|This web site is sort of a kludge.
Kludge? Quite a few different definitions
exist for this term but clumsy, sometimes inelegant, difficult to maintain and
extend, yet effective solution to a problem does seem to apply to
different times and for different places. For this web site what the
'problem' is that requires a solution is sometimes difficult to pin
Are we trying to promote travel? Sunsets? Travel to Nevada? Photography? Travel to anywhere? Travel to Washington DC? Information about different places? Other stuff? Yes to all.
Information about different places is a good place to start because that is what many travelers look for. One might start with the standard information the you can find anywhere. That might not make a web site different. The focus should be on the things that make a place unique and that generally is not known.
Is that how a web site can distinguish itself? By promoting online casinos? Online casinos are convenient but to some controversial on several levels. It is controversial for casinos because they could be competing with themselves by having a web site that accomplishes the same thing as traveling to the casino in person.
That question is subjective and all that can be done is to try to do what we do well. It is not what you do that distinguishes you, it is how you do it.
The political technicalities of how hotel rooms are booked through the web might be getting too far into the weeds. But there it is.
So, travel? How do you promote travel? The easy part is to provide
hotel, motel, inn, resort, whatever hospitality setting, at competitive
rates and to give visitors as much information as possible to help them
make an informed decision. To that end we do that. When you check
hotel room rates you will find the almost every web site that offers
hotel rooms offers the same or very, very close to the same rates for
the same rooms and booking dates. Why is that?
The reason for that rests with the agreement that all the properties have with Internet vendors. Individual hotels and even hotel chains do not update dozens, even hundreds of databases that would be required for links to all the web sites that sell travel. Who at any of these hotels, inns, resort and motels has the time?
There are two major systems which almost all of the hotels and motels hook up to. By agreement all properties in the system may not to undersell online vendors or to privilege specific vendors. This is a dilemma for web sites that sell travel. Sooner or later people who book rooms online might notice that rooms rates are essentially the same on all travel web sites.
Then what is all the fuss about? Why do some web sites claim to be the cheapest or to compare all the rates on hundreds of web sites and somehow give you an advantage when you book hotel rooms? Marketing. Competition ...
How can the divide between the well-to-do, well funded web sites be bridged?Appealing to travelers that are looking for a different kind of experience is productive because unique experiences make trips more memorable. Most people who come to Las Vegas may not be aware of places like Red Rock Canyon which is where locals, rock climbers, hikers and whole classes of visitors love to visit. Visitors to Las Vegas may not be aware that such a place exists. The Wilson Cliffs which as be seen from most of the Las Vegas valley are a world class attraction and rival the ones seen in Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica.
Red Rock is place that appeals to so many varied interests. Nature lovers might like the contrasts that can be found in a desert that so often has waterfalls and wildlife. Red Rock has dozens of burro herds that are not panicked by visitors and seem to pose for pictures.
Red Rock is also a place for hikers and a place where children can be taken. The contrasts between the red sandstone and the broader limestone strata are just a few of the contrasts that can be found here.
|How much do the room rates that hotels charge affect the decisions that the average traveler make? Sometimes the cheapest rooms are picked regardless of any other factors. Two of the most pertinent factors in how rooms are selected are location and amenities. In small towns hotel location is not as important as it is in larger places such as San Francisco. Hotel amenities might not matter to the budget minded traveler but do matter to travelers who are looking for WIFI or more cable Channels.|
path to bridge this gap might be found in providing information about
places and giving the traveler a reason to go somewhere special. Travel
to Las Vegas is a good example of being able to attract visitors to a
web site. Given that hotel rates a basically similar across web sites
why would someone choose one web site over another when booking
travel to Las Vegas?
Las Vegas is known to some as the gateway to the Grand Canyon if you want to take helicopter tours. As such Las Vegas is also one of the best points of departure for Death Valley, The Valley of Fire, Zion National Park, Yosemite, Lake Mead , Hoover Dam, and many other natural attractions that are not as famous such as The Great Basin.
as either a vacation or as business travel involves an itinerary. These
are plans that optimize time and the travel dollar. More knowledge about
the target destination makes this process easier and more efficient.
More knowledge about the place that is being traveled to, or even places
that are not being considered can influence decisions about which hotels
to stay at, how long to stay there and where to go when you get
For example, if a business trip to Crescent City California is about to be taken, awareness of the Coastal Redwood Forest near there might induce a business traveler to stay an extra day to take in the sights along the coast and this awesome forest. So it is with so many other places.
Other travel opportunities happen when you are going between places. If you are driving from Salt Lake City Utah to San Diego you will be driving in Interstate 15 almost all the way. Along the way, you drive through St George. St George has great restaurants and hotels. There are a lot of things to do in and around St George such as taking a visit to Zion National Park. Or, if you want to stay at a hotel with a casino but you do not want to stay in Las Vegas, stay in Mesquite Nevada or Henderson. Both these places have great hotel-casino complexes.
If you are going to skip southern Utah and southern Nevada, you might consider staying in Barstow. Barstow is a crossroads and has really great hotels with competitive prices. If want to drive closer to San Diego or to get better hotel room prices, you might consider stopping off in Victorville, San Bernardino or Riverside. If you are interested in visiting one of California's wine growing regions, Temecula offers great hotels and room prices.
More Travel Itinerary Suggestions:
The longest coast to coast interstate in the US is Interstate 90. At over 3,100 miles long Interstate 90 is also the northern most highway. Starting, or ending, in Seattle Washington, Interstate 90 ends in Boston Massachusetts. Just east of Seattle, Interstate 90 first runs through Bellevue Washington. After about 2 hours you get to Ellensburg Washington. About 30 miles past Ellensburg is a good stop off point called Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park. Another 2 hours past this state park is the city of Moses Lake. About another two hours east is Ritzville. Past Ritzville Interstate 90 turns northeast toward Spokane. About 10 miles north of Spokane is Mt Spokane State Park. Just east of Spokane is Idaho. The first place in Idaho you will get to is Post Falls and just past there is Coeur d' Alene located on Lake Coeur d' Alene and Coeur d' Alene National Forest. About an hour and forty five minutes past Coeur d' Alene is Wallace Idaho. Interstate 90 passes through the panhandle of Idaho and about 20 minutes past Kellogg you will enter Montana.
When you enter Montana, if you left Seattle that day, you will have driven 650 miles and will be looking for a hotel room. If you did not get a room in Coeur D'Alene or Post Falls, you need to get a hotel room in Missoula. If you have the energy left you can make it to Butte and get a hotel room there. As you drive east from Butte you will pass through a small town named Whitehall. About a hour past Butte is Belgrade Montana which is just outside of Bozeman. Just past Bozeman is Livingston. About half an hour past Livingston is the small town of Big Timber. About 60 miles further are Laurel and Billings. If you are looking for hotel rooms Billings has the best selection for miles.
About 40 miles past Billings Interstate 90 turns south towards Wyoming. Just over 30 miles into Wyoming is Sheridan. Sheridan Wyoming is named after Civil War General, Phillip Sheridan. Interstate 90 continues in a southerly direction until it passes through Buffalo when it turns in a more south easterly direction. From there it will take about an hour and twenty minutes to get to Gillette. Interstate 90 turns east and the last place in Wyoming that you can book a hotel room is the small town of Sundance. If you want to get a hotel room you find a better selection in Gillette or you can wait until you get to Spearfish South Dakota.
Once you enter South Dakota, Interstate 90 turns south again. About 18 miles southeast of Spearfish is Sturgis. Sturgis is home to the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally which draws tens of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts. Held in the first full week in August all four of the hotels in Sturgis will be booked up. If you have to be in the area or if you are going to the rally perhaps a better place get hotel rooms would be Rapid City which has more than thirty hotels to choose from. Past Rapid City is Wall South Dakota. Wall is located near the Badlands National Park and because the tourist season is in the summer it could be difficult you get a hotel room in Wall unless you book your room about four weeks in advance. About an hour past Rapid City is Kadoka. The 2 hotels in Kadoka are both rated 3-star and if you plan to get a room there you book at least two weeks in advance. About another half an hour past Kadoka is Murdo. An Hour past Kadoka are Oacoma and Chamberlain. Just fifteen miles past Chamberlain is Kimball. which is about 40 miles west of Sioux Falls. Sioux Falls has the best variety of hotels since Rapid City.
After about 15 miles past Sioux Falls you will enter Minnesota. The first city in Minnesota that you will find hotels in is Worthington. Over the next 80 miles you pass through Fairmont and then reach Albert Lea as Interstate 90 crosses Interstate 35. About 50 miles further Interstate 90 passes the outskirts of Rochester. About 50 miles past Rochester you cross the Mississippi River and enter Wisconsin at Onalaska and La Crosse. Just 9 miles past Onalaska is the small town of West Salem which has only one hotel. About 25 miles past Onalaska is Sparta Wisconsin and Tomah with 4 hotels is just 15 miles past that. At Tomah Interstate 90 turns southeast again. You will arrive in Mauston in less than half an hour. In another 20 minutes you will reach the resort town of Wisconsin Dells which offers 16 hotels and over 50 hotels around it. Part of this resort area are Baraboo, West Baraboo and Portage.
At Portage Interstate 90 turns south and 25 miles later runs past Deforest which is a suburb of Madison as is Sun Prairie and Waunakee. Madison is home to the highly esteemed University of Wisconsin. There are over 80 hotels in the Madison area and if you are looking for choice this is where you will get it. Fifteen minutes outside of Madison is the small town of Edgerton. Edgerton has 1 hotel. If you really need a choice in hotel rooms the next place that you find them is in Janesville or Beloit which is on the Illinois border.
Just ten miles south of Beloit is Rockford Illinois. Rockford is only about 30 miles outside of metropolitan Chicago and the selection of hotels is considerable. Before you reach Chicago you can find hotel rooms in Elgin, Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Evanston, and Elmhurst. Interstate 90 passes through Elk Grove Village and Des Plaines before you go through Chicago. Altogether you find over 300 hotels in the Chicago area. Just a few minutes outside of South Chicago Interstate 90 leaves Illinois and crosses into Indiana. As you pass into Indiana you will through Hammond and there are hotels rooms available there. About 8 miles past Hammond you find Portage and more hotel rooms. The next place with hotel will be La Porte. Fifty to sixty miles past Chicago are South Bend and Elkhart. Before you leave Indiana you will pass by Angola. About twelve miles past Angola Interstate 90 passes into Ohio. The first substantial places that you will find hotel rooms in Ohio are Milan, Toledo and Perrysburg. Points of interest when you pass through this part of Ohio are Maumee which has hotel rooms and Maumee State Park. Nearby are Port Clinton and Sandusky where there are hotels available if you plan to stay there. The next places that offer hotel rooms are Elyria, Cleveland, Akron and Mentor which are all within a thirty mile radius. Cleveland has the most three star hotels in the area. But if you are looking to stay in the Cleveland area there are also hotel rooms in Willoughby, North Olmstead and Austinburg.
Los Angeles to Florida on Interstate 10.
When driving the fastest way to get to Florida from Los Angeles is to use Interstate 10. I-10 is the southern most interstate that reaches between the two coasts. It starts in Santa Monica and stretches for 2460 miles to Jacksonville Florida. Along the way I-10 runs through hundreds of towns and cities where hotel rooms can be found. After leaving the Los Angeles area you will soon reach the city of San Bernardino. From here you will pass through Palm Springs then through Indio to Blythe.
From Blythe you will cross the Colorado River to Ehrenberg then Quartzsite Arizona. Driving at the speed limit from Los Angeles and depending on the number of stops you make along the way you should get to the outskirts of Phoenix in about 6-7 hours. While Phoenix has thousands of hotel rooms you might want to stay at a hotel in one of the suburbs such as as Glendale or Chandler. The next major city that you will cross is Tucson. If you do not choose to stay at hotels in Tucson but you still want to stay in Arizona for the night, Benson and Willcox are available and have hotels with rooms that generally offer at lower rates than hotels in Phoenix and Tucson.
The next state that you will cross driving on Interstate 10 is New Mexico. If you still have not stopped for the night you might want to get a hotel room in Lordsburg. This is the first small city that you get to in New Mexico. Or if you really want to push it, you might want to stop off for the night in Deming or Las Cruces. After an overnight stay somewhere in New Mexico or Arizona, you will pass through El Paso Texas. El Paso has the largest number of hotels in the area and you might want to stay there to get the best rates.
Texas is crossed by Interstate 10 at its widest point and it will usually take you at least a day to get to Louisiana. If you plan to drive past El Paso, the first place with hotels, Ft Stockton, is about 130 miles away. You might want to watch your gas gage when traveling this part of Interstate 10 because gas prices will drop as you travel further east. FT Stockton is about halfway between El Paso and Kerrville Texas. Kerrville is about 50 miles outside of San Antonio. San Antonio is a major tourist destination and has thousands of hotel rooms. If you want to just pass though San Antonio but you want to stop off for the night, Seguin Texas has hotel rooms in both the moderately priced and budget categories. As you pass through these places you see the surrounding environment change to a more temperate zone.
The next place along the route is Katy Texas which is just outside of Houston. Houston has even more hotel rooms than San Antonio. The last major place with a variety of hotel rooms in Texas is Beaumont. By the time you get to Beaumont, the surrounding environment has changed again. The rainfall in this part of Texas is considerably higher than in the rest of the state and that is apparent from the well developed foliage that cannot be distinguished from that of Louisiana.
When you get this far, you will have probably spent an entire day in the state of Texas and passed the halfway point in your coast-to-coast journey. As you cross into Louisiana you will see a difference in not just the environment but also in the places that you will travel through. Louisiana has a great variety of hotels and these places are more often tourist oriented. The first two cities that will have hotels are Sulphur and Lake Charles Louisiana.
As you drive further into Louisiana, you will cross through Jennings and Crowley. These towns usually have hotel rooms available. The next two places along the way are Lafayette and Baton Rouge. Just about five miles past Baton Rouge is Gonzales. As you pass by Gonzales, you will be approaching Lake Pontchartrain and New Orleans. Hotel rooms are always available in the New Orleans area and the room prices are very reasonable. Just before you get to New Orleans you will pass through Laplace, Kenner and Metairie. As you drive past New Orleans, you cross Lake Pontchartrain into Slidell, the last place in Louisiana with hotels and motels.
The next state that you will cross is the southern part of Mississippi. The Mississippi Gulf Coast on Interstate 10 is about 65 miles long and is dotted by seven cities that are tourist oriented. On the Mississippi Gulf Coast are some of the most popular hotels in the south. Mississippi has casino hotels along its Gulf Coast that draw millions of visitors each year. As you drive east on I-10 you first pass by Bay St. Louis and Gulfport. Next you will drive by Biloxi and Ocean Springs. Before you leave Mississippi you will pass by Moss Point and Pascagoula.
About 30 miles past Moss Point is Mobile Alabama. On the east side of Mobile Bay is Daphne. The drive through Alabama takes about an hour and a half depending on the time of day that you pass through Mobile. The room rates for hotels in this part of Alabama are not as seasonal as they are for hotels along the Florida Gulf Coast.
Florida has two coasts, the Atlantic Coast and the Gulf Coast. As you leave Alabama and enter Florida the first major place with hotels is Pensacola and Pensacola Beach on the Gulf Coast. From Pensacola you can proceed on Interstate 10 through Crestview and Defuniak Springs, or you can take the coast road, State Route 98 through Fort Walton Beach and then through Panama City Beach and Panama City.
Whether you decide to take the coast route through Panama City Beach and Panama City or if you have decided to stay on Interstate 10, the next place that you will find hotel rooms in is Marianna. About 60 miles past Marianna, you reach Tallahassee, the capital of Florida. Tallahassee usually has pretty good deals on hotel rooms and a good selection of hotels. If you drive through Tallahassee and you are still looking for a hotel room you might want to stop off at either Live Oak or Lake City. Otherwise you should just proceed on to Jacksonville or Jacksonville Beach. Upon reaching Jacksonville you have reached the terminal point of Interstate 10.