everywhere (from mom-and-pop shops to the subway station below the city).

Given Germany’s reputation for being ahead of the curve and modern, I assumed that this country would be similar; if anything, I thought the Internet would be more reliable and inexpensive, not less.

The main solution I have found for this problem is to latch on to Starbucks WiFi whenever possible. While most German establishments lack WiFi, American-based stores (Starbucks and McDonald’s mainly) offer it to the masses for free.

I can honestly say that I have never yearned so much for a Starbucks run, even when I have no lust for a latte.

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