Tag: Parks And Recreation 

Hertz, Avis, Go for Prius Fleet

Now you can rent a “green” vehicle.

Hertz Global Holdings Inc. has announced Thursday last week that it will spend $68 million to add 3,400 Toyota Prius hybrids to its fleets by 2008. Avis Budget Group Inc. meanwhile will be making 1,000 hybrid Prius vehicles available for rent as early as this week.

“This is a first step,” Brian Chee, an automotive analyst for Autobytel.com’s soon to be launched Web site MyRide.com said. “It’ll be interesting to see if the rental car companies continue this. Like other companies, they’re making a ‘green’ statement, and this is a good way to do it.” Chee believes that even with the fleet expansions, hybrid vehicles still represent a small part of rental car fleets.

By replacing 1,000 of its ordinary rental cars with the gas-electric Prius models equipped of course with top of the line Toyota parts; Hertz said it will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 3,000 tons per year.

“Today’s announcement highlights the next step in what is already a multiyear effort by Hertz to promote environmental sustainability throughout the company,” Mark Frissora, the company’s chairman and chief executive, said at Thursday’s announcement.

“As a global leader in car rentals, we recognize our unique opportunity and obligation to promote environmental practices and give our customers environmentally friendly options.”

Hertz’s hybrid vehicles will be available for rent at 50 of the company’s U.S. airport locations, with 100 of them reserved for its New York City fleet – where the stop-and-go flow of Manhattan traffic provides an ideal driving environment for the hybrids, allowing them to mainly operate off of their electric motors.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the greater availability of hybrid rental cars is in line with his city’s goal to reduce its emissions by 30 percent by the year 2030.

“These hybrid cars really put Hertz in the driver’s seat … in meeting one of the greatest challenges of our time, which is global warming,” Bloomberg told the gathering at the Museum of Natural History.

According to John Barrows, a spokesman for Avis, his company will offer Prius hybrids in its California, Portland, Ore., Seattle and Washington, D.C., markets but may expand the locations in the future based on consumer demand. Avis is also said to be putting its faith on the Prius rentals which they believe will not only appeal to travelers, but those interested in buying a hybrid.

“Obviously we have customers who want them,” he said. “And there are other people out there who are interested in purchasing a hybrid but really want to check one out before buying one.”

Chee added that the rentals offer Toyota Motor Corp. a chance to showcase the Prius, as well as give potential buyers a chance to decide if a hybrid is right for them, “It shows Toyota’s confidence that it’ll win over fans when they don’t have to buy it.”

Enterprise Rent-A-Car also operates a fleet of more than 3,000 hybrid vehicles, in addition to 41,000 flex-fuel …

Avoid the Airport in the Pacific Northwest – Amtrak Cascades Review

When traveling on vacation do you have to trudge through crowded airports? Depending on where you are coming from and where you are going the answer is a qualified No.

We took a cruise from Los Angeles, California to Vancouver, British Columbia on the Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas (Review here) and a one night cruise from Vancouver, British Columbia to Seattle, Washington on the Norwegian Cruise Lines Norwegian Star and had to get home to Portland, Oregon. Most people just go straight with taking a plane and don’t think about what their alternatives are. Well, In Washington and Oregon along the I-5 corridor one option is Amtrak’s Cascades.

Our choice, travel 45-60 minutes from the cruise terminal to SeaTac then spend 1-2 hours trudging through and around the airport, an hour and a half in the air, then another 30+ minutes waiting for our bags or travel 10 minutes to the Amtrak station, wait 15 minutes for our train, spend 3 and a half hours on the rail, grab our bags and go. When the time going by air is compared to the time going by rail it is almost a coin flip, while the actual travel time is longer by rail the additional time in airports and getting there outweighs the same actions by rail. So we opted to take the train, and we did not regret our choice and from now on when we need to get to Seattle from Portland we will always take the train.

The Amtrak Cascades travels a scenic route through the Pacific Northwest from Vancouver, British Columbia to Eugene, Oregon past Mount Saint Helens and over the Columbia Gorge. Amtrak Cascades service is financed and operated in partnership with the states of Oregon and Washington, giving residents and visitors to the Pacific Northwest a viable alternative to air travel.

The beauty of the option is where the train station is located in both Seattle and Portland, unlike airports, which are usually located in an out of the way location the train station is right downtown, this is true in almost every location that Amtrak goes to.

Once we debarked from the Norwegian Star we exited from the Seattle Cruise Terminal at Pier 66 and grabbed a taxi right in front. There was an “unofficial” porter working the cabs, a nice young man that appeared to be working just for tips helping people get cabs and their luggage loaded, I don’t know how the cruise lines and taxi drivers view these helpers but he did earn a tip helping us get quickly settled with a cab. The driver took us directly to the train station which was a 10 minute at most drive from the cruise terminal.

We checked our bags with Amtrak baggage handlers and waited for our train, shortly before the train arrived Amtrak personnel assigned us seats and the train arrived on time. When the train arrived everyone headed to their assigned cars in a leisurely pace. We boarded, …

Buying A Used Rental Car From A Dealership

Rental cars are usually a safe bet when it comes to buying a used car. Yes, you still have to be careful about what you buy but a rental company takes very good care of the cars. They are properly serviced and repaired in a timely manner, inspected regularly and repaired before being offered for sale. Some that rent cars tend to be more careless than driving their own car but there are car owners who are careless driving anyways. Most rental companies keep the cars for a year or two before taking them out of service. The mileage is about 20,000 to 30,000 miles and chances are they probably still have some warranty time left on them.

Some rental companies sell their own cars. Some sell thru an independent dealership. And then there are the car dealers who regularly buy rental cars by the fleet. Buying a rental car from a dealer is like buying any other car from a dealer. If they have a certified used car program, that is toy the consumers benefit. That means the car has been thoroughly inspected and repaired as necessary and usually comes with a warranty, either dealer or manufacturer backed.

Before you buy a previously used rental car, do your homework as you would for buying any car. Look up the bluebook value of the car and compare that to the asking price. Check out the consumer reports to find out if the car you are interested in has had any recalls or reported problems.

Before buying a used car from a dealer, ask if it was a rental. Some dealers have their own fleet of rental cars for customers having their cars serviced or repaired. Some buy a fleet of rentals from rental companies for their own used car inventory. A reputable dealer will tell you if it was a rental or the ad you saw in the paper may note that.

When you go to the dealer to buy a used car, ask to see the maintenance records. Whenever I trade a car in I always leave the receipts for any oil changes, tune ups, repairs, etc., in the glove box. That way the next owner can see how well the car has been maintained. Of course, I don’t really know if that information is sold with the car or gets discarded. I have never bought a used car.

It is a good idea to have an independent third party mechanic give the car a thorough mechanical once over. They will be able to tell you the true condition of the car and make you aware of any mechanical defects it may have or if the car was previously in an accident. Any reputable car dealer will allow you to do that. If they don’t, go elsewhere for a car.

Previously used rental cars seem to have more dings and scratches than normal. If you notice such on a car you are interested in ask if they are going …

3 Awesome Hawaii Vacation Packages You Won’T Want To Pass Up!

Hooking yourself up with Hawaii vacation packages is one of the best ways to ensure that you get the experience you want at the price you can afford. Yet, there’s a huge variety of vacation packages you could opt for and an enormous discrepancy between what each offers.

How are you supposed to know which Hawaii vacation packages will best suit your needs for Hawaii group accommodation and adventure? We’ve made it easy for you by selecting 3 of the very best!

Best Hawaii Vacation Packages: A Day of Water and Good Food

No vacation to the islands is complete without booking Hawaii charters, which take you out onto the ocean-blue. Activity options include snorkeling, diving, snuba (a form of free-diving), parasailing and surfing, just to name a few. You can book Hawaii group tours which take you by submarine or catamaran to remote locations for the best setting possible for these fun group activities.

Combine these adventurous water-play options with Hawaii group services that offer traditional Hawaiian food for the best result. Think luaus, dinner cruises and sunsets on the water while sipping mai-tais.

Best Hawaii Vacation Packages: Touring History and Volcanoes

Hawaii is full of rich natural and cultural history. There are Hawaii tour groups that will lead you through the events that took place at Pearl Harbor as if you were actually there on that infamous day in 1941. There are Hawaii group tours which will lead you to the top of volcanoes, by helicopter or adventure-van, where you will feel like you are standing on top of the world, surrounded in a sea of never-ending clouds.

Combine these exciting ventures with a relaxing horseback ride or a spin through the clouds on a private helicopter for a well-rounded experience that will leave you raving.

Best Hawaii Vacation Packages: Waterfall Hikes and Polynesian Magic

While much focus stays on Hawaii’s volcanoes and water sports, you mustn’t overlook the incredible eco adventures and cultural adventures that are available as well. Every island is chock full of waterfalls, infinity pools and sweeping ravines full of lush foliage just awaiting your pleasure.

Every island also has multiple Polynesian cultural shows which give you a rare opportunity to partake in traditional dances, songs and performances from all over Polynesia. And, there is nothing like the dances of Pele or the Samoan fire-knife dance after a good long hike to get your blood pumping!

The neat thing about designing Hawaii vacation packages is that you can combine nearly every activity your heart could desire into days filled with fun and excitement. Contact knowledgeable, local companies offering Hawaii group information for the best Hawaii vacation packages possible!…

Redwood National Park: Three Tips to Effectively Travel to Redwood by Amtrak Train and Bus

Redwood National Park was created in 1968 to protect land adjacent to the California state redwood parks that were formed in the 1920s.  Currently the combined state and federal lands are administered under a joint agreement between the National Park Service and the California Department of Parks and Recreation.  The combined parks cover over 110,000 acres including 37 miles of pristine California coastline. 

Since Delta is the only commercial airline into the local airport, it is expensive to fly into the area.  Although not close to an Amtrak train line, there is bus service from Amtrak stations to the Redwood area, which may be the cheapest way to travel to the park.  Here are three tips/hints for effectively traveling to/from Redwood by land:

One:  Martinez, California is your Amtrak connection to Redwood National Park.  The San Joaquin line from Bakersfield (with connecting service from San Diego and Los Angeles) and Oakland (with connecting service from San Francisco) stops there.  Martinez is also on the Capitol Corridor line from San Jose, Oakland and Sacramento (with connecting service from Reno.)  From Martinez, there are two Amtrak Thruway Motorcoaches departing at 10:25 am and 3:25 pm for the six to seven hour ride to the Redwood area. 

Two:  Since there is no shuttle service at Redwood National Park, you must rent a car to see the entire park.  Therefore, the McKinleyville stop at the Arcata Airport is the destination for your bus ride.  If you arrive before the rental car counters close in the early evening, you have a choice of companies from which to rent.  If you arrive when the rental car counters are closed, you can take a complementary shuttle bus to your hotel for the night and come back to the airport in the morning to rent your car.  There are a number of hotels in the area that will provide this service.  The motorcoaches back to Martinez leave McKinleyville at 6:15 am and 10:30 am.

Three:  The need to make reservations for the train portion of your trip depends on the service you take.  Although the Capitol Corridor trains are unreserved, the San Joaquins are all-reserved trains.  Although you do not need reservations for the Thruway Motorcoach Connection service, you may be able to receive discounted advance purchase fares or special fares for students and seniors by buying both your train and bus ticket in advance.…

Floyd Bennett Field

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                There are an increasing number of New York area airports, including those on Long Island, in Westchester County, and in New Jersey, yet few are able to name New York City’s very first airport.  Even fewer are able to explain why it no longer exists.  That airport is Floyd Bennett Field and it has had three distinct historical phases.

                Tracing its origins to Lindbergh’s historic, New York-Paris solo flight, it had alerted the world to the fact that the aircraft had not departed from New York at all, but from Long Island instead, and that the only real “New York” airport had been located across the state line, in New Jersey.  Thus indicating the need for a dedicated, New York-located, municipal airport, it had led to the establishment of a panel headed by famed aviator Clarence D. Chamberlain to search for a suitable site for one. 

The subsequently chosen location, a 387-acre marsh on Barren Island south of Brooklyn, New York, had housed a small community, a horse-rendering plant, and the appropriately-named, single-dirt runway Barren Island Airport, which had been owned by Paul Rizzo and had been used for periodic passenger sightseeing flights.  The site, part of 33 tiny islands, enjoyed favorable winds, lacked approach obstructions, had been predominantly fog-free, and offered vast expanses for future growth.  The airport, intended as a state-of-the-art gateway to what had been considered one of the world’s greatest cities, had been named “Floyd Bennett Field” after the Brooklyn resident and naval aviator who had served as Richard E. Byrd’s pilot on his historic North Pole flight in 1926.  Both had received the Congressional Medal of Honor for the feat.

Construction, by the City Department of Docks, coincidentally occurred on October 29, 1929, the same day that the stock market had crashed, and entailed the connection of the islets by filling in their interspersing channels with six million cubic feet of sand pumped from the bottom of Jamaica Bay and raising its resultant elevation 16 feet above the tidewater, to connect it to Long Island.

Runway 15-33, spanning 3,100 feet, and Runway 6-24, at 4,000 feet, had constituted the airport’s first topographical construction projects, along with a taxiway.  During the two-year period between 1929 and 1931, four pairs of hangars had equally risen from the former marshes: internally measuring 120 by 140 feet, the steel frame buildings featured trussed, arched roofs, concrete slab floors, and wooden decks, and had been supported by 45-foot-long pre-cast concrete piles.

A neo-Georgian-style, red and black brick, two-story Administration Building, completed in 1931, had been sandwiched between the now-extended, airport accessible Flatbush Avenue and the runways, and featured a semi-octagonal, three-floored, projecting control booth of glass and steel atop it.  The building had also served as the passenger terminal.

Floyd Bennett Field, which had been given the three-letter IATA code of “NOP,” had been dedicated on June 26, 1930 amid a flying armada of 600 US Army Air Corps aircraft led by Charles Lindbergh and Jimmy Doolittle and attended …

Short Notice Travel Deals

Many people have flexible schedules at work that will accommodate short notice travel deals. Every business traveler can benefit from travel deals, but those that are short notice deals will offer travel to destinations that are not usually for business but with internet connections, any type of business can be transacted while enjoying the marvelous amenities of a resort in the mountains. The opening for these travel deals probably occurred because travelers got sick and were unable to travel and the savings on traveling to these destinations will be marvelous.

Short notice travel deals might apply to vacation package deals that give travelers a week in Hawaii for one low price. With airfare, hotel accommodations, and a rental car included in the short notice travel deal, it is quite probable that no traveler would be able to resist such an offer. With hours, the traveler will be on their way to a luxury resort that will make many dreams come true during that week. The pampering practices at hotel resorts are commonplace, the dining possibilities might make some guests quite happy.

Others amenities enjoyed at luxurious resorts might make a vacation never want to leave, or be the cause of rebooking a vacation for the next year. Some of the short notice vacation deals will utilize timeshare properties where all stops are pulled on things that vacationers want. Private suites with an ocean view will make vacationers stay indoors for days, especially if the suite is equipped with an in-room sauna, private indoor pool and the benefits of a heart shaped Jacuzzi.

Last notice vacation deals like this are sure to disappear very quickly if travelers are not monitoring travel deals on many travel sites on the internet. Many travelers use the low prices of the short notice vacation deals to book travel and arrange travel itineraries for a month or more in advance. Cruise ship lines prefer to fill all spaces early so that nightly events and entertainment can be arranged. The short notices that people receive by emails in their inbox allow people to take advantage of deals before the cruise ship is sold out for a particular destination.

Experienced travelers know how to take full advantage of short notice vacation deals. First, seasoned travelers will review the notices for travel opportunities that are available that week, and then search through internet portals for discount coupons and codes that will reduce the pricing for these travel bargains further. The promotional codes might be short notice too because some promotional codes will have expiration dates that are reaching maturity and must be used quickly.

Some travelers might to settle for airline accommodations that they have never used before when they take advantage of short notice vacation deals. Coach seats sell out fast when airlines announce vacation deals to exotic destinations. First Class accommodations though might have several seats free, and these travelers will have to adjust their level of service to accommodate those that are received in that section …

Cheap Last Minute Flights to Exotic Locations

Experienced World Traveler’s just know exactly how to find cheap airfares that you can’t refuse. One has finally let his secret to finding cheap flights slip. The question is what is this? It’s not a travel agency, ticket broker, reverse plane ticket auction site or ticket consolidator. But, for sure, it certainly is an easy way to booking cheap flight to exotic places all over the globe.

Have you ever dreamt of flying from the US to the Marvelous City, Rio de Janeiro Brazil for ONLY $200? Or have you ever thought of exploring the Harbour City, Sydney, Australia for a mere $399 round trip? Do these cheap airfares sound too good to be true to you? If so, then better think again. There are thousands of cheap last minute flights to international destinations. To name some, you can go to London, Paris, Rome, and Tokyo. Travel to anywhere you wish in a very affordable price.

Courier companies are also now offering big discount airfares to passengers willing to accompany their time-sensitive business cargos to overseas destinations. As big as it is, these discount plane tickets are significantly reduced by as much as 50 to 85 percent off the normal ticket price.

Federal Express, UPS, and many other freight companies offer cheap airline tickets to private couriers to transport their shipments as luggage when they do not have enough cargo to justify using one of their own large cargo planes. In this manner, it’s proven to be more cost-effective, and also ensures that there is no chance for their cargo to be delayed in customs for a prolonged period of time.

Cheap airfare deals on a commercial aircraft are being gladly enjoyed by the freight delivery companies in a regular business class seat, to international destinations around the world for half the price or even less. The only drawback is this: since the freight will be taking up so much space in your baggage, your personal luggage is limited to carry on bags only, in nearly all cases. And if you decide to travel with a spouse, they will most likely schedule another courier flight and meet up with you after you arrive.

Don’t let the drawback discourage you. The advantage of buying cheap last minute flights through a courier freight company is way more beneficial important than few minor luggage inconveniences. You just can’t beat the $1350 and more saving on a round trip ticket to Bangkok or $961 round trip to Brussels simply by signing up to as a private courier and scheduling a flight.

Heck, with plane ticket discounts that are huge, you can tolerate any baggage inconvenience all together and buy new clothes when you get there!

Dreaming of exploring Paris, Hong Kong or Australia for the price of only a ticket to California? Dream no more and start looking for the right websites, phone numbers and lists of available flights!

Contact your travel agencies now! And grab a last minute flight with full of excitements.…

The Best Poker Cities in the World

Poker players will travel to the ends of the Earth to find a great game, and sometimes they will literally do just that – shipping off to far-off locales where the poker chips are real clay and the stakes are always high. To help you plan your next “poker vacation” we’ve compiled a list of some of the finest poker cities in the world – each one chosen because of the available action there – and a commitment to the greatest card game in the known universe.

The Top Cities for Poker Players

1. Las Vegas, Nevada. No surprises here. Las Vegas is, and likely always will sit atop the poker stratosphere. When you’re home to the best players in the world, the best shopping for poker accessories, countless poker rooms that line the Las Vegas Strip…AND host the annual World Series of Poker you don’t have to worry about relinquishing your number one spot for quite some time.

2. Atlantic City, New Jersey. A short drive from New York City, Atlantic City is home to some of the largest Casinos in the world. With names like Trump and Harrah’s rising above the skyline, it’s easy to see why the area draws millions of gamblers each year (despite the rundown nature of the city itself). The online poker boom inspired many of these casinos to build massive Texas Hold ‘Em rooms – which even in tough economic times continue to be filled by East Coasters looking for some real action.

3. Los Angeles, California. Only a hop skip and jump from the glitter of Hollywood exists a series of the most well-respected poker rooms in the United States. That’s right, poker has come to Los Angeles, and thanks to Larry Flint’s Hustler Casino, The Hollywood Park Poker Rooms and the Commerce Casino (and several more) serious players will never fall short of places to play after they’ve hit the beach.

4. New York, New York. You won’t find many glittering casinos and poker rooms in the Big Apple, however if it is rough-and-tumble back room games you’re looking for, you have come to the right place. The most populated city in the world is also home to more poker games being held in the back of bodegas, record stores and bars than anywhere else in America. It is a throwback to the outlaw days of poker – and despite the Internet, Atlantic City and discount flights to Las Vegas, it has never quite left.

5. Dublin, Ireland. Dublin was recently named the top poker city in Europe by a panel of card-playing experts. In addition to being home to the Irish Open, one of the largest and most well-respected poker tournaments in Europe, it also has a rich community of poker players living there. These poker-playing families have passed the game on from generation to generation – ensuring that the game will continue to flourish here for years to come.

6. London, England. The United Kingdom takes a more laid-back …

Planning a Singles Vacation to Jamaica

When many travelers think of Jamaica vacations, romance and destination weddings often pop into mind. Yes, Jamaica is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway, honeymoon, or destination wedding, but it is also the perfect destination for singles vacations. So, if you are single, but still want to enjoy a vacation in the Caribbean, look no farther than Jamaica.

Before sharing tips on how to plan a Jamaica singles vacation, it is important to know what one is. Unfortunately, misconceptions are common concerning this type of travel. Often times, travelers on singles vacations are single and not in a committed relationship. In other instances, a singles vacation is when a traveler visits Jamaica on their own, regardless of their relationship status. When planning a singles vacation, you can visit the Caribbean solo or with the group of other single friends.

Now that you are familiar with Jamaica singles vacations and their classification, you may be looking for more information on planning your trip. As previously stated, a singles vacation is often taken with a group of other unattached friends. If so, start asking around. A passport is required for admittance into Jamaica from the United States. For that reason, plan your Jamaica trip at least two months in advance of your intended dates of travel. If splitting the cost of travel with other members of your traveling party, have an accurate headcount before making travel plans.

If you are looking to save money on your next trip to Jamaica, examine Jamaica travel packages. These packages come in a number of different formats, but most allow you to save money. Popular packages include a stay at a hotel and airline reservations. These packages are affordable. If cost is not a factor, examine all-inclusive travel packages.

All-inclusive travel packages do vary too, but you will be pleased with what is included. Often times, a package includes accommodations at an all-inclusive resort, food, drinks, tips, and some forms of entertainment. The cost of this travel package is higher, but you do get more in return.

Whether you opt for a stay at a traditional Jamaica hotel, resort, or all-inclusive resort, closely examine and compare your options. Yes, you want to have affordable accommodations, but plan the vacation of your dreams. This is particularly true with a trip to Jamaica, as many resorts have themes or cater to specific types of travelers. For example, there are singles resorts, adult only resorts, couples resorts, and family resorts.

Those traveling to Jamaica on singles vacations, like yourself, are encouraged to examine adult only resorts. Most times, children under the age of 14 are prohibited from staying onsite. Other resorts have higher age restrictions, such as 16 or 18. This is nice, as on your vacation you may intend to unwind and have a good time. When staying at a resort that caters to adult travelers, you do not have to tailor your behavior due to the presence of small children.

Next, examine your intended activities. A …