I want to go to France next month for just 2 weeks to Gers in the Midi Pyrenees, to take my laptop and to continue to get e-mails and to browse one or two websites without having to find internet cafes to do this. Can you tell me in simple terms how I can do this, and can I try it before I cross the Channel?
Mobile Broadband in France
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Editor - Chris Marling
Unfortunately it's not the easiest question to answer as you have a variety of options depending on your mobile provider, your mobile phone etc. I'll throw a few things in here and if you respond we can narrow it down a bit.
Firstly, it would seem buying a mobile broadband dongle for just two weeks of use is a little excessive. However, they can be picked up relatively cheaply - they just cost quite a bit to use. The good news is that you're travelling within the EU, so prices are capped. Check out our Guide to Mobile Roaming for more details.
Another option will be 'tethering' your smartphone's signal so that you can use it's mobile broadband capability to get your laptop online. Or, even better, just use your mobile. Phones tend to shrink web pages and online images, so using less data. This is definitely worth exploring, although again it won't be cheap.
The other option is looking into what will be available when you arrive. You may not want to try and find a cafe, but what about your hotel/apartment? Do you have friends there who may be able to but a local dongle for you - or if your phone is unlocked, a local SIM card?
Thank you Chris,
Very prompt and very helpful.
In addition to Chris' final remark. Buying a local sim is always the cheapest thing to do. And if you don't feel looking for it when you arrive, there are multiple websites where you can buy a local French sim and have them send it to you. I used SimUp for my last trip and was very pleased with their service.