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A traveler’s guide to getting on the Web

By Allan Ostergren


Aside from schlepping a laptop between available phone connections, there are a number of options for travelers to access the Web and their e-mail.


The Internet café has been around since the days of bulletin boards, but has undergone a revival in recent years–at least outside the U.S. Typically offering high-speed Web access, games and spreadsheets, along with side orders ranging from latté to liqueur, these surfing establishments have sprouted in major cities around the world, including such exotic locales as Bali and Bangladesh.

In 1999, in a bid to create the world’s largest Internet café, Europe’s discount airline Easy-Jet opened a 420-unit facility called EasyEverything across from London’s Victoria Station. Dubbed “the MacDonald’s of cybercafés,” EasyEverything, has spread to eight other cities in Europe, and is planning to expand to New York in the near future.

Like trendy eateries, cyber establishments come and go. You can look for one where you’re going to be, or even bid for your own franchise, by visiting one of the following search engines on the Web:

The Cybercafé Search Engine www.cybercaptive.com
Internet Café Guide www.netcafeguide.com
Curious Cat www.curiouscat.com/travel/cybercafe.htm
Traveltales.com www.traveltales.com

Business resource centers

Some of the leading small business support chains have started offering walk-in Internet service, featuring high-speed Web access and business applications.

Mail Boxes, Etc. www.mbe.com
Kinko’s www.kinkos.com

Internet Kiosks

For travelers who want to skip the Smirnoff and small talk, a number of vendors have set up on-line access terminals at airports and other transportation hubs. Like ATMs, these are often marketed to franchisee entrepreneurs.

CAIS-Iport Cyberbooths www.atcominfo.com
DRIVER Net (Truckstops) drivernet.com
QuickAID Kiosks www.quickaid.com
Web-On-Site www.webonsite.net
Laptop Lane www.laptoplane.com
Advants Public Internet Terminals www.advants.com


Several guides to public Internet facilities are available, mostly from the operators of on-line search engines.

Internet Café Guide - the Book, by Ernst Larsen
Cybercafés: A Worldwide Guide for Travelers, by Kath Stanton
Start and Run a Profitable Coffee Bar, by Tom Matzen and Marybeth Harrison
Espresso!: Starting and Running Your Own Specialty Coffee Business, by Joe Monaghan and Julie Sheldon Huffaker (Contributor)

Allan Ostergren is president of DACS and a closet computer novice. He makes up for it by asking questions, learning from mistakes, and looking things up.