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Surf the Internet
OK, we'll admit it: there will be times when you'll run out of things to say to your family and you'll just need to sneak off and catch up on your Internet reading. But what if your hosts don't have a wireless network set up for you to hook into? Be prepared by travelling with your own wireless access point! Make a few discreet inquiries about passwords and you'll soon be able to get on line in short bursts whenever you sneak off to "use the bathroom." Are your hosts still living in a terrible world of dial-up? Scour used electronics sites for Apple's classic Airport base station, which had a built-in dial-up modem and even worked with AOL.