November 1 2011 by Bryson Forbes
As we head deeper into fall and temperatures start to require a heavy jacket, many Canadians are planning their winter escape. For many of us, a week away on a tropical beach in the dead of winter makes the harsh weather somehow bearable.
I get asked all the time for tips to make this escape an even better experience, and for those who live more than an hour from the airport, I often suggest staying at a "stop-over" hotel. There are a number of reasons why you should consider this but the main reason is that either the outbound or return flight, or sometimes both, can have you at the airport very early in the morning. A "stop-over" hotel can help reduce stress, save you in tricky driving winter conditions and ultimately make your overall experience much better. Here are some things to consider when looking for a good play to stay:
- Obviously proximity to the airport is going to be important, but unless you are actually staying at the airport, look for a hotel that provides shuttle service. Also check the hours of operation, given my earlier comment about early mornings - look for 24-hour service!
- Ask about parking. In Toronto, for instance, leaving your car at the airport could cost you as much as your trip. If you are able to park at the hotel for the week this could save you more money than the cost of the room for the night!
- Complimentary Wi-Fi is always on my list of and if you want to check flight status, this always helps. Best Western always includes free high-speed Internet. Those of you that follow my posts know that this is something super important to me!
- Speaking of complimentary, eating breakfast before you go stand in the security line helps make that process go much more smoothly (and more economical - airport food can be pricey!). When I am at a Best Western I often grab a quick muffin and a coffee and it always seems to take the edge off.
- Look for reward promotions. Best Western ran a recent promotion that rewarded travelers when they stayed on two separate occasions - pre-trip and post-trip certainly qualify! Cha-ching!
Do you usually take advantage of a "stop-over" hotel when you travel? Let me know some of things that you look for when making your decision.