Category Archives: Traveling Tips

Preparing for That Summer Road Trip

As technology moves forward and flying becomes more affordable and common, many would think that the great American road trip is a thing of the past. Statistics, however, prove otherwise. A poll by Enterprise shows that almost 75 percent of Americans prefer driving to their destinations because of the freedoms it offers.

The call of the road is undeniable, almost like it’s embedded in our makeup. Like the frontiers that came before us to explore the new land, we are drawn to the adventure that a road trip promises. But before you can set out on the road, there are some important steps to take to insure you get the most out of your trip.

You may want to start off by cleaning your car. A few days into your trip, you’ll notice a collection of fast food wrappers, maps, and a variety of Knick-Knacks that you’ve collected along the way, start to build-up on your car. If you started the trip in a cluster of disorder, it’ll only be a matter of time before the inside of your car is total chaos.

Having the freedom of spontaneity is one of the main arguments for a road trip, but having a loose plan is always a good idea. We’ve all been in enough traffic jams to know that the road is unpredictable, having some idea of how and when can help so you don’t miss out on any of your destinations. You never know when you will run into that unpredictable “Road Work Ahead” sign.

Make sure you have alternative routes. With the unpredictability of the road, you may want to have at least one or two other routes to fall back on. If you know you’ll be traveling through a major city during its rush hour, you may want to find an alternative, more scenic route, so at least you can make to most of your time.

Join a roadside rescue service. Nobody plans to be stranded on the side of the road, in a part of the country you’ve been to. Having an 800 number on hand to connect you to local services will come in handy and can save a lot of time and hassle. It can also keep you safe from some of the dangers we all wish to avoid.

Acapulco

Acapulco is one of Mexico’s oldest coastal tourist destinations, reaching prominence in the 1950s as the place where Hollywood stars and millionaires vacationed on the beach in an exotic locale. Acapulco’s reputation is that of a high-energy party town, where one can “have dinner at midnight, dance until dawn then relax in the daytime on the beach. The nightlife has long been a major tourist draw of the city. From November to April, luxury liners stop here daily and include ships such as the MS Queen Victoria, the MS Rotterdam, Crystal Harmony as well as all the Princess line ships. Despite Acapulco’s international fame, most of its visitors are from central Mexico, especially the affluent from Mexico City. Acapulco is one of the embarkation ports for the Mexican cruise line Ocean Star Cruises.

Acapulco’s main attraction is its nightlife, as it has been for many decades. Nightclubs change names and owners frequently. Informal lobby or poolside cocktail bars often offer free live entertainment. In addition, there is the beach bar zone, where younger crowds go. These are located along the Costera road, face the ocean and feature techno or alternative rock. Most are concentrated between the Fiesta Americana and Continental Plaza hotels. These places tend to open earlier and have more informal dress. There is a bungee jump in this area as well.

Another enigmatic attraction at Acapulco are the La Quebrada Cliff Divers.The tradition started in the 1930s when young men casually competed against each other to see who could dive from the highest point into the sea below. Eventually, locals began to ask for tips for those coming to see the men dive. Today the divers are professionals, diving from heights of forty meters into an inlet that is only seven meters wide and four meters deep, after praying first at a shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe. On December 12, the feast day of this Virgin, freestyle cliff divers jump into the sea to honor her. Dives ranges from the simple to the complicated and end with the “Ocean of Fire” when the sea is lit with gasoline, making a circle of flames which the diver aims for. The spectacle can be seen from a public area which charges a small fee or from the Hotel Plaza Las Glorias/El Mirador from its bar or restaurant terrace.

Park City

Have you ever heard of the Sundance Film Festival? It is officially the largest independent film festival in the United States and you’d probably be surprised to hear that it’s held in a charming little small town in Utah. Park City is the name of that small town, but we assure you there is nothing small about it; in fact, in addition to Sundance, Park City is also famous for a number of other things, such as the fact that 1994’s Dumb and Dumber were shot in it (some scenes), as well as that it’s the home of the United States Ski Team and the official training center of the Australian Freestyle Ski Team. So, as you can see – the only small thing about Park City, UT is…well, the number of its permanent residents.

It’s somewhat difficult to imagine there is more to Park City than world-class snowboarding and skiing, considering the fact that it has over 400 exceptional mountain trails. Some even refer to Park City as the ultimate winter destination. Why? Well, that’s pretty obvious – one single trip is enough to experience a variety of different things in one single town: rejuvenating and relaxing in one of the many exceptional spas scattered throughout Park City, tasting signature drinks while gazing upon the Historic Main Street, seeing the sights from a hot air balloon, fulfilling one’s Olympic fantasies on a bobsled ride etc.

Walloon Lake, Michigan

Northern Michigan is the home of Walloon Lake, which is located in Emmet and Charlevoix counties. It is the headwater for the Bear River. Interestingly, Walloon Lake was formed from a glacier, which is a fact that will definitely cause a couple of wow’s by your kids. The surface of Walloon Lake is significantly higher than Lake Michigan, despite the fact that the end of Walloon’s West arm is approximately a mile away from it.
Among a number of historic sites located on Walloon Lake, two are particularly interesting. The first one is the Walloon Lake Inn. Today serving as a bed and breakfast for the local community, the Inn was renovated over the last 30 years. It used to be called Fern Cottage and it was a popular destination for many visitors. Another one if its important purposes back in the day was to serve as a docking point to a number of steamboats. The steamboats had been used to transport people to their cottages on the lake or their hotels. Today, a culinary school as well as a French-style restaurant can be found in this charming and interesting historic site.
The second one is Windemere. Windemere, which was Ernest Hemingway’s childhood summer home, can be found on Walloon Lake’s North Shore. In fact, the family of the celebrated author still owns this significant historic site, not to mention that a nephew of Mr. Hemingway currently resides there.

How To Choose A Kid-Friendly Hotel

 When it comes to choosing a hotel, for a lot of people the entire process simply comes down to price. There are a few things, however, that may be worth spending a few extra dollars on when travelling with kids. When booking your next hotel room, look to see if they offer any of the following amenities.

Indoor Pool And/Or Play Area

Your vacation plans may change from day to day depending on the weather. A hotel that provides an indoor pool or play area means that there’s something to keep the kids occupied for at least a little while no matter what the weather brings. The indoor pool can be a lifesaver when torrential rains keep you from heading to outdoor amusements as planned.

Separate Living Area And Bedroom

For longer trips, having a door to close on sleeping children is ideal. Having a little quiet time to yourselves after the kids have gone to bed is priceless, and it isn’t as easy to find those peaceful moments when sharing a single room with the kids. Several major hotel chains offer good deals for suites.

Babysitting Services

Take advantage of hotels offering babysitting services which allow you to go off exploring on your own for awhile knowing the kids are being well cared for. Many hotels also offer activities just for children that allow the adults a little time to themselves. Before you use a babysitting service, ask questions regarding references, length of employment, and safety certifications (CPR, first aid, etc.) for the sitter they will be sending. Spend some time with the sitter to ensure that this is someone who you feel comfortable leaving in charge of your kids, and check in often while you’re away.