Free Wi-Fi is more available in The U.S. than ever before, but it can still seem hard to come by. While some professionals tech-out recreational vehicles with connectivity gadgets approaching covert surveillance, most of us must "travel light" and try to make do with the connections we find on the way. Although going offline while on vacation can be a nice change, disconnecting isn't an option for most traveling business owners, freelancers, students and others Internet dependents. Thanks to public demand, Wi-Fi is usually available. Just keep personal data safe while you're agreeing to share bandwidth with unknown others at these free Wi-Fi hot spots.

10 Places To Find Free Wi-Fi

  1. City Parks And Tourist Attractions

    Eager and obliging for tourist dollars, many cities are uploading interactive Wi-Fi access maps. Washington, D.C., for example, is Wi-Fi-documented at wifi.dc.gov, with icons marking free indoor, outdoor and dual open access. Other cities also have "official" free Wi-Fi maps. Alternatively you can check out openwifispots.com, which provides a good overview of some of the cafe's and other businesses that offer free Wi-Fi in major U.S. Cities (and some destinations outside of the U.S.).

  2. College Campuses

    Visit your alma mater, son or daughter, and research-worthy campus-wide Wi-Fi may stretch from dorm to stadium. Millennials view Wi-Fi accessibility as essential in choosing a school, and universities are responding.

  3. Recreational Vehicle Campgrounds And State Parks

    Most campgrounds (even some at state and national parks) list Wi-Fi among their amenities, and websites like Wi-Fi Free Spot list them. Many campgrounds have cabins to rent, too, and if you're traveling on-the-cheap, campgrounds can provide an interesting and affordable experience. However, winters usually close sites with northern climates.

  4. Convenience Stores And Truck Stops

    If you stop to buy gas or snacks, check your smartphone. Circle K, Sheetz and 7-11 are just 3 convenience store chains that supply free Wi-Fi. Truck stops also have more than showers and hot food. They usually have free Internet, too. Just follow the diesel fuel signs and you're likely to hit a connection.

  5. Libraries

    Libraries are now active multimedia centers, complete with free Wi-Fi. Especially if your phone or laptop is kaput, even the most rural library usually has a few computers free and waiting. Many have row upon row, all ready to surf and deliver, and they generally cost nothing to use.

  6. Restaurants And Cafe's

    In addition to saving you dollars and time, many chain restaurants offer free Wi-Fi. While some services are better able to handle demand, favorites like Panera Bread, Applebees, McDonalds, Starbucks, Taco Bell and Krispy Kreme offer open service.

  7. Medical Offices And Hospitals

    Once you cross certain thresholds, devices must be off. However, waiting rooms and lobbies often have accessible connectivity. Some offices are becoming more data-conscious, however, using gateways that prompt users to log into their own accounts. Like your insurance, as long as you're in-network, you should be able to log in.

  8. Car Dealerships And Service Centers

    Forget TVs tuned into the Food Network. Many car dealerships supply free Internet connectivity while you wait. Lube and tire places usually have open Wi-Fi, too. Even detailing and carwash operations advertise it – plus a bonus custom coffee machine.

  9. Retailers And Malls

    Department and specialty stores, and their malls, are well aware of savvy shoppers RetailMeNot-ing and searching out bargains. While some Wi-Fi connections can make you feel like you're downloading cold molasses, others can provide pretty spiffy service. Macy's, Barnes and Noble, Michael's, JCPenney, GIANT Food Stores and Lowe's are just a sampling.

  10. Hotels

    Wi-Fi is available at most hotels; however, not all Wi-Fi is equal or free, and some hotels charge you an arm and a leg for Internet. An advance call to confirm guest operating speeds, access, and limits on devices or data is wise. Econo Lodge and a number of other affordable hotels offer free Wi-Fi. Oddly, Wi-Fi access becomes more elusive with high-end hotel brands, and access may require a financial investment. Becoming a member of some hotel loyalty programs entitles you to free connectivity, especially if you hold a higher loyalty status.

    For example, Hilton's most basic loyalty status, Honors™ Blue, already gives you complimentary lobby and in-room standard internet access when you stay at the more exclusive locations in the Hilton portfolio. You get high-speed Internet access (in-room) and Wi-Fi in public hotel areas on a complimentary basis when you stay at Hampton Inn By Hilton™, with or without Honors membership. Marriott offers free in-room Wi-Fi during hotel stays to all Marriott Marriott Rewards® members. Starwood offers SPG® members free Internet access when they book online.