General Practice, Solo & Small Firm DivisionMagazine

 

technology.law/J. Michael Jimmerson

J. Michael Jimmerson is a lawyer, author and technology consultant with Arthur Andersen LLP. He is the co-author of A Survival Guide for Road Warriors, a best-selling book on mobile computing for lawyers, published by the American Bar Association. He can be reached by phone (312/507-3005) or by e-mail at (michael.jimmerson@us.arthurandersen.com) .

Living the Life of Leisure

Once upon a time, technology offered the promise of more free time and leisure. Some predicted that the workweek would be slashed as we became more efficient. Well, we all know how the jury ruled on that issue. Still, we can take advantage of some nifty tools to enhance the fleeting leisure we can find. The Internet offers a wealth of information that can make your next trip a roaring success.

No matter what sort of trip you are planning, the Internet is the first place to start looking when planning a vacation or adventure. If you are into sports, you can find information on diving, climbing, mountain biking, surfing, extreme skiing or whatever lights your rockets. If you care for more pastoral vacations, you can find out the history, sights, and recommendations for anywhere on the globe. Want to take a trip to Mexico? Find lots of great information by leisure writers who know all the best spots to visit.

Another way to research your trip is to check out the city guide for your destination. Many sites exists including City.Net ( www.city.net), Sidewalk ( www.sidewalk.com), and Yahoo ( www.yahoo.com). These sites provide a broad range of information from events to weather, even restaurant reviews. Whether you are going somewhere for a month or a day, checking one of these sites will give you a leg up on other, less-connected visitors.

After you have researched your destination, you need to get there. Booking airline tickets over the Internet is a breeze. Almost every major airline has schedules, even ticketing over the Internet. Several travel sites provide competitive pricing. Check out Travelocity ( www.travelocity.com), The Trip ( www.thetrip.com) or TravelWeb ( www.travel web.com). Microsoft even has a site ( www. expedia.com). If you need to use your frequent flyer points to book a trip, you can check your account via the web. Most frequent flyer programs now have web access via an extranet requiring a personal identification number (PIN).

Next, you need to arrange lodging. The major hotels and resorts almost all have websites with information on their locale. If you prefer something more low key, research bed and breakfasts. The Internet Guide to Bed & Breakfasts ( www.ultranet.com/biz/inns) provides listings of B&Bs throughout North America and the world. If you want to find a charming little B&B to spend a quiet weekend away, this is your best shot.

Need to find your way around when you get there? Better take your laptop. A map site such as MapQuest ( www.mapquest.com) can instantly locate any address and give you a detailed map of the area. Or use a global positioning system (GPS) such as the DeLorme Earthmate with your PalmPilot to download directions. Getting lost is now a thing of the past.

No matter where you go, planning your trip is much easier using the Internet. No one said that life is any less hectic, but you can at least maximize what leisure you can squeeze out of your busy schedule. CL
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