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Archive for June, 2010

Coming Soon To The Vehicle In Front Of You

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

If you thought you were escaping ads thanks to a DVR that lets you skip past the TV commercials, you were underestimating the power of advertising and technology gurus.   

In California, the state governing body is considering allowing digital advertising on vehicle license plates. That’s right – digital mini-billboards conveying ads to the vehicles following behind.

The “brains” behind the idea tout it as a moneymaker for the cash-strapped state. Perhaps when you’re faced with a $19 billion (yep, billion) deficit, anything sounds good.

Critics are quick to raise the alarm for the accident potential by distracted drivers. Other problem areas are detailed in Monday’s Los Angeles Times.

Granted, the ads stop when the vehicle is moving and license tag numbers then reappear. When electronic ads are on view, the license plate numbers are displayed in the corner of the tag.

Lest you find the notion farfetched, consider this: The California Senate committee passed the bill unanimously and it’s being considered Tuesday by the Assembly. Evidently several companies are pursuing the emerging technology.

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CheckINN Direct Saves the Day (& Night)

Monday, June 28th, 2010

When photographer Nels J. needed business lodging for his Art Fair travels, his CheckINN Direct membership saved the day.

As he relates on his blog at artfairinsiders, his travels home found 3,000 cyclists passing thru his stop in Marietta, Ohio – and their support personnel had made a serious dent in available lodging. As Nels puts it: “it wasn’t easy finding a room, but we did using the CheckINN Card.”

Glad CheckINN Direct made it an easy overnight for your business lodging needs, Nels. That’s the power of having more than 9,000 hotels across the U.S. and Canada where a CheckINN Direct membership saves business travelers 20% to 40% on every hotel stay.

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Rainy Weather Driving Tips For Workforce Travelers

Friday, June 25th, 2010

With the summer monsoon season about to hit, here are some tips to stay safe when your workforce travel has you driving on wet streets and highways. These timely reminders are courtesy of Automotive Fleet, which provides a weekly safety tip useful for all drivers.

 Slow down to avoid hydroplaning.

Tires can maintain traction on wet roads up to 35 mph. After that, traction slips and your vehicle becomes more susceptible to skidding – or hydroplaning – on the wet surface. Slow down whenever roads are wet.

Worn tires have less traction on wet roads.

Badly worn tires can lose traction at even lower speeds on rain-soaked roads. Use more caution when driving in heavy rain.

 Take care with turns.

If the vehicle begins to lose its connection with the road, slow down by easing up on the gas pedal. You can help avoid skidding by keeping the steering wheel straight and avoiding any turns. Don’t stop until you believe your tires have traction on the road again.

These additional pointers from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will help you avoid rain-related problems while on business travel, particularly after sudden downpours:   

  • Don’t enter flooded intersections. As little as six inches of water can increase the likelihood of your vehicle stalling or cause you to lose driving control.
  • Avoid crossing washes or stream beds that typically are dry. Most vehicles will start floating in a foot of water.
  • Steer clear of rushing water. If the fast-moving water is two feet or more in depth, there’s even more chance that your vehicle will be carried away.

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Workforce Travel Savings For Your Gadget Fund

Monday, June 21st, 2010

If your passion is keeping current with new and better ways of doing things (like saving 20% to 40% on business lodging), check out this list of new summer gadgets from Computerworld.

In the $100 and under category, there’s a running shoe that feels like running barefoot, a remote control helicopter with a gyroscope that keeps it flying straight, and a headphone-free music speaker for your  bike  helmet.

In the higher-priced category is the GPS pre-loaded with 12,000 U.S. golf courses and the underwater film and video digital camera that’s good up to 10 feet below the water’s surface. There are 10 gadgets in all.

What you save on your workforce travel could help finance your future “must-have” gadget fund.

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Emergency Lodging When Disasters Hit

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

The same company that provides CheckINN Direct has been selected by the General Services Administration (GSA) as the U.S. Government’s provider of emergency lodging services and support for catastrophic disasters and national emergencies. Corporate Lodging Consultants (CLC) was awarded the GSA Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) that takes effect Sept. 7, 2010. CLC currently holds the BPA originally awarded in 2005.

CLC’s emergency lodging services work goes back more than a dozen years, but CLC has held the GSA BPA  since 2005. That was the year CLC put its lodging, billing and payment services to work for responders and evacuees after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, when the company provided lodging services for more than 700,000 evacuees alone.

CLC’s successful history handling government emergency lodging needs has continued through Hurricanes Gustav and Ike to the Greensburg, Kans., F5 tornado and numerous wildfires, floods and ice storms throughout the country.

The company also manages housing payment and expense reimbursement for disaster evacuees through its Emergency Lodging Assistance, Disaster Housing Assistance and Direct Lodging Reimbursement programs

 Beyond emergency lodging services, CLC provides thousands of business clients with a suite of workforce travel solutions, including customized solutions for larger companies and its CheckINN Direct lodging savings card for smaller and independent companies.

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Business Lodging With Low Rates, No Hassles

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

  Whenever you or your employees must travel for business, focus your budget on staying at hotel rooms that are cost-effective and hassle-free. That’s what CheckINN Direct is all about. It doesn’t get much easier – or cheaper – than showing our CheckINN Card at the front desk and paying a low rate that’s been pre-negotiated on your behalf.

 Anyone who travels for business is eligible to be a CheckINN Direct member. It’s that simple. It doesn’t matter if you’re a sole proprietor or have a small or medium size business with any number of travelers. You get great hotel discounts whether your workforce travel is occasional or all the time.

 Here’s what you can access:

  • Around 9,000 hotels around the U.S. and Canada that accept the CheckINN Card from CheckINN Direct (like Holiday Inn, Best Western, Super 8, Microtel, Hampton Inn and more).
  • Hotel rates that save you 20% to 40% off hotels’ lowest published rate (as shown on the Internet)
  • Walk-in availability – i.e., you can book a reservation if you want to, but if there’s a room available when you walk in, you get it even without a reservation
  • 24/7/365 access to a Traveler Support Center if you have any issues at check-in or need to find another participating hotel location, etc.

 If it’s sounds easy, that’s because it is. CheckINN Direct is the business savings card program from Corporate Lodging Consultants (CLC), one of the country’s leading lodging management providers for the past 30 years. CLC clients book more than 9 million room nights a year, resulting in volume that drives great savings on hotel rooms.

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Google Hotels For Your Workforce Travel

Monday, June 14th, 2010

 

CheckINN Direct gives you the convenience of Google Maps to locate hotels along your workforce travel route. Plus, you can search for hotels based on what you want to pay – another convenience to simplify your business lodging process.  

 When you use the Hotel Search tool available after you log in to your online CheckINN Direct account, you can enter the rate range you want. Then list the city and state, select “Display On Screen” and voila! The next screen displays a Google Map with all the CheckINN Direct hotels priced in the rate range you indicated.

 When you don’t designate a rate range, all the CheckINN Direct hotels in your designated travel area display on screen. Under the map, there’s a listing with the details for each hotel: your deeply discounted member rate, hotel address and phone number. You can send the info to your e-mail or cell phone for handy reference later.

 If what you really want is a listing of all available CheckINN Direct hotels, choose “Spreadsheet” rather than “Display On Screen” when you do your hotel search. That gives you a spreadsheet with all the hotel information listed. Just download it or print it out and take it with you. Or, download a statewide listing of hotels, if that’s more convenient as you travel.

 Here’s another tip about the Google Map. There’s a search function in the lower left-hand corner. Enter grocery store, pharmacy, gas station or other search term in that area to see where those are in relation to the hotel where you want to stay.

 Not yet a CheckINN Direct member? Find out how it works.

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Top 10 (funny) Ways to Save on Business Lodging

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

How’s your company handling necessary business travel costs in this tough economy? If you travel for business – or has a workforce that does – we hope it hasn’t led to hitchhiking edicts, handing out bus passes or imposing on distant relatives for overnight stays.  There are easier ways to save on hotel rooms when you’re on the road for business travel.

Just for laughs — and to break up your week with a smile – check out our Top 10 List for ways to save on workforce travel: 

10. Sell private jet.

9. Encourage workforce to stay with friends and family.

8. Let workforce hitchhike. This is also a great networking tool.

7. Distribute coupons for only the finest fast food establishments.

6. Two letters: RV

5. Distribute maps to most popular freeway underpasses.

4. Have workforce catch a ride with Balloon Boy.

3. Bus passes for everyone.

2. Start new employee fitness regime – walking to client meetings.

1. Check out CheckINN Direct .

If you’re already saving 20% to 40% off every business lodging stay with CheckINN Direct, refer your friends and work colleagues so they can start saving, too.

With 9,000 hotel locations that accept the CheckINN Card across the U.S. and Canada, there are many more than 10 good reasons for business travelers to start saving tonight on hotel rooms coast to coast.

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Vehicle Telematics Help Fleets Go Green

Monday, June 7th, 2010

The same wireless technology that makes it easy to send e-mails from a phone and makes laptop connectivity portable is going to be bigger than ever in the environmental profile of fleets in the future – and the not-so-distant future, at that. Automotive Fleet cites a Frost & Sullivan report that predicts growth of the fleet green telematics market from $80 million in 2008 to $700 million by 2015.

Vehicle telematics allows the wireless transmission of data and information,  integrating Global Positioning Systems (GPS) with computer and mobile communications technologies for vehicle and fleet tracking.

 From an environmental standpoint, one green aspect of telematics is to support companies’ efforts to reduce their carbon footprint.

 As Automotive Fleet reports, “Most relevant to company and fleet sustainability programs is information that helps analyze fuel consumption and vehicle emissions – data that tracks and monitors driver behavior and vehicle location, performance, and maintenance.”

According to the Frost and Sullivan research study, fleets may see the use of green telematics systems as ways to improve their environmental profile while enjoying potential reductions in fuel costs of 10 percent.

 That is the kind of savings every company is looking for, just like saving on business lodging when fleets are on the road overnight.

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Economy and Midscale Hotel Prices Up Nearly 3% In Q1 2010

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Workforce travelers might notice that they are paying more for lodging expenses than they were just a few months ago at the beginning of the year.

In a recently completed analysis, CheckINN Direct examined the Lowest Published Rate for over 6,250 economy and midscale hotels. The result: Those prices went up $2.01 per room night. That’s 2.9% from January 2010 to March 2010.

At the same time that prices rose nearly 3%, CheckINN Direct member rates at the very same hotels rose by less than half that amount, or 1.4%.

 Trust CheckINN Direct to help you control hotel expenses and to always save on your business lodging stays.

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