cost for a single cubicle is 65 cents per minute after a $5 minimum. Conference rooms run $60 per hour to $400 per day. More than 30,000 travelers a month check into one of the 29 centers located at 21 airports in North America. One of the perks: You can work on a project in one airport and have it printed, collated, and ready to pick up at another airport with a Laptop Lane. And if you’re in New York and need a quiet place to work in the middle of a noisy trade show or conference, check into a cubicle at the newly installed Laptop Lane at the Jacob Javits Center.
Most travelers know the joys of setting up an office in a comfortable hotel room. Hotel chains, such as Marriott and Holiday Inn Express, have data ports, so you don’t have to worry about logging on to the Internet. If you don’t have a wireless modem and you must plug your laptop modem into a hotel room phone line that is not designated a data port, beware. Many newer hotel phone lines are digital, not analog. Notebook modems communicate with analog signals. Your modem may refuse to work with a digital phone signal. Worse yet, the higher power of a digital signal may damage or destroy your modem. If you are a frequent traveler who stays in various hotels around the world, you may want to get a device to test hotel phone lines to see if they mesh with your modem. Check out the IBM Modem Saver ($40) and the Modem Saver International ($60) at eTravelerGear’s Website (www.roadwarriorgear.com).
Staying connected while traveling overseas can be tricky, but it’s definitely doable thanks to savvy hotels and cybercafes, says Sharon Davis, president of S.E. Davis & Associates Inc., an international executive recruiting and coaching firm in Farmington, Michigan. Davis, who frequently travels overseas, learned to navigate Europe’s technological infrastructure. Last year, Davis traveled to Amsterdam. When her Palm IIIc wouldn’t fire up, she headed to a cybercafe in the airport to finish her work. “I look for cybercafes as an alternative during overseas trips,” she says. “Cybercafes are more prevalent in Europe than they are in the U.S., because U.S. citizens have more personal computer access.” To find an up-to-date listing of cybercafes, Internet kiosks, and terminals worldwide, log on to cybercaptive.com.
Traveling abroad often means that your cell phone is out of commission. But there are ways to set up a temporary phone service while you’re away. You may be able to purchase a cell phone at an overseas airport. Although not every airport overseas has cell phones for sale, business travelers may want to take advantage of the convenience when they can to reduce global roaming charges. “Cell phone purchase in Japan and some other countries is less complex,” says Davis. “People don’t seem to have to consider a variety of plans and options.”
Davis cautions business travelers to mind their manners in international cities. “Don’t be pushy when