Finding Green Hotel Deals, Back-Up Your Travel Documents Online

How Green Is Your Hotel? and A New Way To Protect Your Travel Documents

How Green Is Your Hotel?
Here’s an interesting fact: fewer U.S. hotels have earned the Green Building Council’s LEED Certification than have been awarded AAA 5-Diamond status. The LEED program certifies buildings for water and energy efficiency, green materials and environmental friendliness. In a recent survey, travel deal site Travelzoo found that 90% of respondents would pick an eco-friendly hotel if it was offered at the same price as a comparable hotel without a strong green commitment.

More than one-fifth of respondents said it is difficult to find green hotels that fit their budgets, and a similar number said the process of determining a hotel’s eco-practices can be cumbersome and time-consuming.

In response to the survey and in honour of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Travelzoo has published a list of special offers from LEED-certified properties across the U.S. The list strives to overcome both previously mentioned objections – that green hotels are expensive and hard to find.

Some sample prices: $99 rates through August at San Francisco’s boutique Orchard Hotel; 60% off at the 4-Diamond Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, North Carolina (rates from $119); a rate of $159 (regular $249) through September 6 at the 4-star AT & T Conference Center & Hotel in Austin, Texas; and half-price rates starting at $59 at the Hilton Vancouver Washington.

A New Way To Protect Your Travel Documents
A Canadian company is offering a new service for travellers that aims to ease the pain if vital travel documents are lost, stolen or damaged. allows subscribers to digitize, upload and securely store vital travel documents, including passport, driver’s licence, travel itinerary, visa, medical insurance details, prescriptions, parental travel permission letters – basically any records you need for your journey.

The information is stored online on a secure site so it can be accessed anytime, anywhere. High-resolution scans of essential ID’s provide irrefutable identification at government embassies or consulates — even a bank. The site’s founders point out that the service is also useful here at home in case a wallet or purse is lost or stolen.

Many people photocopy documents and carry them in their luggage, but these can get lost too. Some travellers do their own scans and e-mail the documents to themselves so they can be accessed from abroad. But security experts advise against it because e-mail is not normally encrypted and also because travellers are likely to access e-mail from unsecured Wi-Fi or Internet cafés while on the road.

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