A St. Thomas Vacation

January 28 2011 by Bridget Daly

iStock_000001764028XSmall.jpgOnce a haven for traders and pirates, St. Thomas has gracefully emerged as one of the world's most popular vacation spots for a reason. America's Caribbean paradise features beautiful beaches, lush mountains, charming vistas and so much more.

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Harley-Davidson Collectibles

January 27 2011 by Jason Fogelson
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HD catchall.jpgDrop by any Harley-Davidson owner's home, and chances are, you're going to see at least a few decorative items featuring the Harley Bar & Shield logo. I'm not embarrassed to admit that there's at least one H-D item in each room of my house, not to mention my garage and tool room.

The Harley-Davidson Bar & Shield logo first appeared in 1910, and it hasn't changed much since. 1910 was early in the Art Deco period of art and design, and the Bar & Shield fits in perfectly. It has aged particularly well, in my opinion. The logo looks both modern and classic. Everything looks better with the Bar & Shield on it.

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I'm Liking My iPad

January 26 2011 by Chris McGinnis

ipad app.jpgBased on surveys and interaction, I know most readers of this blog are not necessarily early adopters of technology. But even if you're just learning how to use a cell phone, you've no doubt heard the hype surrounding Apple's iPad.

Have you seen one yet? Maybe you've stepped into an Apple store to fiddle around with one? I did just that last spring and by the time my birthday rolled around in May, I received one as a gift. Now I'm one of the nearly eight million Americans toting around an iPad.

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10 Things To Do With Kids in London

January 25 2011 by Amy Graff

Amy_london.jpgThere are theme parks...and then there's London. This brilliant, electric city with hundreds of years of history offers a dizzying array of family-friendly attractions, that might not turn you upside down but are certain to wow and delight the kids.

There's the Natural History Museum housing the world's most awesome dinosaur exhibit, and the Tower of London where Beefeaters lead tours and tell stories of the Medieval Palace's famous prisoners such as Walter Raleigh, Guy Fawkes and Ann Boleyn.
My family recently spent two weeks exploring the city, and here's a rundown of our 10 favorite things to do in London.

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Super Bowl XLV

January 24 2011 by James West
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iStock_000011199130XSmall.jpgAfter an intense and exciting playoffs, the two teams that will be competing in this year's Super Bowl are decided, the Green Bay Packers vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers. These two teams have been to the most Super Bowls out of any NFL team. Neither of these teams was high on the pre-season favorites to be winning a Super Bowl with the defending New Orleans Saints returning their championship team, and the usual suspect quarterbacks poised to have amazing seasons. Isn't that the beauty of it all though? Unpredictability.

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H.O.G. Fly & Ride Merges with H-D Authorized Rentals

January 21 2011 by Jason Fogelson
Comments (33)

HD logo.jpgMost of my motorcycle touring is done on rented Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

I don't own a touring bike, for one thing. My personal ride is a 1993 Harley-Davidson Sportster Deluxe named "Manny." Manny is a great bike, but he's just not designed for touring. A 200-mile day is about the limit, and back-to-back long days are unthinkable. When I want to go for a week-long ride, I want to be on an Electra Glide, Road Glide or Road King.

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I Never Knew That

January 20 2011 by Chris McGinnis
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prez hotel.jpgI'm now into my third year working with Best Western on this blog. I've learned a lot about the brand and its customers along the way. Here are a few highlights:

  • While a lot of folks may still think of Best Western as a chain of roadside motels, the brand has come a long way from the freeway exit in recent years. For example, last year I was wowed by the central, modern and cosmopolitan BEST WESTERN Shinjuku Astina Hotel Tokyo and raved about the mod renovation of the BEST WESTERN President Hotel at Times Square in New York City. I was glad to bed down at the BEST WESTERN Sonoma Valley Inn & Krug Event Center in California's Wine Country instead of driving back home to San Francisco. And I'm looking forward to a stay later this month at the recently renovated BEST WESTERN Sol Ipanema, which is located right on the beach in the center of the action in Rio de Janeiro. (I wonder if it will impress me as much as the BEST WESTERN Coconut Waikiki Hotel in Honolulu did last winter.) None of these hotels fit into the old "motel" model.
  • I used to think most business travelers flew to their meetings wearing trench coats and carrying briefcases. Since working with Best Western, I've learned that, in fact, more business travelers move about by car than by plane. That's definitely the case among the real road warriors who bed down at Best Western. In a recent survey of the chain's top business customers, 63 percent said that less than a quarter of their business trips involve air travel, with many saying they don't travel by air at all. Only 11 percent said "most" of their business trips involved air travel.
  • Contrary to what a lot of folks think, Best Western is not a franchise organization, but rather a membership organization of hotel owners from all over the world. Like the majority of its business traveling guests, these owners live in small towns and run or work for small- and medium-sized companies. In many cases, the manager of the hotel is also its owner and not an employee of a distant corporation.

Planning a Trip to the Gulf Coast

January 19 2011 by Jason Fogelson
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iStock_000008527225XSmall.jpgI'm very excited. The airplane tickets have been purchased, the bike has been reserved, the BEST WESTERN Hotel reservations have been confirmed. I'm getting ready to ride.

This time, I'm a little bit ahead of schedule, for a change. I usually feel rushed when I'm planning a motorcycle trip, because things take a long time to come together. A motorcycle trip is a little bit like a Rubik's Cube, with a lot of moving pieces that have to align properly before the trip clicks together. This particular trip has been clicking, which leaves me more time than usual to research routes, things to see and do, and pre-trip preparation.

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Frozen Flyers

January 18 2011 by Chris McGinnis

iStock_000008156327XSmall.jpgOld man winter is walloping business travelers big time this month.

With the new "three-hour rule" that forbids holding airline passengers on board grounded planes for more than three hours, airlines are being forced to change the way they deal with winter storms.

In the past, airlines hesitated to cancel flights in hopes that weather might quickly change for the better allowing them to resume flights.

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Civil Rights Tours in Atlanta, Georgia

January 17 2011 by Bridget Daly
Comments (1)

iStock_000004208457XSmall.jpgToday, our nation celebrates the birth of one of the most important figures in history - Martin Luther King, Jr. In school, we learn of the clergyman's help in the advancement of civil rights, we learn of his non-violent teachings, his March on Washington and the "I Have a Dream" speech. But unless you were one of the fortunate Americans to have seen Dr. King speak in person, or been a part of the movement that rocked the nation and expanded our American values towards a color blind society, then it's all just another lackluster history lesson. My dream is to one year celebrate this iconic hero's birthday in Atlanta, Georgia, the birthplace of the Reverend and the epicenter of the civil rights movement.

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Motorcycle Events 2011

January 14 2011 by Jason Fogelson

MainStreet Sturgis.jpgIt's never too early to start planning a trip.

Here are a few of the major motorcycle events scheduled for 2011. Take a look at your calendar, and see if you've got room for a trip! Even though there are BEST WESTERN Hotels near each of these events, rooms often book up well in advance, so plan early!

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Travel Resolutions 2011 - On the Road Again!

January 11 2011 by Claudia Kunkel
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iStock_000003712256XSmall.jpgJanuary 1, 2011. The older you get, the more times you say to yourself "where did the year go?" This year is no different - the year just flew by. Statistically, 50% of us make New Year's Resolutions; how many of us keep them is anyone's guess. We say we'll go to the gym more, lose weight, eat better, work harder so we can play harder and the list goes on. This year my resolution is going to be to travel more....maybe revisit places I've been and explore new ones. So, below are a few travel resolutions that I'd like to make a serious attempt at keeping this year:

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No-Fail Ski Vacation for the Family

January 10 2011 by Julie Drossos

iStock_000013719226XSmall.jpgPlanning a vacation is one thing, but planning a vacation that involves your kids is another! We're smack dab in the middle of winter and while some of you may be looking to jet away to a tropical beach for some sand and sun with the kids, many of you may also crave a "real" winter vacation with the whole family. Skiing, while relatively expensive, is an excellent family activity and one that promotes being active, appreciating the outdoors, and developing skills for life. Here are a few tips and thoughts to consider to make your family ski vacation as seamless as possible.

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2011 Travel Resolutions Contest

January 10 2011 by BW Innsider
Comments (1177)

iStock_000011454155XSmall.jpg

Your Resolution Could Win You a $250 Best Western Travel Card®!

Did you make it to all your must-visit destinations last year? Planning to visit a new destination this year? One thing we sometimes skip over when making new resolutions is TRAVEL. Tell us your 2011 travel resolution OR a travel resolution you accomplished in 2010 in the comment section below before Jan 31, 2011 for a chance to win a $250 Best Western Travel Card®!

Limit one entry per person. Must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the US or Canada to be eligible to win. Winner will be randomly selected from all entries posted in the comments below. Winner will be announced via comment post on youmustbetrippin.com and via Facebook/Twitter posts.

Where Year-Round Riding Rules

January 6 2011 by Jason Fogelson
Comments (4)

iStock_000000787311XSmall.jpgThe East Coast is buried under a ton of snow. The Upper Midwest is lost under a drift. There's only one thing to do -- go for a motorcycle ride.

I'm lucky -- I live in Southern California. We ride here during the whole year. I actually moved to California in order to extend my riding season. I was living in New York City with my trusty Sportster, Manny, and my work situation changed. I became a freelancer, and my clients were as likely to be in Chicago or Los Angeles or Dallas as they were in New York. I realized that I could live anywhere -- so I chose the part of the country where I could ride all year long. I have never regretted that decision, even when I miss some of the cultural and business advantages of living in Manhattan. I love to ride, and just knowing that I can jump on my bike in the middle of January makes every day feel full of possibility.

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Vineyards of the U.S.

January 5 2011 by Claudia Kunkel

wine_Claudia.jpgMy husband and I decided to make the trip back to the Napa and Sonoma vineyards with friends and visited in November. The weather was perfect; the leaves on the vines had turned into breathtaking autumn colors and best of all, no crowds. At times it seemed we were the only ones traveling up and down the scenic roads in search of the smaller, quainter wineries. Another positive in touring at this time of the year is that with fewer people, the wineries have more time to tutor you in the fine art of wine tasting.

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Europe's Worst Travel Day Ever

January 4 2011 by Amy Graff
Comments (1)

amy_europe.JPG3 p.m. This story starts with a phone call to Virgin Atlantic Airlines.
"Hello, is the 5:50 p.m. flight to London delayed or canceled?"

"No, still on schedule."

"But I've heard that all flights out of SFO are delayed three hours due to weather and Heathrow is also experiencing major delays."

"On schedule. You better get to the airport."

3:10 p.m. My husband calls Yellow Cab.

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Happy New Year -- Let's Ride!

January 3 2011 by Jason Fogelson
Comments (6)

iStock_000013254748XSmall.jpgWho can believe that it's 2011 already? Not me.

Did you ride as much as you meant to in 2010? Me, either.

Do you plan to do something about it in 2011? Me, too.

First of all, I really love planning. So, I'm going to start a "To Do" list for my motorcycle, so that all of those fleeting ideas about where and when to ride don't slip away.

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