On my latest trip to Chicago, I consumed nine tacos, three doughnuts, an Indian crepe, a giant tamale, a mound of carnitas, a bowl of pasta and a table full of Vietnamese food. How did I not gain 15 pounds? Well, I also walked 8 to 10 miles per day — which is typical for me when I travel.
Exploring a city on foot has so many benefits. I stumble on unique gems that I likely wouldn’t find otherwise. I hear neighbors talk to each other. I suddenly feel like a local, which in my opinion is the best thing to feel when you visit a place. As a bonus, you can eat more.
Here are a few tips for planning your next walk-cation:
>> Pick your highlights and pin them. First, figure out what you most want to do or see, and then plot your findings to see which locations are within walking distance of each other.
>> Think neighborhoods. Consider using your highlights as jumping-off points for neighborhood crawls.
>> Do the distance. Checking out a park? Walk its circumference before leaving. A museum? Take the stairs between levels. Want to lounge on the beach? Walk a mile on it first.
>> Track your progress. Pedometer apps are easy to find in your smartphone’s app store. Watching the miles tick upward is motivating.
>> Dress in a versatile style. With all this walking, you’ll need the same outfit to span breakfast, lunch and dinner. And don’t forget to wear a good pair of walking shoes.
Hotel rooms per hour — or minute
SAN FRANCISCO >> Most hotels already offer quick checkout. Now, a growing number are selling briefer stays, too.
Through an app called Recharge, some 50 hotels in San Francisco and New York offer rooms by the minute — at 40 cents to $2 per minute, depending on demand and time of day. That means the opportunity to take an hour nap in a comfortable bed for $24 to $120.
That isn’t exactly a bargain. Two of the participating hotels recently were offering full-night stays for $269. But it’s a savings over the full-night rate for those who don’t need the full night. Recharge says its app has drawn interest from travelers needing a nap after an overnight flight and from nursing mothers looking for some privacy. It’s extra money for hotels when a room might otherwise be empty during the day.
Recharge plans to expand to Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington this year. — Michael Liedtke, Associated Press