2018 Highlights and 2019 Aspirations

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Today we announced a strategic partnership with WONDERLUST. We’re really excited to kick off 2019 by working with the top notch team over there. Read the press release here.

Wpnderlust-Bonwi-Partner-for-Aspirational-Travel

2018 was an incredible year for Bonwi. We were rated the #1 hotel booking site by travel points guru Dan Gillaspia of uponarriving.com. We were a finalist in the Travolution Awards for the Best Travel Deals Publisher 2018. We also:

  • Surpassed 5,000 registered members on (sign up here if you haven’t already)
  • Exceeded 1 million bookable properties on Bonwi.com
  • Reached 1,000 subscribers right here on the Bonwi Blog
  • Added public price comparison to site search

Now we’ve partnered with WONDERLUST to differentiate the online travel experience for leisure and business travelers. Bob and his team are a force to be reckoned with.  As the exclusive editorial content provider to Bonwi, WONDERLUST will share features and travel advisories to Bonwi members including inspiration around new destinations and experiences and access to other partners and offers in the highly curated WONDERLUST ecosystem.  In turn, Bonwi will provide WONDERLUST users with:

  • Timely offers for up to 40% back in points when booking hotels and cars
  • Unique registration offers
  • Free dining for domestic bookings, and up to 50% off on dining, shopping and entertainment

Take a look at the world from the WONDERLUST perspective at wonderlusttravel.com.

Thank you for your support and for joining us in another exciting year ahead!

Benefits Of A Travel Journal

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Benefits Of A Travel Journal

Travel is an incredibly fulfilling pursuit that exposes us to new cultures, different perspectives, and unique experiences. A travel journal is an especially useful tool to record our adventures and share our memories with others. Below are a few of the major benefits of carrying a travel journal with you during your travels.

Use Your Journal To Plan
Your trip journal can begin before your trip has even started. Use your journal to start planning the things you want to do. It can be anything from a cool restaurant you want to eat at, a hike you want to go on, or different sights you want to see.

Write About Your Expectations
Sometimes your destination is wildly different than what you expected. It’s interesting to compare your predictions with actual experiences by writing down your expectations prior to arrival.

Gather Your Thoughts Each Day
It’s always easier to remember things when they are fresh in our brain, so try and write as much as you can while traveling; every day if you can. Before going to bed, simply jot down a few of the day’s most important or exciting events.

Supplement Your Writing
Combining mementos such as pamphlets, pictures, currency, menus, drawings, maps, or ticket stubs with first-hand written accounts of what they represent will make for an even more comprehensive narrative of your travels.

Reflect On Your Travels
Recounting your personal experiences is a great way to learn about yourself and the world around you. Take time to step back from all the things you did during your trip, and the impact that it made in your life.

Travel Journal Inspiration

  • Write about the people.
  • Why are you going?
  • What are you going to do?
  • Write about the food.
  • The ups and the downs.
  • Write about yourself.
  • Write about your expectations.
  • Write a travel guide.
  • What would you have changed?
  • Where do you want to go next?

Ready to explore destinations? Try a search on Bonwi.com.

Fun Ways To Bring Travel Memories Home

Fun Ways To Bring Travel Memories Home

Making memories and looking back on the times that you went on adventures around the world is one of the best perks of traveling. For this reason, having a few tangible ways to remember your travels will come in handy during the years to come. In this week’s Travel Tip Tuesday, we’re sharing our favorite ways for you to capture your journey.

Start A Collection  Sometimes, the cheap, obvious souvenirs are the best option, but add even more meaning to them by getting one of the same thing every place you visit. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Currency
  • Maps
  • Mugs or shot glasses
  • Matchbooks or coasters

collection

Write Letters/Postcards To Yourself  Take time to write a quick summary of the day on a postcard and mail it home. You’ll get to re-live your mental state and where you were at in life during different parts of your journey.

 

recipes

Collect New Recipes  Capture all of the different kinds of food and flavors you experience on your trip by bringing back a new recipe with you every time you visit a new place. Just take a quick snapshot of your favorite food and drink menus that inspire you. That way you can enjoy these new flavors at home and share them with others.

Capturing your trip in these tangible ways allows you to quickly recall the finer details that may otherwise fade away. They forever capture where you were, how you were feeling, who you were with, and all that you experienced during your adventures.

Ready to explore destinations? Try a search on Bonwi.com.

Home 2.0 for the Holidays

There’s no better time to embrace adulting than when deciding where to stay for the holidays.

Home vs. hotel 

Mom and dad are so excited. You’ve finally taken time away from your busy, impressive adult job to join them for the holidays. Normally, you might be more of a “call on Christmas, forget about Easter” kind of go-getter, but your parents are so proud of you. They just wish they could see you more. P.S. Make sure you’re eating enough. 

The thing is….

Though you might have hoped that, after busting your backside to accrue all of those vacay hours (or preparing that assessment for your boss of all the ways you earned your “unlimited” vacation), you would be going on an actual… vacation… Not so. You’re definitely booking a flight back to Akron, Sacramento, Des Moines, St. Paul, Lubbock or another hometown. It’s happening.

Now, where to stay? You could stay with your parents where their siblings, your siblings, and someone’s lonely neighbor will roost, OR you could stay at home 2.0.

What is home 2.0?

Home 2.0 is a hotel, proximal to your parents’ house – 15 miles or less. It’s outside of town enough that you won’t endure run-ins with high school crushes or former teachers, but close enough to make sense. You can park your bags, maintain your privacy, sleep like an angel and soak in the Jacuzzi while everyone else fights over the two outlets in your parents’ never-renovated split level. So, let’s compare going home for the holidays with going to home 2.0:

Home: Your brother’s kids scream-fight over toys
Home 2.0: A slice of quiet
Peace is important. You’ve learned this while adulting and you earned these days off. While you will cherish dinner, presents, caroling, crafting, movie night, and whatever else your parents have over-planned, your ambivert self is going to require a recharge. Your phone is, too. Welcome to your sanctuary.

Home: Politically gregarious
Home 2.0: Neutral territory
You and your parents may not see eye to eye on those hot button issues like the 2020 election, religion, or why you still haven’t had babies. Or maybe it’s Cousin Sam, who always goes eggnog overboard and alienates everyone before sundown. We all have someone. Tagging a secondary home base will allow you to casually slip out the back door, book it to your quiet, sensible rental car, and avoid catastrophe.

Home: That Christmas movie you hate, on repeat
Home 2.0: Your remote, your rules  
We don’t judge. Some people like the familiarity of those five holiday movies that are always on TV. If you’re someone who would like to take a hard left turn away from the usual suspects OR if you just want to watch something that isn’t animated for like, a whole entire hour, head back to Home 2.0. Blame it on a last minute work thing or a call from the (fake) significant other and catch up on a few hours of whatever else is on.

Home: Shoddy WiFi
Home 2.0: Connected
Your mom and dad are probably still using Wi-Fi provided by their cable company, who also provides their home phone line, and who also is not a national franchise. Your local cable outfit might be fine to make sure mom and dad can watch America’s Got Talent, but you need to be able to scroll Instagram, keep up with the scandalous group chat with your equally-displaced friends, and play Candy Crush, unabated. At Home 2.0 the WiFi password is a single word, and not the 14-digit code that came with the router (also on a sticker on the bottom of the router).

Home: A morning run with Uncle Greg
Home 2.0: A (basically) private gym
Uncle Greg. Good guy. Going through something you can’t relate to. Talks about something you can’t relate to. You’re going on a run. Now Greg is going, too. P.S. He’s wearing spandex. At home 2.0, you work out on your schedule, alone, or do a few laps in the pool. Without Uncle Greg.

Home: Sharing your childhood room with three other people
Home 2.0: Spreading out on the Cali King
Don’t be fooled, friend. Your childhood room might still be preserved the way you left it, right down to the race car wallpaper trim and the little league pennant – but it’s not your territory anymore. When you arrive, there will be air mattresses. There will be toiletry bags. There will be lost socks that aren’t yours, plus the bare feet that match them. Stay at home 2.0 and the only person putting their feet on your sheets is you.

Home: Someone else’s toothpaste, cap off
Home 2.0: Your oasis, and all the hot water you could ask for
Your parents’ one-and-a-half baths weren’t designed to accommodate 12 people, let alone three teenagers and a few kids who take hour-long baths. Your mid-range needs are last on the list, and when you DO get your turn, that place will be a warzone. Bathroom 2.0 is yours to linger and languish, alone.

Home: Eggo waffles by the plug-in fireplace
Home 2.0: Breakfast luxuries & the morning paper

Maybe your mom and dad make the most incredible pancakes on planet Earth. If they do, you have the flexibility to get up early and slide in right on time for the warmest short stack. If your parents aren’t exactly chef-inspired, you can enjoy a deluxe breakfast in the peace and quiet of your room or the dining space in your home 2.0 – and no one will take the part of the newspaper that you like best.

Where to find home 2.0

At the end of the day, you DO want to see your family. You love them, and that’s why you’re making this trek instead of heading to Cabo. But just because you miss your mom and dad doesn’t mean you want to sleep on their couch, end-to-end with a cousin you barely know anymore. This holiday season – and all year long – book yourself a backup plan that keeps everybody happy.

To book home 2.0 for the holidays, sign up for Bonwi today and instantly earn your first 1,500 points.  You’ll get the best hotel and car rental deals on the web, and earn massive amounts of points when you book…up to 40% back! Points can be redeemed for flights, hotel stay, car rentals and gift cards.

Happy Holidays and Safe Travels from the Bonwi team!

 

 

Get The Most Out Of Google Maps While Traveling

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travel-tip-google-maps

Get The Most Out Of Google Maps While Traveling

Since first being introduced in 2005, Google Maps has grown to become the most popular navigation software in the world. Active daily users now total well over one billion – and more than likely, you’re one of them. Google Maps is, after all, an extremely valuable and versatile tool for every type of traveler. But with Google steadily releasing new features and updates, are you sure you’re using the app to its full potential? In this week’s Travel Tip Tuesday, we’ll bring you up to speed on Google Maps latest functionality, and share with you a few of our favorite tips & tricks for your travels ahead.

Take Advantage Of Offline Functionality  

Before heading to the airport, be sure to download an offline map of the city or place where you’re traveling. Even if you have mobile data when you’re abroad, downloading a map ahead of time will use less data and/or load the map quicker when you’re out and about, so it’s a smart move either way.

Pre-Load Directions

Google Maps can still help you get where you’re going even if you’re offline and unable to use a downloaded map. In your accommodation (or wherever you have a wifi connection), simply program the route to reach your destination and Maps will download the info you need to get there. Once your route is configured, Maps will hold the data (even if you go offline) at least until you arrive, or until the Maps app is closed on your device.

Find Places Along Your Route

Google Maps is great for getting from point A to point B, but what about those times when you need to find food or gas along the way? Now the app will help you do just that without having to leave navigation mode.

  • Click the little magnifying glass and get a list of options such as gas stations, supermarkets, restaurants, coffee shops, and anything else you might need.
  • Tap “Explore” in the main menu of the Google Maps app to see a variety of sections each with ratings and descriptions.

The Little Person In The Corner Has A Purpose

That little yellow person in the bottom right-hand corner (named “Peg Man”) can be picked up and placed anywhere on the map. Right after dropping him, you’ll shift into that location’s street view and you can pan around as if you were there.

Make Use Of The “My Maps” Feature

Create a custom Google map using the My Maps feature, and plot all of the places you might like to visit based on your research in the run up to your trip. Then while you’re wandering around wondering where might be a good place within walking distance to grab dinner, you’ve got a phone full of your very own top choices.

My Maps are shareable if the creator makes them public. You can add your own favorite spots and discoveries throughout your trip and share with friends once you return. This is particularly helpful if you’re the type of person who is constantly being asked for travel recommendations – simply send them a link and vice versa.

Ready to explore destinations? Try a search on Bonwi.com.

Clever Travel Hacks For Any Trip

Clever Travel Hacks For Any Trip

In this week’s Travel Tip Tuesday, we’re sharing a few of our best tricks for saving time, space, and money as you explore the world.

Bring An Empty Water Bottle
Pack an empty bottle in your carry-on so you can get through security, then fill it up on the other side. There is no need to spend $4 on water every time you get on a plane!

Request A Fragile Sticker For Your Luggage
Doing so helps ensure that your suitcase ends up on the top of the luggage pile and first on the conveyer belt at the baggage claim.

Store Emergency Money In A Lip Balm Tube
Pickpockets target wallets, money clips, purses, and other obvious valuables. They’re almost certainly not after your Chapstick, regardless of how chapped their lips may be. Being small, inconspicuous, readily available, and watertight, it’s the perfect spot to stash some money for emergencies.

Use A Television To Charge Your Electronics
If you ever forget to bring a USB adapter, or find that your adapter has too few available outlets, keep in mind that most TVs have a USB port around the back which you can use to easily charge your electronics.

Pack Like A Pro With Tissue Paper And Dryer Sheets
Roll your clothes in tissue paper to avoid wrinkles. Doing so reduces friction, which is primarily what causes wrinkles to form. Toss a couple dryer sheets in your luggage as well to eliminate static electricity and keep your clothes smelling fresh and clean. (A bar of scented soap works great, too).

Download Google Maps For Use Offline
If you’re traveling somewhere without a phone data plan, you can easily download Google Maps ahead of time to browse offline. Type “Ok Maps” into the Google Maps search bar and the portion of the map that’s currently visible on your screen will be saved directly to your device for later use.

Wipe the dust off your suitcase and use the list above to enjoy more affordable, efficient, and stress-free adventures in 2019 and years to come.

Ready to explore destinations? Try a search with Bonwi.com.

Simple and Effective Tips For Restful Airplane Sleep

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travel-tip-tuesday-airplane-sleep

Simple and Effective Tips For Restful Airplane Sleep

People who can easily fall asleep on a plane are among the lucky few. Most of us are unable to doze off in a cramped space, sitting in an uncomfortable position, while surrounded by total strangers. Fortunately though, we have a few tips to help fellow travelers catch some quality Z’s during your travels ahead.

Head To The Gate Early | Book Nighttime Flights When Possible  It’s a good idea to pick a flight near to a time when you’d normally be sleeping. Wake up 2-3 hours earlier the night before your flight to make it easier to fall asleep onboard. Use that extra time at the gate to brush your teeth in the bathroom, wash your face, or read some of the books that sit on your nightstand. Performing such ritual actions will help tell your body that it’s time to sleep.

Best Days To Fly: Tuesdays & Wednesdays | Window Seats Are Your Best Bet  If you want fewer passengers and more space, pick the most unpopular days for booking flights: Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Fridays and any days before holidays are the most loaded. Always try to pick a window seat to rest your head on the wall and not be bothered by your neighbor wanting to get up to go to the bathroom. If you normally sleep on your left side, aim for seat A. If your right side is your preferred sleeping position, pick the window seat on the opposite side of the plane. Opt for a seat as close to the nose of the aircraft as possible. Your ride will be both smoother and quieter due to the extra distance from the engines.

Pick Food And Drinks Wisely, Both Before & During Your Flight  The best drink option for restful sleep while onboard is either herbal tea or plain water. A glass of red wine or two may help you doze off at altitude more quickly, though you’ll likely wake up groggy an hour or two later because alcohol reduces REM sleep, the most restorative phase of sleep. Avoid overeating as you fly, sticking to light, healthy food that’s just enough to keep you from feeling hungry.

  • Stay hydrated
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Eat sparingly before flight

Tilt Your Seat Back As Much As Possible | Uncross Your Legs  Hours of sitting at a right angle may lead to lower back pain, and attempting to sleep with your head resting on the table or the back of the seat in front is bad for your neck and spine. Leaning back to a 135-degree angle is a far preferable sleep position, as it places the least pressure on the spinal discs. Crossed legs has the effect of clamping down on one side, which restricts blood flow and can also torque your lower back. Because your lower half is slightly twisted either to the right or left, and your upper body is still facing straight ahead, a small amount of additional stress is added to your lumbar.

Put Your Gadgets Away | Bring Along Sleep Accessories  Don’t watch movies on your phone, tablet, or laptop because the blue light of the screen wakes your brain up. The screens are interpreted as sunlight in our brains, which suppresses melatonin release and prevents sleep. Ideally, you’ll want to put away all your electronics at least half an hour before you plan on getting needed shuteye. To add comfort to your travels, we recommend bringing along a few accessories such as:

  • Eye mask and neck support
  • Compact travel blanket
  • Portable foot rest/hammock

Ready to explore destinations? Try a search at Bonwi.com.

Cruise Like A Pro

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travel-tip-tuesday-cruise-like-a-pro

Cruise Like A Pro

If you’re new to cruising, or it’s been a while since your last sea voyage, this week’s Travel Tip Tuesday explores a few ways to get the most out of your next cruise experience. Whether it’s a leisurely 12-passenger barge along French canals, or an ocean liner circling the Caribbean Islands, these tips will help you set sail like a pro.

Early-Bird Savings & Perks
Cruise lines typically offer the best rates and bonuses right when a cruise first goes on sale. You may be tempted to wait, but what usually happens is the cruise ships start to fill up and the increasing demand leads to higher prices. Booking early typically results in free bonuses such as pre-paid gratuities, on-board spending credit, or a reduced fare. Plus you’ll benefit from being able to select your ideal cabin. You can even book your next cruise while aboard the ship on a current cruise, usually at a discount.

Upgrading To A Balcony Cabin Is Money Well Spent
A balcony cabin will typically cost more than those with only a window, or no view at all. However, you’ll find that the additional expense is worth the price. Fresh air, complete privacy, and uncrowded views will make a big difference when you seek some downtime. Balcony cabins also tend to be quieter, and are prized by those who like to sleep in.

Make Dinner & Event Reservations Early
Once onboard, make a quick tour of your ship. Learn about the amenities and restaurants that you may want to book in advance. Set up reservations for events and specialty dinners early so that you can reserve the best times for your schedule.

Consider Buying A Spa Pass
A daily or cruise-duration spa pass offers the opportunity to use spa facilities that include steam rooms, saunas, and therapy/heated pools. Passes are usually limited to ensure the facilities aren’t overcrowded, so check if your ship’s spa offers them on the day you embark.

Planning & Preparation Checklist
Cruise-Pre-Vacation-Checklist to help take the stress out of vacation planning before embarking on your next adventure. Following this checklist will ensure that your home is prepped for your absence, your bank and cell phone providers are aware of your upcoming travel, that you’ve gathered together the correct travel documents to bring along, along with an assortment of other tips to make certain that your getaway remains worry free throughout.

Ready to explore destinations? Try a search on Bonwi.com.

Cooking While Traveling

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travel-tip-tuesday-cooking-while-traveling

Cooking While Traveling

Most travelers are familiar with the challenges of preparing meals from a hotel room or vacation rental. Necessary cooking utensils and ingredients are seldom available outside the familiar confines of our own kitchen. This week’s Travel Tip Tuesday shares a few tips on the right gear to bring along with you to make cooking while traveling a piece of cake.

knives-and-wine  

Bring A Chef’s Knife & Wine Opener  Vacation homes occasionally have flimsy, dull knives that make cooking feel like a dangerous chore. Bring your own sharpened chef’s knife and skip trying to use that dull blade in the drawer that by now is good only for spreading butter. It’s also best to error on the side of caution and pack a corkscrew just in case there are none available.

spices

Olive Oil Along With Salt & Spice Blends  A good olive oil makes it easy to turn the fresh, local ingredients you find into memorable meals, but it’s not worth buying a big, expensive bottle if you’ll only be using it for a week. Instead, pack a small bottle of whatever you like to use at home. Along with olive oil, your favorite salt and spices can make a big difference when cooking simple vacation meals.

tongs

Tongs & Grilling Tools  There are many cooking tools you can hack with other common kitchen supplies, but it’s tough to get by without tongs. Bring a cheap metal pair and maybe consider leaving them behind for future vacationers. Also if there’s a grill where you’re headed, pack any other such tools that might not be available, such as an accurate meat thermometer.

baking

Baking Supplies  If you plan to whip up any cobblers, pancakes, or pies with local summer fruit, pack a little kit with common ingredients such as baking soda, baking powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon, etc. You won’t waste money buying a big container of an item when you only need a teaspoon of it.

coffee

And, Of Course, Your Favorite Coffee  When settling for K-cups or Starbucks just isn’t an option, remember to include a bag of your favorite coffee beans before leaving. A little grinder with a small french press and you have everything you need for a great cup of coffee no matter where you are in the world.

Ready to explore destinations? Try a search on Bonwi.com.

World Tipping Chart

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travel-tip-tuesday-tipping-while-traveling

World Tipping Chart

Get up to speed with the tipping etiquette of your destination. Know how much to tip and when to tip based on where you are in the world.

Food Drinks Taxis
Australia 5%-10% Change (round to the nearest Dollar) Change (round to the nearest Dollar)
Canada 15% 10%-15% 10%-15%
Czech Republic 5%-10% 5%-10% 5%-10%
Ireland 10% Not expected (uncommon) 10%
Italy 10% Change (round to the nearest Euro) Not expected (uncommon)
Japan Not customary (often refused) Not customary (often refused) Not customary (often refused)
Mexico 10%-20% 20-40 Pesos ($1-$2)/drink Not expected (but appreciated)
Morocco 10% 10% 5%-10%
Spain 5%-10% Not expected (uncommon) 5%
United Kingdom 10%-15% Change (round up to the nearest Pound) 10%
United States 15%-20% $1/drink 10%-15%
Vietnam 5% Not expected (but appreciated) Not expected (but appreciated)

Ready to explore destinations? Try a search on Bonwi.com.

Get more Bonwi travel tips here.

 

Travel Tip Tuesday: September, The Best Time To Travel

September, The Best Time To Travel

September, just after Labor Day, is one of the best times to travel in the US. With vacation season winding down and schools back in session, those who travel from mid-September through October typically enjoy off-peak rates and great weather. So if you love the sun but not the crowds, consider a late vacation or an extended weekend getaway in September. Booking two months out (right now), also gives you the best blend of price and availability. Here are just a few destinations we recommend for this time of year.

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Turks & Caicos

While the off-peak season in the Bahamas runs from late spring through late fall, temperatures in September become quite nice, with trade winds that ensure a comfortable stay in accommodations without air conditioning. Prices drop significantly through hurricane season, despite that storms are fairly infrequent. Storms more frequently pound the US mainland this time of year, so take advantage of this misperception and the low prices that come with it.

Orlando, Florida

Orlando theme parks attract families, so it is most busy when kids are on vacation from school during the summer. That said, the best time to go is during the academic year. September and October are the best months to go because prices are lower, the weather is still warm, and you will avoid the masses of families with children. Another good time to visit is after spring vacation in early May. The time to avoid is Christmas week.

Las Vegas, Nevada

In the fall months, Las Vegas is preparing itself for their “calm” season, so the city lowers its prices to keep their casinos clanging and clubs booming. The weather begins to cool off as things slow down. So if you don’t mind the city a little more quiet than normal, September/October is the prime time for you.

New Orleans, Louisiana

September/October is one of the best times of the year to visit New Orleans. The tourism traffic slows down, temperatures cool off, the humidity disappears, and prices drop. This phenomenon of good weather is no secret, so make sure you begin looking months in advance. The weather changes quickly so keep a close eye on the forecast during this time of year.

 

 

When planning your next September trip, check out Bonwi.com!

Five Fantastic Oktoberfest Events In The US

Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest, originally a celebration of a royal wedding, began over 200 years ago in a field in Munich, Germany. It’s now the largest festival on earth, with people coming all over the world to celebrate Bavarian culture by laughing, dancing, singing, and, of course, drinking beer. But it’s not necessary to leave the United States to celebrate Oktoberfest. Many cities across the country have embraced their German heritage, putting together festivals that rival those in Munich. Below we have included our five favorite picks for Oktoberfest celebrations around the United States.

Harpoon Oktoberfest
One of the most popular Boston fall events for over 20 years, complete with Oktoberfest beer, traditional bratwursts, a keg bowling game, and German chocolate cake-eating contests. Harpoon Oktoberfest offers everything from musicians dressed in lederhosen to yodeling competitions, plus much more.
Addison Oktoberfest
One of the most authentic outside of Munich, this four-day Oktoberfest in Addison Circle Park attracts more than 70,000 visitors every year. This event offers a variety of food and entertainment options, including gourmet schnitzel, polka dancing, folk music, karaoke, a German spelling bee competition along with numerous child activities.
Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest
Among the top rated Oktoberfests in the US for more than 42 years. Features of the Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest include food such as bratwurst, knockwurst, and Bavarian dumplings, as well as premium imported beers on tap. Observe or participate in various contests such as stein-carrying, plus enjoy live music, petting zoos, face painting, and much more.
Leavenworth Oktoberfest
A three-weekend festival held annually in Leavenworth, this celebration attracts over 10,000 people and features four venues with concerts of live traditional German music from the US and Germany. Here you will find authentic Oktoberfest cuisine like sauerkraut-topped bratwurst, shops with handmade art, crafts and collectibles, plus concerts, games and contests.
Historic German Town Oktoberfest
Attracting thousands of people for over 32 years, the family-oriented event of Oktoberfest in Nashville features everything from 4 stages presenting live German music, delicious assortments of Bavarian food and beverages, polka dancing, arts and crafts, antique booths, street performers, and plenty of fun games and activities for children.

 

Cheers to festivals and cheers to exploring new cities! Check back for more travel tips. And when booking your next trip, make sure to check out Bonwi.com.

The Ultimate West Coast Road Trip

West Coast Road Trip Tips

West Coast Road Trip Tips

The landscape found along the West Coast of the United States between Seattle and San Diego is considered by many to be the most beautiful in the world. The various environments between the two cities include volcanoes, high deserts, ancient redwoods, forested-coastline cliffs, massive rivers, and untamed wildlife. Depending on the time you travel and how you want to experience the journey, such a road trip can be conquered anywhere from one to five days. Starting at the northwest tip of the United States at Olympic National Park and driving all the way south to the Mexican border, this 1,650 mile (2.655 kilometers) stretch can be broken down into sections for you to start and stop as you wish during the best road trip of the year.

Olympic National Park

The park spans 1,442 square miles (3.734 square kilometers) and features snow-covered mountains, a temperate rainforest, and the rocky Pacific coastline. Olympic National Park is perfect for almost all outdoor activities due to its undeveloped and untouched environments. Camping, hiking/backpacking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, fishing, soaking in hot springs, wildlife watching, skiing, snowshoeing, and surfing are a few activities you can take advantage of in this outdoor playground

Distance from Los Angeles: 1,243 miles/1.812 kilometers: (17 hours)
Distance from Portland: 162 miles/260 kilometers (3 hours)
Distance from San Diego: 1,124 miles/1.808 kilometers (19 hours)
Distance from Seattle: 112 miles/180 kilometers (2 hours)
Distance from San Francisco: 796 miles/1.281 kilometers (13 hours)

Joshua Tree

With its desert landscape, dry air, and “anything-goes” vibe, many consider Joshua Tree to be a very magical place. There are areas designated to walking trails and rock climbing found throughout the park. Here you will come across a variety of great stores and restaurants each with their own unique personality. Make sure to visit the Hicksville Trailer Palace and grab a drink at the famous Pappy & Harriet’s Bar & Grill.

Distance from Los Angeles: 128 miles/205 kilometers (2 hours)
Distance from Portland: 1,080 miles/1.738 kilometers (15 hours)
Distance from San Diego: 160 miles/257 kilometers (2 hours)
Distance from Seattle: 1,249 miles/2.010 kilometers (19 hours)
Distance from San Francisco: 500 miles/804 kilometers (7 hours)

 

Big Sur

The drive to Big Sur is known to be one of the best in the country. The road zigzags along the ocean making it a fun and beautiful drive. The beauty that you will see along the way will only continue to expand upon your arrival. Redwoods tower over cafes, hiking trails, and modern businesses. The area is booming with artisans from around the world.

Distance from Los Angeles: 352 miles/566 kilometers (6 hours)
Distance from Portland: 757 miles/1.218 kilometers (12 hours)
Distance from San Diego: 462 miles/743 kilometers (8 hours)
Distance from Seattle: 928 miles/1.493 kilometers (14 hours)
Distance from San Francisco: 140 miles/225 kilometers (3 hours)

 

North Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe offers something for everyone with its ski slopes, boat rentals, camping, fishing, gambling, and nightclubs. It is considered one of the best pit stops for road trippers. Grab a drink at the historic lakefront Cambers Landing Bar, or make have some Tex-Mex from the legendary Caliente, also known as “The Stop.”

Distance from Los Angeles: 500 miles/804 kilometers (7 hours)
Distance from Portland: 581 miles/935 kilometers (9 hours)
Distance from San Diego: 559 miles/899 kilometers (9 hours)
Distance from Seattle: 752 miles/1.210 kilometers (12 hours)
Distance from San Francisco: 199 miles/320 kilometers (3 hours)

UponArriving Names Bonwi #1 Best, Most Popular of 2018

We are way too excited (and humbled) to keep up the suspense. Thank You to Daniel Gillaspia for the honor of the top spot as Best Hotel Booking Site for 2018!!!

Deep breath. OMG OMG OMG!!! UponArriving.com has named Bonwi as #1 on the list of The 15 Best (and Most Popular) Hotel Booking Sites [2018] . Here’s what Dan said about Bonwi:

Bonwi is a standout OTA for one very special reason. It offers ridiculously high returns on… Click to Tweet

Dan also does a nice job calling out our sometimes slower search speed, too. Truth is, it’s seconds – less than 15 on a really exciting deal-packed day. It takes those extra 7-10 seconds on top of the other, lesser OTAs because we are pulling in Every Single Deal out there. Just for you.

“You’re not going to beat the best deals on Bonwi even if you have top-tier Platinum status with another hotel loyalty program.”

That’s why we’re Number One!

Now, if you’re new to the world of online travel booking site, deals, incentives, points, rewards, loyalty and redemption, Dan’s article is a go-to read. Yes, we also love it because we’re Number One, but it’s a comprehensive and definitive guide to who’s who, what’s what, all the choices out there and how you benefit from the major deals sites. Read the full story here.

 

 

Travel Well by Traveling Prepared

Travel Prepared

Travel Prepared

Help ensure a smooth trip by planning thoroughly and remaining prepared throughout your next big getaway. The four tips from this week’s Travel Tip Tuesday are as simple as they are effective, and will go a long way in adding a great deal of comfort and convenience to your travels.

Pack A Tennis Ball To Relieve Aching MusclesRelieve Aches

Roll a tennis ball under your feet to keep from getting stiff and sore on a flight. You can also place it between your back and plane seat to help massage your muscles during your flight. It’s small, inexpensive, and easy to replace.

Stay Updated With A Flight Tracker AppFlight Tracker

Retrieve flight details with ease by downloading the FlightAware app to your phone. It contains in-depth information about arrivals, delays, departures, in addition to terminals & gates.

Pack Binder Clips For A Variety Of UsesPack Binder Clips

  • Make a stand for your smartphone to watch movies on the plane.
  • Neatly wrap, shorten, and organize cables.
  • Hold bottles in place in the refrigerator.
  • Shield the head of your shaving razor.

Stay Fresh During Your Trip With Tea Tree WipesStay Fresh

Tea Tree cleansing wipes are a perfect way to quickly freshen up before, during, or after your flight. These lightweight wipes are inexpensive, pack flat in your luggage, and are an invaluable addition to include in your carry on for long flights.

 

Check back for the next edition of our Travel Tip Tuesday.

 

Airport Layover Advice

Airport Layover Advice

Airport Layover Advice

Here are some tips to make a long layover a productive part of your business trip or an extension of your vacation.

Research the Airport

Find out ahead of time if the airport where you will be spending your layover offers restaurants, shops, or other activities. Some airports have theaters, museums, gyms, and play areas for children. If you find yourself burdened by luggage, keep in mind many airports offer a service that allows bags to be held safely throughout the duration of your layover.

Local Adventure

If you have a long time before your flight, find out the local tourist attractions close enough to explore. Before leaving, find out how long it would take to see these specific attractions. Many airports offer direct trains or buses so you can avoid expensive cab rides.

VIP Club

Most major airlines offer VIP clubs at large airports where you can enjoy a relaxing, up-scale environment complete with food and drink. If you are not already a member of a VIP club, inquire about a frequent flyer day pass.

Take a Walk

Exercise helps you relax and provides you with an energy boost so you can get through the rest of your trip. Explore the airport by taking a walk through public exhibits, window-shop, or people watch. Get some fresh air and restore circulation to your legs at the same time.

By using these tips as a guideline, you can better organize and prepare for your trip. Stay tuned to Travel Tip Tuesdays for more in-depth information about the best way to travel.

Ready to start exploring? Head to Bonwi.com!

Road Trip Packing Tips

Road Trip Packing Tips

Road Trip Packing Tips

There are many benefits to getting behind the wheel and road tripping rather than flying to your vacation destination. Besides being in charge of your departure and arrival time, you aren’t limited to airlines baggage restrictions. If you decide to trade your boarding pass for a car on your next getaway, here are four tips for a smooth road trip.

FUEL UPRoad Trip Tip - Fuel Up

And we mean you, not the car. Before hitting the road, stock up on vitamin-packed, healthy snacks such as carrots, almonds, or fruit slices to remain alert and energized as you go. Gum is also a good thing to have on hand, as repetitive chewing promotes increased circulation.

PACK STRATEGICALLYRoad Trip Tip - Pack Strategically

Loading heavier items first will keep most of the extra weight towards the center of the car, allowing an even load over both front and back wheels; doing so will allow your car to drive normally in spite of the extra weight.

UTILIZE A ROOFTOP /CARGO CARRIER

Rooftop carriers allow more comfort and room for passengers inside, as well as the ability to pack much more than you would otherwise be capable of loading inside the trunk.

KEEP THE ESSENTIALS CLOSEBYRoad Trip Tip - Keep the Essentials Closely

Keep items such as phone chargers, sunglasses, snacks, and beverages in convenient locations that are readily accessible. Make sure emergency items such as flashlights, first-aid kits, or jumper cables remain close at hand and not buried beneath luggage.

Road trips are a fantastic opportunity to put your attention on the outside world and forget about your troubles for awhile. After packing up and embarking on your next adventure, the most important thing is to look up and enjoy the views, the company you’re with, and all the fun experiences that are soon to come.

 

Now that you know how to pack efficiently, start planning your road trip with Bonwi.com.

Connecting With Locals On Your Next Trip

Travel Tip - Connect with locals

Travel over recent decades has been in a state of transition, with modern travelers showing an ever-increasing interest in “experiencing” destinations rather than simply visiting them. This new trend is a rewarding pursuit, that has worldwide travelers connecting more in spite of cultural divides. This week’s Travel Tip Tuesday highlights a few of our favorite ways to break out of the tourist bubble and engage with the locals during adventures to come.

Connect Over Hobbies

Seek out shops specializing in hobbies you’re interested in to further connect with others. If you’re a jazz fan, try finding a local jazz bar. If you’re interested in woodworking, check out a region’s workshops.

Star a Meal

Whether it’s a small snack on a train ride or a full meal in someone’s home, food has the power to bring people together no matter the location. Bon Appetour matches up eager travelers with locals who are willing to cook and host.

Check out Local Art and Entertainment Listings

Instead of following the word of a guidebook or brochure, find a website that shows what’s going on in the city during your stay. Seeing a show instead of visiting a well-known attraction will put you in the company of locals, not tourists.

Never Underestimate the Benefits of Public Transportation 

A private car certainly has its benefits, sure, but using public transportation will expose you to a wider range of people. It offers the benefit of getting a closer look at how the locals live and a new perspective on their daily lives.

Take a ClassLet your interests lead you toward like-minded travel companions. You may decide to take a cooking class and learn an authentic dish, or practice a new form of dance so you can salsa or tango with the locals, for example.

Find a Local Tour Guide

Avoid large tour companies. Search instead for smaller-scale tours that are run by locals who are passionate about sharing the most popular and interesting features of their locale. Such one-of-a-kind tours are priceless.

Above All: Be Curious and Friendly

Chat with shop owners or market vendors, get to know your driver, smile at a stranger and ask them a question. Show the locals you’re interested in them and their culture, and a simple introduction or question has the potential to open up a world of entirely new and unique experiences.

 

Check back next week for the latest edition of Travel Tip TuesdayHear from our experts on all elements of travel as they share their personal experience and knowledge, which spans everything from fascinating must-see locations, to practical and informative suggestions.

Let Bonwi help ensure that your next getaway is the best one yet.

The Best Time To Visit The Desert

Best Desert Trips

Best Desert Trips

The Best Time To Visit The Desert

We visit deserts not just because of their unique landscapes, but because they also hold a special place in our imaginations. The combination of solitude, silence, and shifting sands give them a mysterious charm that attracts travelers from all around the world. Summers are long and very hot with temperatures that regularly climb above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius) during the day. You will quickly see why fall and winter seasons are one of the best-kept secrets of travelers. These are the best seasons to visit because the temperatures are comfortable, the light is perfect for photography, and there are no crowds. Below we have compiled a short list of our favorite places to explore during the beautiful and tranquil desert season that’s fast approaching.

Moab, Utah

Moab, Utah is a colossal outdoor playground for hikers, bikers, climbers, and paddlers. The landscape has been called “hard-core” and “gnarly,” but the local attitude is mellow. The town has wineries tucked along sandstone canyons, locally-sourced eateries, and craft breweries.

Death Valley, California

Death Valley sits 282 feet (86 meters) below sea level; is surrounded by steep, colorful mountain ranges; and offers visitors a variety of surreal landscapes that artists and adventurers enjoy equally. The valley averages a comfortable 63 degrees Fahrenheit (17 degrees Celsius) through the fall. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.

Grand Junction, Colorado

In the Western United States, town names often speak volumes of what to expect from that place. Grand Junction sits at the crossroads of some of the most grandiose natural sites found in the west. Travelers venture to this area for the whitewater rapids of the Colorado River, the wild horses of Little Book Cliffs, as well as the vineyards and peach orchards of neighboring Fruita and Palisade. Here you will find bighorn sheep nestled within the beautiful red-rock canyons of the Colorado National Monument, along with the world’s largest flat-top mountain which attracts hikers and campers in the summer and skiers in the winter.

Palm Springs, California

This sun-drenched desert oasis is returning to its glory days as a Hollywood playground, a central gathering spot for modern architectural design aficionados, musicians and artists drawn by nature’s inspiration, and an increasing crowd of cool-seekers. Warm cocktail parties by the pool in winter draw snowbirds from the north and locals from cooler parts of southern California. Here visitors enjoy Mai Tais at tiki bars and s’mores by fire pits in the evening under the stars. This is the place where people get away when it’s colder elsewhere.

Grand Canyon, Arizona

The awe-inspiring Grand Canyon is 277 miles (445 kilometers) long and more than a mile deep in some areas. Millions of travelers visit the canyon annually to bask in its natural beauty and overwhelming size. Depending on where you want to explore, visitors can experience helicopter, airplane, jeep, rafting, biking, and donkey tours.

When all is said and done, a desert getaway this upcoming fall or winter can add dimension to your travels, setting a relaxing pace for whatever you do while simultaneously offering up some lasting and cherished memories. To book that desert trip, head to Bonwi.com!

Breaking Routine To Get The Most Out Of Travel

Travel Tips for Breaking Routine

Travel Tips for Breaking Routine

Breaking Routine to Get The Most Out Of Travel

When you envision your next vacation, does it come easily? We have a tendency to be drawn toward the type of travel we find familiar. After all, we know what we like, and it’s comforting to follow a path known to us. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, but you’d be surprised at how even some small changes to how you travel can reveal new experiences you might never have had otherwise. It’s time to break routine. Get the most of your next vacation with these travel tips.

Adjusting Your AgendaAdjusting Agenda to Break Travel Routine

If your last trip felt too much like the one before it, you might have an agenda routine. When was the last time you saw a glacier, went canoeing on a lake, or took a cooking class abroad? Have you recently taken a cruise? Building a trip around new experiences is a bulletproof way of adding diversity to your agenda.

Routines can also be found in how we structure time. If you get in the habit of planning everything, unstructured time could be what you need. Pick a day to sleep in, or explore somewhere new with an open-ended agenda afterwards. You won’t feel as rushed, while a little spontaneity can go a long way toward creating a whole new travel experience.

Differing Your DestinationsDiffering Destinations to Break Travel Routine

Sometimes we let destinations do all the heavy lifting for a trip. If a quiet beach is where you typically go for a relaxing vacation, your first thought might not be to visit a major city. Consider though just how relaxing it might be to take a trip to Paris, Chicago, or Sydney. What’s more is how rich an experience you could have there. Breakfast in bed at a four-star hotel isn’t a bad start, followed by some quiet time at an independent bookstore such as Shakespeare and Company in Paris. Sprawling city parks, museums, and the symphony offer some great alternatives to that beach trip as well. Choose destinations outside of your norm for new experiences, while still having the sort of vacation you enjoy.

Changing Up Your CompanyChanging Up Your Company to Break Travel Routine

It’s not uncommon to chose the same travel partner(s) when going on a trip, which is something that greatly shapes your experience. This too can be fun to play with. If you normally travel with a significant other, consider planning a trip together with another couple. If you have kids, squeeze in a getaway for two before your next family vacation if it’s been a while. Solo travel is a great way to reconnect with yourself. By changing up who you travel with now and then, your experiences too will have more variety.

Bending Your Plan BBending Plan B to Break Travel Routine

Imagine you’re on a trip and it starts raining. Would you stay in and order room service, or put on a raincoat and go sightseeing? Changing what we’d typically do when the unexpected happens is yet another way to create new experiences while traveling. A canceled flight, a missed tee-time, or lost suitcase each offer an opportunity. By thinking about a creative plan B, you can turn an otherwise bad situation into a better one. Give yourself that excuse to go on a shopping spree or rebook your flight to Jamaica instead of Hawaii. After all, it’s your vacation.

Getting more out of your next trip can be as easy as breaking routine. Whether it’s bringing new friends along, going somewhere for the first time, or building a trip around new experiences, even small changes can make your next vacation more interesting and fulfilling.