Basking in the April Showers

April 30 2012 by Mike Mason

iStock_000016544728Small.jpgFeeling too sunny? Want to go cloud watching, but you live in the middle of the blue skies in Las Vegas or Tampa? There's nothing wrong with loving the view of a gentle drizzle falling over the mountains or sporting a raincoat next to the sea. As the month of April (and April showers) concludes, we take a look at three U.S. cities that are known for having the most rainy days each year, visit them and you may just catch a few drops:

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Be an On-the-road Exercise Warrior

April 30 2012 by Mike Mason

iStock_000009109571XSmall.jpgIt's almost the end of March, you're amazed at how well you've been holding on to this year's resolutions and then it comes- your assignment to travel for work. Don't let a small business adventure put your exercise goals at risk. With some planning and preparation, you can stay in peak condition while away from home and the office.

Here are the 10 tips to stay healthy and happy while working abroad:

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Using Spy Technology to Create Your Routes

April 30 2012 by Jason Fogelson
Comments (2)

iStock_000019615274XSmall.jpgI love a good spy story. I love to read John Le Carre, Ian Fleming and even Donald Hamilton novels. But I'm not interested in the heroes, like George Smiley or James Bond or Matt Helm. Don't get me wrong; those guys are great. But I read spy stories for the gadgets. Give me a whole book about MI6's Q Branch (they're the ones who make all the gadgets), and I'd be very happy.

When I travel on a motorcycle, getting ready for each trip starts to feel like I'm preparing for a super secret mission. I'm always in the process of testing a new piece of gear, or a newly miniaturized gadget that is designed to make my riding safer, easier and more fun.

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Travel to Canada

April 27 2012 by Bryson Forbes
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iStock_000017715869XSmall.jpgAfter a very difficult three years, the Canadian Tourism Commission is full of optimism. The reason to smile is that for the first time ever in a single month (February 2012), the eleven markets that they have identified as the key markets for Canada were all up in visitor numbers to Canada. This is great news for all of us as travel and tourism has such a positive impact on our overall economy!

Leading the charge were Brazil and Australia and interestingly February is an attractive month for them to come to Canada to ski! Both Brazil and Australia are very active cultures and they came in droves this year to hit our slopes.

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All About Motorcycle Batteries

April 26 2012 by Jason Fogelson
Comments (5)

iStock_000016116465XSmall.jpgIt's spring, so you might be thinking about getting a new battery for your motorcycle. If you didn't take the time to put your battery on a smart charger for the winter, you're definitely going to have to do more than just think about it. Motorcycle batteries are much smaller than car batteries, which is one of the factors that contribute to their shorter lifespan (and warranties). I've had good luck with my batteries over the years, mostly because I'm kind of obsessive about keeping them hooked up to a Battery Tender smart charger in between rides, even during good weather. My most recent battery lasted almost ten years, thanks to careful maintenance, and the fact that I live in a very moderate climate.

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Mild Spring Means More Travel

April 25 2012 by Bryson Forbes
Comments (1)

iStock_000019970994XSmall.jpgHave any of you been watching Frozen Planet on the Discovery Channel lately? What a great show. In some weird and unexplainable way it makes me feel even more proud to be Canadian. But I wonder if that's because this year in my neck of the woods it's been so mild?

Having been somewhat de-sensitized to the cold at least for this year, what will it do for travel and tourism in Canada?

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Where Is The Best Place To Travel To This Summer?

April 24 2012 by BW Innsider
Comments (362)

iStock_000017588080XSmall.jpgTell Us and Enter for a Chance to Win a $250 Best Western Travel Card!

Whether it's a favorite family vacation spot or someplace you've always wanted to go...tell us about it and you will be automatically entered 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 after winner is verified. Contest begins May 1st and ends May 31st.

Technology Replacing Business Travel?

April 24 2012 by Chris McGinnis
Comments (1)

iStock_000018280274XSmall.jpgIs web-based technology such as video conferencing replacing business travel?

Well, you would have thought so in the deepest, darkest days of the recent "great recession." Remember the media frenzy surrounding business travel boondoggles and the so-called "AIG effect" when many observers predicted the demise of business travel as we knew it?

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Richmond Race Under the Lights

April 23 2012 by BW Innsider
Comments (52)

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Night Race in Richmond!

It's another exciting night race! There aren't too many of these races so be sure to tune in and predict the winner here for your chance to win a great prize!

Leave your guess of who you think the winner of Saturday's race will be in the comments below before the start of the race. We will select one random winner from all correct guesses to win a $25 Walmart gift card and a $25 MasterCard gift card!

Follow Us on Twitter I Become a Facebook Fan

Book with our Race Fan Rate® for exclusive discounts at Best Western hotels!


Don't forget to check back before every race to play Who's Gonna Win!

Entries must be entered before the start of the race on 4/28. Winner will be announced on 4/30. Limit only 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 correct answers posted in the comments below.

Going All By Yourself

April 23 2012 by Sam Lowe
Comments (1)

iStock_000019969888XSmall.jpgIn my younger years, when I was a carefree bachelor, most of my travels were solitary. I would, for example, select a destination but not a definite route, then hop in my car and drive there without concerning myself with trip durations, accommodations (I frequently bedded down in my hatchback), or lack of companionship.

During those times, I met several other travelers with similar agendas, and we discussed such important issues as fast food, parking lots that let you sleep in your car and, most importantly, rest stops. Life was good.

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Think Like a Pilot

April 20 2012 by Jason Fogelson

iStock_000011601960XSmall.jpgThis is an article about motorcycle safety, but it could be an article about automotive safety, or bicycle safety, or just leaving your house safety. It's an article built around a simple concept: Think like a pilot.

Pilots approach every flight with a clear agenda -- take off safely, fly safely, arrive safely. The very first thing a pilot does, before ever flying the plane, is to complete a safety checklist. Every important system and backup is inspected, every setting noted, every detail attended to. All before the engine is started, long before takeoff occurs. A pilot who does not complete a safety checklist will not be a pilot for long.

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Are Commutes Killing Us?

April 19 2012 by Chris McGinnis

iStock_000014130985XSmall.jpgIt's no secret that most of Best Western's best customers commute to work-- either across town or across their state or region. In a recent survey, 63 percent of Best Western Diamond 100 members revealed that they drive instead of fly on nearly all their business trips.

With that in mind, the infographic below provides an interesting snapshot of what too much driving can do to us.

For example, research shows that couples in which one partner commutes for more than 45 minutes each day are 40% likelier to divorce!

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California Sea and Desert Trip: Ride Video

April 19 2012 by Jason Fogelson

Harley-Davidson's Willie G. To Retire

April 18 2012 by Jason Fogelson
Comments (1)

WillieGDavidson.jpgThe man who has led the direction of Harley-Davidson's styling for the past 49 years is retiring on April 30, 2012. Willie G. Davidson, the dashing 78 year-old Senior Vice President and Chief Styling Officer for the Motor Company, will segue to a lesser role as Chief Styling Officer Emeritus, and will remain involved with Harley-Davidson as a Brand Ambassador.

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No End in Sight to Rising Gas Prices

April 17 2012 by Bryson Forbes

iStock_000004322888XSmall.jpgIt seems that experts agree that there is no end in sight for rising gas prices in Canada. Even during the Hurricane Katrina, crisis prices for regular unleaded gasoline in Toronto never surpassed $1.40 per litre. According the National Post, analysts predict we could hit $1.47 before the end of this month.

It certainly sounds bad, but what does it actually mean to the average Canadian at the pump? I have had some trouble finding a reliable number for how much gas people buy in a typical month but it seems like it's between $250 and $500 depending of course on your vehicle and driving habits. So let's slice it down the middle and use $375. Gas prices have jumped about 20 percent in the last year and therefore it means an extra $75 a month right in the tank.

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Racing in Kansas

April 16 2012 by BW Innsider
Comments (48)

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Kansas NASCAR Contest

Think you can predict who will win Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race in Kansas? Give it a shot because one person will win a prize if they're right!

Leave your guess of who you think the winner of Sunday's race will be in the comments below before the start of the race. We will select one random winner from all correct guesses to win a $25 Walmart gift card!

Follow Us on Twitter I Become a Facebook Fan

Book with our Race Fan Rate® for exclusive discounts at Best Western hotels!


Don't forget to check back before every race to play Who's Gonna Win!

Entries must be entered before the start of the race on 4/22. Winner will be announced on 4/23. Limit only 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 correct answers posted in the comments below.

Travel Gadgets

April 16 2012 by Sam Lowe
Comments (2)

iStock_000014944984Small.jpgWith airlines getting pricier and TSA getting fussier, going small is becoming important(er). So here are a few lesser-sized travel gadgets that we seniors could find particularly useful when it comes to finding, packing and retrieving.

Worried about the possibility of being accosted or even assaulted while walking along the streets and byways in an unfamiliar town? Buy a tiny alarm unit. They now make them so small that they can be attached to a belt, but they emit a 100-decibel shriek once the user pulls the cord. That'll scare off any mugger.

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California Sea and Desert Trip: Day Six: Santa Barbara to Los Angeles

April 13 2012 by Jason Fogelson
Comments (1)

Day 6 084.jpgThe final push home means that I'll get to see my wife, my dogs and cats and my house this evening. I could just ride straight down US 101, and be home in 90 minutes or so. But where's the fun in that?

I have breakfast at the BEST WESTERN PLUS Pepper Tree Inn's adjacent restaurant, the Treehouse Restaurant and Lounge. The restaurant also provides room service and poolside service for the hotel, but I decide to mingle with the regular folk instead. Fueled up for the ride home, I decide to detour into downtown Santa Barbara before I leave town.

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Texas Showdown - Saturday Race

April 13 2012 by BW Innsider
Comments (166)

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Texas Under the Lights!

With a week break, the Sprint Cup Series is back! The racing is going down in Texas Saturday night and will be a sure thriller. Don't miss out on this under-the-lights race and predict the winner for a chance to win!

Leave your guess of who you think the winner of Saturday's race will be in the comments below before the start of the race. We will select one random winner from all correct guesses to win a $25 Starbucks gift card!

Follow Us on Twitter I Become a Facebook Fan

Book with our Race Fan Rate® for exclusive discounts at Best Western hotels!


Don't forget to check back before every race to play Who's Gonna Win!

Entries must be entered before the start of the race on 4/14. Winner will be announced on 4/15. Limit only 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 correct answers posted in the comments below.

Service Versus Price in Travel

April 12 2012 by Bryson Forbes
Comments (2)

Family Room Mom Paper.jpgOne of the age old debates for people choosing a hotel has been whether service or price was more important and to what degree. The "luxury" hotels polarized those who were willing to shell out lots of money to get a premium service experience, while budget conscious travellers chose to forego extra amenities to save money.

Although there is still that divide, the Hotel Association of Canada's recent Travel Intentions Study confirms that most travellers now want the best of both worlds.
Travellers expect or at least place significant importance on a number of amenities and services but at the same time are not prepared to break the bank to get them.
Here are a few of the results that illustrate this:

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California Sea and Desert Trip: Day Five: Cambria to Santa Barbara

April 11 2012 by Jason Fogelson
Comments (3)

Day 5 066.jpgThe sound of seals barking on the rocks greets me when I step out onto the patio of my room at the BEST WESTERN PLUS Fireside Inn this morning. Seals are particularly vocal animals, and they have no problem expressing themselves at full volume. They're hilarious to watch, as they spend many of their waking hours telling each other who's boss. Moonstone Beach's seals look very well-fed and healthy, and seem to enjoy having an audience.

I pop into the breakfast room at the hotel for a quick breakfast -- scrambled eggs and sausage from the free buffet, and a few cups of coffee to shake off the morning fog.

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BEST WESTERN TO GO! and TripIt: Keeping You Organized

April 10 2012 by Mike Mason

BW TripIt.jpgYou ever have the moment when you're sorting through multiple e-mails or print-outs of your flight info, hotel booking and rental car receipt and kick yourself for not just writing down the pertinent info on one document? You can't tell me I'm the only one, and nothing raises my blood pressure like making sure I get everything together in the 10 minutes before I leave for the airport. Luckily for people like me there are on-line travel organizers like TripIt and BESTWESTERN TO GO! to use as my own personal assistant. Whenever I forward my e-mail confirmations from hotels, rental car companies, airlines and restaurants these tools keep me organized and on-track.

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California Sea and Desert Trip: Day Four: Lone Pine to Cambria

April 9 2012 by Jason Fogelson
Comments (3)

Day 4 04.jpgFor such a small town, Lone Pine really is in the center of a lot of special locations. Death Valley National Park is to the east. Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park are to the west. The portal to Mount Whitney is right outside of town. A few miles north of Lone Pine is Manzanar National Historic Site, where Japanese nationals and Americans of Japanese descent were interned during World War II. The BEST WESTERN PLUS Frontier Motel is a great base camp for exploration to any of these remarkable places.

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California Sea and Desert Trip: Day Three: Palm Springs to Lone Pine

April 6 2012 by Jason Fogelson
Comments (4)

Day 3 01.jpgPalm Springs is a sleepy town in the morning. I like that. The Club Room at the BEST WESTERN PLUS Las Brisas Hotel is bustling, however. Breakfast is served, and it's included in the price of the room. A chef is on duty to prepare omelets to order. She's an artist with a pan. I linger over my ham and cheese creation, and study my maps. I want to make sure that I don't hit any snow today. I check the weather and elevations on my route until I'm confident that I'll be safe. No problems manifest themselves on the maps or on the internet.

I pack up the bike and check out of the hotel. In a town full of hotels, the BEST WESTERN PLUS Las Brisas Hotel is a discovery, with a very intimate, friendly feel. I wish I could stay longer. It's a great place to relax.

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What's Your Favorite Best Western You've Stayed At & Why?

April 5 2012 by BW Innsider
Comments (195)

Family Check In(1).jpgTell Us and Enter for a Chance to Win a $250 Best Western Travel Card!

Did the staff of a Best Western go above and beyond? Do you love the particular location or amenities of a certain Best Western? Whatever your reason, tell us about it and you will be automatically entered 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 after winner is verified. Contest begins Apr. 5th and ends Apr. 30th.

Caring for the Far Flung Business Traveler

April 5 2012 by Chris McGinnis

iStock_000005637916XSmall.jpgHere's the third in my series on the issue of "frequent travel guilt." I'm writing these posts in response to a recent Best Western survey of 500 business travelers where 62% said that they feel guilty while on the road for work. Most say that the remorse comes from being away from loved ones. They can't stand missing special events at home like birthdays and anniversaries. They said they felt bad about unhealthy on-the-road eating habits and the disturbance to their exercise routines.

While my previous posts about travel guilt have focused on what frequent travelers can do to make life better for family members left behind, this post focuses on the opposite--what a stay-at-home spouse can do to spruce up the business traveler's less-than-glam on-the-road existence.

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California Sea and Desert Trip: Day Two: San Diego to Palm Springs

April 4 2012 by Jason Fogelson
Comments (2)

Day 2 08.jpgRain. It's still raining when I wake up and peek through the shutters. A heavy fog sits over the bay, obscuring any view of the San Diego skyline. I get packed and dressed, and dodge the raindrops over to the Blue Wave Restaurant & Lodge off of lobby of the BEST WESTERN PLUS Island Palms Hotel & Marina. I study the weather app on my iPhone as I eat my ham and cheese omelet. It looks like most of the storm has passed, and I'm just dealing with the lingering effects. It's time to ride.

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A Grapefruit and a Cactus walk into a baseball stadium...

April 3 2012 by Mike Mason
Comments (1)

iStock_000003184796XSmall.jpgWhen it comes to baseball, Spring Training takes the cake. $8 tickets? Don't mind if I do. Seats so close you can see the players blink? Yes, please. I tip my hat to whoever came up with Spring Training games. However, after tipping my hat, I can't help but scratch my head at the locations.

You have two choices - you can bake and hang out with the local cacti while you enjoy Arizona's finest spring baseball, or you can steam and slurp on a juicy grapefruit while you enjoy Florida's finest Spring baseball. Whatever you choose you are likely to walk out with a sunburn and, possibly, a minor to severe heat rash, and, if you're lucky, a fly ball. It sounds unpleasant but, believe it or not, that doesn't stop thousands of people from flocking to Arizona and/or Florida to see their favorite players and teams play every spring - and sometimes for less than ten buckaroonies at that.

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California Sea and Desert Trip: Day One: Home to San Diego

April 2 2012 by Jason Fogelson

Day 1 01.jpg"Seems it never rains in Southern California..." The lyrics of Albert Hammond's 1972 hit echo in my head as I load my gear on the 2012 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra that sits in my garage. I'm about to head out on a six-day ride that will take me on a tour of Southern and Central California, and the ground outside is still wet from last night's downpour. The forecast calls for thunderstorms today, though the skies show signs of clearing right now. Rain won't stop me from riding, but it does force me to adjust my plans a bit.

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