If you've ever arrived at your hotel and found that the only way to get to a restaurant or pharmacy is to drive there or hop in a taxi, then help has just arrived by foot.
In implementing its latest upgrades to the AARP Travel Center, the Expedia Affiliate Network introduced hotel ratings from Walk Score.
The Walk Scores rate whether a hotel is a Walker's Paradise (90-100), Very Walkable (70-89), Somewhat Walkable (50-69), Car-Dependent (24-49) or even more Car-Dependent (0-23). You can read the methodology that goes into the Walk Score algorithm here.
The Walk Scores for hotels can be very important for some seniors booking travel on the AARP website if they don't drive or have access to a vehicle.
The information can be very useful to other travelers, too.
For the Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort near Disneyland, the Expedia-powered AARP site provides a Walk Score of 66 (Somewhat Walkable), pointing out that there is a Cafe and Smoothies Express .1 miles away, a UPS Store .2 miles away, and an IHOP restaurant .6 miles away, for example.
All of this information and more is viewable on a small Google Map on the AARP website.
When you click to view the information on a larger map, users navigate to the Walk Score website, where the information is more comprehensive.
From there you can scope out the amenities within walking distance of your hotel in map, satellite and street views.
The Walk Scores aren't merely travel-specific, but they certainly come in handy for hotels and certainly other travel brands may begin providing the feature in their hotel paths. No word yet on any Expedia.com plans to install the feature.
In addition to bringing Walk Scores to the AARP Travel Center, the Expedia Affiliate Network, which has powered the site since 2008, also introduced TripAdvisor hotel reviews.