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In honor of Earth Day, here are some tips for “green” driving,  from Enterprise Rent-A-Car:

  • Lighten your load — pack just what you need, and you’ll improve fuel economy. This does not mean to leave your Mother-in-law  at home!
  • Reduce your speed — this is just good advice anyway, given what I see on the roads these days
  • Use the right fuel — most cars don’t need higher-octane gas, so don’t spend more on premium if you don’t have to. If you have a FlexFuel vehicle that uses E85 blend (85% ethanol, 15% gas) you can locate E85 fueling stations before your trip at www.e85refueling.com
  • Avoid the top-off — we all do it, pumping that last little bit into the tank to maximize the time between fill-ups, but that extra squeeze can release polluting vapors into the air
  • Give the brakes a break — in traffic jams, avoid those impatient jackrabbit starts and quick stops, and try to be steady on the accelerator. Cars use the most fuel when accelerating.
  • Cool off wisely — rolling down the windows and turning off the AC can save fuel at slower speeds, but at highway speeds the extra drag from open windows hurts your fuel economy. So, on the highway, feel free to crank the tunes AND the AC.

Do you have any additional “green” driving tips to share?

Couples Tower Isle (formerly Couples Ocho Rios) has just re-opened after a $30 million renovation and is ready to receive visitors!

couples-tower-isle

The new look, and the new name, harken back to the resort’s roots in the 1950’s and 1960’s when it was a favorite Hollywood hangout for the likes of Eva Gabor, Debbie Reynolds and Erroll Flynn. The renovation included 20 new oceanview rooms and suites, enhancements to existing rooms/suites, a new water feature, a new wedding gazebo, a veggie and juice bar, a new spa, a swim-up bar, and a floating dock at the resort’s private island.

You can be one of the first to experience this newly enhanced adults-only all-inclusive with special rate packages that offer up to 50% off the rack rate, along with up to $500 in added value amenities. If you’re interested, give me a call!

Thinking about heading to Vancouver next February for the Winter Olympics? Hotel rooms may be in scarce supply, but I have a unique opportunity for you…

The Norwegian Star will be docked in Vancouver from February 10th to March 2nd and is offering 3- and 4-day packages (which can be combined, if you plan to be there for a week or more) that include your accommodations, all meals (including complimentary 24-hr room service), nightly entertainment, airport transfers, live satellite coverage of the games, and daily 24/7 transfers from the ship to Vancouver’s Sea Bus Terminal (giving easy access to all the Olympic venues).

Tickets for the actual events are not included, but you can pursue those through official channels. If you’re interested in this exciting opportunity, let me know ASAP!

My “baby” is heading off to Spain tomorrow without me, and I’m bummed.

It doesn’t matter that she’s almost fourteen years old, an experienced traveler, and that this is not her first trip to Europe. I know that she will be with her school group (and her grandmother, if truth be told), but she won’t be with ME.

Can I cram all my professional guidance into her in these last 24 hours before she leaves? Reminding her about exchange rates, airport regulations, and what to do if she loses her passport?

Or should I instead put on my “mom” hat and talk to her about being open minded and polite with other cultures, keeping a close eye on her wallet and other belongings, and maintaining a healthy distrust of strangers (especially boys!)

I’ve tried doing both, but I think she’s already tuning me out and dreaming about cobblestone streets, cathedrals, and cafes. Oh well, I guess I need to just close my eyes and let her go…armed with a camera and a journal so she can share EVERY detail with me when she gets back.

The Atlantis Resort (Paradise Island, Bahamas) has offered some very attractive rates over the past few months, but their newest promotion is one of the best I’ve seen!

atlantis

From April 19th through July 1st, you can stay four nights for the price of three — starting at just $399 per person for a four night stay in the Beach Tower. Plus, kids age 11 and younger stay and play for free, and dining plans start at just $69 per person per day.

Restrictions apply, and availability is limited.  If you’re interested, let me know!

I was just reading an article in one of the travel trade magazines that confirms what I’ve been seeing first hand — travel to London is more affordable this year.

Why? Well, it’s a combination of things. 

The (global) economic situation has led to discounting (on hotels, tours, sightseeing packages and more) in many destinations, including London. Plus, the dollar has been steadily gaining on the British pound (it was at $1.38 in mid-March, a low not seen since 1985). The end result is that the average room rate (in dollars) has fallen by up to 30%.

If you’ve always wanted to see Big Ben, watch the changing of the guard, ride on the London Eye, and grab a pint at a pub, now is the time!

April 2009
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