Top travel tips for summer

Travel + LeisureKristin Luna is a seasoned journalist for a host of travel and lifestyles magazines and shares her adventures via her blog Camels & Chocolate. She also runs a digital marketing company, Odinn Media, and is the co-founder of Nashville-based tech conference KEEN Digital Summit.

Summer is nearly here, the taste of vacation hangs heavy in the air and if you haven’t already planned your getaway, there’s never a better time than the present. Here are some important things to remember–and tips to follow–as you begin to plot those summer adventures.

  1. Some like it hot–go where the weather is less desirable (to some). New Mexico, Arizona or Palm Springs may be steamy in summer months, but if you can handle the (dry) heat–literally–you’ll find lower prices and fewer crowds in the desert regions during June, July and August.
  2. Keep copies of all travel documents handy. Never leave home without back-up copies of your driver’s license, passport and other important documents. I recommend scanning and inserting such images into a OneNote notebook and putting it in SkyDrive. That way you’ll always have a copy at your fingertips from virtually anywhere on the planet (with an internet connection) via your PC, smartphone or the web.
  3. If flying, brush up on the latest TSA rules. Those traveling with small children ages 12 and under will be happy to learn that kids are no longer required to remove their shoes when passing through security (neither are adults over the age of 75). Other new rules for 2013? Small knives, golf clubs and other previously banned items are now allowed in carry-ons–but always check the TSA site before you go as the prohibitions are ever-changing.
  4. Consult the web for the “local’s” experience. The new special edition OneNote travel notebook created in collaboration with Travel + Leisure allows users to get advice from T+L editors while planning their vacation and take advantage of their expertise to find where the locals eat, drink, shop, and go (while also using the notebook to organize and store all travel research, itineraries, notes, web clippings and more!). And when in doubt, ask your concierge–they are there to serve you, after all–or your social media network if you have a well-curated following of fellow travelers.
  5. Choose your luggage wisely. Flight 001 co-founder Brad Johns offers up four things to look for in the perfect suitcase: lightweight (with airlines charging for overweight bags, this is of utmost importance), layout (i.e., do you need a piece of luggage with dividers and pockets, or do you prefer to pack a case that is just one big open space?), sturdy wheels (with a carry-on, you want wheels that have a low profile; for a check-in, the wheels need to be strong enough to withstand being tossed around), and an unconventional-looking piece (so you can spot it easily as it comes down the beltway).
  6. Explore your own backyard. So often travelers forget about the experiences in their own backyard. Use summer as an excuse to check out that town two hours away you’ve always heard about but never visited or to take a road trip rather than flying. A campsite in a national park is far cheaper than a hotel room–plus, the views are way better.
  7. Pack in one color scheme. I’ve always adopted the single-palette tip to cut back on the number of extras like shoes, bags or jewelry needed, often choosing a color scheme of neutral accessories to match everything. A well-known celebrity stylist, who packs for actors and musicians going on long jaunts, recently told me that when it comes to summertime, pick things that are light and fresh and all go together. For example, bring a white jean or skirt that will go with every top–tank, tee or cardigan–you pack.
  8. Seek out free Wi-Fi hotspots. Want to save on data packages with your cell phone provider? You don’t need to pay for Internet when so many chains like McDonald’s and Starbucks now offer it up for free to patrons. For those who travel via car rather than plane, most RV parks and campgrounds also include complimentary Internet access (and cable, too). Want to phone home? Take advantage of the 60 minutes of Skype calls (per month) that is included with Office 365.
  9. Carry on when possible. Not only does it save you the money of checking a bag, it also prevents the hassle of having to wait for your bag to come down the luggage belt–while eliminating the risk of the airline losing your bag entirely (something that has happened to me far too many times). As a result, I’ve learned to pare down my necessities and cram it all into a carry-on if I’m traveling for 10 days or less.
  10. When flying, dress for comfort–not style. We’re no longer in the golden days of air travel where frequent fliers are expected to dress to impress. Comfort reigns supreme. Dress in layers, wear materials like cotton or cashmere that breathe well and will keep you cozy, and be sure to don footwear that slips on and off easily for security check. If you have bulkier pieces, save space in your luggage and wear them on the plane instead–after all, they can always double as a blanket or a pillow (both things that airlines are skimping on these days).

–Kristin Luna

Kristin LunaCheck out Camels & Chocolate to follow Kristin’s adventures and learn more expert travel tips.

Felicity Huffman on OneNote, and Surface RT giveaway


Felicity Huffman Actress Felicity Huffman has a lot going on. She’s got her website, family activities and responsibilities, television and movie projects, publicity details, and of course her own bucket list.

According to Felicity, “If Office 365 is like having your office travel around with you, OneNote is like having an office assistant combined with my own personal tutor right there in my big Mom bag that I carry around everywhere.”

Go to to find out how Felicity uses OneNote to keep everything straight–and don’t forget to enter her Mother’s Day Giveaway of four Surface RT tablets, all equipped with Office 2013 Home and Student RT with OneNote 2013 RT and other Office 2013 RT applications.

Office 2013 now transferable


Office 2013 now transferableA couple weeks ago, I posted this blog to clarify the new Office 2013 licensing terms. Based on customer feedback we have changed the Office 2013 retail license agreement to allow customers to transfer the software from one computer to another. This means customers can transfer Office 2013 to a different computer if their device fails or they get a new one. Previously, customers could only transfer their Office 2013 software to a new device if their PC failed under warranty.

While the license agreement accompanying Office 2013 software will be updated in a future release, this change is effective immediately and applies to Office Home and Student 2013, Office Home and Business 2013, Office Professional 2013 and the standalone Office 2013 applications. These transferability options are equivalent to those found in the Office 2010 retail license terms. The updated text is as follows:

Updated transferability provision to the Retail License Terms of the Software License Agreement for Microsoft Office 2013 Desktop Application Software:

Can I transfer the software to another computer or user? You may transfer the software to another computer that belongs to you, but not more than one time every 90 days (except due to hardware failure, in which case you may transfer sooner). If you transfer the software to another computer, that other computer becomes the “licensed computer.” You may also transfer the software (together with the license) to a computer owned by someone else if a) you are the first licensed user of the software and b) the new user agrees to the terms of this agreement before the transfer. Any time you transfer the software to a new computer, you must remove the software from the prior computer and you may not retain any copies.

At Microsoft, we strive to make Office the very best product to help busy people and families get things done. A key ingredient in our formula for success is listening to our customers, and we’re grateful for the feedback behind this change in Office licensing. Thank you.

–Jevon Fark, Office Team

Office 2013 and Office 365 installations and transferability


A few weeks ago, we announced the new Office for consumers, including the all new Office 365 Home Premium, Office 365 University for college and university students, and traditional Office suites: Office Home and Student 2013, Office Home and Business 2013 and Office Professional 2013.

Since then we’ve received questions about the number of installations people get with the traditional Office suites, transferability, and how they compare to Office 2010. With that in mind, we want to offer some clarity on the matter, to help customers make the best purchasing decision.

Here’s how our Office 2010 and Office 2013 licenses compare:

*An exception is granted when the software is on a PC that is replaced under warranty.

It is important to note that Office 2013 suites have consistent rights and restrictions regarding transferability as the equivalent Office 2010 PKC, which was chosen by a majority of Office 2010 customers worldwide.

We think this new lineup offers unmatched choice and value for students, families and everyone in between.

  • For those looking to use Office on multiple devices – Office 365 Home Premium works across up to 5 devices (Windows tablets, PCs or Macs) and can be activated and deactivated across devices.
  • For those who only require Office on one device – The Office 2013 software is licensed to one computer for the life of that computer and is non-transferable (consistent with the rights and restrictions of Office 2010 PKC). In the event that a customer buys the Office 2013 software and installs it on a PC that fails under warranty, the customer can contact support to receive an exemption to activate the Office 2013 software on the replacement PC.
  • For college and university students – Office 365 University works across 2 devices (Windows tablets, PCs or Macs) and can be activated and deactivated across devices.

If you’re interested in getting the new Office, we encourage you to go here to explore which offering will give you the most value.

–Jevon Fark, Office Team


Office for Windows RT


Office for Windows RTA few months ago, Morgan Stanley Research conducted an in-depth study* on the future of the tablet market.  Among other things, it found that 61 percent of potential tablet purchasers consider Microsoft Office to be the single most important software feature when considering a tablet purchase. People do, it turns out, want a device that can work hard and play hard.

Traditionally, tablets have been great for reading, listening to music, watching movies, or keeping the kids entertained, but they haven’t met everyone’s needs for staying organized and getting things done. All that changed with last week’s announcement of Microsoft Surface with Windows RT, which, like all Windows RT devices, comes with the preview release of Office Home & Student 2013 RT preinstalled at no additional charge.

This is one of the first opportunities to get the most vibrant, exciting release of Office ever. Office Home & Student 2013 RT provides a complete Office experience and includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. It is optimized for touch, long battery life and the tablet form factor. The new Office and Windows RT devices seamlessly blend form and function, portability and productivity, and play and work in a single device.

Customers who buy a Windows RT device will automatically receive the final release of Office Home & Student 2013 RT, a few days after they first use their new device (Wi-Fi connection required). Alternatively they can manually download the final release immediately via Windows Update.

Be among the first to experience new Office and Windows together by taking a look at one of the many Windows RT devices launching over the next few weeks.

–          Oliver Roll, Office Team


Building Office for Windows RT

About Office RT


*Morgan Stanley Research, “Tablet Landscape Evolution“, May 2012





Office 365 University for Higher-Education Students

Office 365 University for Higher-Education StudentsToday, we’re introducing a new offering for university and college students called Office 365 University. Available in the first quarter of 2013, Office 365 University will be offered online, at retail locations and at Microsoft Stores in 52 markets worldwide.

Starting today, eligible students can buy Office University 2010 or Office University for Mac 2011 and receive a free subscription to Office 365 University when it becomes available.

10 Reasons Higher-Education Students Will Love Office 365 University

  1. The best of Office: Includes the new Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access.
  2. The best price: At US$1.67 per month, it’s a great deal. (Estimated retail price of US$79.99 for a four-year subscription; non-U.S. pricing available.)
  3. Four years: If school takes more than four years, renew once for a total of eight years of Office 365 University.
  4. Digital note-taking: Take notes with touch, pen or keyboard in OneNote and keep them handy in the cloud and across multiple devices.
  5. Save to SkyDrive: Office 365 University saves documents to SkyDrive by default, so content is always available across devices.
  6. More storage: Additional 20 GB Premium SkyDrive Storage for a total of 27 GB.
  7. Skype: 60 Skype world minutes per month included.
  8. New upgrades: Get future upgrades and enhancements.
  9. Two installations: Install Office 365 University on up to two computers (PC or Mac) for one user.
  10. Office on Demand: Use it even when you are away from your PC by streaming full-featured Office to an Internet-connected Windows-based PC.


the new Office


Because you shouldn’t take our word for it, we gave higher-education students an early look at Office 365 University and here are some of their reactions:


  • “Office 365 University costs a fraction of what I spend on textbooks for a semester, and, unlike a textbook, it never becomes out of date, and I can use it the entire time I’m in school. That’s a steal.” – Grant Gumina, Purdue University
  • “Microsoft Office is easily the most important product I use on a daily basis, and, with touch capabilities and cloud integration in the new Office, there is no competition at this price. College students can’t afford not to get it.” – Mike Riess, Baylor University
  • “I was already happy with the Office 365 Home Premium prices, so when I heard the education pricing my jaw hit the floor.” – Devin Pastoor, University of Maryland

Who can get Office 365 University?

Full- and part-time enrolled university and college students, faculty and staff in accredited institutions are eligible to purchase Office 365 University.

Higher-education students, faculty and staff must verify their eligibility online as part of the Office 365 University product activation process. (Note: Verification is post-purchase for all channels except directly from Microsoft Store, where we offer a pre-purchase verification.)

Related blog post: The new Office 365 subscriptions for consumers and small business

Jevon Fark, Office Team

OneNote, Publisher and Access available on PC only.

OneNote available on PC only.

Skype account required. Excludes special, premium and non-geographic numbers. Calls to mobiles are for select countries only. Skype available only in select countries.


Recipes gone wild? Collect digital or scribbled ones in an OneNote cookbook

onenote recipe bookOne of the oldest recipes ever to be discovered is a 4000-year-old beer formula recorded on a clay tablet. Those brew masters would envy the ways we catalog recipes today:  a scrawled family recipe on an index card, bookmarked recipes from, or the batter-splattered page of your mom’s cookbook.

All those recipe formats have a clear downside. How the heck do you organize them so you can find one when it’s time to cook?

It’s really easy. You put all of them (except for the 4000-year-old clay tablet) in OneNote. It lets you drop in screen clippings, scanned images of handwritten recipes, and even recorded reminders to go slow on the hot pepper sauce.

To help you get started, we created this OneNote cookbook. Download it for free and make it your own by following these simple tips.

Clipping recipes from webpages 

When you find a recipe on one of the countless recipe websites, you can drop it into OneNote in three clicks.

  1. Go to your favorite foodie site and pick out a recipe
  2. With that webpage open, go to the Insert tab in OneNote, and click Screen Clipping
  3. Select any portion of the online recipe, and voila! The recipe drops into OneNote-along with the URL for easy reference


Add audio notes

Do you ever follow a recipe to the letter? It’s easy to record your audio notes to add a dash more of this or a sprinkle more of that, and play it back later.

  1. Go to the Insert tab, and click Record Audio
  2. Start speaking or recording, and when you click Stop, it adds the recording to the page


Reverse recipe lookup

Got a lot of food in your refrigerator that you don’t want to go bad? Save a trip to the grocery store by searching your recipes for what you have on hand.

  1. Go to the Search box located in the top-right corner of your notebook
  2. Type an ingredient and choose what you want to cook

Recipe preservation

Handwritten recipes passed down from over generations have sentimental value. For safekeeping, scan them into OneNote and put the originals away.

  1. Connect a scanner to your computer and put the recipe facedown on the glass
  2. Go to the  Insert tab, and click Scanner Printout
  3. In the dialogue box, click Custom Insert, and then click Start

    The scanner starts and when it’s finished, plunks the recipe into your OneNote cookbook.. 


Sharing your cookbook

After you’ve put together a cookbook to rival Wolfgang Puck, you can share it with your own friends and followers by using OneNote with SkyDrive.

Watch this video to learn how.

Going to the BlogHer Food Conference?

The Office team is heading to the BlogHer Food conference this weekend in Seattle to showcase how

Office 2010 makes the perfect kitchen companion. We’ll be demonstrating these five OneNote tips above and more. If you’re going, be sure to stop by booth 17 and say hello.

–Jevon Fark

Office Team