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.

10 Time-Tested Tips for Traveling With Toddlers

Traveling with toddlers can be torture.

New sights and sounds can be overwhelming to a young child and vacation excitement can quickly turn into temper tantrums if you’re not prepared.

Here are 10 parent-practiced tips to help make traveling with toddlers fun.

1. Choose a family-friendly destination. Skip the crowded tourist destinations and opt instead for a locale that is accustomed to having kids around.

2. Safety first! Always make sure your child’s car seat is properly secured. Also, use a removable window shade to help block the sun.

3. Pack entertainment. “Best bets for entertaining your child in the car and hotel room include favorite books, games, and toys,” says Nancy Wolpert of Nickelodeon Home Entertainment. For all-inclusive entertainment, she recommends two new DVDs that feature a collection of kids’ favorite TV shows. “The Nick Picks and Nick Jr. Favorites DVDs will keep them entertained for hours,” Wolpert promises.

4. Plan rest stops. If you’re driving, break up the monotony by stopping every couple of hours (or more frequently if necessary). Kids need to stretch out after being cooped up in a car for a while. Consider bringing along a ball to kick or throw around during these breaks.

5. Be flexible. Set realistic expectations and let your child soak up the experience at his or her own pace. You might want to limit your activities to one day. Otherwise, you could wind up with an over-stimulated toddler.

6. Bring water and plenty of snacks. Fruit, granola bars, mini juice cartons and small boxes of cereal make for great, healthy snacks.

7. Bring a beloved item. A blankie or cuddly toy will help your toddler feel safe and secure. Be sure to have a replacement on hand, too. It will save you some heartache should the original get lost.

8. Start and end your day early. Kids are at their best in the morning, so plan accordingly.

9. Stick to your routine. Eating, napping and playing at the same time each day may be all your child needs to feel comfortable in a new environment.

10. Take lots of pictures. They’re only young once, so enjoy every moment!

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Charleston South Carolina Hotels – Your Complete Travel Guide.

Where do you like to trip off to for a quick getaway? I think we all have those places that we enjoy time and time again. Those timeless spots that somehow draw us back every year, or even a few times a year. I know I have a few locations that irritate my fancy regardless of the season. One of those retreats is Charleston, South Carolina. This is one of the classic cities left in America. So if you’re looking for something like LA or Las Vegas, this old-world southern town is certainly not it. The first time I visited this city was in 95. I can even recall the first time I laid eyes on the wonderful paved streets. The historic district had a certain incomparable burn to it. My wife and I stayed at a cozy inn that provided complimentary wine and cheese in the night hours. That’s so cool I’ll never forget that hotel. Speaking of lodging, these days you can acquire Charleston South Carolina hotels via the Internet. Times sure are a hanging.

If Charleston, South Carolina is a place you’ve never been, then I suggest you give it a shot. With the variety of Charleston South Carolina hotels at your fingertips, it’s rather easy to plan a two-week vacation or a simple weekend trip. There are a number of facilities to choose from. Since this fine city sits in a coastal state, great seafood and hush puppies are easy to come by. Enjoy a carriage ride through the historic district, or check out the nightlife and fine ales. When you venture off to Charleston, a whole new world is at your disposal. One of the greatest attractions for me was the haunted tour. I encountered this exciting adventure the second time I visited. Like Savanna, Georgia Charleston also provides a tour of its ethereal history
This can be a blast.

Are you searching for Charleston South Carolina hotels well, if you’ve wised up and turned to the World-Wide Web for guidance, then I would suggest some good research? The key factors when browsing for Charleston South Carolina hotels or any hotels for that matter is the quality of the rooms, the price, and the location. If you can find them all, then you’re golden. Your search for Charleston South Carolina hotels is made simple and suitable with the Internet. Plan that perfect
trip today.

How To Simplify Your Life And Travel The World

Tired of the constant stress of your life? Are non-stop phone calls, faxes, email messages, and meetings driving you crazy?

You’re not alone. Studies show most people are stressed to the breaking point. They also would love to simplify their lives and travel the world.

Imagine living on a remote tropical island, enjoying the warm sea breeze, local food, and an easy-going atmosphere. You do this while earning a good income, doing the work you enjoy, and all in a far more relaxed way than you work now.

While this might sound like a scene from a movie or the online offer from a get-rich-quick scheme, simplifying life and traveling the world is rather easy to do — IF your know-how.

Dr. Otto Weizman developed just such a system. Dr. Weizman spent most of his life traveling the world, not as a tourist but running a global business. Over the years he became tired of living out of a suitcase and meeting continuous deadlines. Life was interesting, even exciting, but the stress and demands of business left him tired and frustrated.

Weizman began working out a simple system for anyone who wants to get away from it all and work somewhere else in the world. Based on the vast store of tips and techniques he had learned in his travels, Weizman was able to see opportunity in ways most travelers didn’t even know existed.

1. Start by simplifying your life. Weizman correctly felt the huge onslaught of advertising messages we get every minute of every day is the source of much of our stress. Get off junk mail lists, email lists, and make sure your phone number isn’t on call lists.

2. Rest assured you CAN do the kind of work you love just about anywhere in the world. If you think a person like you could only work in your current country, remember that almost every industry is now truly global. It’s a fair bet there are workers just like you in dozens of desirable locations around the world.

3. Don’t worry about “dropping out” and not being able to stay in touch. Dr. Weizman showed you can stay completely connected via phone, email, and fax even from the most remote desert island. The Internet cafe is a fixture in almost every country of the world. Cell phones are now ubiquitous. If you WANT to be in contact, you will.

4. Keep in mind money flows differently in other countries. Credit cards work well in most places, but take some time to get to know how local residents handle financial transactions. They’ve had the advantage of what method is most reliable, most acceptable, and most economic.

Above all, don’t ever feel like you’re trapped in your current situation. Anyone who takes the time to learn how can freely travel the world, enjoying wonderful destinations, while still earning a good income doing what they love. Most important thing is to always keep your eye open for travel discounts.

This weeks Travel Discounts, book today

 

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This week’s staff pick is home to many of the country’s best golf courses and sports facilities. The near-perfect climate of Miami, Florida makes it a very popular holiday destination. The beaches of Greater Miami are a major highlight, as is the Art Deco architecture of Miami Beach. Visit the waterfront for free yoga classes in the park, small intimate concerts at the Bayfront Park Amphitheater, and luxurious all-inclusive resort stays.

 

 

 

Save up to 41%

 

Miami, Florida • Join / Login

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Maui, Hawaii

The island’s 30 miles of beaches include golden-crescent Kapalua, sheltered from strong currents by lava-rock promontories. Take a helicopter tour around the island and experience a scenic adventure to remember.

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Save up to 45%

San Diego, California

San Diego epitomizes the relaxed culture of California. Here you will find excellent Mexican food, national parks, surfing and an unbeatable climate.

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New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is a vibrant melting pot filled with incredible festivals, art, music, history, and outdoor adventures. This is the place to eat, drink, listen to jazz, and take part in a parade.

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Malaga, Spain

Malaga is one of the oldest cities in the world, founded in the 8th century by the Phoenicians. You can experience exhibits dedicated to glass, crystal, and, of course, the works of Picasso, who was born here.

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Cancun, Mexico

You will find white-sand beaches, crystalline waters, and many amenities for the whole family to enjoy in this tourism paradise.

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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 upfront 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. Its 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.

• Traveling 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.

• Everyone 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.

Be sure to check out Hotels Etc. for deep travel discounts.

Want to go to a new exciting place, but don’t have anyone to tag along? There may be times when you have to travel alone in a foreign land. Whether just for fun or on official business, you have to take safety measures. Traveling alone need not be lonely. It could be fun in more ways than one. Don’t be reluctant to travel just because you’re on your own. Just remember these things:

*Plan ahead
Research and read about the place you’re heading to. Know where are the nearest hotel, restaurant, and such. Make reservations too, if possible. That way, your travel is on a good start.

*Take a city map
You better study how to read maps. Needless to say, these can guide you where you are going, especially if it’s the first time you’re going to that place. Relying too much on the cab driver is not a good idea.

*Learn the language
Just study the basics and the most common things you’re likely to ask a local. Learn it before you arrive.

*Hide your valuables
Put your guard up. Don’t invite muggers to come and get you. Don’t wear too much jewelry outside the streets. Use inexpensive accessories.

*Dress appropriately
Check what the locals wear on a given time of day. You don’t want your clothes screaming you’re a tourist. The lesser attention you draw to yourself, the better.

*Don’t be afraid to ask for directions
It would be okay to ask someone for directions, but be sure you are going to choose who to ask. You can ask a waiter in a restaurant, or the receptionist in your hotel. Just be sure you get all the information. Asking from a complete stranger outside is not advisable.

*Bring some cash
Take just enough. Traveler’s checks and credit cards are good, and it could be your primary mode of payment, but you might want to keep a few extra dollars in your pocket with local money.

*Enjoy your self
Well, you are traveling, so make the most of it. Make friends with a local. Talk to somebody over lunch in a café. Get the addresses of the friends you make to send them a thank you card. Maybe next time, you’d be their host.

Traveling alone can be your best experience. With solo traveling, you will definitely learn more about your self and what you can do. Try it. It would be fun!

Keep in mind using travel discounts will help you save a ton of money.