Every 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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I am not really an Elvis fan. In fact if you split the world in two halves you basically end up with Elvis lovers and non-Elvis lovers. I also understand that for Elvis lovers a trip to Graceland can be an unforgettable, life-bending experience. And if Elvis isn't your thing, well, a trip to Graceland, though a fascinating experience in pop culture and America, can seem, well, a bit weird frankly. In fact, the most interesting part of Graceland for me was that Elvis is clearly the genesis for pop culture indulgence and excess as we know it today. Just think without Elvis, no MTV Cribs. I know, weird.
I have a brother that lives in Memphis and though he is also on the non-Elvis lover side, living in the region you pick up on lots of stuff. He gave me some of the inside scoop on Elvis's famous abode.
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It's the dead of winter with most of the U.S. under a deep freeze that seems to have no end (meteorologically and economically). So, let's talk about Hawaii.
Have you been earnestly earning your Best Western Rewards points in colder climes and dreaming about redeeming them somewhere warm and tropical? It so, set your sites on the Best Western Coconut Hotel in Waikiki where I cooled my heels last weekend. (Rooms here go for 36,000 Rewards points per night.)
There are, of course, hundreds of hotel choices in Honolulu and as a travel writer for the last 20 years, I've slept and schlepped my way through many of them. But when air fares from California to Hawaii plunged to less than $300 round trip this month, I decided to jump on the plane and try the Coconut. Wow, was I impressed. (I know, I know...I'm jaded due to my affiliation with Best Western, but if you check out user-generated reviews at sites such as tripadvisor.com, you'll see that I'm not alone in my praise for the place.)
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Adventure comes in all colors; my favorite is white! Snowflakes, crisp air, the silence of a snowfall. Here's the list of adventures I'm considering this winter season. I split them into three categories. Extreme, not-extreme, and in between.
Dog sledding. What could be more exhilarating than mushing forward, geeing right, and hawing left behind your very own team of 7 panting huskies as they run down a snow-covered forest trail?
Ice climbing. What could be more death-defying than climbing a frozen waterfall?
Mountain climbing. What could be more self-validating than to climb a mountain in winter and sit atop the ice-laden summit as if it were God's icy front porch?
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Everybody's got one. A quirky friend I mean. But nobody has one with as many strange habits and behaviors as my friend. Let's just call him Mr. X. This guy has more quirks than the whole cast of Seinfeld put together and recently we took a trip together. I have been on many trips in the past with him, but this time we shared a hotel room.
I like to relax as soon as I enter a hotel room. I put my bags down, test each of the beds to see if one is more comfy, then I grab the remote and surf the TV for a bit. I don't really plan on watching anything, it's more about taking a second to unwind from traveling and also to make sure that the hotel has all the great channels that I don't get at home.
This is not the way that Mr. X entered our hotel room. He walked in, placed each of his bags neatly in a line on the bed closest to the bathroom and begun unpacking. I mean methodic, rehearsed unpacking. First Mr. X produced 8-10 (no joke) different bottles of vitamins and placed them in a specific order, labels faced out, on the bathroom sink counter. Next, he produced a set of his very own neatly folded sheets and replaced the hotel sheets with his. After this, Mr. X produced a pair of slippers arranged them at the foot of his bed. Last he produced a pair of earplugs and a bottle of water from his bag and placed them on the side table.
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Let's face it - this can be a tough time of the year. The holidays are over and as I write this, a good part of the country is in a very big deep-freeze. The winter doldrums set in and you wonder if you'll ever see spring again. Reading about all the sub-zero temperatures prompted me to think about what you could do when it's cold outside and cabin fever sets in. Well, there are places around the country that embrace the outdoors in all its icy beauty. Here are a few cities that do just that:
Saint Paul Winter Carnival, St. Paul, Minnesota - Begun in 1886, this carnival is a popular annual event from January 22 through February 1, 2009 that draws in people from the surrounding region. There are numerous activities and events to keep you busy starting with the Minnesota State Snow Sculpting Championship, a Sleigh Rally, Blues Festival and Queen of the Snows Fashion Show - just to name a few of the events taking place. The Carnival wraps up with a torchlight procession of floats through downtown St. Paul.
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January 21 2009 by BW Innsider
For every $100 Best Western Travel Card® you purchase between now and February 1, you receive a free $10 retail gift card to go along with it. Select your free $10 gift card from your choice of major retailers.
Now is the perfect time to give the gift of travel and reward yourself at the same time.
Get this offer >
As a travel writer, I've seen my share of presidential suites. I recently got a look at the $34,000/night, I.M. Pei-designed presidential suite atop the Four Seasons Hotel in New York City. Wow.
Presidential suites are almost always big, dramatic--and dramatically expensive. So expensive, in fact, that most road warriors would never even consider them an option. But since we're all thinking "presidential" this week with the inauguration in Washington, D.C., it's worth re-examining the belief that presidential suites are in fact out of touch.
Actually, there are some situations where one of the largest and most prestigious rooms in a hotel makes perfect sense: a special occasion, a board meeting or when two or more employees are traveling together and entertaining clients. (For instance, I've seen presidential suites in Hong Kong used as mini-showrooms by apparel manufacturers meeting with buyers.) But the best way to see a presidential suite is on that very rare occasion when there are no more rooms left at the property and you get upgraded!
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Well, they're not flying in a V formation - but this is the time of year that snowbirds flock to sunny locales; searching for endless sunshine, balmy beaches or a place that offers a little fun in the sun mixed in with a few wintertime activities.
When sitting down to write this blog, I contemplated what criteria are needed to make the perfect winter escape from shoveling driveways and navigating treacherous icy highways. Having lived through a few frigid winters in the Midwest to living where the sun almost always shines, I feel I can offer a fairly good prospective on what would make a good winter escape when that day comes for my husband and me to kick back and relax.
I tried blindfolding myself and throwing a dart at a map of the United States in order to give equal opportunity to every state, but I found out that I'm a lousy dart thrower and my family got tired of dodging the darts. So, I had to resort to good old fashioned research and what follows are my three top choices based on my in-laws advice that sunshine, shopping, restaurants and good medical facilities are the basics to finding the perfect winter escape.
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