Wifi is our new lifeline. Way back it was whether our stockings would snag on the plane, then it was bringing your own toilet paper, then air conditioning became the must. Now it is wifi.

Some hints about wifi

Turn off your ‘roaming’ to avoid potentially huge charges. You can leave your phone on if you expect a handful of important calls. Most carriers will not charge crazily for a 1-2 minute call. You can also subscribe for a specific time period of calls in another country if you need this service. Buy fromĀ  your carrier. Two weeks in Ethiopia with ATT cost $30.

Find wifi areas in your hotel if it is not strong in your room. These will be nearest the business center, conference areas.

There are some wifi hot spot applications you can install; however many depend on a map which is hard to use, especially on crowded urban maps. You can depend on Starbucks To find others, look at people on their phones at the tables in restaurants or parks. Airport lounges have wifi and many modern airports overseas offer it: usually it is weak in public areas however.

Don’t be disappointed if the wifi is not powerful enough to carry photos to Facebook or friends. This is commonplace and many wifi companies have a monopoly overseas so power is regulated.

Strong wifi will allow you to watch Netflix even overseas: Mexico, and much of Europe is coming. Dont’ forget your password.

If you have lots of electric devices to charge, bring a electric strip.

Finally don’t let yourself get crazy if wifi is out, weak or just hard to use. We used to get along without it. Who wouldn’t trade a day or two without wifi for having to wear stockings on overseas flights?

Some comments from The Women’s Travel Group, with trips for solo women travelers and singles women traveling.