By Trae Jacobs,
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You might enjoy the conveniences of your Google Home smart speaker that you may not want to leave it behind when you go out of town. Generally, Google Home devices are intended to stay in one place. So, it may not be clear if it’s going to be a huge hassle to try to bring it along.
Can you take Google Home on Vacation? Yes, as long as you’ll have Wi-Fi! Simply pack up your Google Home and take it along. Once you get to your destination plug it in and pull up your Google Home app. Then use the app to reconnect the speaker to a new Wi-Fi network.
With the right know-how, you bring your digital assistant to the cabin, hotel, or resort and enjoy all the features you can’t live without at home. In the next section we’ll discuss how to setup your speaker in a new place.
How to Setup Your Google Home on Vacation
- Unplug your Google Home and pack it securely along with the power cord
- Once you’ve arrived, connect your phone to the destination Wi-Fi
- Plug in your Google Home and wait for it to power on fully
- Open your Google Home app and access the home screen
- Click the Add button (it looks like a plus sign)
- Click Add another home (also marked by a plus sign) and then click next
- Give the new home group a vacation related nickname and click next
- After Google searches for devices, click the device you’re trying to set up
- Connect the speaker to the destination Wi-Fi
- Enjoy a digitally assisted vacation
First, you’ll need to pack your Google Home speaker. Be sure to pack it with clothes around it so that it doesn’t get jostled or damaged during travel. If you still have the original box, that has a nice tight fit that you can use to bring it safely. Don’t forget the power cord!
Connect Phone to new WiFi. Once you’ve gotten where you’re going and gotten settled in, connect your phone to the destination Wi-Fi. You likely will need to find the correct Wi-Fi network and password.
This is often listed on the welcome materials, but you can always ask your host or the staff for this information.
Be aware, if the destination Wi-Fi requires a sign-in (many hotel Wi-Fi networks do) you won’t be able to connect your speaker directly.
Don’t worry, we cover how to navigate this problem in the next section, but it may take some pre-trip prep.
Plug in your Google Home and wait for it to power on fully. You’ll see some flashing dots, followed by some circling rainbow lights. When you hear piano notes, you’re ready to pull out the Google Home app on your phone.
Access the main home screen and then click the Add button, marked by a plus sign (+).
Now, tap Add another home. Which is also marked by a plus sign and then hit next in the lower righthand corner. Give a nickname for your home-away-from-home.
Technically, you could skip this step and set everything up on your existing home group, but this may get confusing and may make it more difficult to set everything up as it was once you get back.
When you’ve got the perfect nickname, hit next in the lower righthand corner.
Let the App search for devices. This may take a minute, so don’t be alarmed if you’re left waiting. Eventually you’ll get a list of available devices.
Tap the one that’s yours.
The app will connect the device to the app and verify with an audible tone. The app will then give you a list of available Wi-Fi networks. If you’ve already connected your phone to Wi-Fi, the correct network should already be highlighted, and you can simply hit next. You should now get a verification on the screen and if you give a quick test command you can make sure it’s working.
Try some of these test commands:
- “Ok Google, what’s the weather in [vacation destination]?”
- “Ok Google, tell me something fun going on in [vacation city] today.”
- “Ok Google, what’s on the schedule for tomorrow?”
If your Google Home responds, then you’re all done. Time for some R&R.
What if My Hotel Room Wi-Fi has a Sign-in?
If the hotel Wi-Fi requires a sign-in through a web page, things can get a little tricky. No Google Home devices will allow you to connect them to these types of networks.
But don’t worry; there are a couple of ways around this issue, although they both require an additional hardware investment.
The first option is to pick up a travel router. You can connect the travel router to your hotel’s internet via ethernet or Wi-Fi (you may need a laptop to set up on a Wi-Fi connection) and then pump out a sign-in–free Wi-Fi network that your smart devices can use.
An example would be an affordable TP-Link Travel Router.
The second option is to use a mobile hotspot. A mobile hotspot is a small, hockey puck–shaped or phone-shaped device that accesses mobile internet and allows your devices to connect to it using a broadcast Wi-Fi network.
The GlocalMe G3 Mobile Hotspot has a sweet deal going on where you get 1GB of free global data!
Using one of these devices will save you some setup steps compared to the travel router. You won’t need to bother with the hotel sign-in or password at all. However, you will need to pay a monthly service fee through your cellular provider.
If you’re travelling internationally, data costs may be prohibitive, so be aware.
Reconnect My Google Home After I’m Back
Once you get back from your trip, you’ll want to reconnect your digital assistant. First start by undoing the steps we did earlier.
- Plug the speaker back in it’s usual place
- Have the speaker Forget the destination Wi-Fi within the Device settings in the Google Home app
- Delete the Vacation home group by tapping on Settings within the group and selecting Delete this home
- Add the speaker back to your usual home group by following the same steps as above
You’ll do that by tapping on the device within the Vacation home we created and accessing the device settings. In device settings, you’ll see the network this device is trying to connect to.
Click on Forget to remove this network. Then, go to Settings within the home group and tap Delete this home at the bottom.
Now, you want to reconnect your speaker to its usual home group, do this by following the steps above, but this time skip the steps involving setting up a new home group (steps 6 and 7) and instead connect this device to its usual home group.
When you’ve got it connected, try some test commands to make sure it’s working. It’ll feel like you never left.
What other smart home devices can be easily brought on vacation? A Google Chromecast makes a great travelling companion for your Google Home. Control the hotel TV with your voice and continue all the shows you’re already enjoying at home without mindlessly scrolling through some basic local cable package. An Amazon Firestick and/or Alexa Echo speaker will have similar capabilities.
Will other hotel patrons be able to access my Google Home? If you’re connected to the same Wi-Fi network, maybe. In my apartment building, I can access about half a dozen smart devices that aren’t mine if I’m connected to the community Wi-Fi. This includes playing music, changing music, changing volume, and changing settings. If you can’t trust others not to blast music on a speaker right next to your head at 3 a.m. then you may have another reason to look into one of the methods for creating a private Wi-Fi network that we discussed above.