Thousand of Brits that use Wi-Fi connections to access the web when they are travelling, are getting ripped-off, says Expedia.co.uk.

Research by the holiday website into Wi-Fi rates at hotel chains across the world revealed that Venice in Italy is the most expensive location in the world to log-on via Wi-Fi, with web access costing an average of €7.40 (£6.55) per hour. Florida in the US is the cheapest, with Wi-Fi connections costing, on average, €0.90 (79p) per hour.

Expedia.co.uk also highlighted that hotels with a lower star rating are more likely to offer free Wi-Fi access than higher-rated hotels, while the variety of pricing models available, from hourly to daily rates, means comparison is not always easy.

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"In the 21st century, getting online while you travel should be simple and cost effective - instead it seems it is confusing and overpriced." says Alison Couper, communications director, Expedia.co.uk.

"Simply dropping one or two hotel star ratings is a great way to reduce your travel budget in 2009, and as our research shows it can reap even more rewards in terms of free Wi-Fi and other added extras, whether you're a business traveller or going on holiday."

See also: iPhone, netbooks massive boost to Wi-Fi