Double Up: Earn Rewards Faster for Fall

September 30 2008 by BW Innsider

Rewards Fasterl.jpg
With things so up and down in the economy, it may seem like doubling up on anything is impossible these days. Even as the stock market continues to slide up and down, you can double your point earnings with Best Western this fall.

Stay any 2 qualified nights between now and November 21, pay with your MasterCard card and earn DOUBLE points or miles. Reward points with Best Western can be used for free nights, gift cards, airline miles, and much more. It is comforting to know that there are still opportunities for great returns out there.

Find out all the details on how Best Western can get you to your rewards faster.

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September 29 2008 by Chris McGinnis
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control.jpgOn most business trips I do what I'm told....I fly when the airline wants me to fly...I walk through the airport security magnetometer when and only when the TSA person tells me to...I stow my bag where the flight attendant tells me to...and I accept the rental car the agent decides to give me. Sound familiar?

Last month when my business trip to Houston was canceled due to Hurricane Ike (blowing a four-day hole in my calendar) I decided to jump in my car in San Francisco and head down to meet up with a client in Los Angeles-- 375 miles away.

I'm always up for a road trip. There's something I love about hitting the road with complete freedom ...leaving when I'm ready...stopping when I feel like it...taking in a little bit of local color or cuisine along the way...driving all night long listening to a new CD or audio book of my choice...Doing what I want to do. It's such a relief to feel in control on a trip instead of just doing what I'm told.

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How to Plan a Mother-Daughter Getaway

September 26 2008 by Amy Graff
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I let my 5-year-old daughter, Paris make the call to her friend Tomo in Portland, Ore. "We're coming to visit you! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!" Paris excitedly screamed over the phone. I could hear Tomo cheering on the other end of the line.

Before Paris starts kindergarten at the end of August, I decided to take her on a special getaway to Portland, Ore., where one of her best friends recently moved. We had a busy summer with little time alone together and Paris was anxious about going to a new school. She seemed to need a few days away with just the girls.

This isn't our first vacation together. She tagged along on my work trip to Waikiki, where we swam with dolphins, took a hula lesson, and ate lots of pineapple. I find that mother-daughter getaways renew relationships and create lasting memories. Paris is always saying, "Remember in Hawaii when we..."

Here are some tips on how you can plan a mother-daughter vacation and make sure things go smoothly on the road:

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Tips For Your Road Trip

September 25 2008 by Neal Mueller
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road trip.jpgI love the serenity and the who-knows-what-will-happen opportunity of a journey on the open road. Last week I began a 3000 mile roadtrip from Philadelphia to San Francisco. I'd just graduated from a school on the east coast and was setting out to start a new job on the west coast. My trip could have been a straight line coast-to-coast, but I took a few detours to spice it up. I visited my oldest relative in Iowa City, went for a mile-high bike ride in Denver with my friend Adam, and was totally amazed by a sweltering and lifeless hike in the Utah salt flats. The roadtrip lasted five 8-hour days and cost $882 in gas, yowza! It would have cost me more in food, gas and accommodation if I hadn't done some advance planning to find nice hotels and inexpensive gasoline stations along my route.

Here are a few tools/tips that I used...hope they're helpful for your next roadtrip.

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Fall Foliage

September 23 2008 by Matthew Clyde
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fall foliage.jpgWith all the news of stumbling stock markets and extreme weather warnings, the ticket to finding some solace might be just a short drive away. Turn off the TV, power down the PC and head outdoors for some foliage therapy this fall. Take a hike, ride your bike or drive through back country roads to get the best sightings. This is the perfect time of the year to head out. Aside from the stunning show of color to witness, you will find that with the first frosts the bugs are gone, the trails are less crowded and the sounds of nature will speak to your soul--that is, if you leave the iPod at home.

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Deep Fried (Put Food Item Here)

September 22 2008 by Mike Mason

I was at a local fair the other day and noticed that they were serving deep-fried Twinkies at one of the booths. I'd heard about this phenomenon before, but this was my first hand experience with the practice. I seem to have lost my taste for Twinkies somewhere between the age of 12 and 16. And a deep friend version didn't necessarily add more appeal. But I got thinking...if you can deep fry a Twinkie what other wonderful concoctions are people throwing in the deep fryer?

Donuts, scones, and variations of French fries are all standards. I was interested in the exotic. Here's a list of some of the things people are putting in the vat.

The Deep Fried Mars Bar
Like the legend of Loch Ness, this deep-fried delight has its origins in Scotland. If you are lodging in some of the more tourist areas like Edinburgh's Royal Mile or areas around Glasgow you should be able to pick one up. To deep fry the bar, it has to be frozen prior to dropping the bar into the hot liquid. This allows the bar to fry without turning into a gooey mess. The more American version is the deep-fried Snickers.

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Minnesota, Malls, and the Largest Ball of Twine

September 18 2008 by Claudia Kunkel

Ball of Twine.jpgI grew up in the Midwest, Iowa to be specific. You don't grow up in the Midwest without visiting every small town community in every neighboring state. It's the "neighborly" thing to do after all. We Midwesterners also know our own state and the surrounding states history pretty well - it's all part of our well-rounded history lessons in school. That brings me to Minnesota, the "land of 10,000 lakes" (who counted?) Local folk lore has it that a larger-than-life lumberjack named Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe, created all those lake beds years ago. However, Minnesota's official motto is "Star of the North", which describes the state's latitude and its veritable constellation of stars.

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Packing for Business Travel Emergencies

September 16 2008 by Mark Deyer
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business packing.jpg"A Stitch in Times Saves Nine". What, you ask, has this phrase got to do with Packing for Business Travel Emergencies? This old popular saying has many interpretations depending on who you ask and what your mother told you. My mother told me to plan ahead, be prepared for life's little emergencies and that led to my best tips for planning for the small emergencies that happen when you're on a business trip. A little pre-planning can go a long way to save a business meeting or a wasted business trip.

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Tips for Business Travel Emergencies

September 16 2008 by Mark Deyer
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Tips for Business Travel Emergencies

  • Start with a List - and I'm talking about a packing list that you have already compiled and keep on your computer. Simply print it out each time you're packing and follow it even though you've done it a million times before.

  • Medications - If you're taking prescribed medications, it's a good idea to keep at least a week's supply of medication on hand in their original prescribed bottles so you don't find you're out of a prescription when packing.
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Hotel Room Workout #1

September 12 2008 by Neal Mueller
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hotel workout.jpgIt can be super hard for me to motivate myself to go to the gym after I've been crammed into seat 32B or behind the wheel. This was definitely the case last week when I arrived late into the Best Western Hotel in Mountain View, California. I'd been driving all day and all I wanted to do was crash. But I knew I'd sleep better if I got the blood flowing and stretched. I needed a workout with dynamic movements to lengthen my body. I did two decent workouts in a hotel room and I wanted to share them with you in case you have the same sort of problem motivating as I do. Sometimes the only practical option is to get in a quick workout right in the hotel room, especially late at night.

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Traveling with the Team: College Football Road Trips

September 10 2008 by Mike Mason
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football.jpgCollege football is here. Yes!

This time of year is great for three reasons. For starters, this early in the season everyone still feels like a winner (or at least that possibility is still on the table). Second, the start of college football is really the spoonful of sugar that helps us swallow the fact that summer is over. Third, who doesn't want the opportunity to sit in the autumn sun, stuff their face, and cheer themselves hoarse for their favorite teams. The college football season also brings out the need to reconnect, and maybe for the lucky few, make a pilgrimage to their favorite stadium and relive all those great memories of seasons past.

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Ancient City Comes Alive with Olympic Spirit

September 8 2008 by Matthew Clyde

beijing.jpgYou just finished watching the Olympics on television, now is the time for you to experience firsthand the imperial city of one of the world's oldest civilizations. Beijing is a city that mixes in the rich, historic sites of a 5,000 year old civilization with the very futuristic and unique architectural structures of a quickly progressing city. Just before the Summer Olympics, I took a trip to Beijing to soak in the culture, history and complexity the city brings. Now with the Olympic flame distinguished and Beijing basking in its post-Olympic glow, this is a perfect destination to explore.

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10 Things to do with Kids in Portland

September 5 2008 by Amy Graff

tram2.jpgMy daughter, Paris, and I spent last week there visiting friends, and we discovered a paradise for families. The city has it all--affordable housing (two-story Craftsman bungalow for $350,000!), public transportation, up-and-coming public schools, nearly 260 miles of bike routes, and more than 200 parks and public gardens, including 5,000-acre Forest Park, the largest U.S. wilderness park within any city's boundaries.

On our trip, I compiled a list of my top kid-friendly spots. Please add your favorite places in the comments section.

1) OMSI. At this amazing science museum, kids can shoot water rockets, fly paper airplanes in a wind tunnel, and build a block house and test its durability during an earthquake.

2) Oregon Zoo. Don't miss Lorikeet Landing, where you can feed the birds, and the Zoo Train, which takes you through the forests of nearby Washington Park, above the International Rose Test Garden, and back to the zoo.

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Top 5 Fly Fishing Spots

September 4 2008 by Claudia Kunkel

Fly_Fish.jpgWell, as the saying goes, "everyone is entitled to their opinion" and so the following is purely my own opinion on good fly fishing spots (with the help of a fly fishing spouse). If you know any fly fisherman, you know that you will never get a consensus on the top 5 rivers as fisherman tend to be pretty fickle and biased based on first- hand experience. Fly fisherman also tend to put fishing spots into categories such as large rivers that you would fish from in a drift boat; small rivers that you would hike into and stalk the fish and everything in between. And let's not forget some fisherman love the intimate style of fly-fishing where the only thing separating you and the fish is a 3 wt. rod and a short cast. So, all this being said, here are my picks. If you know of some you'd like to add, be my guest!

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