A Road Warrior Website Pick
Road Warrior like to give credit where credit is due, and today I'd like to credit another website for inveterate travelers. If you haven’t yet discovered it, The Travel Insider is a great Internet site offering interesting travel information. When they titled a recent article "Road Warrior Resources", I just had to check it out.
This really isn’t an article as much as a collection of articles, each related to what it takes to be a successful road warrior. A variety of subjects include tips and products that are valuable for both overseas and domestic travel. My favorites are below
Cars that use global positioning satellite navigation, or GPS, are something many road warriors have come to rely on, especially when traveling in a new city. The GPS part of this article, while going a little overboard in techno-speak, makes several great points. For example, some GPS units that use “dead reckoning” or have a special “snap to roads” feature can result in the driver seeing false location information. This can cost drivers valuable time, so if you rent cars with GPS, you will want to know what to look for before your next trip.
If you are one of those people who have become addicted to your Blackberry phone, you are not alone. You may also be wondering about what is coming next. The Blackberry 8700 is on many road warrior wish lists, since it is compact, stylish, and can operate at new blazing speeds. My favorite feature is that it can function as a tethered modem for a laptop, reducing the number of devices with which one must travel.
Portable computers are one of the most important tools carried by today’s road warriors. They are our storage devices, our communication tools and sometimes contain that fabulous presentation. They also usually contain sensitive information. If you want to be sure your data is secure, check out Travel Insider's incredibly detailed review of SecuriKey.
Travel Insider has done a really great job of including comfort, communication and technology items throughout this article. They, like Extended Stay Hotels, understand exactly what it takes to keep business travelers productive and leisure travelers happy.
20% OFF Select Week-End Stays at Extended Stay Hotels
Last minute deals for new bookings this week-end (stays 6/26 through 6/28) and next week-end (stays 7/3 through 7/5) at select Extended Stay Hotels(sm) locations. Visit our Week-End Deals section by clicking here. From there, you can book and save at least 20% for stays this week-end or next at your favorite destinations, like Los Angeles, Atlanta, Boston, Orlando, and Houston.
For Arrival Dates 6/26/2009 and 6/27/2009
For Arrival Dates 7/3/2009 and 7/4/2009
* Orlando, FL - Rates from $35.99/night
* Chicago, IL - Rates from $35.99/night
* Las Vegas, NV - Rates from $39.99/night
* Houston, TX - Rates from $39.99/night
* Washington, D.C. Area - Rates from $47.99/night
The Extended Test Drive
Those paying attention have been hearing a whole bunch of talk about cars over the last few months. Fuel-efficient and eco-friendly “green” cars are all the buzz and our politicians are talking about new ways to get each of us to buy a new car. So what is a road warrior to do?
There are so many questions. Is this the time to get a new car? Should I buy or lease? Will the low-emission, high-mileage cars deliver the power and performance I want or need? What extras are worth the price? These are tough questions that a trip to the showroom and a 20 minute test drive may not answer.
One idea is to turn your next business trip into an exploration of potential future car purchases. After all, if you make the right choices, renting a car can turn out to be a week long test drive. To advance this idea, Road Warrior checked with Hertz, preferred car rental company. Here are some ideas you might want to investigate.
Hertz has several of what it calls “Collections.” Since environmentally friendly cars are all the rage, let’s look at the Green Collection. Most of us have heard of the Prius Hybrid, so that may a good place to begin. If you want to drive an American car, take a look at the Ford Fusion. According to Ford Motor Company, the 2010 Fusion Hybrid will sport 41 miles-per-gallon and the standard 4-cylinder model an impressive 34 MPG.
If you’re thinking of really upgrading, why not rent from the Hertz Prestige Collection. This is a great way to see if that Audi Q7 really is for you or if the Mercedes C Class matches up to its advertising. As long as we are dreaming, why not rent a Mustang convertible, a rugged Jeep or, dare we say it, a Corvette?
Driving a rental car can help you make more decisions than which model or engine type is for you. Extras like GPS navigation can add a lot to the price of a car. For a minor investment, you can test drive these extras when you test drive your car rental.
No one really knows what our transportation will be like in ten or twenty years, but Road Warrior remains confident that a spacious, well appointed hotel room will still be high on most travelers’ list for a very long time. Whether you are traveling in a rented car or not, Extended Stay Hotels always offers a clean, comfortable room at an affordable price.
Last Minute Week-End Deals from 20% off - Extended Stay Hotels
Last minute deals for new bookings this week-end (stays 6/19 through 6/21) and next week-end (stays 6/26 through 6/28) at select Extended Stay Hotels(sm) locations. Visit our Week-End Deals section by clicking here. From there, you can book and save at least 20% for stays this week-end or next at your favorite destinations, like Phoenix, Fremont, Chicago, Las Vegas.
For Arrival Dates 6/19/2009 and 6/20/2009
* Phoenix, AZ - Rates from $23.99/night
* Fremont, CA - Rates from $43.99/night
* Jacksonville, FL - Rates from $42.99/night
* Detroit, MI - Rates from $35.99/night
* Columbus, OH - Rates from $37.99/night
For Arrival Dates 6/26/2009 and 6/27/2009
Oregon's Sesquicentennial Celebration
Can you define a “sesquicentennial” celebration? Very good! It’s a 150 year celebration. Here’s the second question. Did you know that 2009 marks 150 years of statehood for Oregon?
If you want a taste of how Oregonians are celebrating this historic event, visit the Oregon 150 website. One of the really fun year-long events offered as part of the celebration is the Oregon 150 Challenge. This is tailor made for the adventurous road warrior.
Here is how it works. For purposes of the Challenge, the state is divided into seven regions. Qualifying destinations include eateries, outdoor activities, events and other interesting and fun attractions. The website has a complete list of possible visits. Once you’ve completed and documented the requisite number of visits, you qualify for some really neat tour package prizes.
But as every road warrior knows, getting to the goal can be as much fun. So consider some of the things you might visit. Portland, as the state’ largest city, is a good place to begin. You will want to be sure you have comfortable accommodations, so pick one of the six Extended Stay Hotels in the greater Portland area. After a long day sightseeing, these comfortable rooms will be just what you want.
If fresh food is something you enjoy, consider visiting one of the many local farmers’ markets in the greater Portland area. Agriculture remains an important part of the Oregon economy, and the local food is exceptional.
Two other fun places to visit in Oregon are Salem, the state capitol, and Eugene. You will find comfortable Extended Stay Hotels in each of these fine cities as well. Near Salem is theAdelman Peony Gardens, one of the nation’s leading growers of these beautiful flowers.
Those interested in the excitement of fresh water fishing will want to head south to Eugene. Even a beginner can feel the thrill after lessons from nature outfitter 02 Fish.
Whether you are competing in the Oregon 150 challenge, or just enjoying the diverse sights and entertainment, Oregon is worth the visit. To ensure that your accommodations are clean, comfortable and affordable, be sure to book your stay at one of the nearby Extended Stay Hotels locations.
Save 20% on Select Week-End Hotel Stays
Last minute deals for new bookings this week-end (stays 6/12 through 6/14) and next week-end (stays 6/19 through 6/21) at select Extended Stay Hotels(sm) locations. Visit our Week-End Deals section by clicking here. From there, you can book and save at least 20% for stays this week-end or next at your favorite destinations, like Orlando, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Dallas.
For Arrival Dates 6/12/2009 and 6/13/2009
For Arrival Dates 6/19/2009 and 6/20/2009
* Los Angeles, CA - Rates from $47.99/night
* Atlanta, GA - Rates from $28.99/night
* Baltimore, MD - Rates from $51.99/night
* Minneapolis, MN - Rates from $39.99/night
* Dallas, TX - Rates from $31.99/night
Protecting the Homestead
Most every road warrior has experienced that momentary wonder of whether the coffee pot was turned off or the front door locked. Some may become anxious when they first open the front door after a long trip. Fox News recently ran a great article on home security with tips every road warrior should follow.
One important point made in the article involves the growing popularity of social networking sites on the Internet. These far flung “friends” may be fun to share recipes with, but it isn’t a good idea to be bragging about an upcoming vacation. In some cases, you may as well hang out an “I’m gone, rob me” sign on the front porch. This, of course, does not apply to good friends and neighbors, especially those who can keep watch over your house.
In addition, you are advised to not let technology do you in; the GPS in your car with your home address combined with your automatic garage door opener is a recipe for disaster. A clever car thief can steal your car at the airport, use the GPS to find your house, open the garage and load up your stuff in your car.
To avoid the above scenario, the article advises you to not program your address into the “home” field in your GPS. If you absolutely must have something to gage the distance to home, pick the address of a store at least two miles from the house. Should a thief find your home, don’t let them use your automatic door opener. The simplest way to protect against this is to unplug the opener. Most models remain locked even without power.
With the advent of digital recording, it has become easier to use cameras to both record and transmit pictures of your home and property. Whether you use hidden interior cameras, so called nanny cams, or install protected cameras in plain sight, electronic security can be a very good idea.
Some innovative homeowners, like one recently reported on by the BBC, have even used webcams to actually catch the thieves in the act. Just imagine sitting in your comfortable Extended Stay Hotels room and logging on to check up on your belongings. Now that’s home security.
Whatever methods you choose, take some time before your next trip to make arrangements to keep your home and property safe and secure. As a wise fellow once said, safety is never an accident.
The Next Stop for Road Warriors
For most road warriors, finding a great restaurant, a quiet place to read or an attraction that is uniquely fun can be a real challenge. While websites like Google and Yahoo deliver plenty of information, you still have to work your way through what can be thousands of pages looking for the right spot. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just get a recommendation from somebody who has been there?
According to an article recently published by techcrunch.com, now you can - thanks to the inventive minds of a group of former Google developers. A terrific new road warrior tool, Nextstop.com, combines the best aspects of social networking sites with outstanding information search.
Nextstop is just coming out of its beta stage, so it may be a little light on information volume, but all indications are that it will be a tremendous value to travelers very soon. Nextstop is a recommendation-based search website that delivers focused information gathered by people, not mass data collected by computers. The Nextstop overview explains why this is so important. After all, why sift through stes about things that real people think are irrelevant?
So here is how it works. Suppose you have a business trip to Denver, which is an excellent choice since Extended Stay Hotels has fifteen great places to stay. Once you’ve settled into your comfortable studio, dinner may be on your mind -- but you are on a diet. And although your room comes equipped with a full kitchen, you haven't had time to buy groceries.
No problem. Fire up Nextstop.com and enter “Denver” in the search window. Then choose “healthy” under the list of keywords. Now just pick from a list of restaurants recommended by fellow travelers who wanted to share their amazing find.
And this is the real difference between Nextstop and other sites offering search. You are getting the recommendation by people, much like you, who have experienced the food, service or overall experience.
As an interactive site, you can help expand the site’s value and encourage other road warriors to recommend the best things to do, places to visit and places to eat. It is even designed to limit unwarranted recommendations.
Whether you travel for business or pleasure, Nextstop should be your next stop after checking into one of our comfortable Extended Stay Hotels.
What's New in Airport Security
Airport security is a fact of life for most travelers, whether they are true road warriors or just off for their annual vacation. At the same time, we all want to move as quickly as possible through the airport and get on to our destination. Unfortunately, the battle to combine speed and security has hit a bit of a technical speed bump.
“Puffer” machines, glass portals at screening checkpoints, were intended to sniff out all sorts of forbidden items as we walked through. You may have experienced one of these if you went through one of the 37 airports where Transportation Security Agency, or TSA, installed puffers. According to a recent USA Today article, these high-tech sensors were done in by those age-old nemeses: dirt and humidity.
It seems that equipment intended to sniff particles from your clothing was clogged by natural, air-borne dust particles. To date, almost half the machines have been removed with the remainder going some time in the future.
But fear not, airport security remains a high priority for the TSA. The agency has teamed up with the Ad Council to run a national public education campaign focused on their latest program, Secure Flight. The ad campaign launches around Memorial Day; however, TSA has been working on the program for quite a while.
Unlike the dust-clogged “puffers,” which dealt with checkpoint security, the Secure Flight program works on improving the accuracy of the government’s watch list. The watch lists previously maintained by individual airlines will be combined into a single list under TSA. A quick read of TSA’s Top 5 Questions gives a good overview of the program.
What this means for you is that you may be asked to provide some additional information, such as your date of birth and gender. Collecting this information, at least in theory, will reduce the instances of people with similar or identical names from being delayed or denied boarding.
According to the old saying, “Getting there is half the fun.” Road Warrior hopes you enjoy your travel experience as much as you enjoy your spacious, comfortable Extended Stay Hotels' suite.