Tips to make your traveling easier
the new palm pilot
You can be more connected than ever
With wireless (albeit limited) Internet access, the new Palm VII ($599; 800/881-7256) aspires to be more than just an organizer--it's the next step in the evolution of the handheld computer. Besides the usual Pilot goodies, it allows you to send E-mail, check stock quotes, and browse the latest newspaper headlines from a taxi or while waiting for a flight.
A two-way radio sends out a signal, giving you access to 22 content providers right out of the box, including the Wall Street Journal, ABC News, Travelocity, MapQuest, and Fodor's. From the Palm Pilot Web site, you can download software that lets you use additional services--more than 65 at last count--such as Ticketmaster and Etak traffic reports. Going on-line costs $10 to $25 a month.
Yet those who enjoy speeding down the information highway may feel as if this model runs on less than high-octane fuel. The content of the sites is served up in an abridged version of what you'll find on the Internet, and the system doesn't work internationally (or even in many parts of the United States). What's more, transmission is slow, and Palm's touch-screen keyboard and stylus-driven Graffiti writing system--however great for inputting notes--make E-mailing arduous. Still, the Palm VII is useful and fun, and best of all, it's a glimpse of better things to come.
going my way
Name: Oscar De La Hoya
Title: World Boxing Council welterweight champion (31-0, 25 knockouts).
Home base: I live in Los Angeles, but I train up in the mountains in Big Bear and vacation in Cabo San Lucas.
Where to next? Chicago. It's a trip to promote my September 18 fight with Felix Trinidad, and I'm doing nine cities in six days.
How many days a year are you on the road? I don't know . . . a lot. One hundred?
How do you keep in shape? I bring my nutritionist/personal trainer. If there are weights in the hotel gym, we'll use those, or I'll do some running on the treadmill. And I always jog in the streets.
Is it hard to eat within your regimen while on the road? It's really tough. I eat these Met-Rx bars [holds up wrapper]. They taste good, and they can take the place of a meal. They're peanut-buttery.
Is that a product you endorse? [Nods and smiles.]
Do you worry about catching a cold when you fly? All the time. I make sure I get plenty of rest, and I have to have time to work out.
How many people do you travel with? Three or four. Lawyers, representatives.
Do people recognize you? All the time! Especially if I'm running in the streets and I'm not wearing a cap and my hair is all nice and brushed and I'm smiling.
What do you do on the plane to occupy yourself? Talk, play dominoes, do work.
How long before a fight do you arrive? Four to five days.
Do you and your opponent stay in the same hotel? Always--the one where we're fighting. But we stay on different floors.
1. Hotels in New Jersey must automatically lock their minibars to comply with local ordinances governing the sale of liquor in the wee hours. You want non-alcoholic refreshment, you have to call the front desk.
2. Popping up all over: Mini-bars that are rigged with sensors so that if you merely move an item, you'll be charged.
So you have meetings in . . .
best business hotels: Downtown, Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof (Am Kaiserplatz; 49-69/21502, fax 49-69/215-900; doubles from $235). If you're going to the book fair at the Messe, try Hotel Hessischer Hof (40 Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage; 49-69/75400, fax 49-69/7540-2924; doubles from $285) or Maritim Hotel Frankfurt (3 Theodor-Heuss-Allee; 49-69/75780, fax 49-69/7578-1000; doubles from $330).
expense-account restaurants: Osteria La Villa (16 Baustrasse; 49-69/9552-4771; dinner for two $80) is new and popular; the surprisingly chic Tigerpalast Restaurant (20 Heiligkreuzgasse; 49-69/9200-2225; dinner for two $100) has one Michelin star.
car service of choice: Bülter & Schneider Limousins (49-61/7393-4950).
on a free afternoon: Museum für Moderne Kunst (10 Domstrasse; 49-69/2123-8819) for modern and contemporary art.
if you forgot to pack a scarf or tie: Hertie (90 am Zeil; 49-69/929-050).
relief is at hand
Tired of that awkward, ineffectual nub on your laptop?A third the size of a regular mouse, Targus's new USB Mini Mouse (800/998-8020; $29.99) works like a full-size model and, if you're on a plane, leaves room on your tray table for a cocktail. The USB (universal serial bus) will connect it to virtually any computer.
Forget the mega Web sites that try to be all things to all tourists. Some of the best sites go narrow, covering one topic in such depth they border on the obsessive. Example number one: Besides telling where to find a 13-foot-tall chicken or a replica of Stonehenge made out of cars, roadsideamerica.com has Pet Cemetery ; Finally, using festivals.com, you can plan a trip to coincide with a religious celebration in India, a concert in Berlin, or--as the great punk band the Dead Kennedys once sang--a holiday in Cambodia.
test your world english
With an estimated 85 percent of all Web sites written in English, Microsoft's new Encarta World English Dictionary will sure come in handy. This first-ever reference for global English--that is, the language as it's used in 74 English-speaking nations--took 320 scholars from 20 countries three years to complete. Check out www.worldenglishdictionary.com for a free 90-day trial subscription to the electronic version, or pick up the hardcover volume (St. Martin's Press) at your local bookstore.