Is 3G or WiFi now a minimum requirement for your holiday spot?

It seems that an increasing number of us are unwilling to disconnect from the Internet for our holidays

iwis might be hanging up their business suits for the holiday, but iPads and laptops are must-pack items for many holidaymakers.

Bach owners say a growing number of travellers are choosing where they will stay based on mobile and broadband connectivity.

A spokesman for rental website Holiday Houses, which has more than 10,000 properties on its books, said 79 per cent of owners mentioned broadband or mobile coverage in their listings.

“[That] is a good indication that it is an important and fairly standard expectation at most places.”

The average nightly rate for houses that specified coverage and broadband as amenities was 2.5 per cent higher than properties that didn’t, he said.

Rich Carey, marketing manager for holiday home rental company Bachcare, which offers properties from Northland to Queenstown, said demand for homes with WiFi had surged.

“As technology plays a greater role in daily lives, guest needs have changed accordingly, particularly with international guests, who wish to remain connected to friends and family back home,” he said.

A customer survey found half indicated the availability of WiFi in a holiday home played some part in their decision to rent a particular property. That is also borne out by network statistics.

It may come as no surprise that due to the demands of Whaleoil, I do try to have some degree of connectivity for part of the day, even when I’m off hunting.  

Connecting her Coromandel holiday villas to broadband has increased bookings more than 200 per cent for Jacquie Young.

The houses at Rings Beach, near Matarangi, are in a remote area, with a kilometre-long driveway. At first, getting broadband was out of the question.

“We knew it was a problem but did not realise how much,” Young said.
As soon as it became possible, Young’s Mercury Villas were connected. And since broadband became available, bookings have been coming in at a rate of three or four a month, instead of one every three or four months.

“The only thing that’s changed is that I’ve changed the marketing to ‘free WiFi’,” Young said. “Most queries are from international visitors and they expect WiFi. They don’t want to stay anywhere, even for a day, without it.”

A prospective customer called from Australia to check the WiFi was decent. “They couldn’t go away without it. Kiwis don’t care that much because they have it on their phones but international visitors do care.”

She had been surprised by the momentum the change had created.

“I didn’t expect it to become so popular so quickly.

“It’s a change in the way people are travelling. Everyone is taking their work with them, especially the people who can afford to stay here.

“These people have serious jobs they can’t ignore.”

How about you?  Is the lack of Wi-Fi or at least 3G a deal breaker when you organise accommodation these days?


– Susan Edmunds, Herald on Sunday


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  • Wasapilot

    I see not having wifi and or 3G as a bonus. I find a complete digital disconnect healthy.

    The place we usually stay at in Samoa has zero connectivity, you have to walk for 15 minutes down the beach to pick up a cellphone signal. PARADISE

    • Use a stick: have a series of sims for connectivity. So I can put photos up and blog. And comment here. Now it is being switched off and I am going to read.

      The work phone is in the other island. The work computer is in the other island, somewhere secure. Both have info on them that is under nondisclosure and taking them on holiday is irresponsible. And the cell number is known for the travel phone to those who need it: about five people in total.

  • We are far too attached to our WiFi, phones, email. It isn’t a necessity but we kid ourselves. CEO of on organisation with 800 staff I went on holiday to the Cooks for a week or so but didn’t bother with email; came back to work and found I had over 300 emails. So took deep breath and deleted the lot. Only one person got in touch and asked if I’d received his email so I asked for it to be resent but it was very routine. And the sky did not fall in, the organisation didn’t collapse and life went on its merry way.

    I strongly recommend the same strategy and FREE yourself from this nonsensical self-imposed burden!

    • Cadwallader

      I am now close to retirement and need to begin to disconnect. The summer recess is a great time to start that. Retirement is no longer an event it is a process which takes a few years to cement. I have 3-4 years to wind through this. A few years ago I left my cellular details live at this time of year and was blasted with clients’ matrimonial discords etc… I am well past that form of torture. There’s an old song by the Pedlars..”Tell The World We’re Not In” says it all really. Happy Holidays to the huge and growing WO Army! My New Year Resolution is to go a full twelve months without antagonizing the moderators. This may be more difficult than giving up mid-morning snacks!

      • Aucky

        Good luck with your retirement plans Cadwallader. I went cold turkey at 61 – it didn’t work though. I’m now 69 and have struck my perfect work/life balance of about 25 hours work from my home office. No commuting and no meetings in the CBD outside 1000-1500. I have seen too many mates retire arbitrarily at 65 and they’re old men by 67. Good to know that you are phasing it in.

        • Cadwallader

          Thanks. Merry Christmas and a few more Christmases too!

  • Cadwallader

    I am about to retreat to a riverside bach in the South Island. I refuse to go near a computer for three weeks (which will be a joy to the moderators here!!!!) The only appliances I insist on taking are an ice-maker and a coffee machine. The iPhone comes but will be felt in 36 hours and won’t be recharged until the drive home.

  • Drhill

    You can only survive so long on 5 tv channels when on holiday – Yes I always look for Wifi at the hotel I stay at – mostly free Wifi (I will NOT pay $25.00 per day just to access it!)

    • BlitzkriegNZ

      Watching tv away on holiday? Why bother going?

      • pisces8284 .

        Everybody’s idea of a holiday is different

  • caochladh

    A “holiday” is meant to be something you take to get away from it all, to recharge the batteries and return to work refreshed and ready for another year. If you need to take something, take a good book.

  • Michael_l_c

    It’s a matter of choice. I don’t need internet for business but I want some access every couple of days. I enjoy what I access. Holidays are for enjoyment & it it rains, well …
    It used to be that TV wasn’t considered necessary but now it is. If I want to go bush then I won’t have internet, tv or flush toilets.

  • Clutch Cargo

    Hey Cam, you really need to fix that sticking key on your computer, Im sure you meant “kiwis hanging up their business suits” or are you suggesting a new image for collective tribal members?????

  • Pharmachick

    We came home to NZ last Xmas/New Year and it was a nightmare – my parent’s place (beach house) has no phone or internet… we literally *had* to go to the cafe every day for an hour … sorry but our jobs don’t allow us to be absent for 14 dys continuously. And rather than being there physically, a few e-mails back-and-forth seems like a small price to pay.

  • dgrogan

    Touring Amsterdam to Budapest on a river cruise next year. I did enquire about WiFi availability. Happily it’s included free.

  • Warren Murray


  • Nige.

    funny, i thought the left touted internet access a human right….along with water air and food and daylight. if your going on holidays and the place your staying at doesn’t have a connection its a violation of your rights. And the trees should have their own lawyers…..and need a hug every day……and Antarctica is shrinking.

  • chwaga

    Go to Whangamata regularly and have a pocket wifi. Takes vodafone, 2 degrees, and telecom sims and has great reception. Bought a tstick with 5gb data which lasts 6 months for $27 a month ago at a promotion in the Warehouse and the sim is now in the pocket wifi and I will have a data connection for my tablet for the important task of following Whaleoil while I am there for the next six months.

  • oldmanNZ

    You guys should be ashamed, there are kids living in real poverty, these kids has no broadband,
    If we can live our holiday without internet or wifi, we will understand what real property is, according to the greens.

  • Spiker

    Our family is fortunate to have a bach that we can escape to. Coverage is pretty patchy so last Labour weekend I put up a 3g antenna. Now we have a solid 5Mb coming in. Little bro was a bit exersised over it but wasn’t long before he was wanting the password for the router to check his facebook.. We have no electric so next step is to set up a solar panel to keep the battery topped up.

  • D.Dave

    Going where there is neither. Just a lot of salt water, a good boat and plenty of fish. Mrs and Miss D Dave have a few good books and bottles of wine. Master D Dave and I have a big bag of hooks and sinkers. Life will be perfect.

  • Just a thought …

    People…. get over yourselves. Your life is not that interesting or important that you have to be checking your emails every 5 minutes and uploading a photo of your morning coffee to facebook for everyone to see….. Trust me that life will keep on going and no one is going to die if you ain’t connected ……..

    • Cadwallader

      Sean Connery wrote an article a year or so ago which I picked up in a magazine somewhere. He lamented the onset of social media where he says it seems like an endless run of young girls snapping themselves and displaying the product which is all about Me Me Me having Fun Fun Fun with my Friends Friends Friends! Where they go wrong is their belief that the possession of tits and lip-gloss qualifies them to be the next “Bond Girl.” In other words social media allows the non-talented to act as though they are all celebrities.He would know better than most.

    • Spiker

      We mostly use it for streaming music.Other connection to the outside world is of little interest.

      • Just a thought …

        Didn’t think of that but my trusty cassette walkman copes with my music just fine……. man I got to get a life …….

  • Benoni

    I have previously bought data on a tstick and charged it up with data for our camping holiday over Christmas. This year I am going to connect up to 1 of the pay Wifi networks for whatever it costs . There are 3 or 4 of them at Raglan and I will connect up with them on our first day there.