Monday, March 18, 2024

Take On Spring Road Trips

5 tips to keep vehicles running smoothly

With the windows down and nothing but open road visible through the windshield, spring days often bring out the best driving conditions. When it’s time to hit the pavement, make sure your ride is in tip-top shape following a winter of snow, salt and sand.

Give a Thorough Clean
All that winter buildup can lead to grime both inside and outside your vehicle. A deep clean including the undercarriage, engine bay and obvious areas like doors and windows can help eliminate salt buildup. Give the interior a scrub as well to get rid of trash, dirt, debris and unnecessary items that may be weighing down your car and hurting its fuel efficiency. Plus, that clean look and smell can make road trips that much more enjoyable.

Check (or Change) the Tires
Changing air temperatures can lead to fluctuations in tire pressure. As the weather warms, be sure to check tire pressure frequently to avoid overinflation that leads to wear. It’s also an opportunity to check tread depth as it may be time for new tires altogether.

Change the Oil
While most experts recommend oil changes every 5,000 miles or so, depending on the age of your vehicle, a spring auto checklist isn’t complete without checking (and possibly changing) the oil. Fresh oil keeps engines running as intended, and by changing oil in the spring, you can help ensure you’re ready to hit the road for most – or all – of spring and summer.

Test the Wiper Blades
In many parts of the country, spring means rain. Ensuring wiper blades are ready to take on weather ranging from sprinkles to downpours is practical for maximizing safety on the road. Cold weather and ice can cause cracking on worn out wipers, which makes spring a perfect time to assess winter’s damage.

Consider a Professional Inspection
If it’s been a while since your vehicle was properly inspected, now may be a good time to have a professional take a look under the hood. Wiper blades and tire pressure are easy for many car owners to handle, but alignment, suspension, brakes and other key elements of vehicle safety and efficiency are often best left to those with trained eyes. Letting a certified mechanic assess your ride is a perfect way to ensure you’re ready for the open road.

Find more auto maintenance tips at eLivingtoday.com.

SOURCE:
eLivingtoday.com


Reserve your limo today! Carmel car service

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Plan Your Next Vacation Like a Pro

If the chance to unplug, recharge and just get away is calling your name, it’s a sign that it’s time to plan a vacation. Whether you envision a trip around town or across the country, getting organized and doing a little prep work can help you make the most of the experience.

A destination like California offers cities big and small with an assortment of activities, theme parks, shopping districts, beaches, restaurants and more to be explored. Start planning your next getaway with these travel tips from the experts at Visit California:

Plan Ahead
Last-minute trips can get you deals, but you might also be limited by what you’re able to see and do. Ticketed attractions that sell out quickly may be off the table, and the most desirable hotels can fill well ahead of time, too. Planning ahead often allows you to map out the most successful adventure.

Set a Budget
Be sure to consider transportation, accommodations, meals and admission to various attractions. Consider which aspects of a vacation are most important to you and budget more money to those areas, like a five-star meal, ocean view room or priority pass to a favorite park.

Take Advantage of Visitor’s Guides
Using tools such as visitor’s guides can help you make the most of your trip, from identifying must-see attractions to finding the best places to eat and sleep. Many guides are available to download for free online so you can immediately start exploring. For example, the “2024 California Visitor’s Guide: The Best of California” is a testament to the Golden State’s playful spirit, featuring “58 Reasons Why California is the Ultimate Playground,” and is filled with travel tips from passionate locals, like cover star Zoey Deschanel, including:

  • “8 New Trails to Explore,” showcasing freshly constructed paths in California’s parks
  • “Sustainable Sips,” a guide to some of California’s eco-friendly wineries
  • “Plan-Ahead Travel Guide,” where readers can learn how to score a spot at the state’s most coveted attractions
  • “6 Fabulous Film Locations,” a jet-setting guide from movie scout Lori Balton
  • “California Shopping: A to Z Guide,” a comprehensive guide to shopping throughout the Golden State

“From surfing dogs and summer skiing to cosplay conventions and a world-renowned culinary scene, California’s options for play abound, accommodating every type of traveler,” said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California. “That playful spirit is ingrained in every aspect of what makes our state so special and this year’s guide will help readers discover how they can experience it firsthand.”

Pack Appropriately
Staying comfortable throughout your journey ensures you can focus on the experiences. Be sure you’re familiar with the climate, including the forecast during the time you’ll be visiting. While summer days can be quite warm, evenings on the coast often warrant a light jacket. Also be sure you’re prepared for the activities you’ve planned, such as adequate footwear for hiking, long pants for horseback riding and sunscreen for time outdoors.

Create an Itinerary
Even if you prefer a more spontaneous getaway, having at least a loose idea of how you’d like to spend your time traveling can help you be more efficient and avoid wasting time. Think about the things you want to accomplish and fit them together so you can avoid awkward gaps or unnecessary travel and ensure you get to pack in as many experiences as you’d like.

Start planning your next trip by visiting VisitCalifornia.com/travel-guides to order a guide and find additional tips and helpful tools. 

SOURCE:
Visit California

Saturday, March 2, 2024

7 Tips to Prep Your Vehicle for Safe Winter Travel

While snow may be one of the highlights of winter, wet roads and ice can make for dangerous driving conditions. Cold temperatures and slick roads can wreak havoc on vehicles, making even a short commute across town a hazardous trip.

Before you step into the driver’s seat this winter, pay special attention to the safety of your vehicle and consider these tips from the experts at your local Discount Tire to ensure you’re ready to hit the road.

Install Winter Tires
Built for the cold and designed for better traction in winter conditions when temperatures drop below 45 F, winter tires can provide better traction on slippery, wet and icy roads, which can lead to striking curbs and other objects that scratch, dent and scuff wheels. Changing wheels and tires each season can ensure you have the best traction possible and protect summer or all-season wheels from the harsh effects of snow, ice and road-clearing chemicals like salt.

Keep Traction on Winter Roads
Tread depth determines a vehicle’s safe stopping distance, which is vital during winter weather when all-season tires can take an average of 110 feet to stop at 30 miles per hour compared to 81 feet in the same conditions for winter tires. You can check the tread depth by sticking a penny upside-down in a tread groove – it’s time to replace your tires if President Lincoln’s head is visible.

Check Tire Pressure
Tires lose air due to impacts and pressure of bumps and turns. Colder temperatures can also impact air pressure. For every 10-degree drop in ambient temperature, tires lose one pound of pressure (PSI). At least once a month, especially before long trips, check the pressure in your tires or stop by a Discount Tire location. Low pressure can lead to poor handling and gas mileage, excessive wear and overloading. Keep a tire pressure gauge in your vehicle to ensure each tire is filled to the manufacturer’s recommended inflation level and add air as necessary.

Update Your Wiper Blades
In cold and icy winter weather, wiper blades can stiffen and become damaged. While your wiper blades’ lifespan will vary based on where you live and the weather you deal with, experts recommend replacing them every six months. If your wiper blades squeak or leave streaks on your windshield, it’s time to replace them.

Know the Age of Your Tires
The older a tire, the higher its risk for failure. As tires age, the rubber becomes harder and brittle, losing elasticity and strength. Check the DOT number stamped on your tires’ sidewalls to see if it’s time for replacement. If you’re not sure what tires are right for your vehicle, a tool like Treadwell allows you to easily input vehicle information and driving habits to receive a personalized recommendation.

Rotate Tires Often
Regular tire rotations help ensure proper traction. Tires should be rotated every 6,000 miles, or earlier if uneven wear develops. One easy way to remember: Have your tires rotated every other time you have your oil changed.

Check for a Spare Tire
Many newer vehicles have replaced spare tires with tire inflation kits that include puncture-coating sealants and air compressors or run-flat tires. Check to see what your vehicle has and consider adding a roadside assistance plan in case you experience any issues during inclement weather.

To locate a store near you, or search for winter tires specific to your vehicle and driving habits, visit discounttire.com, where you can save up to 30% on wait times in-store, or use the mobile app.

 

SOURCE:Discount Tire

Friday, March 1, 2024

Find Your Perfect Spring Escape

4 pet-friendly and affordable destinations for a spring getaway

Whether you’re a family with kids or a young professional looking for a getaway, it isn’t too late – or out of budget – to plan a memorable spring trip. All you need is a full tank of gas and your furry best friend to make an unforgettable getaway.

Data from online travel agency Booking.com shows that half of traveler’s plan to choose vacation destinations where the cost of living is less than their hometowns in 2024. Exploring lesser-known destinations with a variety of outdoor activities, opting for a road trip with your pet rather than a large group and traveling outside of peak season can all help make adventures more affordable.

To help travelers feel confident selecting their road trip destinations this spring, Motel 6, where pets always stay for free, and Bert Sperling’s Best Places recommend these undiscovered destinations that offer sight-seeing, access to dog parks, cultural experiences, green spaces, authentic cuisine, dog-friendly restaurants and affordable lodging.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Dive into desert culture in Santa Fe with stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, Pueblo-style architecture, historic landmarks and pet-friendly dining patios. With near-endless activities like shopping for handcrafted jewelry, visiting the Museum of International Art Folk or walking the Santa Fe Plaza, there are entertainment options for everyone to enjoy. There are also plenty of affordable lodging options within walking distance of downtown attractions.

Branson, Missouri
Situated in the iconic Lake of the Ozarks, Branson is a dream small-town getaway for family vacations with a plethora of dining and entertainment options such as Silver Dollar City, Dolly Parton’s Stampede and the Titanic Museum. The city has a dog-friendly culture with plenty of parks and outdoor activities. Located just two miles from many of these local attractions, Motel 6 Branson welcomes the whole family, including those on four legs, at no additional cost. This location also offers amenities like free Wi-Fi, an expansive cable channel selection, a microwave and refrigerator in each room and guest laundry facilities.

Tempe, Arizona
If you’re seeking sunshine and fresh air, look no further than Tempe, a vibrant city located just south of Phoenix. From festivals and outdoor activities like golfing, hiking, kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding on Tempe Town Lake to visiting the Tempe Center for the Arts or local pet-friendly eateries, there are plenty of things to do in the low desert valley.

Chattanooga, Tennessee
For those looking to escape fast-paced city life with an outdoor getaway, Chattanooga is a perfect destination to enjoy outdoor activities, such as exploring Lookout Mountain or walking along the Tennessee River. In a city full of culture and history, visitors can enjoy local artwork at the Hunter Museum of American Art or go sightseeing in the historic Bluff View Art District. As the temperatures rise, embrace the rays at the seasonal pool alongside pet-friendly lodging at Motel 6 Chattanooga.

As you look to plan your getaway, visit Motel6.com to find pet-friendly and affordable lodging accommodations as well as more ideas to point you in the right direction on your spring excursion.

SOURCE:
Motel 6


Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Explore Your Dream Destination: Tips for planning a travel adventure

If you find yourself dreaming of sunshine, sand and sparkling pools, it may be time to start looking forward to your next vacation getaway. Get a jumpstart on building excitement for the journey ahead by beginning preparations early, which offers many benefits, including better rates and more time to research your options.

Start exploring ideas for a fun-filled trip with these tips from the travel experts at Funjet, which specializes in providing travelers with vacation packages to hundreds of destinations around the world:

Plan Ahead
Booking your vacation well in advance allows you to take advantage of the best deals at
the most popular hotels and hottest travel dates. In addition, by being flexible with travel dates,
families can save hundreds of dollars. Moving travel dates by a day or two can result in major savings, often even more than the discounts you can get on last-minute trips.

Research Dream Destinations
Deciding where you want to go is the first step, but with a literal world of possibilities, it can be difficult to narrow down your choices. One place you can find inspiration is by exploring the top travel destinations others are choosing. For example, the top 10 travel destinations booked with Funjet in 2023 include numerous international destinations. Las Vegas is the only U.S. city to make the top 10 list. Mexico is especially popular, with Cancun, Cozumel, Puerto Vallarta and San Jose Del Cabo. Others include Belize City, Belize; Liberia, Costa Rica; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Panama City, Panama; and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Consider All-Inclusive Options
Whether you prefer adults-only or family-friendly, luxury or budget-friendly, there’s a diverse range of all-inclusive resorts to choose from. All-inclusives are known for their convenience and value. They offer hassle-free experiences with meals, drinks and often activities included. While many resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean islands are all-inclusive, be aware that smaller islands like Antigua may feature European plan-style hotels, where meals and drinks are not included.

An all-inclusive package usually encompasses a variety of activities and amenities curated to offer an enjoyable and cost-effective vacation. Within these packages, guests often have the opportunity to access amenities such as swimming pools, engage in sports activities, participate in fitness classes and other entertaining experiences.

Pack Like a Pro
Gathering everything you need for a vacation, especially with kids in tow, can be stressful. To make the process easier, organize your packing based on factors like the length of your trip, airline policies and your family’s activities. Essentials like an umbrella should not be overlooked, especially if your destination’s weather can be unpredictable. Maximize luggage space by packing travel-sized toiletries and put electronic necessities like your mobile device, charger and headphones in your carry-on bag.

Anticipate Extra Expenses
While all-inclusive resorts make tropical getaways stress-free and economical, it’s customary to express appreciation for exceptional service with tips. Resorts typically don’t require tipping, but guests commonly tip as a gesture of gratitude. When deciding to tip, families should consider modest amounts, like $1-5 per meal per person, and be mindful of different service levels as well as the convenience of using local currency. Having cash on hand makes it easier to tip as needed and ensure you have extra for souvenirs and other purchases.

Unplug and Unwind
Although most travelers believe it’s essential to stay connected, it’s a good idea to limit screen time so you can make the most of your vacation. Schedule a specific time, preferably in the morning, to address emails and online tasks then enjoy a worry-free rest of the day. While phones are often used to capture photos and videos or look up information about nearby attractions, putting away the screens means you’ll be able to enjoy the scenery, connect with loved ones and have a truly rejuvenating experience.

Protect Your Group Travel
When traveling with a group, there’s a greater chance of something happening that changes plans between when you book your trip and leave. That’s why it can be a good idea to take a “travel with confidence” approach and consider including a travel protection plan in your reservations. This insurance allows travelers to cancel their trip for any reason, if necessary. When traveling with a group, stick with nonstop flights when possible, as you’re more likely to stay together, which can mean more cost-effective travel.

Enjoy the Experiences
While spending leisure time by the resort pool with afternoon cocktails can be a relaxing reward, you can make the most of a destination vacation by also planning a tour. Many destinations offer services that can assist travelers with booking various adventures, ranging from catamaran cruises to hikes and almost everything in between.

Find more tips and plan your next adventure at Funjet.com or call your local travel advisor.

Where to Stay
Start planning your dream getaway by checking out these traveler-favorite destination properties, based on bookings through Funjet:

Top 10 All-Inclusive Resorts

  • Dreams Onyx Resort & Spa (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic)
  • Dreams Bahia Mita Surf & Spa Resort (Nayarit, Mexico)
  • Riu Caribe (Cancun, Mexico)
  • Riu Guanacaste (Costa Rica)
  • Riu Negril (Jamaica)
  • Iberostar Grand Paraiso (Riviera Maya, Mexico)
  • Riu Cancun (Mexico)
  • Royalton Riviera Cancun, An Autograph Collection (Mexico)
  • Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun (Quintana Roo, Mexico)
  • Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa (Oaxaca, Mexico)

Highly Rated Hotels for Groups

  • Royalton Riviera Cancun, An Autograph Collection (Mexico)
  • Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort (Quintana Roo, Mexico)
  • Dreams Flora Resort & Spa (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic)
  • Oasis Palm (Cancun, Mexico)
  • Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach (Honolulu, Hawaii)
  • Marival Emotions Resort & Suites (Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico)
  • Royalton Punta Cana, An Autograph Collection (Dominican Republic)
  • Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa (Oranjestad, Aruba)
  • Bahia Principe Grand La Romana (Dominican Republic)
  • Dreams Macao (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic)
  • Secrets Playa Blanca Costa Mujeres (Mexico)
  • Zoetry Agua Punta Cana (Dominican Republic)

 

SOURCE:
Funjet

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Plan Your Next Vacation Like a Pro

If the chance to unplug, recharge and just get away is calling your name, it’s a sign that it’s time to plan a vacation. Whether you envision a trip around town or across the country, getting organized and doing a little prep work can help you make the most of the experience.

A destination like California offers cities big and small with an assortment of activities, theme parks, shopping districts, beaches, restaurants and more to be explored. Start planning your next getaway with these travel tips from the experts at Visit California:

Plan Ahead
Last-minute trips can get you deals, but you might also be limited by what you’re able to see and do. Ticketed attractions that sell out quickly may be off the table, and the most desirable hotels can fill well ahead of time, too. Planning ahead often allows you to map out the most successful adventure.

Set a Budget
Be sure to consider transportation, accommodations, meals and admission to various attractions. Consider which aspects of a vacation are most important to you and budget more money to those areas, like a five-star meal, ocean view room or priority pass to a favorite park.

Take Advantage of Visitor’s Guides
Using tools such as visitor’s guides can help you make the most of your trip, from identifying must-see attractions to finding the best places to eat and sleep. Many guides are available to download for free online so you can immediately start exploring. For example, the “2024 California Visitor’s Guide: The Best of California” is a testament to the Golden State’s playful spirit, featuring “58 Reasons Why California is the Ultimate Playground,” and is filled with travel tips from passionate locals, like cover star Zoey Deschanel, including:

  • “8 New Trails to Explore,” showcasing freshly constructed paths in California’s parks
  • “Sustainable Sips,” a guide to some of California’s eco-friendly wineries
  • “Plan-Ahead Travel Guide,” where readers can learn how to score a spot at the state’s most coveted attractions
  • “6 Fabulous Film Locations,” a jet-setting guide from movie scout Lori Balton
  • “California Shopping: A to Z Guide,” a comprehensive guide to shopping throughout the Golden State

“From surfing dogs and summer skiing to cosplay conventions and a world-renowned culinary scene, California’s options for play abound, accommodating every type of traveler,” said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California. “That playful spirit is ingrained in every aspect of what makes our state so special and this year’s guide will help readers discover how they can experience it firsthand.”

Pack Appropriately
Staying comfortable throughout your journey ensures you can focus on the experiences. Be sure you’re familiar with the climate, including the forecast during the time you’ll be visiting. While summer days can be quite warm, evenings on the coast often warrant a light jacket. Also be sure you’re prepared for the activities you’ve planned, such as adequate footwear for hiking, long pants for horseback riding and sunscreen for time outdoors.

Create an Itinerary
Even if you prefer a more spontaneous getaway, having at least a loose idea of how you’d like to spend your time traveling can help you be more efficient and avoid wasting time. Think about the things you want to accomplish and fit them together so you can avoid awkward gaps or unnecessary travel and ensure you get to pack in as many experiences as you’d like.

Start planning your next trip by visiting VisitCalifornia.com/travel-guides to order a guide and find additional tips and helpful tools.

SOURCE:
Visit California

Sunday, December 31, 2023

Your Winter Wonderland Awaits

5 private cabin destinations for your next adventure

As colder temperatures settle in across much of the country, now is a perfect time to start planning your cozy season getaway. Perfect for lovers of the great outdoors, with breathtaking views and amenities like hot tubs, ski lifts, gourmet kitchens, game rooms and more, a cabin retreat can make for a unique and memorable experience.

Specializing in private vacation homes, Vrbo, a seasoned veteran in the vacation rental industry with nearly 30 years of experience, has lodging options available in some of the most popular winter destinations, including these five getaways. Booking these homes, or any others on the platform, can also earn travelers rewards for future trips through the vacation rental industry’s first and only loyalty program, One Key. Plus, the Book with Confidence Guarantee offers comprehensive protection throughout your journey.

To find more winter retreats, visit Vrbo.com or use the app to start earning OneKeyCash with every reservation.

Lone Peak View Fire Lookout Tower – Big Sky, Montana

Situated on more than 60 acres, this one-of-a-kind cabin offers 360-degree views above some of Big Sky’s most beloved wilderness, including the famed Lone Peak and the Madison Range. Ideal for families or smaller groups, the Fire Lookout Tower comfortably sleeps up to eight guests and features a wraparound deck, perfect for taking in beautiful sunrises and sunsets. The home also boasts a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, gourmet kitchen and hot tub.


Trestle House – Winter Park, Colorado

Nestled amongst the pines in Winter Park’s most exclusive neighborhood, Trestle House – a  Vrbo 2023 Vacation Home of the Year – boasts showstopping views, a slope-side hot tub and high-end amenities. The open main level offers views of tall pines, meandering ski trails and abounding mountains from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Plus, a full bar and game room cater to all ages and ski-in, ski-out access leads directly to the Winter Park Resort base area.

“The Overlook” Shipping Container – Rockbridge, Ohio

A unique, eco-friendly retreat located just outside Columbus, “The Overlook” is crafted from four 40-foot repurposed shipping containers and sits above the beautiful rolling acres of Hocking Hills, Ohio. Sitting on a total of 75 acres, the property is home to two waterfalls and a plethora of hiking possibilities on-site. Featuring three bedrooms and a hot tub for relaxing after a long day, the transformed cargo containers can accommodate up to eight guests.

 

Luxury Mountain Lodge with 360 Views – Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Ideally located for whatever adventure you wish to undertake, this luxury cabin offers panoramic Smoky Mountain views and rustic yet modern amenities that are perfect for that ultimate cozy cabin vibe. Designed for relaxation, family time and fun, Heaven’s Mountain Lodge features double-decker decks with unobstructed views, a private hot tub, multiple fire pits, a theater room, a stunning kitchen and a game room that includes pool, shuffleboard, foosball and a poker table.

“Shooting Star” Luxury Teton Village Cabin – Teton County, Wyoming

This classic and elegant cabin is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, surrounded by Grand Teton National Park with sweeping views of the mountains, ski slopes and curves of Shooting Star Jackson Hole Golf Club. With the look of a 19th century homestead, layers of modern and traditional detail are combined to create a cohesive richness and structure. The cabin sleeps eight and includes a stone dining terrace and hot tub, luxurious fireplace and gourmet kitchen.

 

SOURCE:
Vrbo