Rested, Ready; not really Tanned

Well, I had a pleasant holiday break; I hope everyone else did as well. Semi-normal blogging (whatever that means) should resume shortly.
As a warm up, I’ll toss out a subject that I came face-to-face with in the past month: how best to stay fully connected (with broadband access, if possible) whilst travelling.
Background: I have a laptop with a standard Ethernet card, but no WiFi. So no wardriving for me; I was just looking for places to plug in.
My first revelation: Kinkos! It turns out that Kinkos will let anybody with a laptop stroll in, hook up to one of their laptop connections, and surf the net for as long as they want. For free, no less!
I’ve tested this theory at many Kinkos, and never been hassled once. Very handy. There was only one wrinkle: for some reason, I could browse the web and receive email, but I never managed to successfully send outbound mail. The suspicion was that Kinkos or their ISP was blocking outbound mail, either for reasons of bandwidth or of avoiding becoming a base for spammers, but that’s simple speculation.
The next question was: where to stay? My criteria was simple: it had to be cheap, and if possible, it had to have broadband net access.
Turns out there is an answer: Holiday Inn Express. Of the major low-end chains, they were the only one I found that consistently offered broadband connections — or at least the only one that allowed you to specifically search on it while looking for a hotel. (Annoyingly, neither Travelocity nor Expedia allow you to specify broadband as a search criteria.)
Not all Holiday Inn Express locations have actual broadband, and even if the search engine says a location does: call and make sure (and ask pointed questions to verify that the employee actually knows what you’re asking).
As for the rooms themselves, I was quite satisfied with the location I tried: cleanliness is my only major criteria, and they passed that one just fine. Nice rooms overall.
Anyway, that’s my $0.02 on being a road warrior; I’d welcome other folks suggestions…

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