Where You Need To Be: Resting Your Head On The Road

Home is where the heart is, but for a heart on the road, a good hotel will have to do. But which hotel (or motel) is best for you? Often, we have the luxury of deciding where we’re going to stay when we book in advance, but often times, the main factor at that point is price. When you need to make a last-minute booking, though, there are other factors to balance out when picking where to spend the night:

Distance to the Venue

Depending on whether it’s the night before the event you’re attending or the night after, the importance of this element varies. If the event is already done, then the distance of the hotel from the venue isn’t too much of a problem. If the event is the next morning, however, distance is a significant factor based on travel time, traffic, and what time the event starts, especially if you need to reach an island like Ibiza and hire a luxury car there: http://www.apexluxurycarhire.com/car-rental-locations/spain/ibiza/. In this case, closer is better as you won’t have to worry about making it to the event on time.

Price

One of the biggest problems with last minute bookings is the cost. Nicer usually hotels have higher rates the closer to the booking date. Same day bookings may have additional fees for early check-ins (or late depending on when you book) if you’re going to check-in after the event you attended. Motels trade lower prices and more flexible check-in times for lower-quality accommodations. Depending on how tired you are, the quality of the bed might not matter all that much (until you wake up, at least!)

Safety

This is probably the most important factor to consider when picking a place to stay. Saving money and travel time doesn’t mean anything if you put yourself at risk. This is especially true if you find yourself travelling abroad. Often times, local street smarts don’t to foreign countries. If you’re in a foreign country (or even just unfamiliar territory), spending extra to make sure you’re at a reputable hotel is definitely worth it!

Overall Ratings and Reviews

Thanks to apps that provide hotel reviews and ratings in addition to prices like Trivago, tired travellers can easily check reviews of hotels they’re considering. This is really important as it can help you outright eliminate certain venues based on reviews. After all, you don’t want the most memorable part of your trip to be a terrible hotel stay, right?

Always keep in mind that the hotel you decide on can make or break your trip. A bad stay before the night before the big game can leave you in a foul mood preventing you from enjoying the show you travelled to watch. A crappy hotel can quickly kill the emotional high you got from watching WrestleMania. Do you have any particular hotels you always prefer to stay at when you rent a Porsche in Barcelona?? When it isn’t available, what factors do you consider when choosing your hotel? What tips do you have for fellow travelers who find themselves in need of a last-minute hotel? Let us know! We always love reading the stories and tips you guys send in.

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Off-Season? On Budget!: Why Travel During The Off-Season Is Awesome

One of the things I really, REALLY hate about vacation season is how everybody else is ALSO on vacation. Don’t get me wrong! I’m not an antisocial recluse who shuns contact with other human beings. I do enjoy social interaction and meeting new people. My problem is that with all the people on the road, traffic is usually crazy (crazier than normal, at least), most of the good hotels are fully booked, and the ones that aren’t usually have their prices jacked up pretty high! Also, most of the good spots to visit are crowded to the point that you can’t really enjoy the place. So what do I do? I take my vacations on the off-seasons. Vacationing on the off-season can have a lot of perks for people who decide to hit the beaches even it isn’t beach season anymore. Here are a few:

Low, Low Prices

A lot of resorts and venues that provide accommodation for tourists are closed when the vacation season is over. Some venues (usually the larger ones, surprisingly) remain open all year. How do they attract business on the off-season? Dropping rates. Some venues will only drop rates on rooms, but there are venues that also offer discounts or package deals on the services or attractions they offer. Offers can include access to facilities not normally available for the rooms you booked, to free upgrades to a better room. Others can be “unlimited access” to activities like ziplines or activity areas that usually are pay-per-use. Be sure to check out the websites of resorts and tourist-centric hotels during the off season to see what’s being offered!

Less Traffic

Unless your vacation destination is in the heart of a busy metropolis, most vacation spots are somewhat removed from the daily grind of the corporate world. After all, it probably wouldn’t be very easy to relax when you know your place of work is just a few blocks away right? This means that while city traffic will probably be bad, the roads should open up the closer you get to your destination. Another vehicular bonus: parking should be easily available as well! And unless you’re vacationing in a busy metropolis like Las Vegas, parking shouldn’t be a problem either!

More Pleasant Interactions

One thing I noticed in particular about off-season vacations is that the staff seems generally more pleasant. While good resort and hotel staff always maintain a professional air, one can’t help but notice how tired or stressed they can seem during peak vacation days. On the off-season though, they’re often more relaxed which, believe me, can make a huge impact on your vacation. When you’re in a resort with only 6 other guests, it does feel particularly nice when the staff remembers you by name during your visit.

Significantly Shorter Lines

Hands down the best part for me. No long lines checking in. No having for that one huge family with three senior citizens, a dozen kids, and maybe 5 adults trying to figure out what everybody wants from the buffet table, usually blocking all the really good stuff (which is usually all gone by the time they leave!). No lines outside the comfort rooms when nature calls at the beach. Perfect Vacation.

How about you? Do you prefer travelling during peak season or on the off-season as well?

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Event-Full Trips: Event Quality vs Quantity

One of the hard things most adults have to face is the limited amount of vacation time we get to earn over the course of the year. Often times, this means cramming as many things as we can into our vacation time as we can. Most of the time, people schedule their vacation around 1 event and then spend the rest of that vacation just filling in the blanks. Other times, we find amazing travel deals that include transport and lodging for several nights, get excited and book for an event we want to go to, then spend the rest of the time in the hotel, wondering what else there is to do. Seems like a waste right? With this in mind, one may wonder whether to plan trips and vacations around a single event, or to schedule it around multiple events. Here are some tips on whether to build your trip around quality or quantity

Consider The Trade “Value”

Ask yourself: how much are you getting from the trip. If the event is a multi-day event or an event that you’ve been planning on attending and are heavily invested in, then that definitely sounds like an event that’s worth focusing on for your trip. However, if the event is one that caught your interest but you aren’t that invested in, like perhaps an off-season of a team you like or a minor e-sports tournament, you may want to see what other events, conventions, or attractions are also in the area or you can travel to within your vacation time or trip duration.

Consider Your Budget

Attending multiple events doesn’t just mean entrance fees and tickets. There are also costs like food (I personally can’t enjoy a good game without a bucket of popcorn and a large soda), travel costs, and (especially for conventions) merchandise you might want to score for your collection. If you’ve got passes to the game, or don’t plan on getting any merch, quantity may be a better bet over quality. If you’re headed to a merch heavy event, however, like a major E-sports tournament, saving your hard-earned money for a single event may be the way to go.

Consider Distance

Like we mentioned in a previous article, travel is a lot easier now, making the temptation to consider out-of-town events for your itinerary a lot stronger. Keep in mind, however, that traveling farther usually means higher costs. If you have a car or other form of personal transport, travel may be cheaper than taking a plane. This does, however, make the need for parking (and having to deal with parking fees) something to consider. Backpacking is a viable option, but depending on how much time off you have available, the longer travel time needed by backpacking might mean it’s only viable if you’re only planning to go to one event.

When you get vacation time to travel, do you prefer building it around a single event, or do you prefer to schedule it around multiple events? Why not check out our contact information from our page and share your stories with us!

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Happy Trails: Tips For New Backpackers

Welcome back to our blog! Last week, we talked about deciding on whether to travel to an event or to just stay at home. This week, we’ll be focusing on one method in particular you can use to get to events you’d like to attend: backpacking.

While some people feel that backpacking doesn’t have as far a range as other forms of transport, backpacking can actually get you pretty far with the right amount of preparation. Here are some tips to help make your trip go smoother:

Plan Your Itinerary

While this is true for all forms of travel, especially ones with an agenda, a backpacking itinerary is very important. Unlike booking a plane and a hotel, backpacking will require you to really plan out your trip. What methods of public transportation will be available to you? What timetables do they follow? How many rest stops will you need to make on the way? Are there rest stops within your budget? These are all factors to consider, especially if you want to make it to the event you’re aiming to get to on time. Not knowing the transportation timetables can be the difference between enjoying those hard earned seats at the game and missing the game entirely!

Make Sure Your Gear Is Good

One trap a lot of people who want to go backpacking is being concerned over whether the gear they have looks good, rather than if it IS good.  That fashionable backpack won’t be so great when your back is aching or your shoulders are stiff! Choosing a brand that’s trendy over a brand that’s known to be tough and reliable can also hurt in the long run if your backpack starts falling apart on you! The gurus over at Backpacker have some solid tips on choosing the right backpack for you and your trip

Know Your Budget

Sometimes it’s really tempting to splurge on a hotel or meal when you near your destination. This isn’t a problem if your budget allows for it. Overspending, however, can lead to a lot of problems if you don’t have a backup plan. Knowing how much you can spend on a daily basis is essential in making sure that both your trip to your destination and your trip home are safe and comfortable, especially if you’re backpacking abroad.

Enjoy The Trip

When backpacking, don’t forget the trip is just as important as the destination. If you’re going to rush through the trip, then perhaps backpacking isn’t the best form of travel for you. When you plan your itinerary, remember to give yourself ample time to be able to take in the sights and enjoy the locales you’ll be passing through on your way. There’s a lot to discover on the trail that you’ll miss completely through other forms of travel.

Have you tried backpacking before? How far did you travel? Do you have any tips for new backpackers who are eager to start? How about encouraging anecdotes for those who are apprehensive? Do you have any “must visit” areas you’d recommend to other backpackers? Be sure to let us know!

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E-Sports Live: Is It Worth It?

Last year, the League of Legends World Championships had around 60 Million viewers, counting both live and online viewers. To put that into perspective, the 2017 NBA Championship peaked at around 38 million viewers. While this is a far cry from the 2014 World Cup’s estimated 3.2 billion, it’s getting harder for people to deny the popularity of E-sports.  E-sports makes itself more accessible than physical sports because of livestreaming: a live, usually free, broadcast of the event, viewable over the internet via sites like YouTube or Twitch. This leaves us e-sports fans with the question: do we stream or do we attend the event? Here are some things to consider for both sides:

Attending live

Over the course of the year, the various e-sports have a lot of events held worldwide. Conventions are often held that have these tournaments as the centerpieces with the national and worldwide championships being major events in their own right. These live events provide an experience that you can’t really get through a computer or phone screen: amazing cosplays, the chance to meet your favorite player, the rush of energy you get being part of the crowd, cheering for your favorite team. As anyone who has attended one of these events can tell you, there’s nothing quite like it. Another plus to attending live: sweet, sweet merchandise and freebies. A lot of events offer freebies to attendees. Ranging from in-game items you can use to show-off online, to trinkets you can display to make your non-attending friends jealous, a lot of the giveaways are only available at the event itself.

Livestreaming at home

There’s no place like home. With the advent of livestreaming e-sports, you don’t even have to leave it! Livestreaming usually means that you get to watch the games from the comfort of your own home without having to spend on travel, entrance fees, lodging, or food. Additionally, Livestreams are usually handled by hosts or shoutcasters that spot key moments and keep you updated on things that you may have missed. Livestreams also usually have replays, match recap analysis, and interviews with the players. For aspiring pros or people who just want to improve their game, these elements, which are usually exclusive to Livestream events, can be a big help. Also keep in mind that some of the major events in E-sports take place at major conventions that, unless you’re a hardcore fan, may not be worth the entrance fee. Other events may take place overseas which will exponentially increase the costs of attending.

In summary, there are a lot of pros to both options. Personally, I recommend attending the smaller events first to get a feel for them before deciding if you want to commit to the bigger events. Blizzard’s November Blizzcon is usually a good bet since admission tickets also score you some really cool freebies. The wide range of events they host are sure to appeal to almost everyone as well.  What would you prefer: the energy of a live event or the comfort of a Livestream?

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The Road To WrestleMania: Preparing Your Trip To The Show Of Shows

WrestleMania! The greatest spectacle in sports entertainment! Every year, the WWE stages WrestleMania, which draws thousands of wrestling fans from all over the globe to whichever lucky city gets to host the event. Last year, more than 50,000 people flocked to Orlando, Florida for “the Ultimate Thrill Ride”. With that many people eager to see their favorite superstars, it can be tough making sure that you’re one of them. Here are some tips to help make sure you get to enjoy YOUR WrestleMania moment:

Stay updated

Staying updated is key.  The date and location of the next WrestleMania are often announced more than a year ahead. For example, it’s been announced that the tentative location for WrestleMania 35 will be in New Jersey on April 7, 2019. Things may change between now and then though so be sure to check WWE’s official website for further announcements and possible changes. They announce when the tickets go on sale, too!

Book early but stay flexible

Since they announce the tentative date and location as far as a year ahead, this gives you leeway in booking your stay. Even if you do live within driving distance of the host city, keep in mind that the show tends to run pretty long: WrestleMania 33 ran for around 5 hours, including the pre-show. You may want to just lie down in your hotel room after and bask in the post-Mania glory.

Some hotels don’t allow advanced bookings past a certain date, so be sure to canvass early. Thankfully, there’s a wide range of websites and apps available to help you with checking for booking availability. Given that local tourism and hospitality are sure to be informed that the event will be held in the area, expect prices around the event date to be a bit higher in anticipation of the incoming crowds.

Plan your WrestleMania event day in advance

Not all of us will be lucky enough to book a room right next to the venue. This means that those of us who end up farther off (or are driving in for the event) have to make sure that our itinerary for the day itself is clear. How long will it take to get from the hotel to the venue? Does that already account for traffic? Are there other events for the day you want to see, or are you ok with skipping the pre-show for the real action? Planning all this in advance is a must. Getting caught unaware by traffic or other possible hassles could result in you missing the match you want to see, especially if it’s part of the pre-show or one of the opening matches.

Every wrestling fan over 10 years old knows that wrestling is scripted and “fake”. What EVERY wrestling fan also knows is that the emotions we feel seeing our favorite superstars putting themselves on the line for the crowds’ entertainment is real. These emotions often hit their peak at WrestleMania. What will your WrestleMania moment be?

Don’t forget to check back with us after WrestleMania 34 for our review here!

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