Archive for the ‘Travel culture’ Category

Photo: miniyo73 via Flickr.com

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather walk to the nearest Starbucks and buy a coffee than pay for Wi-Fi in my hotel room. I feel like most people would do the same before spending $15 to check their email, right?

Either way, it’s no surprise that customers are increasing their Internet usage while staying in hotels. As travelers carry more devices, free Internet ranks “toward the top of guests’ want lists from hotels,” according to USA Today. People have gone from text- and voice-oriented devices to data-guzzling tech tools like the iPad that are all about graphics, pictures, and movies. And those customers are using more data per session, too.

Photo: sucelloleiloes via Flickr.com

The same article said that some hotels currently offering free Wi-Fi might begin to charge or offer a tiered type of service. For example, the Radisson Martinique in New York City charges guests a fee for a faster connection but also offers a slower connection for free, which is a great compromise. Owned by Carlson Hotels, the Radisson and many other hotel brands are beginning to monitor customer expectations and pursue different usage options.

Hotel brands currently providing free Wi-Fi in guest rooms include the following:

  • Aloft
  • Baymont Inn & Suites
  • Candlewood Suites
  • Comfort Inn
  • Country Inns & Suites by Carlson (in the Americas)
  • Courtyard by Marriott (North and Central America only)
  • Days Inn
  • Element
  • Fairfield Inn & SuitesFour Points by Sheraton
  • Hampton
  • Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham
  • Holiday Inn
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton
  • Howard Johnson
  • Hyatt Place
  • La Quinta Inns & Suites
  • Microtel Inn & Suites
  • Night
  • SpringHill Suites by Marriott
  • Ramada
  • Residence Inn by Marriott
  • Staybridge Suites
  • Super 8
  • Travelodge
  • Wingate by Wyndham
  • Wyndham Garden Hotels

Photo: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

For a limited time–June 21 through September 4, 2012–travelers can avoid Wi-Fi charges by booking a hotel stay through Room 77. The super fast hotel search engine allows consumers to compare hotel rates and select the amenities they value most, like complimentary Wi-Fi.

If the hotel you book doesn’t offer free Wi-Fi, Room 77 will reimburse you up to $15 per night to cover the expense.

For complete details, visit the Room 77 blog.

Jim Twardowski, BSN, RN, CMSRN, is a travel writer based in Louisiana. His work has been featured in AAA Home & AwayGlobal Traveler, and QUEST magazines.

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Asian Cuisine

Getty Images/Wojciech Wisniewski

As a self-proclaimed foodie, I cherish any opportunity to treat my taste buds to regional fare. From California cuisine to Southern comfort cooking, Tennessee BBQ to Midwest meat and potatoes, each region is known for a certain flavor palate.

As healthcare travelers, you’re the lucky one’s who get to eat your way through the country, one assignment at a time.

Of course, you could watch shows like “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” to get the low down on a city’s top places to eat; or use the many apps out there that suggest restaurants when you’re in a new community (try Urbanspoon, LocalEats, and Zagat); but the most surefire way to find good local grub is through word of mouth.

Surely your new co-workers, or even patients, have offered their two cents on where to find the best burgers, fine dining, and Asian cuisine. After all, who better to know where the tasty treasures lie than the people who eat there regularly?

However, not every town can be a gourmet destination. Some may be five star worthy, while others are more home style — both delicious depending on what you’re craving. Then again, some communities are known best for certain ingredients: think seafood in Seattle or New Orleans, ranch-fresh beef in Texas or Oklahoma, and juicy citrus in Florida and California.

It makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

So here’s your chance to share your culinary POV. Are there certain restaurants that you go back to time and time again when returning somewhere on repeat assignments?

Where did you have the most unique dishes?

What cities were food-centric?

Tell us about your favorite on-the-road eats by sending your restaurant review to nikobuns@roadrunner.com, or simply leaving a comment below.

Be sure to include the establishment’s name, city, state, and why you think it ranks among the best around. Then check out the August issue of Healthcare Traveler to see if your favorites made the cut.

Bon Appétit!

Anne Baye Ericksen is a professional writer who has contributed to Healthcare Traveler since 1996. She resides with her family in Simi Valley, Calif.

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