5 Very Important Words to Learn Before You Travel.

5 Very Important Words to Learn Before You Travel.

Forget about “please” and “thank you”; my new goal is to learn how to say “do you have wifi access?” in every language known. And that’s because even if I want to disconnect, I can’t. And you probably can’t either.

While in some countries the printed map is still available, in others they are less available and not always in a language you read; wouldn’t it be great to have access to your familiar mapping and GPS services? Do you want to check in with work or home? Your options are to pay high international calling charges or search for a wifi connection that may or may not be available. And let’s not forget about checking into your next flight no less than 24 hours of flying. Without wifi you’ll just have to wait until you get to the airport which could mean not getting a preferred seat, preferred meal, or worse, not getting updated on changes in schedule!

Clearly not all countries have the infrastructure necessary for extensive wifi. In some countries, the cost is so high that businesses are loathe to offer it to its customers. But it seems that there has to be some sort of give and take on this. In the 21st century, international travel and business in general is ever more dependent uninterrupted communications. More emphasis and money needs to be directed towards ensuring uninterrupted connectivity. Internet providers need to lower the cost for this vital service. Governments need to invest more in communications infrastructure; there are already some NGOs focusing on this in poorer countries. Surely the richer countries can do this and do this faster. And the travel industry, which is relying more and more on automated services, needs to develop mechanisms to accommodate travelers who are ‘incommunicado’.

Until then, how do you say “Do you have wifi access?” in Xhosa?

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