Tag Archive | "hotel"

Google Earth AirBnB travel vacation safety

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Using Google Earth Find the Perfect Vacation Rental, Hotel, or Hostel

Posted on 13 July 2017 by Leslie Lello

Have you ventured into using AirBnB (or other vacation rental by owner) for travel or are you still unsure about whether it is safe and reliable?

One of the things holding people back is that sometimes the images are not professional and therefore they wonder if they are getting the full story about where the rental is located.

This can happen with all sorts of lodging operations. Even chain hotels use special lenses to make the rooms look bigger and strategically frame the exterior to flatter the hotel.

This happened to me about a year ago when I went on Bookings.com and rented a room for a stay in Hamilton Ontario.

Not only was the person not there when I arrived (after 7 hours of driving) but there were also bars on all the windows. It was not a great neighborhood. I took off quickly and eventually got my money back (with struggle… bookings.com was not great about this) but the important thing is that I learned a lot from the experience.

I was reminded of this 2 months ago when a friend asked me about staying in vacation rentals in New York. She wanted to save money and asked about a particular AirBnB in Jersey City, New Jersey, across the river from Manhattan.

I told her that I only know New York, but that she could check out the neighborhood using Google Earth to get clues as to where she would be staying.

I told her to ask these questions when looking at the vacation rental’s neighborhood with Google Earth:

  • What the parking would be like?
  • How comfortable would she be coming back from New York City with her two kids and walking through this neighborhood?
  • Is there a place to grab breakfast or dinner or a snack?
  • What is the quality of businesses around? Are they Starbucks or are the money lenders?
  • Are the streets clean?
  • Is there greenery?
  • Do the building exteriors look new?

Is there a line where the neighborhood seems to go from good to bad? (In many urban areas, sometimes one block will make all the difference. However, sometimes the best deals are right on that line.)

Watch this video to see an example of using Google Earth to asses the neighborhood of a vacation rental, hotel, motel or hostel you are considering for your next vacation:

 

Side note, so far I have found AirBnB hosts to be exceptional clear and honest in their descriptions of the interior space and exterior neighborhood. This is just an added precaution.

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TBP 0016 McMenamin’s (Do Doooo Do Do Do)

Posted on 14 September 2013 by Leslie Lello

Ramblin Oregon - McMenamin's - 05
Back in the day when people still read books for pleasure and information, I found Edgefield McMenamin’s in my trusty book of hostel reviews when I was looking for a place to stay around the Portland, Oregon area.

Despite the glimmering review in my book, I had no idea how wonderful and unusual a stay at McMenamin’s would be.

Not only is there a hostel (and one of the most luxurious ones I have visited), but there is the actual hotel where travelers who do not want to share a bunk can relax in a private room.

But as I explored the landscape, I was thrilled to discover that the hostel actually had a resort ‘feel’ to it, with beautiful grounds, artwork everywhere you look, a brewery, a wine tasting room, music events, a screening room and a spa with a salt pool.

You can also play golf or go off the grounds to explore Portland or the Colombia River area.

Today’s podcast is about my discovery and my “Alice-Down-The-Rabit-Hole” experience at this festive and magical surprise location.

SIDE NOTE: If you are in the Portland, Oregon area this weekend, you should see if you can make it in to McMenamin’s “Half Way to St. Patrick’s Day Celebration”. The big party for this year is TODAY September 14th, 2013!!!

http://www.mcmenamins.com/54-edgefield-home

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NAB 2013 in Las Vegas, my hotel room at Polo Towers

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TBP 0008: Las Vegas – Avoiding the Traps in the Most Touristy City in the World

Posted on 20 July 2013 by Leslie Lello

NAB 2013 in Las Vegas, my hotel room at Polo Towers

NAB 2013 in Las Vegas, my hotel room at Polo Towers

I had a rough time planning trips for Las Vegas the first few times.  I had always gone with people that were familiar with the city, so when it was my time to plan, I was surprised when I realized how little I knew.

But now that I am a more savvy traveler and actually lived in Vegas for a while, I can give you the scoop on how to do it with greater ease, save money and find some places that are off the strip that you wouldn’t know to visit if you hadn’t heard it here.

TB 0008: Las Vegas Podcast Links

Las Vegas People Mover/Train Monorail: http://www.lvmonorail.com/

HACIENDA HOTEL in Boulder City (toward AZ) FOR GOOD ACCESS TO LAKE MEAD, HIKING AND HOOVER DAM. (AND A HELICOPTER RIDE) There is one hotel out by Hoover dam that is nice and inexpensive with helicopter rides at $29. That might be good if you are not drinking and are doing sight seeing outside of Vegas
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g60881-d91585-Reviews-or10-Hacienda_Hotel_Casino-Boulder_City_Nevada.html

Hoover Dam: http://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/

PRIMM!  www.primmvalleyresorts.com

SKY MANIA!!! On the outskirts of Las Vegas on the Henderson side.  If you have a car, it’s worth going out there. This was my favorite thing to do in vegas.
http://www.skymaniatrampolines.com/

Stuff I forgot to say in the Podcast:

*** PET TRAVEL: DON’T BRING A DOG.  they charge a lot for dogs ($50/day typically), and aren’t you going to be partying too much to remember to walk your little pup?
*** Cabs can take longer than walking because there is so much traffic on the strip. Sometimes it is faster to walk.
Happy Travels!

 

Leslie Lello

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heashot_LeslieLello

Welcome and thanks for visiting!

My name is Leslie and I am the owner, publisher and media creator of Travel Better Podcasts.

A few years ago I started traveling... (Click Here For More)


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