We’ve all been there. You’re on vacation and excited to catch up on your favorite TV shows, but the TV set up is less than ideal – just bad DVDs or even worse…VHS tapes! Stay entertained on vacation, pack up your Roku player and enjoy Netflix, Hulu, Pandora and all your favorite channels.

It’s easier than ever to travel with your Roku player. Here’s how you can take your most entertaining travel buddy with you on the road!

First off, Roku players are smaller than ever. Our Roku Streaming Stick (HDMI Version) is so tiny it will fit in your toiletry bag. Our other players are also very small – just the size of a hockey puck.

Next, ensure you’ll have sufficient Internet bandwidth where you’re going.

Staying with a friend or at a vacation rental?

These days some vacation rentals like Airbnb or VRBO offer complimentary WiFi, but be sure to ask! Don’t forget to find out what type of TV will be available as well. If you have a Roku 3 or Roku Streaming Stick (HDMI Version), you’ll need a TV with an HDMI port. Roku 1 and Roku 2 can connect via composite AV cables (the red/white/yellow cables).

Staying at a hotel?

Some hotels offer free Wi-Fi and it’s just a matter of plugging in your Roku and connecting to the wireless network. Others, however, require authentication using an Internet browser beyond a password – like your room number and name, etc. To share an Internet connection, even with the authentication, I use my laptop and an older Netgear wireless travel router (a travel router is just a smaller version of a typical router, and any brand should get the job done).

You will need to clone the MAC address from your computer (that was used to authenticate the connection) to your router.  It sounds complicated, but it’s typically a check box that you select in the router settings menu, which tells the router to use the same address as your computer. As every router is different, you should refer to the proper documentation.

If your destination doesn’t offer Internet access, here are some options:

  • The best and most reliable option is a MiFI/WiFi hotspot
  • Tether from your mobile device (check if you have this option enabled through your mobile carrier), to create a WiFi hotspot. Data charges may apply – again, check with your mobile carrier

Your travel checklist:

  • Your Roku player and accessories
    • Roku remote
    • All the essential cables and cords: HDMI, power adapter, Ethernet, composite cables (on Roku 1 and Roku 2)
    • Have a Roku 2 or Roku 3? Bring your headphones!
    • Don’t forget comfy pants (known to enhance the entertainment experience)

Do you travel with your Roku player? We’d love to hear your travel tips!

Posted in Roku tips | Tagged , |
75 Comments
  • Jason Kibbe

    If you use Roku + Netflix + 4G mobile phone hotspot, make sure you change the quality setting to SD on the Netflix website if you don’t have unlimited data. You will only use 600MB for a two hour movie vs. 4 GB on the best (default) setting!

  • nightwatcher2

    If you are away and forget to bring the Roku remote, like I did, one can be downloaded to your android cell phone from the Google Play Store for free… and it works great!

    • http://www.roku.com/ ROKU

      Yes! Great tip :-)

    • Etienne de la Borda

      Available for iPhone also.

    • Roku master

      Not a great tip Roku Mod! the mobile app work by connecting to the same network as the Roku is, how will you be able to connect the Roku to the network in the first place if you don’t have the original remote, since the Roku is not connected in the first place.

      • nightwatcher2

        Roku master: The downloaded remote app to a smart phone is a alternate way of selecting channels, movies etc. when the original Roku remote control is not available. When not at home, I have connected the Roku to a different network without a problem, by Ethernet (wired) connection. If it’s a Wi-Fi Network, a laptop may be needed to set-up the initial connection to a wireless network.

        • Roku master

          Great now you are being specific that your Roku has an ethernet port. I have Roku 1 2 and streaming stick. How can I use the app. When I bring my Roku to a hotel?

          • nightwatcher2

            My tip was about the remote control. I used the Ethernet connection on my Roku 3 while away last summer and it worked. I also had a Roku 1 & 2 but the 3 has the best features and performance. I think you may need to contact Roku directly with your question as I don’t know the answer to your specific problem.

  • MadhatterPa

    Would be even better for the Roku to have a Web Browser interface to support the Hotels with the Web Auth page/ MAC Auth with input via the remote so you wouldn’t need to take a laptop! Especially since a lot of hotels are moving from a wired in room connection to a wireless one.

    • a Moore

      Agreed!!! I came on here to see if I could find a solution sincentive we are in a hotel right now :-(

  • tobocrs

    What about when I travel to Mexico? My suite will have wifi, and the TV has an HDMI port that Ii used last summer to connect with my Nook. Will this work there?

    • http://www.roku.com/ ROKU

      @tobocrs:disqus, Roku’s content partners place geographical restrictions on the availability of their channel applications, with Roku having no control. Currently the markets Roku serve are the United States, the U.K., the Republic of Ireland and Canada. In those markets, developers have created channel applications that work within those specific regions – with all of the necessary third party licenses to allow them to stream such content.

  • Casey Michelle

    My Macbook has an HDMI port. Can I use the streaming stick and watch my Roku content on my laptop (to avoid worrying if my hotel tv has a port, or if I’m out camping)?

    • http://www.roku.com/ ROKU

      Sorry, Casey. Roku players are only compatible with televisions.

      • Marah

        Why is this so? Even if my computer has an HDMI port, the Roku Streaming Stick would still not work?

        • Nex

          Why would you use a Roku on a Mac? Just log in through the internet to watch your showd. And it won’t work because a Roku is a computer. So, you’re trying to get a computer (your Mac) to accept input from another computer (the Roku) when neither are designed for such communication.

        • DocMCSE

          Marah, What these others were trying to say but not quite saying it in a way you understood is that “typically” the HDMI port on a laptop (MAC/Windows/Android/etc.) is set to send the video out to a receiver (AKA your TV for example). The same is true for your ROKU, it is set to send video so neither device is able to receive the signals. That said I’ve heard that there are a few computers that have either 2 HDMI ports (one in bound the other out bound) or one that does both (auto sensing) but those are not the norm.

  • organicbob

    Two Qs: Can a Roku device bought in Canada, stream a US based program and the other has to do with this subject. Is this a US based streaming stick?

    • http://www.roku.com/ ROKU

      Hi @organicbob:disqus, a Roku device bought and set up with a Canadian account will not have access to the U.S. store, thus cannot stream US-based programming.

      The Roku Streaming Stick (HDMI Version) we noted above is a U.S. version, but you can still follow the same steps if you’re traveling within Canada.

  • Llednil

    To someone like me, this is all totally unintelligible. It could not be more meaningless and worthless

    • ruko

      Meaningless and worthless only to you and others like you who don’t understand this concept.

      • Elder

        Beware of snide responses most of your Roku customers are not geeks

        • msT

          Didn’t notice the comment was from ruko not roku?

        • rudeypatooty

          A) as msT already pointed out, ruko =! roku.
          B) this is basic computer knowledge. Anyone who’s ever set up any sort of computer stuff before can figure it out with the help of Google (or search engine of your choice). For that matter, YouTube probably has a video tutorial walking through the exact steps.
          C)The internet is a wonderful place to be rude, eh?

    • bukzin

      Ahh, this is an excellent point. Roku would do themselves and customers a huge favor if a menu for complete beginners were made available.

      Super basic for the non-techie folks that also want to play! Having a separate sub-page (so as not to bore more experienced users) would be a great option for both type of users.

  • Dave

    Will this also work overseas in Europe?

    • http://www.roku.com/ ROKU

      Hi Dave, are you based in the US or UK?

      If you’re US based and heading to the UK, you can follow the same steps as noted above but keep in mind you’ll need a UK power adapter converter. Also, Roku’s content partners place geographical restrictions on the availability of their channel applications, with Roku having no control. If you’re hoping to stream a specific channel, be sure to check with them to be sure they’re available to stream in the UK.

  • organicbob

    I’m now told I can have a US account from Canada. So I “should” be able to stream US content. No?

    • ALG

      I spent the summer in Toronto. Tne TV had ROKU which was new to me. I paid extra for ACORN and USA News, which did give real time programs on a number of USA channels. ALG.

  • confused roku vs cable

    I want to get rid of cable, what kind a stations will I get with roko?

  • Terry Stronks

    Anyone know if Roku, will work on a TV with a PAL format (Australia)

  • Mbphoton

    Can I stream videos stored on my phone to the tv without using the hotels connection at all? I’d like to make a network just between the phone and the stick. I want to be totally independent. Is that possible?

  • Jennifer Waldrop

    Please help! Not very tech oriented- but can follow instructions. I’m stuck in a free wifi hotel with an authentication page!!! Saw this article, thought it would be easy bought a travel router— then it got interesting. The setup instructions were HORRIBLE!!! Roku 3, TV is HD, Travel router-TP-Link 150 Mbps Wireless N

    So could some very nice tech person- send me instructions on how to setup all of the hardware? I miss my shows!!!! Please and thank you!

  • madai

    Can roku work with optimum hot spots ???? Can someone tell me asap pls

    • Jd_309

      I’m trying to figure that out too. I tried hooking it up today and it found the wireless signal, but wouldn’t connect to my network. There was no option to enter the Optimum username and password. I found some info online that leads me to believe it will work with a travel router, but haven’t bought one yet to try.

  • Bec

    would it be at all possible to play movies via my roku outside of my house, like in the backyard? im planning on using a projector and extension cables, the works :) would this involve maneuvering my tv?? if this is possible, i would love instructions so that my more tech-savvy boyfriend could set it up!!

  • Georgia

    If I buy my Roku in the US and take it to the UK, will I be able to stream the UK channels?

  • Aaron

    ok i get easily confused when talking about all this stuff. If i were to buy a roku in the us and set it up with a us account. then i travel back to Saudi Arabia for work would i be able to watch my us channels via wifi

  • Ady

    Hi i am travelling to france with a streaming stick, chalet has wifi and tv has hdmi port. Whats the deal with cloning mac address ? Do i need to do this or can i just plug and play ?

  • Adrian

    Hi i am travelling to france with a streaming stick, tv has hdmi and chalet has wifi
    Do i need to clone my mac address and if so how do i do that please ?

  • Nester Midsmith

    If the hotel requires you to use your room number and name (Like the large chains like Fairmont do), try calling the Hotel Internet support line. Give them the IP address of the Roku and they can add the device to the list of authenticated devices for the room. Trust me it works

    • Jon

      How do you know/determine the IP address of the roku stick, to let them know?

    • Peter Pantelis

      No…. they need the physical or MAC address … not the IP address

      • Kenny Lauer

        Hi Peter, I am at a Holiday Inn in Ohio and called the hotel internet provider, and they specifically asked for the IP Address and not the MAC, although both were visible/available on my Roku screen when I went to connect.

  • Ernie

    Do the Roku Sticks sold in different markets have different firmware? If I buy a Roku Stick in Ireland and then emigrate to the U.S., will it be the same as a U.S. one?

  • Lily

    I am having this problem with the free wifi at my apartment. Why can’t you just include a web browser on the roku to solve this problem?

  • dman

    Can i use my wifi hotspot from metropcs to connect to roku 3

  • Blade_Runner_1776

    It sure would be nice to be able to use your Roku on a laptop, using the laptop screen as a TV.

  • riva

    I’m so disappointed, I’m on the road for work all the time a purchased the streaming stick hoping to be able to use it in hotels. Wasn’t able to set it up through the public wireless network and the internet
    Service ask me for the MAC address which I couldn’t get til it was set up. I called Roku and was on hold for 40 mins and the support was not willing or able to help. They won’t give you the MAC address or tell you how to connect with a hot spot connection. How upsetting, a complete wIst of my time as well as horrible support service from Roku. My experience contradicts everything that was said on the article above.

    • scott

      The MAC address is on the set up screen. I called the hotel’s provider, iBahn in this case, and had them connect for me. Not ideal but it worked.

  • joshieboy

    Does Roku work internationally? If I’m travelling abroad, will I be able to bring the streaming stick with me and use it internationally? (Even if some channels, like Netflix, don’t work)

  • Ronald Howard

    For Windows 7 I found a much easier and free way to connect my Roku3 in a wireless environment that needs authentication using my laptop and a network cable.

    I know you are probably wondering why I say we need an Ethernet cable when we are talking about a wireless environment. This is to take advantage of ICS (Internet connection sharing) feature that requires the use of two network connections.

    1. Open the control panel on your laptop

    2. Click “View network status and task”

    3. Click ” Change adapter settings”

    4. Select your wireless adapter

    5. Right click your wireless adapter (the one you are using to connect to to the internet.)

    6. Select properties

    7. Select the Sharing tab

    8. Click the box that says “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s connection”

    9. Under the home network connection it will say select a private network connection. Click it and select “Local Area Connection” (this is your Ethernet jack)

    10. Click the settings box and select “Web Server (HTTP)” and just in case also select “Secure Web Server (HTTPS)

    11. Make sure to leave blank the box that says “Allow other network users to control or disable the shared connection”

    12. Connect one end of your Ethernet cable to your Laptop

    13. Connect the other end of your Ethernet cable to your Roku’s Ethernet connection

    14. On you laptop establish your wireless hotel internet connection and complete the authentication process to make sure that you can see the internet.

    15. Go to your Roku’s setting and select the wired (Ethernet) connection.

    16. Now sit back and enjoy your entertainment via your Roku.

  • chand

    Does the Roku work in SIngapore or India

  • agunrunner

    to get most channels outside usa you need vpn to give you usa ip address

  • Dave

    I will be traveling to the carribean will my Roku stick work there if the TV has a HDMI port, they have wife that I know
    If so can I just plug in and go?

  • Daniella

    I spend half my year in England and the other half in Spain, if I take my Roku3 to Spain with me next week and connect it to the wifi in my flat how do I access netflix, 4od etc?
    From my laptop (before having a roku) I could watch netflix and 4od with HDMI to my TV but only after using ‘hola’ to change my internet settings to UK. Do I need to do something similar to my Roku box for these sorts of apps to work in Spain?

    • Kaylerrs

      Hi Daniella. I’m not sure if you’ve gotten an answer on this yet but I also have a question…were you able to get the roku stick to work? My sister is in Spain and trying to access Netflix and has been unable to and I was wondering if she had a roku if that would work or not. Thanks in advance!

      • Dmatragrano

        Hey
        I’ve not managed to sort the roku out yet but on my laptop I use a toolbar called Hola! On my internet browser which lets me choose from any country to stream from, so England or America for Netflix works. I use google chrome im not sure what other browsers you can use it on but look into that.
        Hope this helps

        • Kaylerrs

          Thank you! I told her about hola and she is going to try it out. I was curious about shipping a roku to her but if she can get Netflix in her computer perfect! Wasn’t sure if she’d have a tv with an hdmi port. Thanks you!!

  • Jesus Simancas

    Will work the netflix channel while i’m in another country?

  • Ann Moroz

    I like Roku and I mostly use it with vpn during my travels . I like sahrzad service http://sahrzad.net for streaming

  • Lisa

    what if I don’t have the remote just the app on my phone?

  • Jaymauri

    Do I be able to used my Roku 3 in other country?

  • gordie

    Does it work in bulgaria

  • Ernest Priestly

    I was successful in connecting my ROKU to my hotel WIFI and TV. I didn’t clone the ip address but instead I used a HOOTOO Travelmate router. I wrote a detailed step by step guide how to connect your ROKU to your hotel WIFI and TV

  • Brooke

    Does the Roku need a VPN if I’m in a country that doesn’t get say, HBO Go in it? We live in the Middle East and have a slingbox in California (which is not ideal in all honesty, very choppy and just haven’t had the best experience with it). Looking for something better.

  • http://www.cnn.com/ Neymar David

    Many regions have geo-restricted issues, that’s why people can’t see their favorite channels online or stream live. But there is a solution available, and that is VPN service. Netflix is not accessible from anywhere outside the US and specific regions that service caters. I am using VPN service for unblock Netflix and satisfied with it.

  • Phyllis Barcena Miller

    i brought my roku stick with me on this trip and was disappointed to find it would connect to wifi but not to the internet for the channels. I’ve called their wifi support and they say they can fix that and will input an override for me. I’m waiting now for them to call back and see if it works

  • Kenny Lauer

    I echo what Nester Midsmith said below. Call the hotel’s internal service provider hotline, and give them the IP address for the Roku device, which is visible on the roku screen when you try to connect to the hotel’s wifi. I just did this and it worked.

  • Ant

    Will this work in my car if my car has wifi and a tv

  • James Vang

    Geo-Restriction is everywhere. Whenever you travel abroad you face geo-restrictions due to which you are unable to watch your favourite channels. But with the help of a VPN you not only unblock geo-restrictions but also secure your online identity while connecting online. Here is the list of 5 Best VPNs of 2015 which you can use.
    http://www.vpnranks.com/the-5-best-vpns/

  • Sara Sharrock

    The problem ppl faces while travelling is the unavailability to their local entertainment, and they are to face geo restriction each time they try to stream online content. Well since Unblock is here, it isn’t the issue any more

  • Mantra Ed

    There are some great instructions from Ron below, to add, here are some with pictures and some command-line techniques: http://www.7tutorials.com/how-turn-your-windows-81-laptop-wifi-access-point …after you follow the instructions then you can connect your ruko to your laptop. I used one wireless card and it was enough for the environment I was in. Kids were back to happy watching our movies cause we got stuck inside over a bad rain storm. Goal! Score one for dad.

  • Stefan Tucker

    I’m unable to find this information in the help or Support. Will the Roku Streaming Stick remember multiple wireless networks or, after I return from traveling and using it on a different wireless network, will I need to re-enter my wicked challenging 64-character WPA password on my own router? Or, is it a clever beastie that will remember at least two (if not a few) different wireless credentials?

  • RC Tuck

    I have my Roku 3 and I forgot to bring my remote for vacation. However, the hotel has free wifi and I do have the Roku remote app on my phone, can I still connect to the Internet using my cell phone? If so, need help!!!