Travel tips for Cisco Live (and other summer Las Vegas conferences)

[See disclosure/disclaimer at the end if you’re into those things.]

Many of our readers will be headed to Las Vegas over the next couple of months. Whether it’s InteropITX, Cisco Live, VMworld, or something else, you may be curious about the quickest way to optimize your rewards and your stay while you’re there.

While reading all the other posts on rsts11travel would be the most thorough way to learn your way around Vegas, we figured we’d put together a unified list of things to do and think about as you head to what will be Tech City for much of the summer.

Continue reading “Travel tips for Cisco Live (and other summer Las Vegas conferences)”

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A second look at Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts at Delano Las Vegas

It took a couple of weeks, but the rsts11travel review of Aria Las Vegas’s Aria Sky Suites property finally came out this week. One of the prods to stop editing and just post it was that we were booking another stay for this summer that was somewhat related. Not everyone will celebrate a birthday and aim for MLife Gold in one weekend, but about anyone with the right charge card can take advantage of these benefits.

Delano’s all-suite plan makes it a very comfortable place for longer-term stays on the Las Vegas strip

We’ve written briefly about Delano Las Vegas in our Hidden Gems piece earlier this year. It’s one of our favorite properties on the strip, especially when attending an event being held in Mandalay Bay Convention Center. With its small lounge and bar, coffee shop with pastries and snacks, and Della’s Kitchen breakfast/lunch venue, you can get a lot done without passing Michael Jackson, and with Delano itself being a non-smoking, non-casino hotel with a separate entrance, those with sensitivity to noise or smoke can escape those discomforts in their “home” hotel. But you’re a few hundred feet from Cirque du Soleil, the Mandalay Bay casino, their dining options from fast counter service to posh sit-down service, and of course the rest of the strip.

Continue reading “A second look at Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts at Delano Las Vegas”

Internet on the Road, part 2 – how to optimize your travel connectivity, on #rsts11

rsts11travel note: This is the second of a two-part series started on #rsts11travel, featuring mobile internet routers. Part one appeared here on rsts11travel last week. The second part will appear over on #rsts11 since it’s a bit more POHO than random travel, and we’re excerpting it here. 

When you travel, you probably have a number of devices that demand connectivity.

Many venues limit your allowed devices, and maybe you don’t want your devices out on the open network. Additionally, you may want to use streaming devices or shared storage in your room, and that may not work with typical public network setups. Last time we looked at some battery powered routers with charging functions and other network features.

Today we’ll look at some choices for sharing a wired connection as well as a cellular modem. We’ll revisit Hootoo and RavPower devices as an entry point, and then go power-user/POHO on you with offerings from Cradlepoint,  Meraki, and Peplink.

Read more on rsts11.com

Travel quickie: Marriott and Starwood Q1 promos

This will be a short treat for the Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest fans in the audience.

Marriott has announced their first quarter 2017 promos. Register now, and even one stay with either chain will get you more points than if you hadn’t.

starwood-2017q1-openerStarwood Preferred Guest has their SPG Double Take promo out. Register before March 15, 2017, and earn double Starpoints on your first three paid stays at any SPG program property with check-in between January 16 and April 15, 2017. Registration opened in December, but it’s worth checking to see that you registered. And surprisingly, stays prior to registration (during the qualifying period) will count toward the bonuses. Award stays will not count.

marriott-2017q1Marriott fans aren’t left out, as their Q1 Megabonus promotion will give you double points on your first three stays. Register by March 15, 2017, and stay between January 16 and April 15, 2017, with your earning option set to points (not miles), and you’ll get double Marriott Rewards points for your first three paid stays in that time period. The Ritz-Carlton is included in this promo, but third party bookings appear to not be included. Also note that the T&Cs say this is a targeted offer, but you may be automatically targeted if you register for Starwood’s program. Worth a click either way.

Hope you’re having a great weekend. For more info on hotel loyalty programs, including where you may be able to take advantage of these promos, check out our “Loyalty has its advantages” post from this past week.

Powering your laptop bag on the go, part 2 (the battery edition)

Welcome back to rsts11travel. Today we’re going to review some portable battery pack options for charging your phones and tablets. We’ll be featuring products we’ve bought from Anker, Aukey, Nomad, and Apple.

Check out the previous installment for our recommendations on cables and AC adapters, which you’ll probably need to keep your battery packs charged up on the go.

There are lots of options, and we’ll only cover about a quarter of what’s in our various travel bags, but this will give you a reasonable starting point for most equipment. Continue reading “Powering your laptop bag on the go, part 2 (the battery edition)”

Powering your laptop bag on the go, part 1 (the cable edition)

Welcome back to rsts11travel. Today we’re going to start looking at power options for your portable electronics. We’ll be looking at charging adapters and cables from Portapow, Nomad Goods and Anker, with others coming in future posts. In the next part of this post, we’ll look at battery packs.

There are lots of options, and we’ll only cover about a tenth of what’s in my various travel bags, but this will give you a reasonable starting point for most equipment. Continue reading “Powering your laptop bag on the go, part 1 (the cable edition)”

The best part of waking up is coffee in your room!

Welcome to rsts11travel. Are you caffeinated? Have you ever wished you could bring your espresso machine on the road? You found the right place. We’re going to look at two great ways I’ve traveled with coffee gear–Aeropress and Clever Coffee Dripper, ready to brew in the morning for under $50.

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Aeropress coffeemaker ($30) by Aerobie Clever Coffee Dripper ($25)
Uses finely ground coffee
Custom filters (350pk)
Uses coarse ground coffee
Melitta #4 filters

Continue reading “The best part of waking up is coffee in your room!”

A week of rsts11travel, and what’s to come

Hi folks. Thanks for coming back to rsts11travel. We’ve just entered week two, with a new site theme, and there’s plenty more to come this month.
powercore10000Our inaugural giveaway is complete, with visitor Elizabeth winning the Anker Powercore 10000 charging bank. Congratulations to Elizabeth and thanks to everyone who participated (over 8000 of you!). Watch for future, more targeted giveaways on the blog as we go.

The promised posts about mobile power and coffee on the go are in art edit now. They’ll be posted later this week. Watch our Facebook page for opportunites to get involved in future topics. And always feel free to make requests or comments here on the blog, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

We’d also like to point you toward our ‘support rsts11travel‘ page. There are a few affiliate links there that help us fund our active research. We are trying to keep the blog focused on the content and not the ads, of course.

Finally, for the technologists among our readers, remember the original rsts11.com blog is still out there. Some fresh content around networking and home lab gear, as well as a likely Peloton bike review, is coming to rsts11 in the next month or so.

Thanks for your support of this new venture, and we’ll see you on the road soon!

Welcome to rsts11travel.com

Greetings, and happy new year.

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We are proud to launch rsts11travel.com, the RSTS11 travel blog. For now it will be a category within rsts11.com but that may change.

The goal for this sub-blog is to cover some travel-specific topics outside of tech, so that even friends and readers who aren’t technophiles or thought leaders or the like will be able to benefit from some of my adventures. Guest posts are a possibility; if you’d like to share a guest post let us know.

Watch for three Las Vegas-themed posts in the next week to start things with a pop. On the board to round out January 2017 are a mobile power post and a mobile caffeine post.

Continue reading “Welcome to rsts11travel.com”