Something Special for Seniors

July 31 2009 by Sam Lowe

Senior-travel.jpgThose of us who have reached that age of wisdom commonly referred to as "AARP eligible" would do well to check out the special discounts now being offered to us by Best Western International. Especially those who are fond of travel.

AARP members and guests 55 and older may save as much as 25 percent on room rates at Best Western hotels in the United States and Canada, as well as several Best Westerns throughout the world. It's easy - reserve a hotel room online by booking the AARP member rate, or call the Worldwide Reservation Offices and ask for the AARP member rate. Either way, you get the savings. All Best Westerns offer a 10 percent reduction off the best available rate, but some go as high as 25 percent under their deep discount program. There's no expiration date for the 10 percenters, but the deep discounts can start and stop at owner discretion so it's best to check frequently and book quickly.

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Oktoberfest 2009 - Plan Ahead

July 30 2009 by Claudia Kunkel
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Octoberfest.jpgWhen my husband and I were in Munich a few years ago, we made sure we made it to the Hofbrau House to sample their "liquid gold" or in layman's terms - beer. A trip to Munich or anywhere in Germany would not be complete without sampling some of their famous beer. I'm not particularly fond of beer, but as the saying goes "when in Rome, do as the Romans do". I have to admit; sitting in the famous Hofbrau House with the locals and watching the women carry the huge steins of beer and singing "Eins, Zwei g'suffa" was a lot of fun. I thought maybe this beer thing wasn't so bad after all! I thought at the time that it would be a kick to come back and visit the beer tents during Oktoberfest.

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Call Me

July 29 2009 by Chris McGinnis
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Plane.jpgPart of the art of successful business travel is maintaining the delicate balance between a healthy family/social life and the demands of the road. It's been interesting to witness how that balancing act has evolved and expanded in the Internet age.

When my first book 202 Tips Even the Best Business Travelers May Not Know was published in 1994, my advice for maintaining communication with family and friends was rudimentary. It included suggestions such as regularly scheduled check-in calls, sharing a room service meal with family and/or friends via speakerphone or faxing handwritten notes home.

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Are You Headed for Sturgis?

July 28 2009 by Jason Fogelson

Motorcycle-rally.jpgThe 69th Annual Black Hills Motorcycle Rally takes place from August 3rd to 9th in Sturgis, South Dakota.

For many motorcyclists, especially Harley-Davidson riders, a trip to Sturgis during the Rally is a lifetime goal. For others, it's an annual rite, and no year is complete without it.

If you're headed to Sturgis for the first time this year, or for the 69th time, here are a few tips to make your trip even better.

Plan ahead. Even though spontaneity is one of the great hallmarks of a motorcycle trip, if you think that you'll be able to show up at Sturgis without any reservations or plans for accommodations, you're going to have a disappointing time. Use the Ride Planner on the Harley-Davidson website, and you'll be able to find Best Western Hotels along your route to the Rally.

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America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride: Lake Tahoe

July 27 2009 by Claudia Kunkel

iStock_000006425650XSmall.jpgAny time of year, a visit to Lake Tahoe is spectacular! Most recently we enjoyed a perennial June favorite - America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride. Every year in early June nearly 3,000 cyclists from all over the United State and beyond journey to Lake Tahoe, Nevada to participate in a bike ride around the lake boasting breathtaking views from every angle.

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Forts That Know Some Answers

July 24 2009 by Sam Lowe

blog 18 photo.jpgPrior to visiting some old Civil War forts in the South, I had no idea they were not only good history lessons, but also great sources of trivia. To support that contention, here are three examples.

Question: Who was Fort Pulaski named for:

Answer: Count Casimir Pulaski, a Pole who became a hero during the Revolutionary War. The fort, located on the marshlands of the Georgia coast just east of Savannah, was also inadvertantly responsible for changing wartime defense strategy worldwide. On April 11, 1862, it was the first masonry fortification battered by Union rifled cannon. These accurate, long-range weapons shattered the fort's walls from more than a mile away, and the target fell after a 30-hour bombardment.

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Having a Blast This Summer? Show Us!

July 23 2009 by BW Innsider

DigitalPicFrame.jpgWe are launching our first photo contest here at YMBT. Submit a photo of you having a blast on your summer vacation and enter for a chance to win a digital picture frame.

Sharing your summer adventure with the rest of us is the best way to keep the fun alive! Submit your photo by August 31, 2009 to enter for a chance to win a digital picture frame to display your vacation memories.

Due to an error, if you submitted a photo to our contest between July 24 and July 26, please resubmit your image here so it can be added to our photo contest entries. We apologize for the error and hope to see your vacation photos coming in soon.

To enter the contest:

  1. Submit an email with your photo attached to: dill67chief@photos.flickr.com

  2. Add "YMBT Summer Photo Contest" in the subject line.

  3. Add your name and email address in the body, so we can notify you if your photo is selected as the winner.

Submitted photos will be featured on YMBT.

Enjoy the rest of summer!


By entering the Contest, Entrant hereby grants the Sponsor and its affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns, licensees, and legal representatives the irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide right to use, reproduce, edit, market, broadcast, store, distribute, have distributed, reproduce, re-arrange, change, add to or delete from, translate, adapt or otherwise revise and/or alter the write-up, and promote Entrant's write-up for editorial, commercial, promotional and all other purposes. In addition, Entrant hereby assigns to the Sponsor all royalty-free, non-exclusive rights, titles, and interests that you may be deemed to have in any reproduction, product, or derivative work using or incorporating the write-up.

Hitting the Road? Never Leave Home Without These Five Items!

July 23 2009 by Bryson Forbes
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iStock_000002706063XSmall.jpgPeople ask me all the time, what should I pack when travelling?

Here are my top five must haves that will make your life a lot easier just about anywhere.

1) Your credit card. Ten years ago, traveller's cheques were the best form of payment internationally outside of cold hard cash, but not anymore. These days you'll have an easier time with a debit card than travellers cheques, but the best and safest method is by far a credit card. It can get you access to cash, is insured if someone swipes it and is accepted just about everywhere - even in some areas you probably think it won't be.

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Cream of the Crop

July 22 2009 by Chris McGinnis
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creamofthecrop_bw2.jpgOver the last few months, I've been working with Best Western on a project aimed at identifying trends, opinions and habits among its very best customers.

We wrangled this group together by emailing invitations to Best Western Rewards members who have spent more than 250 nights with the chain in the last five years. Nearly 400 members agreed to participate in monthly surveys and other forms of outreach and research.

We just completed our first survey which illustrates just who Best Western's top customers really are. To me, this group represents the core of the North American business traveler population-- entrepreneurs or those employed by small- or medium-sized companies.... out there on the road, in their cars in small towns and rural areas, probably eating alone and spending nights in roadside hotels. They always keep a keen eye on saving money, getting the job done and then getting home.

Who are Best Westerns best customers? Here are some top-line survey results:

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Great Motorcycle Movies

July 21 2009 by Jason Fogelson

iStock_000000671126XSmall.jpgYou can't ride all the time. Sometimes, you have to stop and watch a movie about riding!

Here are a few films with great motorcycle footage to inspire you to take a long ride.

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Hot Air Balloon Festivals

July 20 2009 by Claudia Kunkel

iStock_000002633077XSmall.jpgI saw the Disney-Pixar "Up" movie over the weekend. Besides the fact that my family and I absolutely loved the movie, it reminded me of the hot air balloon festival I went to years ago in Iowa. I thought the balloons were so whimsical, beautiful and breathtaking as they filled with air and slowly rose into the early morning sky. It also inspired me to do a little research into hot air balloon festivals around the country and find out just what it is about ballooning that draws such a huge following.

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Buckingham Palace

July 17 2009 by Sam Lowe
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20 wtown.jpgThe images we usually bring home from London almost invariably include exterior shots of Buckingham Palace, primarily because of its architectural splendor, secondarily because most people never get to see the interior.

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iPhone Travel Apps

July 17 2009 by Amy Graff
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AAAx.jpgMy husband got up at 5 a.m. on Friday morning to stand in line for the new iPhone 3GS. Now that's true love.

We decided to buy a phone before heading out on our summer road trip. We're driving the length of the Mississippi River, from the headwaters to the mouth, on $150 a day. An iPhone might seem like an extravagant tool for a budget-themed trip but my 4-year-old cell phone died and I was eager to try out the many iPhone apps geared specifically to road trippers.

Here are a few that I look forward to trying out this summer. Right now I'm limiting myself to the free ones.

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Day 5: Missoula, Montana and Home Again

July 16 2009 by Jason Fogelson
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saying goodbye to Monty.jpgAll good things must come to an end, and it was the same with our trip to Montana and Idaho.

After another delicious hot breakfast at the Best Western Grant Creek Inn, we checked out of the hotel, loading Monty one last time for the short ride to Montana Harley-Davidson.

We returned to the dealership, and Chandra greeted us. She checked the bike in as we unloaded and re-packed our belongings back into our luggage.

Chandra gave Monty a thorough inspection, and I made sure to return the tool kit, cable lock, keys and registration materials that we had taken with us on our trip. A few signatures, and we were all done. I felt badly that Monty was so dirty and covered with bugs when we returned him, but Chandra assured me that he was in perfect condition - and besides, it was somebody's job to give him a good washing and detailing.

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Summer Stadium Road Trips

July 15 2009 by Mark Deyer

Father_son_ball.jpgHave you ever noticed in life that certain smells, tastes, and sounds have a way of transporting you back to specific place in time? For me, I can't walk into a ballpark without feeling the rush of senses that I felt during my very first trip into the famed Tiger Stadium in Detroit Michigan, home of the Detroit Tigers.

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Meetings: From Bodacious to Blah

July 15 2009 by Chris McGinnis
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iStock_000004641268XSmall.jpgWhen or if companies loosen their purse strings and allow employees to attend meetings and conventions again, expect a lot less flash. And a lot more scrutiny.

Earlier this month, the Treasury Department published new rules around meetings and conventions for companies receiving TARP funds. The rules require TARP recipients to "eliminate excessive and luxury expenditures" for entertainment or events as defined by the Treasury Secretary.

But don't think for a minute that just because your company is not a TARP recipient, you won't be subject to the new rules.

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Milwaukee, American Motorcycle Mecca

July 14 2009 by Jason Fogelson

iStock_000004573623XSmall.jpgAmerican motorcycling history begins and ends in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, home of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company. So why not get to know America's 23rd-biggest city a little better with a road trip?

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Countdown to Summer Savings!

July 14 2009 by BW Innsider

Untitled1.pngThis week on bestwestern.com, extra great travel deals will be available, but only from 12pm EDT - 4pm EDT.

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 EDT and check out the savings that everyone is talking about.

Check Out Countdown to Savings >

Day 4: Whitefish, Montana to Missoula, Montana via Glacier National Park

July 14 2009 by Jason Fogelson

galcier national park.jpgI woke up with particular vigor on this morning. It would be our last full day of riding for this trip, and we were taking our one real detour, into Glacier National Park.

And it was my birthday.

Does it get any better than that? A perfect day, a great motorcycle to ride, my ideal companion on the pillion, a dream destination and it's my birthday?

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Hey Climbers - Don't Waste Summer

July 13 2009 by Casey Bower
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DWS.jpgIf you enjoy the thrill of cliff jumping into deep water, rock climbing, or any combination of these two activities, read on.

I'm a baby when it comes to rock climbing in the heat. When the temperatures rise up into the mid 80's and beyond, I lower and call it a season. There are however, a few exceptions to this yearly summer climbing hiatus. One exception is deep water soloing, a summer activity that is quickly gaining popularity and for a good reason. It combines the challenge and thrills of climbing with the excitement and anticipation of cliff jumping.

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Great American Road Trip

July 13 2009 by BW Innsider

GART.jpgCheck out NBC's newest series, The Great American Road Trip. The second episode airs tonight on NBC, 8/7c as the families head through Branson, MO and stay at the Best Western Music Capital Inn.

The reality based show features 8 families traveling through cities large and small, all while competing in a medley of humorous challenges that will ultimately lead one family to victory. Along the way, the families visit iconic American backdrops like the majestic Grand Canyon and the regal Washington Monument. The families also discover quirky American landmarks, ranging from the World's Largest Chair to a sneaker the size of a car. Although family fun is the centerpiece of the show, the competition is real and one family will be eliminated each week based on their performance in the challenges. Ultimately, only one family will return home with a dream prize that perfectly complements their extraordinary and memorable summer vacation.

Check out more details on the show >

Day 3: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho to Whitefish, Montana

July 13 2009 by Jason Fogelson

whitefish montana.jpgNo matter how unsociable you're feeling, take the time to talk to people during your travels.

I've learned that lesson over and over, as the most casual conversations have resulted in the most amazing travel experiences.

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Pickpockets: They're Everywhere

July 10 2009 by Sam Lowe
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blog 17 photo200.jpgOn a recent trip to South America, we were warned repeatedly about the presence of pickpockets. The warnings were similar to those on every visit to a major city, and my wife and I give them our full attention because I once lost several rolls of film to these handymen on the streets of Moscow.

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Day 2: Riggins, Idaho to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

July 10 2009 by Jason Fogelson

BW Salmon Rapids Lodge.jpgAfter a very pleasant breakfast buffet at the Best Western Salmon Rapids Lodge, we loaded up Monty and headed out of town.

I've got a thing about backtracking on a trip. I hate doing it. I want to discover new vistas, new roads, new towns. Rather than retracing our steps 50 miles to rejoin US 12, as had been our earlier plan, we decided to follow US 95 north all the way up to Coeur d'Alene. We figured that we might experience less of the Nez Perce Trail and beautiful unspoiled nature, and take in a little more of small town life. It turned out to be a great decision.

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Day 1: Missoula, Montana to Riggins, Idaho

July 9 2009 by Jason Fogelson

BW Grant Creek Inn Missoula Montana 200.jpgWe woke up early, eager for the ride ahead. The Best Western Grant Creek Inn has a great breakfast buffet, free with our night's stay. I loaded up on scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, while Robin had a dainty bowl of cereal. A few cups of coffee down the hatch, and we were ready to go.

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Budget Travel Tip #2: Never Pay for Your Kids' Meals

July 9 2009 by Amy Graff

contentRightLong-childEating.jpgWhy pay to feed for your kids when you don't have to? There are many restaurants dishing up free meals for children.

The best way to locate those places when you're on the road is by clicking on kidsmealdeals.com. You simply type in a zip code or a city name and the day of the week and presto you have a list of places.

In Austin, Texas, for example, you could take the family to the hip Japanese restaurant Zen and any kids under 12 years old eat for free. Or in New York you could fill up at the retro diner EJ's.

My Picks for the best July Canadian Festivals

July 9 2009 by Bryson Forbes

festival.jpg

With the kids out of school, summer is officially here! This means it's time to look for some fun family things to do. Here are my picks for the top three family festivals happening in July across Canada.

The Calgary Stampede which is underway and runs until July 12, 2009 is known as "the greatest outdoor show on earth". Every year more than one million people attend the Stampede as the city of Calgary shuts down to host this authentic cowboy party. Even my parents host a Stampede party and break out the cowboy and cowgirl apparel for 10 days each July.

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Departure and Arrival

July 8 2009 by Jason Fogelson

BW Grant Creek Inn Missoula Montana200.jpgFinally, the day arrived for my wife Robin and I to leave for the Northwest and our motorcycle ride.

Our closest airport is Bob Hope International in Burbank, California, but we flew out of Los Angeles International (LAX). Knowing that we would have two very heavy bags and that we'd be very tired upon our return, I debated springing for airport parking over our usual Park-and-Ride option - convenience over cost. A quick internet search turned up a 10% discount coupon for The Parking Spot, a very convenient chain of parking garages with two LAX locations, and that sealed the deal.

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Looking on the Bright Side

July 7 2009 by Chris McGinnis
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Plane 200.jpgHere we are in the midst of the peak summer travel season. Everywhere you go, people are talking travel. And not all the stories are positive.

As a matter of fact, mid-summer is the time of year when you can't escape the stories of airport strandings, oversold hotels, broken down rental cars or unexpected traffic jams. Everyone seems to have his or her own personal anecdote of travel misery that can out do anyone else's.

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Getting Ready for the Ride

July 7 2009 by Jason Fogelson

BW Grant Creek Inn Missoula Montana200.jpgI love planning a trip almost as much as I love traveling. As my wife Robin and I prepared for our trip to the Northwestern United States, we knew that we had some choices to make.

We would be flying in to Missoula, Montana on Monday. Picking up our motorcycle on Tuesday, and riding to Riggins, Idaho. From Riggins, up to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho on Wednesday. From Coeur d'Alene to Whitefish, Montana on Thursday, then back to Missoula on Friday, with a return flight on Saturday morning. We knew that we'd be staying at Best Western hotels each night along the way.

Beyond that, it was up to us.

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River Wild: River Trips

July 6 2009 by Mike Mason

Rafting 200.jpgRiver rafting mixes some of the best parts of summer vacations. You get adventure, excitement and thrills for sure, but you also get beautiful outdoor scenery, warm summer weather, water and a relaxing getaway. I live in the western part of the U.S., so I am much more familiar with rivers on this side of the country. But I assume that most rafting rivers offer all these benefits in differing amounts.

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Summer Surprises: Boise, Columbus, Little Rock

July 4 2009 by Karla Henriquez
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Ohio 200.jpgMaybe you've already been to all the major U.S. cities or perhaps you're just itching to take advantage of one of those great deals the airlines are offering to small cities all over the country. No matter the reason, you will not be disappointed in a visit to any one of these three cities.

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A Tribute to Uncommon Valor

July 3 2009 by Sam Lowe

blog 16 photo.jpgAt first glance, the National Museum of the Marine Corps looks like a giant launching pad because of the 210-foot steel mast rising at an angle high above the main structure. But it's only a fleeting image, one that vanishes immediately with the realization that the angle is exactly that of the flagpole being raised on Iwo Jima in the classic photo taken by Joe Rosenthal during World War II.

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California on Two Wheels

July 2 2009 by Jason Fogelson
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Napa 200.jpgI was lucky enough to be included on a motorcycle trip with a few other journalists last week. We explored the roads (and vineyards and restaurants) of Napa Valley on Harley-Davidson touring motorcycles. We also made our way through Marin County, Santa Cruz and San Francisco.

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Reading About Riding

July 1 2009 by Jason Fogelson
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Books 200.jpgI can go on a real tear, and read book after book on a given subject. As a result, I've got shelves groaning at the weight of books about motorcycling, so I thought I'd share a little bit about some of my favorites.

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