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Published On: Tue, Aug 19th, 2014

Maintaining Productivity (And Saving Money) While Traveling

I have spent some time reading all about my buddy Manny Ruiz’s Road Trips and specifically how much he loves Best Western because of how much money it saves him. My children are all in college now and we have not had the opportunity to travel like that in quite some time. I never really thought that Best Western would have a unique value proposition for a guy like me that travels for business… but I was wrong.

One of the biggest concerns I always have when I travel is how I am going stay connected with my business back home. When I decided to go on a week long road trip to Texas, that concern multiplied. The way the trip was structured,  I would be staying in 3 different hotels over the span of the week. During my down time I would have to follow up with clients, review proposals, sign contracts, fax documents, create content related to my trip and spend some serious time on the social web. When I travel, I seldom ever want to stay in my hotel room… I am adventurous and always want to go explore local culture but when I arrived at the Best western Premier Crown Chase Inn & Suites, I found myself torn. I really wanted to just hang out in the room… it is everything I would look for in an apartment /  home office.

Lounge area in my room

Lounge area in my room

The Gym

The Gym

I love to work and when I move from where I now live will probably choose space on how productive it will keep me. My office space is as important to me as a man cave is to the average sports fan or a kitchen / dining area to an average family that loves to eat together. The rooms at this hotel blew my away… first off it was the size of a suite in another hotel, it was equipped with a 42 in Flatscreen, beautiful desk, comfortable couch, microwave a refrigerator and the most amazing shower I have ever used in my whole life. As much fun as I was having seeing the sights and sampling some of the local culinary treasures, I kept finding myself wishing I was back in the hotel just enjoying the comfort that it would afford me. I stayed up late writing but once I hit that King Size bed… I wondered why I did not go to bed earlier. I must note that it was the first time I can remember NOT having to call the front desk for extra pillows… they gave me more than enough to make me comfortable.

Business Center

Business Center

The next morning, I got up to hit the gym and just 20 feet down the hall was one of the most impressive breakfast bars I have seen in a while where I was able to get a healthy breakfast –> egg white omelet with tomatoes / cheese and was able to quickly get upstairs and back to work. I saved time and money not having to look for a local Denny’s (I estimate at least $15). In the midst of all of that, got an urgent email with attachments that required my signature for a project I have been waiting to close on. I quickly went downstairs and was promptly led to the business center where I was able to log in, open, print and fax back my documents just as fast as I could have done in my home office. I was shocked when I asked the front desk person what I owed them and they said it was complimentary. Hotel premiums in the business center are usually so high, I normally end up taking a trip to the local FedEx Kinkos to get things done… but timing was so important in this case so I saved myself some serious money (I estimate at least $35)

My bed

My bed

With the time I saved, I was able to spend some more time in that shower and relax before the next leg of our road trip, which was our stop in Austin (to tour the local food trucks). Over the course of the next few days I would also tour some of the Best Western Plus properties and I do need to say that they are consistent in the areas that mean the most to me, they are extremely friendly, the rooms are impeccably clean and last but not least, they have rooms / amenities that help me stay productive during my downtime.

Once I got to San Antonio, I sat in a Best Western presentation at the NAHJ that had research on US Hispanic Travel that validated my experience… and I quote.

Survey Highlights:

  •     Almost 60 percent of U.S. Hispanic travelers are somewhat to very likely to extend a business trip by one or more days to add leisure time to the trip. (I am famous for doing this)
  •     Forty-nine percent of travelers, who indicated the primary reason for the majority of their travel was business, stayed in hotels five or more times in the past year, compared to 18 percent of respondents who indicated the primary reason for the majority of their travel was vacation. (This is me)
  •     When traveling for both business and leisure, access to free Wi-Fi is most important, followed by complimentary breakfast and/or happy hour specials. (The most important thing besides cleanliness)

For guys like me… Best Western is nailing it… I look forward to my next aventura!

I suggest that you take a good look at the Best Western website, figure out which of their three types of properties (Best Western, Best Western Plus or Best western Premier) make sense based on the reason you are going. While you are at it… sign up for their rewards program and make sure when you book, you do so directly from their website and not sites like Orbitz or Expedia, most time the pricing is identical but you lose those valuable reward points by booking with outside sources.

 

Until la proxima my friends…

 

George Torres
The Urban Jibaro
Sofrito Media Group

Cultivating Latino Culture Since 1997
Social Media I Branding I Event Management
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Disclaimer: This is an unsolicited account of my experience, I have not received any compensation, however this particular trip was part of the #ViajaConBW Road Trip and my stay was complimentary. All opinions are my own.

 

Maintaining Productivity (And Saving Money) While Traveling