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 activates. 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.

Best U.S. Casinos Outside Vegas

Best Casinos in U.S.

Best Casinos in the U.S.

Best U.S. Casinos Outside Vegas

While America holds the record for most casinos in the world (1,500+), did you know that only a mere 7% are in Las Vegas? If you love to gamble, you’ve got great options to visit a casino just about anywhere in the US. This also means that the “larger than life” experience casinos offer is more accessible. With so many options, we’ve put together this short list of best casinos that span the US. It’s an easy bet that you’ll enjoy your time at any one of these destinations.

Borgata Hotel Casino And Spa
Atlantic City, New JerseyBorgata Hotel Casino And Spa

Luxury and style punctuate this eastern-seaboard hotel and casino located just ten minutes from the beach. Borgata is a slot player’s paradise, with more than 3,000 machines offering 600 different style games. This casino has a 100-seat Racebook, and 130 tables that include Pai Gow Tiles and Pai Gow Poker among a host of table game favorites. Rooms at the hotel are modern and well appointed. Among them is the Opus Suite, a 1,000 square foot luxury accommodation. An indoor pool, gardens, and luxury spa make the transition from excitement to relaxation at Borgata seamless.

L’Auberge Casino Resort
Lake Charles, LouisianaL’Auberge Casino Resort

L’Auberge aims to create a little patch of paradise in the southeast US with an altogether traditional and luxurious style. Up for play are 15 different table games including baccarat, craps, roulette, and a strong showing of card games both new and old. A tropical-inspired pool area with swim-up bar and lazy river, golfing, full-service spa and luxury shopping make a visit here very worthwhile.

Colorado Belle
Laughlin, NevadaColorado Belle

The Colorado Belle is a one-of-a-kind casino. The “Belle” is a 600-foot long, 65,000-square foot casino situated on a replica of a 19th-century Mississippi paddlewheel riverboat. Including the casino, there is an award-winning brewery, three outstanding restaurants, free live entertainment, two pools, an outdoor spa, and hotel suites with views of the Colorado River.

Mount Airy Casino And Resort
Mount Pocono, PennsylvaniaMount Airy Casino And Resort

With more than 1,800 slot machines and 70 tables featuring poker, blackjack, craps, roulette and baccarat, Mount Airy Casino And Resort holds its own as a player’s destination in the northeast. A full lineup of activities and entertainment make this one lively place, from regularly-hosted poker tournaments to comedy shows and live music acts. Four on-site restaurants (one founded by Guy Fieri), golf courses, and luxury spas round out your experience here. Just a two-hour drive from Manhattan, Mount Airy Casino And Resort makes for a perfect weekend getaway.

Harrah’s Resort
Lake Tahoe, CaliforniaHarrah's Resort

Lake Tahoe is known for its crystal-clear lake and snow-peaked mountains, but nestled next to the water stands a taste of the Las Vegas strip. Built in 1955, the renovated original hotel is connected to the modern casino through underground tunnels. Harrah’s Resort offers the best of two worlds: an exceptional gambling venue situated right in the heart of one of the most beautiful places in the country.

Use the suggestions from this week’s Travel Tip Tuesday to inspire you to visit new places, live new experiences, and create new life-long memories that truly stand out in your mind. And you can start doing those with Bonwi.com!

Clever Travel Hacks For Any Trip

Clever Travel Hacks

clever travel hacks

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 2018 and years to come.

Ready to explore? Head to Bonwi.com to start your planning!

Fun Ways To Bring Travel Memories Home

Fun Ways to Bring Back Travel Memories

Ways to Remember Your Trip

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 CollectionStart 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

Write Letters/Postcards To YourselfWrite 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.

Collect New RecipesCollect Recipes Wherever You Go

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.

Stay tuned for the latest edition of Travel Tip Tuesday. And when starting to plan your next trip, let Bonwi help ensure that your next getaway is the best one yet!

Top Reasons to Choose a Boutique Hotel

Intimate and luxurious, artistic and curated, boutique hotels are an experience all onto their own. As a concept that slowly took root more than 20 years ago, this unique style of lodging has been attracting travelers who seek big style in a small setting. If you’ve never stayed at a boutique hotel, there are more options now than ever before. So what’s all the excitement really about? Read on to see why you should book “boutique” on your next stay away.

Character & Details

Boutique hotels have personality. They work hard not to feel like a typical hotel. While each is unique, something they share is an incredible attention to detail. From the lobby to the far corner of your room, decor in a boutique hotel has a personal touch, much like that of a luxury home. You might find a few novels at your bedside, fresh flowers in the bathroom, or a set of binoculars at a seaside window. Small details like these add up and create closeness with guests. Whether hip, modern, romantic, or whimsical, strong themes typically tie these hotels together. There’s a style for everyone.

Service with Personality

You’re not just a number at a boutique hotel. Because they’re usually between 50 and 200 rooms, you’ll not only be treated like a human, but experience more pampering. Borrowing a page out of the book written for B&B’s, staff will get to know you on a name basis, come off as personable, and will be attentive to how your stay is going. A stay at London’s Milestone Hotel includes a 24-hour butler. If you stay there with children, expect to be offered chocolate mice and bedtime stories at turndown.

Reaching Above the Norm

Boutique hotels are also more upscale than the norm, offering high-thread-count sheets, designer/antique furniture, or even minibars stocked with locally-sourced provisions. Lobbies and lounges are decadent, art-filled venues for socializing. Rooftop bars, walled gardens, and cabana-lined pools await guests. The best of dining is something well known of boutique hotels. On-site restaurants source from local farms while staff profess the quality of locally-crafted beer. Free perks abound, like hosted art events, bicycles for exploring, or afternoon ice cream socials. The combination of amenities and perks is hard to beat.

Sweet Spot for the Size

The smaller footprint of boutique hotels allows them to be located in prime locations. You’ll find them situated in the choicest parts of London, New York, Paris, San Francisco, and many other major cities. The same goes for those located on the beach or in natural settings. The smaller size of a boutique hotel often equates to closer intimacy with the surrounding area. In most cases, you get the best of both worlds, inside and outside your hotel.

The Value Factor

Boutique hotels offer a great value at both ends of the price spectrum. A night at Z NYC Hotel offers views of the Manhattan skyline, a rooftop bar, and free shuttle service into the heart of NYC. It costs as little as $125 per night. At the upper end, the Wentworth Mansion runs north of $300 per night, though you get a lot for that price. The hotel is centrally located in the historic district of Charleston, SC just steps to everything. Guests are greeted with a glass of sherry in the lobby, followed by hors d’oeuvres, house-made chocolates at turndown, and complimentary breakfast. Original in-room gas fireplaces and triple-sheeted European linens keep guests cozy and warm.

Whether it’s a family trip, a reunion with friends, or a romantic getaway, boutique hotels are a great choice. They create a stylish-yet-intimate atmosphere perfect for relaxing together, with amenities and perks that make them a great value. Check some out on Bonwi.com

In-Flight Entertainment Going Mobile

In-flight entertainment has come a long way in recent years. Airlines are moving away from seatback monitors and are instead offering movies and other content through reliable, high-speed Wi-Fi connections, paired with power outlets in each seat. The new trend is providing passengers with increased wireless support for personal-device entertainment. That means bringing a smart phone or tablet aboard on your next flight is a great idea to pass the time.

While airlines are aiming to provide movies and other content for free, it may vary by your chosen airline and route. A tip to ensure you have entertainment during your flight is to download movies and music to your device before traveling. The offline content will be available at any point throughout your trip. Packing a power bank charger in your carry-on is also a smart idea, as you may not have access to a power outlet in your seat. Netflix is of course a popular choice for streaming content if you can connect to Wi-Fi, and they have recently added a new feature to download videos. A few choice movies will help you pass from point A to point B in a blink.

Ready to explore and test out this mobile entertainment? Head to Bonwi.com to start planning.