Years ago a trip to the cottage meant a getaway from the job, from the hassles of daily life and a break from TV for the kids.
Kids played outside all day. They fished off the dock, caught minnows with nets, and collected frogs in buckets. They learned to swim, kayak and canoe and spent hours exploring little bays and inlets.
They didn’t care if it rained.
At night they sat around the campfire with mom and dad and learnt how to create the perfect s’more. They played lots of board games and mastered the games of crib and rummy.
Cottages rarely had any connection with the outside world – there were no cell phones, no internet access and if you had a TV with rabbit ears to get a fuzzy local channel, you’d be one of the lucky ones.
Lifetime memories were created that you’ll hear from anyone over the age of 40 who got to experience that rite of passage – summer at the cottage.
While parents might reminisce about those times, and still yearn for the family connections they created, technology has moved us on. And although you can still find some traditional cottages still off-the-grid from an internet standpoint, more and more are offering some form of connection.
So, if you have issues with prying the kids away from Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram, you can most likely find a cottage where they can spend hours immersed in their devices.
But, before you go and book, thinking that the connection is just like it is at home, make sure you check the limits of the internet supply, because not all cottages are created equal. Arriving on your dream vacation with a carful of teens to find there’s not enough bandwidth to stream Netflix or watch Youtube videos, could get your holiday off to a poor start.
Bandwidth limits can be as low as 3 GB a week (or less)
There’s not much you can do with 3 GB.
An average Facebook user will eat up around 2 GB per month and much more if they click on embedded videos or watch Facebook Live.
For every hour of 720p video footage on YouTube you’ll use around 2.2 GB of data.
And Netflix tells us on their Help page: “Watching TV shows or movies on Netflix uses about 1 GB of data per hour for each stream of standard definition video, and up to 3 GB per hour for each stream of HD video.”
So, if you rent a cottage with very limited data, don’t expect to do more than check email and Facebook occasionally, surf the web lightly ( no more than 50 pages a day), and keep music streaming to a minimum. Even adding the photos you’ve taken to iCloud or Google photos will add up the megabytes used.
And that’s just for one person.
Depending on the service provider, overages on internet usage can be very high. And, if you use your limit too quickly, the service speed will slow down dramatically.
Before you book
• Check the internet limits at the property you have chosen.
• Find out what the overage charges are.
• Talk with the family about their internet needs (if you’ll be spending the entire week stressing about going over a limit, it’s best to find a location with unlimited data).
Each of our listings shows the bandwidth limits on
Of course you could go back to the traditional cottage concept; power off the devices and unplug for a week. You may be surprised just how liberating that is.