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February 09, 2005

Joys of business travel

    Some advice for hotels looking to improve the lot of business travelers:

  • More outlets. Tonight's room is better than average; there are 4 outlets in a large room, but one's behind a sofa on the opposite side from the desk and internet access, and one is on the wall shared with the bathroom. Near the desk, there's one duplex wall plate with one outlet taken up, leaving one plug for the laptop. I generally make due by pulling lamps out of the wall, but come on! At a bare minimum, I need a place to charge my laptop and cellphone. When we visited Disney World last year, we had a camcorder, walkie-talkies, and cell phones that all needed recharging, and I think we had two plugs to share. It's almost enough to make me start carrying a power strip.
  • Comedy Central. The hotel I'm in tonight (in Alexandria, VA) offers ESPN and ESPN2, CNN, Headline News, TBS, TNT, HBO, Weather Channel, local NBC, Fox, ABC, and CBS, WB, UPN, USA, Cartoon Network, ABC Family, Discovery, TLC, and Maryland Public Television. I can't ever find my Jon Stewart fix on the road.
  • DVD player. With DVD players selling for $35 at retail, there's got to be a way to securely provide a DVD player in a hotel room. I realize the hotel chain will lose money renting porn and pay-per-view movies, but most business travelers I know carry at least a couple of DVDs along. Bonus points if the DVD player can read VCDs and MP3s. Partial points if the room TV at least has auxiliary RCA inputs, so I can watch a movie on the big screen through my laptop, or show the family the video we've shot when we get back to the hotel.

Seems like the high-speed internet wars are almost over; this hotel is on Wayport, but access is (temporarily?) free.

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