Monthly Archives: December 2013

Rent a dream machine for the New Year’s Eve celebrations

See the world flash by this holiday season ————————————————— Pascal-P / Flickr / CC BY-NC

 

The great thing about the holiday season is that you can afford to be ostentatious and rent a luxury car that’s a little above your normal means. Let’s face it, everyone like to impress that special person on a holiday date. For the New Year’s Eve celebrations, try three of our dream cars – all available from our vendors – and you certainly won’t regret it!

Porsche Boxster

Perhaps you’d like to show off to your girlfriend by taking her for a spin in a great sports car on New Year’s Eve? You can rent a vehicle you couldn’t normally afford to drive, like the new Porsche Boxster, a car that would normally set you back 90 000 dollars!

Porsche Boxster

 

 

The new Porsche Boxster is a mid-engined two-seater roadster. The first-generation Boxster was introduced in late 1996 and heavily influenced by the 1993 Box. The latest Boxster has all the trimmings of previous models but with more power, lower weight and great take-off. You can reach 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and 109 mph in 12.7 seconds. Yeah, man!

It’s a thrilling car to drive. When you hit the throttle, you hear a great roaring sound, a kind of intoxicating howl that is a real ego boost. The Porsche Boxster is also known for its amazingly fast gear changes.

Features include radio, CD, bucket seats, central locking, cruise control, satellite navigation system, power brakes, electric mirrors and tilt steering.

All in all, it’s a special car that will remind you of your younger, wild days!

 

The Porsche Panamera

The Porsche Panamera is a luxury four-door saloon; it is front-engined with rear-wheel drive, although four-wheel drive versions also available.

The Porsche Panamera

The Porsche Panamera production model was first unveiled in Shanghai in 2009. In 2011, hybrid and diesel versions were launched. In April 2013, a facelift to the Panamera was announced, launching again at the Auto Shanghai show. A plug-in hybrid version, the Panamera S E-Hybrid, has just been released into the U.S. market.

A nice aspect to the Panamera is that you can open the hood and still see engine components, just like in the old days. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. The extra head room, even in the back seat of the sedan, allows plenty of space even for a strapping 6 foot 4 guy. It’s a functional car but with far more room than a traditional sedan.

Features include radio, CD, bucket seats, central locking, cruise control, electric mirrors, sunroof and tilt steering.

 

BMW M3 Convertible

A convertible, 414 horsepower, with extraordinarily seductive fittings, this BMW is able to negotiate all corners and conditions. It may be the most enjoyable and exotic car you will ever drive.

BMW M3 Convertible

Your friends will be completely blown away if you take them for a whirl in this vehicle. It has all the finely sculpted, elegant seats and great finish associated with previous BMW models but the BMW M3 Convertible will simply go anywhere faster and more safely. Just point the steering wheel where you want to go and let the car do the rest. All in all, it’s a superb example of thoughtful dynamics and craftsmanship.

Features include radio, CD, anti-theft device, bucket seats, central locking, cruise control, dual mirrors, satellite navigation system, power brakes, electric windows and tilt steering.

So go ahead and rent a luxury car from our vendors for the New Year’s Eve celebrations . You certainly won’t regret it!

Essential Tips For Safe Winter Travel

Most people dread traveling in winter, but the season has its charm nevertheless. There are so many places you can still visit, enjoy a nice family outing, or spend your kid’s winter break in a nice winter resort.

Make sure to TAKE proper precautions when traveling in winter - Shreyans Bhansali / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA

Wherever you decide to go, don’t fly there, because canceled flights due to bad weather are more commonplace than closed main road arteries. Rent a car better suited to winter conditions than yours. Of course, there are quite a few things to be considered for your winter travel safety, but preparation always makes life easier.

Let’s review the basics.

Weather forecast

taivasalla / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA

Yes, it’s common sense to check what the weather’s going to be like during your travels. Still, it’s baffling how so many people forget to do it while fretting over other petty things. If a blizzard is on the go, very low temperatures are expected, or strong winds, you may want to postpone for a day, and perhaps wait it out at home. Even if your vehicle is well equipped, don’t risk it. As they say, better safe than sorry!

Tires x 4

If your tires are in bad shape, this is downright life-threatening. According to The Tire Rack, a tire should have at least 6/32-inch deep tread in order to leave a good snow traction. “Summer” tires have either very little or no grip on the snow. If you are headed to the mountains, don’t forget to take chains for extreme conditions.

Seeing is believing

whertha / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND

Blizzards can totally blur your vision and challenge your sense of direction during winter travel. Check the windshield wiper blades and replace them if needed. It is wise to apply water-shedding substance such as Rain-X outside all windows and mirrors. The windshield water system must function properly, and be sure to fill it up with an anti-icing fluid or antifreeze.

Shine a light

To be visible to other drivers during snowfall is essential. Keep your headlights and taillights clear of snow. Here’s an idea: to prevent lenses from pitting, you can cover them with a clear tape usually used to protect race car wings. You can find it on auto-racing supply sites.

Hit the brake… or not

Never forget that proper braking could save your life. Bear in mind that it takes longer to stop on a slippery road. Therefore, leave more distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.

Don’t brake hard on snow or an icy road because the wheels will lock if the car doesn’t have an anti-lock brakes (ABS) system. The best way is to get the wheels rolling by releasing the pedal slightly. Then brake again, but gently.

In case of hard braking, ABS prevents the wheels from locking and you don’t lose control while steering. Even during wheel lock-up, the system keeps the tires rolling by relieving enough pressure. Usually, all the commotion happens in a split second, and if your first impulse is to lift your foot off the brake or pump the pedal – don’t. If it’s a matter of emergency, press the brake quickly and hard. Remember, however, that the ABS system doesn’t shorten the stopping distance. Most importantly, keep calm.

Black ice

If you’ve never had to drive on “black ice”, consider yourself lucky. It’s an unpredictable, slick road condition that could test your resilience as well as the speed of your reflexes. Also known as “glare ice”, this is a transparent thin layer of ice that most drivers initially take for an innocent frost. Slow and very careful driving are your only way out. Avoid sudden braking at any cost.

Survival kit

Again, while traveling on snow-covered roads, you must be prepared. Take if not all, at least some, of the items listed below:

Al_HikesAZ / Flickr / CC BY-NC
  • road maps
  • extra antifreeze
  • booster cables
  • warning light or road flares
  • shovel
  • compass
  • sand (kitty litter)
  • extra clothing and footwear
  • ice scraper and brush
  • flashlight
  • first aid kit
  • food and blankets

Driving during winter can be quite stressful, but don’t let it ruin your planned vacation or a trip to a mountain resort. Just use extra caution and keep your eyes open. Oh, and go easy on the brake!

Family togetherness over Christmas

Christmas is the time when the whole family gets together … and argues.

Cia de Foto / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA

That’s an old joke that will resonate with many people as we approach the holidays. How could it be otherwise? You are seeing relatives whom you haven’t seen all year. Perhaps you spoke to them on the phone or emailed them but you haven’t actually sat down in the same room together. And the phone and email can be an impersonal form of communication – perhaps more about fact-finding and exchanging pleasantries. But in a way it’s easier to have a good relationship with them over the phone than face to face.

One big unhappy family? 

It’s only when you actually see them that the tensions start rising again. For example, you suddenly realize that everything about your brother’s manner and appearance annoys you. He has a habit of rubbing your nose in the fact that he has a better job than you and earns considerably more. He is too ostentatious about his wealth and you resent it bitterly –especially as it’s been yet another tight year financially for you. Not that you’ll ever go hungry or anything but you have to be careful about what you spend.

You get along OK with Mom but she has never really approved of your wife. Again, there’s a bit of socio-economic tensions. Circumstances mean that your wife works in Walmart. You resented it bitterly when your mom asked her – “Did you always want to be a shop assistant?” You’re still trying to work out if it was vindictive or just one of her infamous slip-ups. Probably the latter but it still rankles.

 

Your very practical brother-in-law

Also, you just realized that your brother-in-law will be there. You and he always clash about politics. You’re a liberal and he’s a conservative. What annoys you is that he’s so damn practical. If anything needs doing round the house, he’s just a dab hand with any tools or any piece of machinery. If your car needs a tweak he’ll be under the bonnet as fast as you can say “Michael Moore” – you two always end up arguing about him. And when he drinks…he always reminds you that you’re an airy fairy dreamer and a hopeless idealist. You know what really hurts? In your heart of hearts, you know he’s right!

Hey, they’re your family…

And then there’s your dad. It’s no secret that his recent stroke has made him a bit funny in the head. You’re a bit wary of him making comments on racial lines because your wife is of Indian background. And … hey, wait a minute, take a deep breath and calm down!  This is supposed to be an enjoyable occasion!! So don’t anticipate disaster. And don’t forget that your sister will be there. You always got on with her just swell, as they say.

The logistics

So how will you get there? The distance between Indianapolis and New Jersey is just too great. You’ll certainly not going to drive all the way there. On the other hand, you will need a car once you get to New York. That’s vital, if only because you’ll be staying there for a whole week and you’ll need a car to get you and your wife away from other family members when they get on your nerves.

Justin in SD / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA

You will need a site that can do everything for you – book your flight and secure you the best car rental rates.

So stop worrying about whether you’ll have a row with your family. You probably will but…hey…enjoy the tension! You’ll have a whole year in which to recover.

 

 

5 US winter resorts great for ski and family fun

Snow can be a real nuisance – it can hamper flights and ruin travel plans. But snow also means joy and play, and it’s a great time for your favorite winter sports.

Luckily, the US has an abundance of fantastic winter resorts, either a ski or snowboard heaven, or family-friendly mountain towns that offer a little bit of everything.
Driving in winter can be challenging but if you rent the right, well-equipped powerful wheels, they can take you anywhere you wish. So slide away to some of USA’s best winter resorts.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming

CircStock / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

 

Quite frankly, I wasn’t sure whether to start my list with Jackson Hole. Then I noticed that Forbes has labeled this winter resort as the best ski place in the country for winter 2014. And that’s something! The ski area is in Teton Village, only 12 miles away from the town of Jackson. Jackson Hole is in the valley, some 60 miles long and 15 miles wide – beautiful and offering breathtaking views. It is said that Jackson Hole has consistent slopes, true skiing fall lines and the greatest ski lift in North America.

Most importantly, the newly renovated Jackson Hole Airport is only 35 minutes away from the mountain. You can stay at the Four Seasons built not long ago. If you are visiting with your kids, see the Kids Ranch. It offers daycare programs for children aged 6 months to 3 years as well as ski and snowboard lessons for the older ones. Besides, if you want to go out on the town, there is a special Kids Night Out program to keep your children occupied and entertained.

Alta, Utah

KMJPhotography (TillyDog) / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

 

This famous ski resort has close to 400 residents, but over half a million visitors per year. Alta was founded in 1865 by miners who were exploring the silver mines in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Now the small town thrives around the ski area, which is one of the best in the country. Why? Maybe because of the low lift ticket price – only $79 for the busiest days, compared to $119 in Vail, Colo. Or perhaps it’s because of the laid-back atmosphere due to the fact that snowboarders are not welcome here. Oh, it has to be the snow! Alta gets some 530 inches annual snowfall, which has the perfect precipitation for skiing. Check it out!

Mountain Washington Resort, New Hampshire

subadei / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

 

Perfect for a family vacation. If you want to teach your kids to ski, this is the place. The Hobbit Ski and Snowboard School at Bretton Woods offers all-day lessons to kids as young as 4. And if you’ve come with your infant, no problem. Bretton’s nursery will take care of your baby (they’ve done it for a 2-month-old already), so you can go skiing. However, if the whole family is out to play, you can go on one-horse-sleigh rides, do ice-skating, tubing or go on scavenger hunts. If you happen to be there the week before Christmas, there will be a snowman building, tree decorating, snow painting and much more.

The Peaks Resort and Golden Door Spa, Telluride, Colorado

ChuckCars / Foter.com / CC BY

 

Telluride is a magical place in the heart of the Rockies. This winter resort can offer you real pampering at the Golden Door Spa. Bear in mind that Telluride is among the best ski areas in the US. You can try the perfect slopes, or take your children to the ski school. Ice-skating and dog-sledding are also popular. You can even go on a sleigh-ride dinner on a Friday night as children under 3 eat for free. Around the holidays, watch out for carolers and Santa who might be lurking around the corner.

Resort at Squaw Creek, Lake Tahoe, California

RenoTahoe / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

 

This may be a perfect spot to ring in 2014. The place is great for all-family fun because it can throw the most amazing New Year’s Eve party with games, music, crafts and a balloon drop at 9pm and midnight. Considering that the resort is at the center of the Squaw Valley USA ski area, you can ski or take your children to the beginner trails and take it easy. During the upcoming holidays, you can just drink hot cocoa by the fire, breakfast with Santa, or ice-skate with Buddy Bear. Have fun!

Follow the sun with these great winter beach holidays

You face the grey, cold days with increasing trepidation. You’re starting to suffer from “SAD” (at the sunshine deprivation) and you occasionally thumb through the atlas looking for places where summer reigns all year round.  Here are some great places for a winter beach holiday where you can brush up on your tan.

Christopher Chan / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND

Saint Barthélemy

Fancy mixing with A-listers? Or maybe you are an A-lister reading this. (If so, this is my big chance, to say, hey Jennifer, loved you in Silver Linings Playbook.)

muscapix / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND

Big stars, you see, don’t go to places frequented by mere mortals. So where do Hollywood royalty spend their Christmas holidays? In St Barts, of course, this sun-kissed, sybaritic enclave in the Caribbean. In fact, if you are reading this, Jennifer, I bet you’re planning your St Barts getaway right now, aren’t you?

A word of warning, though. Visitors are expected to have some money. This is definitely not for budget holidaymakers.

This volcanic island is home to iguanas, picture-postcard perfect beaches, millionaires’ yachts and boutiques where you can cheerfully part company with tens of thousands of dollars inside a few minutes.

St Barts’ full-time population is composed of French settlers and transplanted Europeans – it’s certainly one of the most unusual of the French West Indies Islands.

muscapix / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND

St Barts is also known – surprise, surprise considering it is part of France – as a place of gastronomic delights. You have so many great restaurants to enjoy the finest food with your toes virtually in the ocean. But let’s recommend just one – La Plage Restaurant – a hip place with a romantic appeal.

See you there, Jennifer!

St Petersburg, Florida

Florida is a great winter getaway for those looking for some sun. In the summer it’s a humid greenhouse but it’s perfect in the winter. As Ratso Rizzo said in the film Midnight Cowboy – “there are two things essential for life – sunshine and coconut milk,” and Florida has both in abundance.

State Library and Archives of Florida / Flickr

St Petersburg lies on a peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico on the West Coast. Once known as God’s waiting room – in view of its retired population – it’s now attracting a younger crowd.

St. Petersburg’s Beach, with its white sand and turquoise waters, stretches for five sun-kissed miles.

Daytime winter highs in the low seventies make St Petersburg a warm alternative. Tampa is just 22 miles away, Orlando 106 miles. If, on the other hand, you want to fly in from Washington, it’s just a two-and-a-half-hour flight.  An agreeable distance and Washington and Florida occupy different worlds in the winter.

San Diego, California

Not rip-roaringly hot but this southern California city is nevertheless a nice winter-warmer – with daytime highs in the mid to upper sixties in December and January. You could fly to San Diego and pick up a car rental at the airport.

San Diego Shooter / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND

 There are many beaches in the city but Pacific Beach is known for its wide stretches of sand and perfect surfing waves. If you enjoy surfing and find yourself working up a good appetite, then you have come to the right place. Why not enjoy a lavish breakfast of eggs, sausage and fresh avocado at beachside Kono’s Surf Club?

When you’re not sunbathing, you can explore all the attractions in this magnificent city. Visit San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and SeaWorld San Diego. Meanwhile, the city’s Latin American heritage is reflected in places such as Mission San Diego de Alcala and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

Playa del Ingles, Gran Canaria

Perhaps you’re planning a trip to Europe and in between business meetings in northern capitals, you fancy a little warmth?

Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands is one of the few places in Europe where you are guaranteed some winter sunshine, lying as it does to the west of Morocco in the Atlantic. It’s also the most attractive of the Canary islands with miles and miles of sandy beaches.

Robby van Moor / Flickr / CC BY-ND

For those fancying a really great resort, you can’t beat Playa del Ingles. It has a long beach made of tall sand dunes, and is connected with other beach towns including San Agustín and Maspalomas in the touristic center of the island. Average daytime highs hit the low seventies in winter.