Doing Business on Two Wheels

March 31 2009 by Jason Fogelson
Comments (2)

Motorcycle_business.jpgMotorcycle travel and business travel are not mutually exclusive. I have done my share of both, and on happy occasions, I've been able to combine the two. Traveling by bike has helped me save money and time, and I've had the chance to make a unique impression when I arrive (if I choose to).

In this age of miniaturization, most of the business tools I need for a trip will fit in a briefcase - so with some careful packing, I can get them onto my bike.

Read More »

Do You Really Want to Know?

March 30 2009 by Sam Lowe

Statue.jpgWhen dining on foreign food in a foreign country, I always face the same dilemma - should I ask what this stuff is made of or do I really want to know?

There was a time, back in my younger years, when I would never hesitate to devour whatever was set in front of me in a restaurant in a faraway place. But now, being a senior, I tend to be a bit more cautious. Some may say it comes with aging; I prefer to call it the wisdom that comes with 60-plus years of experience.

Read More »

Trippin' Deal: AAA Members Save 20% or More at Best Western Hotels

March 29 2009 by BW Innsider

trippindealAAA.jpgFind a trippin' deal this spring. Check out a list of Best Western hotels that are currently offering AAA discount rates of 20% or more off of their Best Available Rate!

From Alabama to Wisconsin, you're sure to find a fantastic hotel deal with AAA and Best Western!

See Hotels >

My Name is Bryson...and...I AM...CANADIAN!

March 26 2009 by Bryson Forbes

flagcanada.jpgYou may not understand the reference unless you too are a fellow Canuck and remember the now famous 2001 Molson Canadian Beer Commercial titled "the rant". Hilarious and award-winning; it reminded us all why we are proud to be Canadian.

Read More »

Back to Basics

March 25 2009 by Chris McGinnis

Handfull-of-coins.jpgAll the recent spotlight on travel cutbacks, trading down and staying focused on a strict budget reminds me of when I was first cutting my teeth as a business traveler. And it's proven to me that what's old is definitely new again...

During the late 1980's I worked as a trainer for a U.S.-based consulting firm. The company had projects across the country and I'd fly around to many of them to conduct two- to four-week training programs that helped clients integrate changes that our consultants were recommending.

I know that job description may sound exciting and important, but the reality was something quite different. Our company was super cheap. Since we were in the business of showing companies how to save money, we had to set the example.

Read More »

Building the Perfect Passenger

March 24 2009 by Jason Fogelson
Comments (4)

PerfectPartner.jpgMy wife Robin is the perfect passenger. She wasn't born that way. In fact, before we started dating, she had never ridden on the back of a Harley-Davidson, or any motorcycle for that matter. Robin was eager to try out the pillion, but she was a little nervous at first. We both were. Now, after years of riding together, we're like a well-tuned riding team, and Robin says that she gets as much pleasure out of the journey as I do. Here are some tips on how to build the perfect passenger.

Read More »

Digital Flexibility

March 23 2009 by Mark Deyer

Flextripod2.jpgLike many, when I travel, I take pictures. Lots of pictures. That's why I was ecstatic when I came across my newest and most favorite tech gadget: the Gorilla Pod. The Gorilla Pod is a flexible tripod that fits into the tripod port of nearly any camera on the market. Three flexible legs allow it to wrap around anything and everything when you're on vacation. No more trusting strangers with your camera to snap a photo.

My desire to find a product like the Gorilla Pod came on a recent trip to San Clemente California. While my fiance and I strolled the sparse beaches, we were left with no one to take our picture. We fumbled several times at setting our digital camera on a rock and setting the auto timer, but inevitably the camera would fall over or we couldn't get the picture at the right angle. Many of our most beautiful and favorite moments of our trip went undocumented because we just couldn't find a way to get the camera setup properly. I figured there had to be a better way.

Read More »

Undiscovered: Close to Home

March 21 2009 by Karla Henriquez
Comments (1)

Undiscovered Close to Home.jpgWe all travel for different reasons and even the reasons why we're traveling change all the time. Sometimes we travel because we want a change of scenery. Other times we travel because we feel compelled to see something of note, like a famous building, a rock formation, or a piece of art. Some of us want to know how other people live - what do they eat? Where do they gather? What are their traditions?

In today's environment, travel can also be a healthy form of escape from gloomy economic forecasts. And it doesn't have to be a huge financial endeavor. Staying relatively close to home (within a day's drive) can still provide the escape of travel, without the time and budget constraints. But where can you find these close to home escapes? It largely depends on where you live. Which leads me to my question: What destinations close to your home (within a day's drive) make great travel escapes?

Read More »

An Excellent Investment

March 20 2009 by Sam Lowe

ExcellentInvestment.jpgOne of the best investments I have ever made cost a mere $10 but over the years it has saved me close to $1,000. It's a Golden Age Passport, a lifetime entrance pass to national parks, monuments, historic sites, recreation areas and national wildlife refuges that charge an entrance fee.

The pass is for citizens or permanent residents of the United States age 62 or older. Once obtained, it grants free admission to the person whose name appears on the pass and any accompanying passengers in a private vehicle if a park has a per vehicle fee. When a per person fee is charged, the passport admits the signee, spouse and children.

The passport must be obtained in person at a federal area where an entrance fee is charged. You must show proof of age and residency, something like a drivers license, birth certificate or similar document. The pass is non-transferable and does not cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or fees charged by concessioners.

Read More »

Cutting Back on Biz Travel is Easy...

March 18 2009 by Chris McGinnis
Comments (1)

travelcosts1.jpg...but the reality is that increasing business travel when other companies are cutting back creates an opportunity to poach business from competitors and snag new accounts.


Well, yes, according to the US Travel Association. Granted, this group's raison d'etre is to promote travel, but its mid-February survey of 401 execs at U.S. companies reveals a conflict.

About half of the respondents reported that their companies had recently cut back on business travel spending. But 82 percent agree that business travel is important to their ability to achieve positive results. And 81 percent believe that client contact is necessary during tough times.

Read More »

This Just May Be the Best Time to Travel, at Least in My Lifetime...

March 17 2009 by Bryson Forbes

besttime.jpgDespite what Chicken Little and every newscaster, radio host and journalist would have you believe, the sky is not actually falling!

Personally, I don't think I can take much more of the doom and gloom and am looking at things from a different angle. This challenge has created some of the best travel opportunities seen in decades. The reason is simple; you stand to get the greatest value for your vacation if you plan and go during the current recession.

To take advantage of the great offers available, my wife, Ruth, along with our two kids, my daughter Caira, six going on 16, and son Ethan, who is four, just returned from a 10- day escape to Arizona. The deals were great for every facet of the trip. Hotels, car rental companies, restaurants and even airlines are fighting hard to win your business, which means great value for Canadians looking to travel.

Read More »

What Not to Wear

March 17 2009 by Jason Fogelson
Comments (1)

WhatNottoWear.jpgGetting ready for a trip always involves a big gear inspection. What to wear, what to pack, what to leave at home. I happen to enjoy the planning part of a trip almost as much as I enjoy the trip itself. Almost.

I have to confess that I'm one of those ATGATT guys. You know, All The Gear, All The Time. So my senses are particularly tuned to pick up what I perceive as real mistakes by my fellow riders. At risk of sounding like a gear evangelist, here are a few things I've actually seen other bikers and their passengers wearing on the road:

Read More »

Let's Go Fly a Kite: Windy Weekend Fun

March 16 2009 by Julie Drossos

kite.jpgOn a recent, warm and sunny day, a close friend and I decided to "try something new". We were told about a local park here in Vancouver - Vanier Park - which on a windy sunny day is often home to some high flying fun - kite flying! For me - someone who gets easily bored - spending a an afternoon watching these beautifully colored kites dance through the skies was surprisingly entertaining, exciting and relaxing all at the same time. I was impressed with the skill of the kite-masters, appreciative of their diligence and concentration, and I enjoyed the visual beauty of it all (I'll also shamelessly admit that I found it entertaining to watch some of the kites crash to the ground too). What I learned from chatting with others at the kite park is that kite flying is an age-old pastime with a strong following around the world.

Did you know that March 28 - May 3 is National Kite Month (don't worry, I didn't either)? In celebration of it, there are a number of Kite Festivals taking place that might be worth checking out for some windy weekend fun. Why not stray from your normal routine and do something different with a friend, or step outside the box on your weekend family outing and perhaps you and your kids might discover a newfound appreciation. A great perk is that most kite festivals are very affordable (if not free), making it a great option for an economical family outing.

Read More »

Deducing Biz Travel Tax Deductions

March 12 2009 by Chris McGinnis
Comments (1)

Once I finish writing this blog I promise to get all my paperwork in order to send off to my accountant.


Yeah, right.

I'm sure something else will come up and I'll end up sending it all in at the last minute. Just like last year. And the year before that.

Here are three tax tips to consider when wrapping up your returns this year:

1. Due to wide variations in fuel costs over the last year, the standard IRS deduction for business miles on your personal vehicle came in two flavors:

  • 50.5 cents per mile for the period January 1 through June 30, 2008
  • 58.5 cents per mile for the period July 1 through December 31, 2008

The current deduction for 2009 is 55 cents per mile, FYI.

Read More »

Some Good Old Days Haven't Gone

March 10 2009 by Sam Lowe

08 fcolumbia_200x200.jpgHaving reached that age when any reference to "the good old days" takes on added meaning because I was there for a lot of them, I was quite taken with Columbia, an old mining town that's also a historical state park, located in California's Tuolomne County near Yosemite National Park.

This is an ideal place for senior travelers for a couple of reasons:

First, it's easily walkable and reminiscent of the small villages where so many of us grew up. The main street is only two blocks long, it's flat and there are no cobblestones to stumble over. And, as a bonus, they don't allow cars or loud music on the main drag.

Second, Columbia takes its job of being an historical state park very seriously. Every morning, the shopkeepers put on their period costumes and crank open the huge steel doors that guard the stores against fire. Then the women bustle onto the sidewalks, clad in long skirts and whisking homemade brooms to maneuver the previous day's dust off the wooden sidewalks and back onto the dirt road that bisects the town.

Read More »

Trippin' Deal: The Countdown to Spring Savings has Begun!

March 9 2009 by BW Innsider

alarmclock.jpgThis week on, extra great travel deals will be available, but only from 12pm EST - 4pm EST. The travel can take place anytime this year, though prepayment is required to get the low rates. Make sure to set your alarm for noon EST and check out the savings that everyone is talking about.

Find out more >


March 3 2009 by BW Innsider
Comments (89)

BudgetContest.jpgAnd enter for a chance to win 24,000 Best Western Reward points!

Here at YMBT we understand that travel costs money. But we also understand that travel is a healthy escape, a needed getaway, a necessary business expense or a chance to reconnect with family and friends. And with the constant bad news about the economy, we need those things now more than ever. But there are places to travel that don't have to break the bank. And we want to hear about them. They could be weekend getaway spots, National or State Parks, interesting sites or special places close to home that help you get away from it all.

To submit your BEST BUDGET TRAVEL DESTINATION ideas (and at the same time enter for a chance to win 24,000 Best Western Reward points), select the Comment button and enter in your response to the question, "What are your best budget travel destination ideas?" Once you enter a comment you are entered into a random drawing for one commenter to win 24,000 Best Western Reward points!

The contest promotion ends on March 31, so submit your travel destinations today.

A Smoother Ride Soon, but Detours First

March 3 2009 by Chris McGinnis

BW Road Trips 003.jpgI know there is a lot of angst, bickering and confusion about the recent passage of the federal stimulus package that will inject $800 billion into our sputtering economy.

But you know what? Those of us who spend much of our lives on the nation's highways are going to be some of the first to enjoy the results of this massive spending. Smoother, wider and more technologically advanced roads are just around the corner.

Read More »

Movies that Inspire Travel

March 2 2009 by Mike Mason
Comments (3)

moviestravel.jpgHave you ever had the excitement of seeing someplace you've traveled portrayed in a movie? Did you feel a certain excitement rush through you, "I've been there! I stood in that spot!" It also feels great because you have a better appreciation for the sights, sounds, and atmosphere for what is playing out on screen. You are getting a better experience than the rest of the audience that is only experiencing it through the big screen version. They don't know what it sounds like, smells like or feels like to be there.

On the other hand, having experienced the previous scenario on a few occasions, it also leads me to wonder what it would be like to visit so many places that you see in film. To be more specific, some movies are so enticing with their locations that I want to run out of the theater, pack my bags and catch the next plane.

I recently read that Mumbai, India is seeing a spike in tourism tied to the recent Oscar winner Slum Dog Millionaire. Not sure how they measure that, but it sounds plausible.

Here is a list of a few movies that give me the travel bug.

When Harry Met Sally - Captures New York in all its seasons. Every time I watch it, I want to spend time in the Big Apple.

Ocean's 11 - What happens there stays there. A movie that makes Vegas seem slick, fun and cool. Not that Vegas needs help with their "fun" image.

Read More »

Newly Invented Adventure Sports

March 2 2009 by Neal Mueller
Comments (1)

NewlyInvented.jpgLooking for a fun new extreme activity for your next trip? How about something totally new! Here is a list of newly invented sports to get your adrenaline pumping.

Kiteboarding - extreme wakeboarding / windsurfing popularized in 1996 by Laird Hamilton and Manu Bertin off the Hawaiian coast of Maui involving a harness attached kite the propels the rider forward and upward.

Wingsuiting - extreme sky diving popularized in 1998 when Jari Kuosma of Finland and Robert Pecnik of Croatia teamed up to create a wing suit that was safe and accessible for all skydivers.

Tow-in surfing - extreme surfing technique pioneered by Laird Hamilton, Buzzy Kerbox, Dave Kalama, and Milton Willis in mid 1990s where a surfer is towed into a breaking wave by a partner driving a personal watercraft or a helicopter with an attached tow-line.

Trail ultra-marathoning - extreme marathon running popularized by Gordy Ainsleigh in the 1980s, involving a trail run of 100 miles.

Speed stacking (for our younger readers!) - extreme cup stacking invented by Wayne Godine in 1980s involving stacking cups in predetermined sequences to competing against the clock or another player.

How cool would it be to invent a totally new sport? Gives me crazy little tingles to think that someone might be inventing the next new addition to this list right now. If you can dream it, you can do it.