America The Beautiful: Exploring The Roads (And Trails) Less Traveled


Americans are known for seeking the roads less traveled and, in many cases, continuing to journey even after the road ends. More than 50 million Americans went off-roading in 2005, a 42 percent increase since 2000.

For fans of off-roading, there are two considerations when taking to the dirt and rocks of off-road driving: safety and ecology. Safety starts with having the right equipment-a vehicle that’s designed for uneven, unpredictable terrain and tough, dependable tires that can take the punishment of dirt, rocks, ravines and more. And by following ecological guidelines, you can help ensure that trails will be enjoyable for other adventurers.

Safety Tips

  1. Inform someone of where you are going and when you expect to return.
  2. Make sure your vehicle has plenty of fuel.
  3. Ride at safe speeds for existing conditions.
  4. Travel straight up and down hills-never traverse the face of a hill; it may cause your vehicle to slip sideways or roll over.
  5. Cross large rocks or other obstacles slowly, at an angle, one wheel at a time.
  6. Cross ravines at a 45-degree angle.
  7. Only cross streams at a designated fording point.
  8. Never turn around on narrow roads, steep terrain or unstable ground.
  9. Avoid stopping in tall grass or brush, which can be ignited by engine heat.
  10. Reduce tire pressure to improve traction in tough off-road conditions.

It’s the Ecology

  1. Drive only where permitted.
  2. Keep a trash bag in your vehicle and collect litter left by others.
  3. Ride in the middle to minimize the widening of the trail.
  4. Avoid slide slipping and wheel spin to prevent erosion.
  5. Keep away from wildlife.
  6. Steer clear of sensitive habitats: wetlands, meadows, tundra, etc.
  7. Clean your vehicle after the ride to reduce the spread of noxious weeds.
  8. Observe proper sanitary waste disposal.

Top Trails

To highlight some of the best off-road trails in the country, BFGoodrich Tires, in conjunction with Tread Lightly and United Four Wheel Drive Associations, has launched its Outstanding Trails program. The program is dedicated to the responsible use and preservation of these off-road trails and will aid in the effort to keep these trails sustainable.

“Last year, more than 50 million people sought adventure through recreational off-road driving; the sport is exploding in popularity,” said Kaz Holley, brand director for BFGoodrich Tires. “Each one of the trails highlighted in this program is amazing, and embodies the very best in off-roading. BFGoodrich tires and these Outstanding Trails are very similar in nature-both are tough and both are fun to drive on.”

The program identifies five of North America’s best trails. From desolate desert stretches to towering peaks and rolling hillsides, these trails are unique in toughness and beauty.

After a careful selection process, five of North America’s “outstanding” off-road trails were nominated for uniqueness, terrain type and enthusiast following:

Black Bear Pass, near Ouray, Colo., is a picturesque trail nestled in the San Juan Mountains.

Pyeatt Draw, a scenic and exciting trail situated in Payson, Ariz.

Hell’s Revenge, with its slick sandstone slopes, brings adventure to thrill seekers in Moab, Utah.

Historic Naches Pass, also known as the Longmire Wagon Train, takes off-road drivers over the Cascade Mountains in Naches, Wash.

Upper Tellico Trail, Trail #4, located in the Nantahala National Forest, is located in an area where Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia meet.

As a part of the program, BFGoodrich Tires will host several events at designated trails to highlight the uniqueness of each location as well as to educate off-roaders on the responsible use of each trail. The company will also give a grant to a selected off-road club to help with the costs associated with the trails’ conservation.

8th Day of Christmas Promotion

 Due to COVID-19 and this unprecedented year, millions of families income has been drastically affected which is why Hotels Etc. is here to help.

Welcome to our 12 days of Christmas!! Every day leading up to Christmas our membership will start at $1 and work its way up to regular price on Christmas Day.

Today is the 8th day, so therefore get your membership for only $5 for a full year! Don’t miss out because once Christmas comes, the regular price of $199 will start again!

Not only are you saving on hotels and flights but also on local shopping, restaurants around town, entertainment such as theme parks, as well as recreation and much more.

Help make 2021 the year of memories by grabbing your membership today for only $5,  Don’t hesitate, join today and get ready to start saving! Be sure to share this incredible deal with your friends and family, or buy them one as a gift.

Visit  https://www.hotelsetc.com/12-days-of-christmas/

Price expires at midnight tonight.

9th day of Christmas promotion

On the 9th day of Christmas you can join Hotels Etc. for only $4 for an entire year. This deal ends at midnight tonight. Price will increase back to $199 per year when our promotion ends.

Buy one for you, your family and friends. Give a gift that keeps on giving. https://www.hotelsetc.com/12-days-of-christmas/

Best Places To Travel During The Holidays With Your Family

Thinking about taking your family on a Christmas vacation?

Although it has long been tradition to wait at home for Santa to arrive, a number of American families spend Christmas away from home each year. Christmas vacations are becoming more and more popular and you will likely find that there is a wide variety of fun holiday vacations available to you.

What better place to visit during the holiday season than the North Pole – North Pole, New York that is.

Located in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, North Pole is one of the most magical places to visit during your Christmas vacation. Perfect for kids and kids at heart, North Pole is open for five weekends prior to Christmas during November and December.

Visitors are offered Christmas vacation packages that include meals, lodging, and admission to Santa’s workshop. Santa’s Village features shops where you can find the perfect souvenir from your Christmas vacation. There is often live music to keep the crowds entertained and you and your family can enjoy watching glassblowers, puppet shows and other holiday entertainment.

If New York state seems a little far from the real North Pole, try getting a little closer to the real thing by visiting North Pole, Alaska on your Christmas vacation. The Alaskan vacation package also includes a visit to Santa’s house in the North Pole. Also offered is an optional dog sled ride through Santa’s village in the North Pole. Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience as you race through the magical North Pole on an authentic Alaskan dog sled. Like the vacation package in North Pole, New York, the Alaskan North Pole offers one or two night stays during weekends.

The Alaskan North Pole Christmas vacation includes hotel accommodations in nearby Fairbanks and at the Chena Hot Springs Resort. There is also lodging available at the Santaland RV Park. The Santa House also offers a large store where guests to the North Pole can find every type of souvenir from ‘I Believe in Santa’ hats to ‘Santa Claus Crossing’ signs and refrigerator magnets. Whether you are two or ninety-two the magic of Christmas in North Pole, Alaska will have you believing in Saint Nick.

If you are traveling before or during the Christmas season, then consider Hershey, Pennsylvania as your vacation destination. The home of Hershey’s candy, Hershey Park becomes home to Christmas Candyland, where over one million Christmas lights are put on display. In addition to the lights, the staff at Hershey Park constructs a number of animated displays that are sure to delight both you are your children.

Christmas Candyland is undoubtedly one of the most exciting Christmas time getaways for kids young and old. In addition to Christmas Candyland guests can enjoy the rest of the Park. Hershey Park is a popular destination for travelers year round, as it offers a wide variety of both entertainment and great candy. Christmas Candyland typically runs for a month prior to Christmas.

If your family has never taken a Disney vacation, Christmastime may be the perfect time to do it. In addition to enjoying the Walt Disney World parade which is televised each year from Disney World in Orlando, Florida, your kids will also enjoy seeing all their favorite Disney characters decked out in their Santa hats and Christmas outfits. There are also a number of special Christmas time shows put on in the parks including Mickey Mouse’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and Belle’s Enchanted Christmas Storytelling.

These Christmas activities can be great for young children. Giant Christmas trees are erected throughout the parks and lit up with thousands of Christmas lights, bringing the spirit of Christmas alive throughout the already magical Disney World. The weeks around the Christmas season are also times where lodging rates at Disney World resorts are typically lower than the peak season rates.

By traveling during the Christmas season you are likely to get tons of fun at a reduced price. The weather in central Florida during the Christmas season is typically in the mid-70s, a great change of pace if you are used to cold, wintry Christmas seasons. Santa’s sleigh may have some trouble landing without snow but the magic of the Christmas season is alive and well at Disney World. https://www.hotelsetc.com

Build Your Own Travel Business At Home

Do you like to travel? Would you like to travel more? Would you travel more if you could find some real bargains, say 50% or more off the regular retail price, not just the 10% AARP or 10% business discount often available at motels?

If you do like to travel, I’m sure you have gone the route of search-engine searches for discount travel, only to find the major Internet booking engines with their flashy “lowest prices guaranteed” all offer exactly the same prices.

The truth be known, some bargains do raise their heads above all the “cheapest prices guaranteed” but good luck finding them. You must tenaciously search every day, and even then some of those specials are alive for only a few hours. Is there an easier way? I think there is, and you can turn travel into a business.

Yes, those bargains are there, reserved for the travel professional in the form of travel perks, business tax deductions, and sales commissions. Consider these points:

•Own your own booking engine and earn commissions on all travel booked through your site — your own travel and the travel of anyone and everyone that you can drive to your booking engine.  https://www.hotelsetc.com/private-label-program/

•Operate a legitimate travel business and you can apply business tax deductions to your own travel as long as you include that travel in your business plan, and you keep accurate records. https://www.hotelsetc.com/go

•Many travel industry businesses offer familiarization trips, FAM trips for short, to professional travel agents and agencies so that they can then “sell” these services to their clients. These FAM trips may offer huge discounts or free accommodations and trips when the agent books 8-10 clients for the same accommodation or trip.

•Travel agents can build their own membership club business with some form of advertisement back home and generate residual income

This month my wife and I are taking a quick summer vacation to Canon City, Colorado, for a ½ day white-water rafting adventure in Bighorn Sheep Canyon and a 2-hour train ride in a vista-dome through the Royal Gorge. We have acquired two nights’ lodging because we want to further explore the business opportunities in the area. We contacted Hotels Etc. at https://www.hotelsetc.com and saved nearly 70% off our entire trip.

You can indeed travel for less and travel more. In fact, your travel can become your job. What a great life!

7 Tips For Couples Before Travelling

In a life that is dictated by routines, vacations and traveling is a thing that helps keep us sane. The idea of taking annual leaves regularly makes a lot of sense. The last thing any of us want, on his or her travel, is a non-compatible travel partner. If you are on your own, traveling with a friend or looking for a travel companion, a few tips might help you from having a trip to hell. Here are seven tips for traveling as a couple:

• Decide up front why you are going and what you want to get out of the trip.

• Money has the potential of destroying the best of friendships, let alone create problems if your travel companion is a mere acquaintance. It is best to decide what, where, and how much you will be spending on mutual expenses.

• Prepare a tentative itinerary; places you want to visit, things to do, and time to be spent at each location.

• Travelling with someone has benefits, but even then, you should get some time to yourself. Make allowance for the time that each will be spending on their own.

• Every one enjoys different aspects of travel. It’s good to figure out each other’s preferences before getting stuck together on a rather costly trip. Some of us are night people while others can’t keep their eyes open after dark. Some like everything decided and planned, others are more spontaneous. Some like to indulge in the culture while others prefer to immerse themselves in the sights only. Make sure you and your companion share some views, if not all, regarding traveling.

• Unless you are 100% sure about the person you are traveling with, pack some earplugs, they can be a lifeline during an otherwise sleepless night.

• Have an open mind & a generous heart. Give the other person some space & make the most of your solo time as well. Have fun and keep it enjoyable for both.

Camping – The Ultimate Budget Vacation

When it comes to enjoying a vacation on a limited budget, it is difficult to beat the appeal of the good old camping trip. After all, it costs next to nothing to pitch your tent in the backcountry wilderness of your favorite state or national park. A week-long camping trip can often cost less than a day or two in a big city or tourist hot spot while giving the entire family time to bond and enjoy being together.

As a matter of fact, camping is one of the most popular family activities, and many families enjoy camping together, sharing stories around a roaring fire, roasting marshmallows, swimming, fishing, and all the other great things that come with a camping trip.

For many, camping brings back memories from childhood, and many parents want to give their children a taste of what their own childhood was like, back when things were so much simpler.

Another great thing about camping is that once the initial expenses are paid, there is little in the way of ongoing expenses. Unlike a traditional vacation, in which the money you spend on that great hotel is gone for good, with camping you buy your hotel room (also known as your tent) outright, and you own it forever.

After you have bought all the essential items, like the tent, a couple of good camping lanterns, a good camp stove, sleeping bags, and the like, your only expenses may be the food for the trip and the gas it takes to get there.

And camping provides plenty for all members of the family to do. Dad may enjoy fishing in his favorite spot, or boating around the lake, while mom and the kids may enjoy a beautiful hike and bird watching trip. There are even campgrounds that feature movies, swimming pools, and other amenities for those who prefer a level of comfort to their journey.

As a matter of fact, there are many ways to camp, from rough camping in the backcountry to cabins at campgrounds to even RV camping. The level is entirely up to you, and that is one thing that makes camping so attractive to budget travelers and families alike.

There is nothing quite like vacationing in the great outdoors to get back in touch with nature. From watching the wildlife to watching the stars, there is plenty to do on the average camping trip. Stargazing is particularly popular with city dwellers, who may never have seen the Milky Way in all its glory before. Getting away from the glare of city lights and see nature as it truly is.

We know that camping is one of the least expensive of all vacations, but lets take a quick look at the expenses associated with this type of budget travel. The centerpiece of the camping trip, of course, is the tent. Unless you plan to camp in an RV or rent a cabin, which is more expensive, you will need a sturdy, high-quality tent. It is important that the tent be waterproof and that it closes easily. Be sure the tent features a high-quality zipper or other closure that is easy for every member of the family to operate. Test the zipper several times, and be sure you know how to set up the tent before you get to the woods.

Most campers will also want to invest in a few high-quality sleeping bags. It is a good idea to choose a sleeping bag that is insulated and to pick one that will be good for several seasons. Many sleeping bags are designed with removable liners and insulation. These are a good choice since they can be used in cold weather and warm.

It is also a good idea to buy a couple of camp lanterns. These portable lights are great for lighting your way around in the dark. A cooler for drinks and food is a good idea as well, as is a portable charcoal grill or a camp stove. If you are camping at a campground, however, you may be able to leave the camp stove and grill at home, since many campgrounds provide grills for their guests to use free of charge. It is important to find out what amenities each campground offers before you head out.

Animal Kingdom

Disneyworld’s newest addition, Animal Kingdom is a wonderful place for kids of all ages to learn about animals and the environments in which they live, as well as taking a closer look at the world of dinosaurs – all in the traditional Disney package of feel-good exhibits and varying thrill-level rides.  Upon arrival, check out the visitor’s center for news on any special events happening daily in the park.

In the Boneyard play in a maze filled with fun fossils.  Any would-be paleontologist in your family will love this one!  Then there’s DINOSAUR which will be more entertaining for those who desire more thrills and spills from their visit.  Other areas of interest in this Dinoland section of the Animal Kingdom are the TriceraTop Spin, the Cretaceous Trail and of course, a Disney musical exhibit based around the Finding Nemo movie.  Amidst these various attractions are wildlife such as storks and Asian brown tortoises.

In the Flights of Wonder section, you can learn how to (and how not to!) handle birds and see such beautiful bird as an American Bald Eagle, and magnificent macaws up close – but don’t get too close!

If you’re ready for some more excitement, take a trip down the Kali River Rapids – watch out for the rushing geysers however as you raft down the Chakrandadi River escaping a jungle fire by traveling down a waterfall!   If you’re up for another thrill, the Expedition Everest ride is a roller coaster ride that has your on a refurbished steam train en route to your Mount Everest base camp taking a yeti guarded short cut!

The animals of the Animal Kingdom shouldn’t be forgotten, and a trip through the Maharajah Jungle will take you in the Anandapur Royal Forest of Southeast Asia where you can wander around the ruins of an ancient palace, home to many different animals.

The Animal Kingdom has its share of Disney rides, but with an overall theme of protecting wildlife, it’s a good place to teach kids about wildlife and how to preserve it.

Always be sure to check for Animal Kingdom Discounts which will help your family enjoy more for less.

Are You Road Trip Ready?

When it comes to “getting away from it all,” many Americans are skipping the pricey trips abroad and opting to enjoy the many amazing, closer-to-home sights from the comfort of their own vehicles.

If you’re planning a getaway, remember that road trips can be tough on cars, and few things turn a vacation into a nightmare quicker than breaking down in the middle of nowhere. So, before you load the car and take off, make sure that your vehicle is in tip-top condition.

A pre-trip inspection as part of an overall maintenance program can give you peace of mind and help prevent costly repairs.

Inspect and repair, if needed, the following:

Radiator and cooling system, including the water pump, fan, and thermostat

Brakes, brake pads, and brake linings

Battery and cables

Belts and hoses

Engine oil and oil filter

Wiper blades and washer fluid

Tire pressure and overall tire condition (including the spare).

Most importantly, don’t leave on a long trip with your car’s “Check Engine” light on.

The Check Engine light appears when your vehicle’s On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) computer detects a problem. According to several state Air Pollution Control Districts, the Check Engine light is designed to limit air pollution, as well as alert drivers to a condition that can waste fuel, shorten engine life and result in potentially expensive repairs.

If the light does come on, a quick check of your vehicle’s service manual can often identify the problem and a course of action.

Those who take their car to a mechanic often find that technicians use a diagnostic tool to scan their vehicle and access trouble codes at a cost of $55 to $100.

A new automotive tool, with a Web site, lets consumers run their own diagnosis, enabling them to verify the mechanic’s assessment.

Called CarMD, the tool provides a basic overview of probable problems with the car’s electronic and emissions-related systems. It incorporates the same basic technology as tools used by mechanics but is said to cost less and can be operated by anyone. A green light indicates that all systems are “go,” a yellow light signals a possible problem and a red light mean there is a current problem and service is required.

For more in-depth information, simply plug the tool into your personal computer and turn it on. It will connect to the company’s Web site and provide a comprehensive report on your vehicle’s health, including possible problems, estimated fixes and repair costs.

Enjoy your trip and remember don’t leave without your Hotels Etc. membership in the event you need a hotel at up to 75% off or need automotive discounts, we have you covered.