In this global recession the overall mood is dire, and it's hard to see an end to it all. My advice this weekend is to turn off the television; put down the newspaper; close your laptop; and go outside.
The economic downturn is ushering in a period that should cry out to the adventurer inside of you. New opportunities are at your feet.
Right now, as you read this, the travel industry is slashing budgets and ratcheting down expectations for 2009 and 2010. Airline executives are hosting brainstorming sessions to devise ways to fill seats in the coming quarters. Travel operators, who have seen booking activity come to a standstill, are scrambling to capture your attention. Prices are coming down folks, and fast.
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Key West, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, the Jersey Shore, the Texas country, and Maine - all of these destinations have hosted vacationing Presidents. In the spirit of the current holiday, here's some information on who went where and what they did to relax.
Ulysses S. Grant was the first president to decide he needed some time off from Washington D.C. His family had a cottage on the Jersey shore, at Long Branch, and they headed up there every summer. Their favorite activities included dancing, driving on the beach, checking out the horse races, and sailing.
Teddy Roosevelt's Summer White House was Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay, on the fashionable north shore of Long Island, New York. While at Sagamore Hill, the president fished, sailed, and hiked. Today, you can actually tour Sagamore Hill, since it's a National Forest Service park. Teddy Roosevelt is also known for having spent a lot of time out west, ranching. He made it popular for wealthy Easterners to pay western ranchers with names like Curly for the opportunity to ride a horse all day, sleep under the stars, and learn to rope cattle.
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If you've been following my blog, you know that I traveled to New
York last week to lead a panel discussion at the Best Western Business Travel Summit, saving at least 100 jobs in the process.
Now, I bet you're wondering what we covered in a our revealing conversation that included Linda Rutherford, VP of communications and strategic outreach for Southwest Airlines, George Zilvetti, VP at MasterCard who oversees business development and co-branding, and Best Western's Dorothy Dowling, senior VP of marketing and sales.
Here are some of the nifty nuggets of knowledge I picked up from the panel and how they will affect you:
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How will the economy effect business travel in 2009? Who will benefit from the down turn in the economy? How can you find survive this new world of business travel? Listen to expert business traveler Chris McGinnis, lead a panel discussion of business travel industry insiders and learn what's in store for business travelers in the coming year.
Listen Now >
Just how close can you get to a real-life alligator in the wild without being eaten? The answer is: very, very close. Just a little bit closer, it turns out, than the point at which you wet your pants. When you go to New Orleans (and you should go to New Orleans), eat beignets and gumbo in the French Quarter, stay up late listening to some great, dynamic jazz, go to the aquarium--do all those things that people say you have to do in New Orleans. You do have to do all those things.
But don't miss the chance to walk around a swamp filled with real-life alligators. Take your children, too, because the Barataria Preserve that is part of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve will teach them things they should know about Mississippi environments and wildlife, and the 'gators prefer bite-sized meals. The Barataria Preserve is only one of six separate sites that make up the Jean Lafitte National Park. Separate components of the park include the Chalmette Battlefield, important to the War of 1812, the Wetlands Acadian Center, and the Acadian Cultural Center-Lafayette, all of which are worthwhile. But, in the Acadian Cultural Center-Lafayette, you won't come face-to-face with a very large reptile with very large teeth.
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Adventure travel is a broad term. There are a few things that I personally keep to when describing my own definition of the term. For me, an adventure has these components:
Engagement with nature and cultures.
Tangible end goal. A tangible end goal that pushes me to expand my known set of abilities.
Physical and mental test. An adventure will test my physically endurance and my mental fortitude. Pushing my mental endurance is even more rewarding than my physical endurance. My body should reach its limits before my mind quits. If this happens, I look back on the trip with pride and see it as a stepping stone to the next adventure.
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February 12 2009 by BW Innsider
Check out specific travel deals available for 2 hours only, every day. Travel can take place anytime this year.
Make sure to set your alarm for noon EST and check out the savings.
Find out more
Have you ever considered how many people you help remain employed when you hit the road?
Last week, I took a business trip to New York City to lead a panel discussion at Best Western's third annual Business Travel Summit. For the duration of my trip, the fate of President Obama's economic stimulus plan dominated the news. As I sat in my room at the Best Western Hospitality House, I pondered just how much my trip would help stimulate the economy and how many jobs I might be saving.
Here's what I came up with: In just a single day of travel, I helped preserve at least 33 jobs.
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It's freezing in Connecticut. My skin is looking pasty. My lips feel dry. I'm sick of bundling my daughter and myself every time I want to step outside. I went into Manhattan the other day to try to lose my winter blues in the sights and sounds of the city. However, stripped of holiday lights and magical window displays, the city just felt cold and windy.
On the way home that night, I started daydreaming about a hot and sunny city with a lot of color. I haven't been to Miami in years, but it immediately came to mind.
Since the idea came up, I've spent some time doing my diligence on this location - I even found Will Smith's song on an old CD. The catchy tune and fun lyrics put the bounce back in my step...
Party in the city where the heat is on
All night on the beach till the break of dawn
Welcome to Miami (bienvenido a Miami)
... and here's what I've come up with in terms of lodging and things to do:
Spend two or three nights in Miami Beach, at the Best Western Atlantic Beach Resort. This new hotel will put you right on the water and within walking distance of: the famous Art Deco District, where you can check out Miami's classic architecture; Lincoln Road Mall, where you can do some high end or bargain shopping and try to catch a glimpse of J. Lo or Paris Hilton; the Bass Museum of Art, in case you decide to check out Flemish tapestries or modern Latin American art.
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