The great thing about newer Android phones is that they can be used a mobile hotspots, and if you root them, and use a cracked Tether app, you can do it for free. I have an old Droid that I bring on trips with me, and I always have speedy internet for my laptop no matter where I am.
As for rooting, generally stay away from 'Auto-rooting' programs, because most of them are bullshit. There are quite a few great programs out there that'll do most of the heavy lifting, but only a couple that'll do it all, legitimately at least. SuperOneClick is a great program for beginners, and works just as well as any other method. You can head over to the XDA for more info.