Bigger, Faster, Stronger. Oh My.

February 27 2009 by Neal Mueller

biggerstronger.jpgNext time you're running through the airport terminal trying to catch your next flight, think of how much faster you'd be if you could swim through the crowds like a killer whale (max speed 34.5 mph). Or like Usain Bolt of Jamaica (max speed 23 mph).

Or how about this one. If you were a Spittlebug you could jump vertically from airport terminal to airport terminal. Air-tram?! Who needs them.

Imagine if we compared our abilities to the animal kingdom. The results might surprise you!

Running Speeds
Squirrel = 9 mph
Black Mamba Snake = 20 mph
Tyrannosaurus Rex = 18 mph
*Human = 23 mph; Usain Bolt of Jamaica ran 100-meter in 9.72 seconds
Grizzly Bear = 30 mph
House Cat = 30 mph
Cheetah = 50 mph

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More Nifty Nuggets of Knowledge

February 25 2009 by Chris McGinnis

morenuggets.jpgI'm picking up from last week's column where I shared some interesting snippets from a panel discussion I moderated at the recent Best Western Business Travel Summit in New York City.

Panelists included Linda Rutherford, VP of communications and strategic outreach at Southwest Airlines, George Zilvetti, VP at MasterCard who oversees business development and co-branding, and Best Western's Dorothy Dowling, senior VP of marketing and sales.

Here are some more nifty nuggets of knowledge I picked up from the panel and how they affect you:

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Travel Gadgets #2 - Cinema on the Run

February 24 2009 by Mark Deyer

cinemaontherun.jpgTechnology has influenced the way that many of us travel. Cell phones make sure we're always accessible, GPS has turned paper maps into museum exhibits, and mp3 players give us refuge from noisy airplanes. One travel innovation I could not live without is the portable DVD player. The PDP is the perfect travel accessory for the traveler looking to zone out in a busy airport, relax in the back of a bus, or quiet a carload of loud children. I purchased my first PDP in 2002. Since my first, I've owned 3 others- and not because they've become lost or broken, but because like other gadget geeks, I'm always wanting the latest and greatest. If I had the knowledge and understanding that I have now when I bought my first player, I would have saved a lot of time and money.

Helpful tips when selecting a PDP that is right for you:

Does size matter? Size is a key element when deciding on a PDP. If you're like me and you do most of your travel in the air, it will be important to buy a smaller, lightweight player. Players can range anywhere from 2lbs to 4lbs. Lightweight players are great, but the added convenience will cost more. For the occasional traveler who will be using their player around the house or in the hotel room, size may be not as much of a factor. Larger, bulkier players are usually lower in cost.

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Trippin' Deal: Spring Promos

February 23 2009 by BW Innsider

Spring_webpage_Image_wo_tex.jpgBeat the glum economy and get ready for your spring fling! Stay any 2 qualified nights between February 15 and April 5, 2009 and earn DOUBLE points or miles.

In addition, enter for a chance to win 1 million Best Western RewardsSM points! With all those points you can earn free night stays, gift cards and more.

Find out more >

The Art of "Timed" Travel

February 23 2009 by Matthew Clyde

timedtravel.jpgBy the end of this post, you will know a valuable secret to planning great vacations for less. Not only will you know, but you will be an instant expert. It's simple, there are only two steps, don't follow the masses and find great off season activities.

A trip to the beach in the summer, Aspen in the winter, or to see the leaves change in the fall is great, but these will cost you. Every location has its reasons for visiting during "peak season" but there are also great activities to be discovered during off-seasons.

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Recessions are an Adventure Traveler's Dream

February 21 2009 by Neal Mueller

recessiontravel.jpgIn this global recession the overall mood is dire, and it's hard to see an end to it all. My advice this weekend is to turn off the television; put down the newspaper; close your laptop; and go outside.

The economic downturn is ushering in a period that should cry out to the adventurer inside of you. New opportunities are at your feet.

Right now, as you read this, the travel industry is slashing budgets and ratcheting down expectations for 2009 and 2010. Airline executives are hosting brainstorming sessions to devise ways to fill seats in the coming quarters. Travel operators, who have seen booking activity come to a standstill, are scrambling to capture your attention. Prices are coming down folks, and fast.

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Presidential Vacations - Where Do Presidents Relax?

February 19 2009 by Karla Henriquez

presidentretreat.jpgKey West, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, the Jersey Shore, the Texas country, and Maine - all of these destinations have hosted vacationing Presidents. In the spirit of the current holiday, here's some information on who went where and what they did to relax.

Ulysses S. Grant was the first president to decide he needed some time off from Washington D.C. His family had a cottage on the Jersey shore, at Long Branch, and they headed up there every summer. Their favorite activities included dancing, driving on the beach, checking out the horse races, and sailing.

Teddy Roosevelt's Summer White House was Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay, on the fashionable north shore of Long Island, New York. While at Sagamore Hill, the president fished, sailed, and hiked. Today, you can actually tour Sagamore Hill, since it's a National Forest Service park. Teddy Roosevelt is also known for having spent a lot of time out west, ranching. He made it popular for wealthy Easterners to pay western ranchers with names like Curly for the opportunity to ride a horse all day, sleep under the stars, and learn to rope cattle.

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Nifty Nuggets of Knowledge

February 18 2009 by Chris McGinnis
Comments (1)

NY 2009 BTS.jpgIf you've been following my blog, you know that I traveled to New
York last week to lead a panel discussion at the Best Western Business Travel Summit, saving at least 100 jobs in the process.

Now, I bet you're wondering what we covered in a our revealing conversation that included Linda Rutherford, VP of communications and strategic outreach for Southwest Airlines, George Zilvetti, VP at MasterCard who oversees business development and co-branding, and Best Western's Dorothy Dowling, senior VP of marketing and sales.

Here are some of the nifty nuggets of knowledge I picked up from the panel and how they will affect you:

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Business Travel Trends for 2009 - Podcast

February 16 2009 by Chris McGinnis

businesstrends.jpgHow will the economy effect business travel in 2009? Who will benefit from the down turn in the economy? How can you find survive this new world of business travel? Listen to expert business traveler Chris McGinnis, lead a panel discussion of business travel industry insiders and learn what's in store for business travelers in the coming year.

Listen Now >

Gator Country

February 16 2009 by Mike Mason

Gator Country.jpgJust how close can you get to a real-life alligator in the wild without being eaten? The answer is: very, very close. Just a little bit closer, it turns out, than the point at which you wet your pants. When you go to New Orleans (and you should go to New Orleans), eat beignets and gumbo in the French Quarter, stay up late listening to some great, dynamic jazz, go to the aquarium--do all those things that people say you have to do in New Orleans. You do have to do all those things.

But don't miss the chance to walk around a swamp filled with real-life alligators. Take your children, too, because the Barataria Preserve that is part of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve will teach them things they should know about Mississippi environments and wildlife, and the 'gators prefer bite-sized meals. The Barataria Preserve is only one of six separate sites that make up the Jean Lafitte National Park. Separate components of the park include the Chalmette Battlefield, important to the War of 1812, the Wetlands Acadian Center, and the Acadian Cultural Center-Lafayette, all of which are worthwhile. But, in the Acadian Cultural Center-Lafayette, you won't come face-to-face with a very large reptile with very large teeth.

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What is Adventure Travel?

February 13 2009 by Neal Mueller

WhatisAdventureTravel.jpgAdventure travel is a broad term. There are a few things that I personally keep to when describing my own definition of the term. For me, an adventure has these components:

  • Engagement with nature and cultures.
  • Tangible end goal. A tangible end goal that pushes me to expand my known set of abilities.
  • Physical and mental test. An adventure will test my physically endurance and my mental fortitude. Pushing my mental endurance is even more rewarding than my physical endurance. My body should reach its limits before my mind quits. If this happens, I look back on the trip with pride and see it as a stepping stone to the next adventure.

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Trippin' Deal - Countdown to Savings!

February 12 2009 by BW Innsider

cts-main-sleep.jpgCheck out specific travel deals available for 2 hours only, every day. Travel can take place anytime this year.

Make sure to set your alarm for noon EST and check out the savings.

Find out more

How I Saved 100 Jobs

February 10 2009 by Chris McGinnis
Comments (11)

100jobs.jpgHave you ever considered how many people you help remain employed when you hit the road?

Last week, I took a business trip to New York City to lead a panel discussion at Best Western's third annual Business Travel Summit. For the duration of my trip, the fate of President Obama's economic stimulus plan dominated the news. As I sat in my room at the Best Western Hospitality House, I pondered just how much my trip would help stimulate the economy and how many jobs I might be saving.

Here's what I came up with: In just a single day of travel, I helped preserve at least 33 jobs.

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Miami Fever

February 9 2009 by Karla Henriquez

miamifever.jpgIt's freezing in Connecticut. My skin is looking pasty. My lips feel dry. I'm sick of bundling my daughter and myself every time I want to step outside. I went into Manhattan the other day to try to lose my winter blues in the sights and sounds of the city. However, stripped of holiday lights and magical window displays, the city just felt cold and windy.

On the way home that night, I started daydreaming about a hot and sunny city with a lot of color. I haven't been to Miami in years, but it immediately came to mind.

Since the idea came up, I've spent some time doing my diligence on this location - I even found Will Smith's song on an old CD. The catchy tune and fun lyrics put the bounce back in my step...

Party in the city where the heat is on
All night on the beach till the break of dawn
Welcome to Miami (bienvenido a Miami)

... and here's what I've come up with in terms of lodging and things to do:

Spend two or three nights in Miami Beach, at the Best Western Atlantic Beach Resort. This new hotel will put you right on the water and within walking distance of: the famous Art Deco District, where you can check out Miami's classic architecture; Lincoln Road Mall, where you can do some high end or bargain shopping and try to catch a glimpse of J. Lo or Paris Hilton; the Bass Museum of Art, in case you decide to check out Flemish tapestries or modern Latin American art.

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7 Adventure Destinations Just Got Cheaper

February 6 2009 by Neal Mueller

Like a saving grace, the global recession is making travel cheap for Americans. Currency traders view the dollar as a safe haven during this recession. As a result, the dollar gains strength as the stock market weakens. This may surprise many travelers, because until recently the dollar was weak.

A strong dollar is GREAT news for travelers, especially adventure travelers who love the places that are especially cheap these days. There are 7 countries that are especially cheap right now. I'll highlight them below:


For example, what used to cost $10 in Iceland in January 2008 now costs $4.50 in US Dollar equivalent. That is a savings of 55%. Read on for a country-by-country analysis.

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Tell Us Your MOST ROMANTIC Travel Destinations

February 5 2009 by BW Innsider
Comments (134)

romantic desitnation.jpg
And enter for a chance to win a $100 Best Western Travel Card!

This is the month for Valentine's Day and love is in air. In the spirit of St. Valentine, share with us the most romantic travel destinations on your list (or wish list). Is it a tropical hideaway, a cozy retreat or just a special place for you and your significant other? Let us know!

To submit your MOST ROMANTIC destinations (and at the same time enter for a chance to win a $100 Best Western Gift Card), select the Comment button and enter in your response to the question, "What are your MOST ROMANTIC travel destinations?" Once you enter a comment you are entered into a random drawing for one commenter to win a $100 Best Western Gift Card!

The contest promotion ends on February 28, so submit your travel destinations today.

Battening Down the Hatches On Spending

February 4 2009 by Chris McGinnis
Comments (1)

batteningdown.jpgWhen American Express talks, the business travel community listens. Last week, the travel behemoth released a new study that details how companies are controlling travel costs in an economic downturn.

While the report was written for travel managers and procurement types, let me translate it into language road warriors will understand.

The report says that companies will be holding employees accountable. This means you are going to be getting plenty of edicts from management to cut your travel costs and if you don't, you'll be asked why. Your company is going to try and explain the financial implications of out-of-policy travel spending and will emphasize that the sacrifices you make on the road could help save your job.

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Get Lost Close To Home: Romantic Weekend Getaways

February 3 2009 by Julie Drossos

getlost.jpgIt's no secret - we're all trying to find ways to save a few bucks and lower our expenses these days. We're looking for ways to enjoy life and treat ourselves, but on a much smaller budget. With Valentine's Day just around the corner, there's no reason that you and your special Valentine (or your best friend for that matter) shouldn't treat yourselves to a nice getaway.

Here are just a few ideas. Skip the long flights and stress of air travel. Forget about spending hours getting to a destination only to lose out on precious quality time and sightseeing. This year for Valentine's Day, get lost close to home!

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Every Cool Trip Needs a Soundtrack

February 2 2009 by Neal Mueller
Comments (1)

Soundtrack.jpgEvery cool trip needs a soundtrack. Is your music collection getting a bit stale? Need help preparing a rocking playlist for your upcoming trip? Run out of places to get fresh info about new music? If so, you're in luck. Mashable Blog has assembled a list websites to add fabulousness to your next trip soundtrack. Below is an excerpt with some additions from us.
When you create your soundtrack consider jamming out at these hotels with in-room iPod docks.

Music Discovery Sites

Musicovery - discover new music with this cool take on Internet radio.

MusicMesh - browse through artists based on their similarities; find track lists and reviews for albums.

Pandora - type in the name of an artist you like, Pandora will create a "radio station" for you featuring that artist and similar acts.

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