April 29, 2020

6 Healthy Travel Tips

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6 Healthy Travel Tips

Getting sick is no fun, but it can be a bigger pain when it happens during a vacation. Travel tips for staying healthy may seem like overkill, but you never know when a cold will show up and spoil your holiday — or even put an end to it.

Most of the tips to stay healthy while you travel are common sense, and others are friendly reminders to help you keep the flu and other flu-like viruses from clouding your next vacation.

How to Not Get Sick While Traveling

The strategies you use to prevent sickness during your travels are the same you’d use to prevent sickness when you’re home — practicing proper hygiene and maintaining a balanced diet, along with doing physical activity, should be the norm — whether you’re on the go or not. The following six tips for staying healthy explain how not to get sick while traveling:

How to not get sick while traveling

1. Wash Your Hands

It may overly simplistic, but washing your hands and not touching your face are two of the best ways to prevent flu-like viruses from settling in your body. But just sticking your hands under a running tap for a few seconds isn’t enough. You should wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. Lather the soap and scrub for at least 20 seconds before rinsing off. Remember to include your thumbs and the backs of your hands.

Soap will kill the germs that may be sitting on your skin, preventing them from transferring to your nose, mouth or other people. If you’re unable to access a place to properly wash your hands — such as while you’re traveling on some types of buses — then it’s best to use some alcohol-based hand sanitizer to disinfect your hands until you can wash them properly.

It’s also a good idea to cover your mouth and nose if you cough or sneeze. Use the crook of your elbow, since it’s unlikely to touch any other body part. If you opt to sneeze or cough into a tissue, just make sure you dispose of it as soon as possible in the appropriate bin. Then wash your hands again.

2. Stay Active

Exercise during a holiday can seem like a chore — you’re on vacation, after all — but sticking to an exercise routine is a great way to keep your immune system in tip-top shape. You may not be able to do the full range of exercises you do at home, but any physical activity is better than none.

Instead of opting for cabs, try walking instead. If your vacation is full of activities, schedule in 10 or 20 minutes to do some stretches and push-ups when you wake up before you head out for the day. Or, instead of going to the coffee shop right next to your hotel, pick one a few blocks away so you get some physical exercise walking there and back.

If you can allot time for a more thorough workout, all the better. A short run or jog around the block will do. Alternatively, add some physical activity to your travel itinerary by indulging in exercises like hiking or swimming.

3. Eat Well

Like with exercising, just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you should eschew proper eating habits. While a little indulgence is always welcome, be sure to get the vitamins and protein your body needs to keep itself strong and healthy.

When traveling, you should also think about possible food contamination and the risk of bacteria in local foods — which may have you wondering how to eat healthy while traveling. A good rule is to stick to freshly prepared and thoroughly cooked meals. If you’re going to a place where the tap water isn’t safe for visitors, avoid raw fruits or vegetables as well as anything that may have been boiled.

While snacks and sweets will be tempting, keep them to a minimum — just like you would if you weren’t on vacation. Instead, opt for healthier options whenever possible. Protein can help you avoid nausea from motion sickness, and bringing along vitamin tablets is also an option if you worry you may not be able to get all your nutrients from your food alone.

4. Stick to Your Sleep Schedule

It may feel like sleep is a waste of time when you’re traveling because there’s so much to see and do, but it’s crucial to keep a regular sleep schedule and stick to it.

Our bodies heal and revive themselves while we sleep, and that includes our immune system. Irregular sleep habits can actually decrease the immune system’s ability to fight off illness.

You might have a packed schedule during the day and into the night, but make sure to end your day at a good time and sleep so you’re well-rested throughout your entire trip.

5. Keep Hydrated

Water is essential, so it should be no surprise that your body needs it to perform as it should. Bottled water is always an option when you’re traveling, especially when visiting places where the local drinking water may not be safe for visitors. If you do opt for bottled water, always make sure the seal is intact to avoid potentially buying water bottles filled with tap water.

If you’re a frequent traveler, you may want to consider investing in neat little travel accessories, like portable chargers, power adapters and even a water filtration device — which can save you from buying plastic bottles and allow you to filter any tap water yourself.

Drinking water isn’t the only way to stay hydrated, though. Maintaining a diet filled with water-filled foods also hydrates you. Consider having some fruit as a snack or dessert while traveling. It’s filling, delicious and healthy — and helps you maintain your water intake.

6. Get Vaccinated

It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so be wise and get any necessary vaccinations before you set off on your trip. Research what vaccinations are required or recommended for the places you’ll be visiting and get your shots before you leave.

These vaccinations can keep you safe from airborne viruses and bacteria while also preventing any uncomfortable symptoms of travel illness, like nausea and diarrhea.

Keep a record of your vaccinations with you when you travel — just in case.

Contact Metropolitan Shuttle

Invite Metropolitan Shuttle on Your Next Trip

Keeping the flu and other flu-like viruses at bay can be a chore, but organizing a shuttle bus service for your next group trip doesn’t have to be. At Metropolitan Shuttle, we have the vehicle you need to make your trip memorable. From chartered buses and school buses to shuttle vans and party buses, we’ve got something for every journey.

If you’re ready to rent a bus for your next trip, get in touch with us and get a free quote.

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September 16, 2019

6 Destinations to Visit in the U.S. That Will Soon Be Gone

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If you’re planning a vacation, we recommend taking a break from the well-grooved tourist tracks of popular destinations like NYC, L.A., Miami, and Vegas. Instead, make your holiday really count when you witness some of the most stunning natural landscapes in the country. But don’t put it off for too long because some of these incredible natural wonders are disappearing fast. Due to climate change, scientists predict that these legendary national treasures will be gone in 100 years–and in some cases, less than 30. From the travel experts at Metropolitan Shuttle, here is a lineup of must-see locations that you MUST put on your bucket list: 

 

Glacier National Park, Montana

 

Over the millennia, these glaciers have carved out beautiful lakes, lofty mountains, and verdant valleys, creating an awe-inspiring countryside that is humbling to witness. Legends have been singing its praises for decades, including the naturalist John Muir, who loved Glacier National Park on a deeply spiritual level. In fact, he once said, “I’d rather be in the mountains thinking of God than in church thinking about the mountains.”

But Glacier National Park is changing fast. According to Sam Williamson from WeSwap Travel Money, “Over the last 50 years, Glacier National Park in Montana has lost almost 50% of the glaciers in the park due to an increase in temperature rises and climate change…” At the current rate that the ice is melting, experts predict that all the glaciers could be gone by 2030. It’s a sobering and bittersweet reality that makes these glaciers even more precious and inspiring. 

With 1,583 square miles of wilderness and 700 miles of hiking trails, there is no shortage of rugged adventures you can go on when visiting this expansive nature park. But there is a time limit on the majestic beauty of Glacier National Park, a piece of Montana that is disappearing year after year. According to Will Hatton, founder and CEO of Hotel Jules, the park used to have 150 glaciers. “Sadly, one of the most beautiful parks in the United States is losing its appeal year after year, with the glacier countdown to 25.”

 

Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

 

Another spot that won’t be around forever is the Exit Glacier, which is part of the Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska, a rugged frontier where the mountains, ice, and ocean meet. Locals like Susanna Kelly, a content creator and SEO specialist, have already witnessed the devastating effects of climate change on Alaska’s most beautiful landscapes. Of the 40 glaciers in the park, the Exit Glacier in the Harding Icefield is melting at a high rate. As Kelly points out, “the area is full of natural beauty and should be on everyone’s must-see list in the United States…” Dan Austin of AustinAdventures.com remembers standing next to the glacier wall when it was 20 ft tall. Today, “the best you can do is to view it from a quarter of a mile away,” he explains. 

Described by many visitors as remote, rugged, and unpredictable, Alaska attracts the type of traveler with an adventurous spirit. From wildlife encounters to rapidly changing weather, get ready for a wild ride in one of the last frontiers of the United States. It’s time to grab the gear and head to the glaciers of Alaska before they’re gone. 

 

Road Tripping from South Carolina to Vermont

 

If you get a kick out of nostalgia, make the journey up the East coast all part of the fun when you stop at a few must-see highlights along the way. Making his way from South Carolina to Vermont every year, Andrew Safnauer, owner of safnauer.com, takes his family on a trip down memory lane with stops at the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Center for a bit of history and then Dinosaur Land in Winchester, Virginia. He describes it as an “old school roadside stop with fiberglass dinosaurs and a giant King Kong you can climb up on.”

When you take the scenic route along the East coast, you’ll also have a chance to stop at the Luray Caverns, a massive underground lair filled with 140-ft natural columns and colorful stalactites. As the largest caverns in the eastern U.S., get ready for an otherworldly experience as you witness cathedral sized rooms with ceilings that are 10 stories high and towering stone formations at every turn. 

 

Sleeping Bear Dunes, Glen Arbor, Michigan

 

Coastal areas are also constantly changing and evolving due to human activity as well as natural causes such as strong winds and erosion. Such is the case with Sleeping Bear Dunes, a favorite spot for John Frigo, the SEO Lead at mysupplementstore.com. As he explains, “The entire area is magnificent, however, one particular area I love is the scenic drive to an area called the Pierce Stockings Overlook. It’s a 600-foot sand dune that looks out over Lake Michigan.” 

Although the dune is quite steep at a 40 degree incline, you’re allowed to hike up and down the trail if you’re up for the physical challenge. Keep in mind that the trek back up the cliffside can take 2 to 3 hours. While you’re there, you can also tour several historic lighthouses, which will give you an up-close glimpse into the rich history of the area.

 

The American Prairie Reserve, Montana

 

In his celebration of frontier heritage, Anthony Bourdain found the Montana landscape to be incredibly unique: “It’s one of the most beautiful places on Earth. There is no place like it.” But the ecosystem of the American Prairie Reserve is starting to change. In fact, as Adam York of Sublime Public Relations explains, “Scientists predict that the northern plains will experience hotter temperatures, drier conditions and highly localized weather events. As a result, animals like sage-grouse, longhorn and bison will shift their range, making habitat connectivity increasingly important.” 

But even with these major challenges facing the terrain, the nature preserve is working to create the largest nature reserve in the lower 48 states, including habitat restoration projects and opportunities for public recreation such as hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and camping. If you want to see the American Prairie in its full glory, don’t wait too long because the terrain and wildlife won’t be here forever.  

 

Denali National Park, Alaska

 

As one of the last unspoiled frontiers in the United States, Alaska deserves another mention on our list of must-see destinations that are disappearing fast. Julie Leventhal, director of Spherical PR, recommends visiting Ruth Glacier, which is receding at an alarming rate. For an epic, once in a lifetime adventure, “Guests should visit the Sheldon Chalet, where you can see the glacier, the summit of Denali and explore its beautiful surroundings before it’s gone.” 

One of the most exclusive hotels in the country, the Sheldon Chalet is perched on the flanks of North America’s highest mountain, making it the perfect homebase for experiencing the magical landscape of Alaska such as the Northern Lights, which can be viewed from the comfort of your own bed. In the daytime, you can also go glacier trekking and snowshoeing followed by an evening feast of the finest Alaskan seafood. 

When you experience some of the last pristine locations on Earth, you’ll have a renewed appreciation for the natural wonders of our ever-changing world. In the spirit of John Muir and his love of nature, “The mountains are calling and I must go.” Bon voyage! 

Contact Metropolitan Shuttle today and let us help you with all your group transportation needs.

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April 13, 2019

Things to Remember When Road Tripping to Mexico

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Road Trip Mexico

If you’re making plans to run to the border, follow these tips from the travel experts at Metropolitan Shuttle and get ready to chow down on tacos under the Mexican sunset.

Get your permit

If you’re traveling beyond The Border Zone, also known as The Free Trade Zone, you’ll need a permit from a customs office. This area extends 20-30 kilometers south of the border, so make sure you check the map and plan your driving itinerary accordingly. When you get the permit, you’ll need to bring the following paperwork with you. Here is a complete list of necessary documents:

  • Driver’s license
  • Car registration
  • Passport or birth certificate
  • Major credit card in your name
  • Leasing contract of your rental car (if renting a car)
  • Immigration form (tourist card)

You’ll be required to post a bond in exchange for the permit, which can be paid for with a credit card. On your return trip, your permit will be canceled at the border and the money will be refunded.

Now that you have a permit, you’re ready to cross the border into Mexico. Here are some essential tips to keep you safe when road tripping in a foreign country:

Don’t rely solely on traffic signals

In Mexico, traffic regulations aren’t always enforced like they are in the U.S. so make sure to check the other drivers first before following a road signal; this way you can avoid any accidents by letting other drivers have the right of way, especially if they ignore traffic signs.

Drive on toll roads

Called cuotas in Spanish, toll roads are often safer and better maintained than free roads (libre). But don’t just take our word for it. The U.S. State Department recommends taking the toll roads for increased safety and better road conditions.

Look out for rough road conditions

While the toll roads are generally in good condition in many places, a left turn at Albuquerque could send you over some less-than-ideal roads. Here are some common things to watch for:

Topes: These small speed bumps can come out if nowhere so avoid a majorly bumpy ride by driving over them carefully and slowly. In many cases, these speed bumps aren’t marked with yellow paint and there are no warning signs, which makes them nearly invisible to the untrained eye.

Potholes: A scourge on roads from the United States to the border and all over the world, potholes are everywhere. In Mexico, the problem is muy complicado because many Mexican roads aren’t regulated by the government. This has resulted in abnormally large potholes that could seriously damage your vehicle. Our advice? Be cautiously optimistic and you should be ok.

Left-hand Exits: in Mexico, there are no exit ramps or overpasses to get to the other side of a freeway. In Mexico, they use the returno system, which has designated areas where you can safely make a U-turn just past your intended exit.

Watch out for bandits

You can get robbed or burglarized anywhere, so when road tripping in Mexico, use common sense tactics such as driving in a regular, non-flashy car to keep a low profile. Also, keep your doors locked and your luggage and valuables out of sight in the trunk. If the traffic is dense, keep a safe distance between vehicles to avoid any accidents.

Pass on the tequila

If you’re the designated driver, don’t drink and drive. In Mexico, authorities take driving under the influence very seriously. In fact, if you get caught driving while intoxicated, it nullifies your car insurance and could land you in jail for 20 hours. If you’re going to drink, keep the party grounded until someone in the group has sobered up or enlist someone to drive that isn’t drinking alcohol.

Drive during the day

Driving in Mexico at night can be dangerous, especially since you won’t be able to see the bandits or potholes coming. Also, thieves don’t typically strike during the day in many places, plus you’ll be able to better navigate the hairpin turns and narrow shoulders with lots of light.

Buying gas in Mexico

When you’re in Mexico, Pemex gas stations are the official outlets for buying fuel. Their unleaded gasoline is called ‘Magna Sin’ and has an octane rating of 90. Some locations offer ‘Magna Premium,’ which has an even higher octane level. Called ‘Diesel Sin,’ Diesel fuel is also available. After the attendant fills up the tank, be prepared to pay in cash with Mexican currency. It’s also customary to leave a tip, especially if they clean the windows or provide another service. Keep in mind that fuel in Mexico is measured in liters, so remember the conversion to gallons: 1 gallon = 3.785 liters. To avoid getting ripped off, make sure that the fuel pump is set at $0.00 before the fueling begins. For the latest gas prices, visit https://www.globalpetrolprices.com/Mexico/gasoline_prices/.

In case if an emergency

While we hope you won’t need to use it, the 911 emergency for Mexico is 066. If you’re on a toll road, you can also call the Green Angels for roadside assistance at 078.

If you’re renting a car

Many rental car companies in the U.S. don’t allow drivers to cross the border, so you’re better off renting a car once you’re in Mexico. You can choose from different insurance options that will give you the protection you need when driving in Mexico.

Stay tuned for more travel tips from Metropolitan Shuttle, the number one charter reservation company for safety, comfort, and affordability.

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April 12, 2019

Road vs Air Travel: Pros and Cons

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Deciding whether to travel by air or highway depends on several factors, including the group size, distance to your destination, budget, and other considerations. From the travel planning experts at Metropolitan Shuttle, discover the positives and negatives of both, which will help you decide what type of travel is more practical for your needs.

Air Travel

Pros

  • When you travel by plane at 546 – 575 miles per hour, the average speed of a passenger jet, you’ll get to your destination much quicker than by car or bus. So if you’re short on time, it might be worthwhile to fly instead, especially if you’re traveling across the country or other long distances. With the efficiency of air travel, you can maximize your time and get the most out of your trip.
  • It’s safe, particularly when it comes to domestic travel in the U.S. According to Business Insider, the safest airlines in 2018 were Delta and American Airlines. For a complete list, airlineratings.com features the safety record records for over 435 carriers around the world. Using a seven-star rating system, the site shows whether the airline has passed the safety standards of the international air transport association and if they are free of fatalities in the last 10 years.
  • For business travelers who take trips on a regular basis, air travel is a practical option because it allows you to accumulate frequent flyer miles that can go towards a free ticket later on. And if your trip is business related, you can also use airfare as a tax write off for travel expenses.

Cons

  • It’s expensive, even if you buy seats in the economy class. If you want comfortable, roomy seats in business class, expect to pay twice or even three times as much. Compared to road travel, airfare costs significantly more money, so if you’re on a tight budget, you may want to consider other forms of travel. If you’re traveling with a group, charter bus travel is a much more economical option than airfare. Contact Metropolitan Shuttle today and find out how much you can save with a charter bus rental for your next group trip.
  • Another downside to air travel is the stress of navigating airports, which can often be crowded with long lines for TSA security. Airlines are also known for frequent delays. In fact, according to BTS (Bureau of Transportation) statistics, a whopping 19.37% of all domestic flights in 2018 were delayed. If your flight gets delayed, being stranded at the airport can be a real bummer if you’re on a tight schedule. It can also be painfully boring when there are limited food options and charging stations, a common problem in many airports. If you decide to fly to your destination, the top four airlines with the least delays in 2018 were Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta, and Southwest.

Road Travel

Pros

  • If you’re traveling with a group, a charter bus is much more economical than air travel. While the initial price might seem expensive, a charter bus is much cheaper per passenger when compared to airfare. Charter buses are also more cost-effective than rental cars because of their large capacity. If you travel in a car, you’ll only be able to fit up to five or six passengers. But with charter travel, you can seat up to 50 people, making it more efficient than a hybrid or electric vehicle.
  • Charter buses can also be comfortable and relaxing, depending on the type of vehicle you rent for your trip. With upscale amenities such as onboard restrooms, soft reclining seats with footrests, and TV screens, getting there is half the fun. Designed for your comfort and convenience, a charter bus also gives your group an opportunity for team building and networking on the way to the event or conference.
  • A charter bus is also one of the safest forms of travel. At Metropolitan Shuttle, the safety and comfort of passengers is our number one priority. That is why we only work with vendors and operators that are in good standing with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), verify the companies’ insurance policies, and follow drivers’ maximum driving time guidelines.

Cons

  • The problem with interstate and local travel is traffic. When the roads are bumper to bumper, it could throw a wrench in your travel itinerary if you get delayed. At Metropolitan Shuttle, our travel planning experts work directly with local vendors and operators that know the lay of the land, including traffic patterns and routes. With this useful insider knowledge, our professional drivers can get you to your destination on time by avoiding traffic jams and taking alternate routes. Our travel pros can also help you create an itinerary that keeps you from traveling during rush hour.
  • Compared to air travel, a charter bus takes more time, which could be a problem if your destination is far away. For interstate trips up to 8 hours or less, a charter bus can be an inexpensive option for large groups. But for cross country trips, road travel could take up to a week, and that extra time can cut into a large portion of your schedule.

Whether you decide to travel by air or highway, contact Metropolitan Shuttle today and learn about the many benefits of charter bus rental.

 

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6 Healthy Travel Tips

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  • Sign up for our newsletter

    Subscribe to our newsletter to receive useful information, general travel tips and an occasional promotional offer.

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January 4, 2019

Best Cities to Travel to in Winter 2018/2019

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Winter can be an ideal time to travel. This is the time of year when people have breaks from work to visit friends and family, and there are certain cities that simply are more spectacular in wintertime. It is important to keep in mind the weather might impact winter travel. Different parts of the country have climates that range from mild to snowy so be sure to check the weather reports before traveling, and pack clothing accordingly.

New York

The sparkle and excitement of New York City in the winter is unmatched. If you are lucky enough to visit this city during the winter, take advantage of going to Times Square during New Year’s Eve to celebrate alongside the world famous ball drop. Of course, delectable food abounds in New York, and you can try the culinary delights of Little Italy or Chinatown, or get a slice of the famous New York style pizza. Enjoy the holiday window displays and lights as you window shop in Soho and along Fifth Avenue. Be sure to catch a Broadway show while you’re there; you can get discounted rush tickets the day of the show. The quintessential wintertime activity is ice skating in the Central Park or at Rockefeller Center or where you’ll also be able to enjoy the Christmas tree on display.

San Francisco

Surprisingly mild weather will greet you in San Francisco during the winter months. Winter is the perfect time to visit San Francisco because temperatures will be in the mid 50’s. San Francisco is known for the unique architecture of its many charming Victorian homes. You can see them in an entirely new light at the Union Street Fantasy of Lights. This free event is a spectacle of outdoor lighting that the whole family will enjoy. Many other famous destinations of San Francisco will boast Christmas tree displays so be sure to visit Ghirardelli Square for some tantalizing chocolate, Union Square for a wondrous Christmas tree display, or Pier 39 for even more dazzling holiday decorations. Hop on the San Francisco trolleys for the best views of the city!

San Diego

Southern California is known for its mild winter temperatures, and San Diego is no exception with temperatures ranging from 50-60 degrees. While temperatures are mild, be sure to check the weather report before your trip because it does sometimes rain during the winter months. San Diego has a special appeal for winter travel because there are a number of events and activities that take place during the winter season. San Diego is a well-known whale watching destination, and December-March are the best months to spot whales. You can also enjoy ice skating by the beach at the Hotel Coronado. There will be holiday and Christmas light displays held at various locations around the city. One unique holiday display of lights is the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights, which takes place on the water. Another spectacular holiday display can be seen at the Garden of Lights at the Botanic Garden, where an entire forest is lit up with a dazzling lighting display.

Washington, DC

Our nation’s capital has an incredible variety of activities and sights that are even more spectacular during the winter season. The many national monuments will all be adorned with holiday lights, and there will be outdoor ice skating aplenty. A holiday must-see is the National Christmas tree, which is adorned with special decorations from all 50 states. The National Zoo has its own dazzling holiday light display, and you’ll get to catch a glimpse of the famous panda bears who love to play in the snow. If it snows, you’ll enjoy sledding down the hills underneath the Capitol building or the many places to sled in nearby city parks. If you tire of the cold, enjoy a hot chocolate sitting next to a roaring fire at the Red Hen, a cozy neighborhood restaurant. If you still have shopping to do, be sure to go to the Downtown Holiday Market that has an array of unique and handmade gifts for that special someone.

Portland, OR

Portland, Oregon is known for its rainy winters, but there are many seasonal events and activities that take place only during the winter months, making Portland a wonderful winter destination. For craft beer lovers, the Holiday Ale Festival celebrates the many craft breweries that produce the famous artisanal beers unique to Portland. This popular downtown event takes place underneath the dazzling Holiday Tree that is adorned with sparkling lights. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, be sure to head to the coast where you’ll have a chance to catch a glimpse of one of 20,000 gray whales on their annual migration. Portland abounds with spectacular holiday lighting displays, which can be found in various locations throughout the city. One of the most famous is the Christmas Festival of Lights in Northeast Portland, where 500,000 lights twinkle amidst carolers and choral performances.

Denver

The mile-high city is the perfect place to start your winter skiing vacation. Even though there will be plenty of snow for skiing and snowboarding adventures, the dry climate of Denver will actually make the weather not seem as cold with sunny days and dazzling blue skies. You might even see people skiing in shorts. Nearby skiing spots are plentiful, but a must-see is world-renowned Arapahoe Basin, which is easily accessible from Denver. If you are a football fan, you could catch a Denver Broncos game, or simply join the raucous crowd to watch from a friendly pub or bar. For a pedestrian-friendly stroll, take in the 16th Street Mall area, where you will be able to window shop, eat at highly rated restaurants, sip wine at a bistro, or enjoy a craft beer at the many breweries. The holiday light displays will be in full effect, which looks even more spectacular at night.

Phoenix

While Phoenix may be quite hot during the summer with temperatures soaring past 100 degrees, the winter months will be a dream with temperatures in 60’s and 70’s, and a dry desert climate. Phoenix features a number of festive holiday light displays, such as ZooLights taking place at the Phoenix Zoo, and Las Noches de Las Luminarias at the Desert Botanical Garden. For ice skating, try the CitySkate Holiday Ice Rink in downtown Phoenix that also features an enormous holiday tree festooned with sparkling lights. In historic Glendale, a fabulous lighting display will glitter with 1.5 million twinkling lights. For a unique shopping experience, go to the Pueblo Grande Indian Market that features American Indian arts and crafts.

The winter season is the perfect time to visit these cities and see their spectacular holiday light displays, seasonal winter markets, and other special activities that take place only during the winter months. Bundle up and enjoy your winter travels!

When planning your trip, consider renting a charter bus from Metropolitan Shuttle, a safe, affordable, and convenient option for group travel. Contact us for a quote today and find out how much you can save on charter rentals.

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6 Healthy Travel Tips

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January 2, 2019

How to Choose the Right Charter Bus for Your Group

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There are many factors that go into planning a group trip. The most important factors to consider are the size of your group, the distance you will need to travel, and the budget. Of course,  the desired amenities of the bus are also a consideration. At Metropolitan Shuttle, you will find a wide array of options to consider when organizing an itinerary. These options include different sizes of vehicles, pricing to fit every budget, and various types of amenities ranging from basic to luxury. While at first it might seem expensive to charter a bus for group travel, you will soon find that chartering buses is much more economical and convenient than many other forms of group travel.

A charter bus is the ideal type of vehicle for a large group that needs to travel long distances. These buses typically fit 52-56 passengers and have extra comfortable and roomy seating that is perfect for long distance travel. These buses also feature monitors throughout for DVD viewing to keep your group entertained. Whether for corporate travel or a sports team going to a tournament, the charter bus will be perfect for a group that needs lots of room.

If you are on a budget but still need a large vehicle, consider a school bus, which aren’t just for school anymore. More economically priced than a charter bus, a school bus has a large capacity of 44-60 passengers and is the perfect choice for shorter distance travel. School buses are a budget-friendly option for corporate outings, travel to sporting events, or travel to construction or conference sites.

A medium sized group might be too large for a shuttle van but too small for a charter bus. In this case, a minibus might be the perfect size. Don’t be fooled by its name, because if your group is 30 or fewer passengers, the minibus has the right amount of seats. The minibus will also cost less than a larger charter bus, which makes them an economical option for shorter distance travel. If you are traveling short distances within the same metropolitan area, you could also make multiple trips for your group if needed.

If luxury and comfort are top priorities, consider a luxury bus rental, which has all the comforts your group will need. Accommodating up to 25 passengers, a luxury bus is perfect for a small to medium sized group. It features a comprehensive list of amenities, including a full kitchen, large screen TVs with DirecTV, plenty of electrical outlets, restrooms, closets, reclining chairs with arm and footrests, and lounge seats with tables. The luxury bus is the perfect vehicle for traveling in style to your next special event.

Shuttle vans are a great option for smaller groups. Accommodating between 8-15 passengers, these medium-sized charters are perfect for small groups needing local transportation. Airport transportation for small groups can easily be accomplished with a shuttle van. This option is more economical than taxis or ride sharing services for small groups. Let us know what your itinerary is, and we’ll have your ride waiting for you when your plane lands.

A party bus is a fantastic option for a fun, stylish, and luxurious group outing. Perfect for bachelor and bachelorette parties, corporate events, wedding parties, and other special occasions, a party bus is a festive, reliable, and safe way to travel locally with your group. Depending on your group size, there are several options for party buses. The party buses come in 40 or 20 passenger capacity. Party buses can be less expensive than car rentals or taxis, and are also a responsible option that prevents people from driving to and from parties on their own.

If you are planning a long distance trip and need comfortable sleeping accommodations, the luxury tour bus is the ideal vehicle because it can comfortably fit between 8-12 passengers and has a number of amenities for your comfort and entertainment. These amenities include comfortable sleeping accommodations, large screen TVs with satellite and DirecTV, DVD players and Wi-Fi, restroom, swiveling and reclining chairs, galley kitchen with refrigerator, sink, coffee maker, and microwave, storage space, divider doors for privacy, and much more.

As you can see from the above options, there are many factors to consider when planning travel for your group. The most important factors to consider are the size of your group, the distance you need to travel, the amenities that your group will require, and your budget.

Our friendly and helpful sales associates are experts in planning group travel and are standing by to answer your questions as you begin the planning process. You can get in touch with us by requesting a free quote online to see what the various options and charter pricing. Your group travel needs are of the utmost importance and we are here to help you on every step of the journey.

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December 20, 2018

Best Skiing Destinations on the East Coast

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Compared to skiing in the west, the elevations are lower on East Coast slopes and knee-deep powder is a rare sight. But the ski resorts make up for the lack of powder with a high tech mix of natural and man-made snow. In fact, the snowmaking techniques are so advanced that you’ll have a hard time telling the difference on most mountains.

Despite the smaller mountains, there are several eastern skiing areas that have the long, steep runs of the higher western peaks. Our list includes plenty of ski resorts that offer both white-knuckle challenges and the bunny slopes for beginners. Skiing in the east also gives you the chance to experience the charming and scenic New England towns where the popular ski resorts are based.

Travel Tips

The close proximity of mountains within New England makes it easy to visit multiple ski resorts on the same trip. Skiing in New York or Massachusetts is only a few hours drive on the north-south interstates. The same goes for ski resorts in Vermont and New Hampshire. For on-the-road comfort and affordability on your ski vacation, the best way to travel to several resorts is with a charter bus, especially with a group of 10 or more.

At Metropolitan Shuttle, we offer charter bus reservations specifically for interstate travel. When you plan your ski vacation with a group, consider booking a charter with us, a budget-friendly option that is cheaper per passenger compared to other types of travel like airline tickets or taxis and rideshare services. And while we can’t protect you on the slopes, we can keep you safe behind the wheel, a testament to our strict safety guidelines that follow federal standards.

North Conway, New Hampshire

For the best mountain vistas on the East Coast, the Wildcat Ski Resort in North Conway fits the bill. Adventure-seekers in your group will also a get a chance to shred some powder on 2,112 feet of vertical and ride one of the fastest lifts to get there. You’ll also get to experience the charm of a classic New England town in between skiing the slopes.

Sugarbush/Mad River Glen, Vermont

With its stunning natural beauty and diverse terrain, Mad River Glen has become a favorite New England hub for family-friendly skiing. In the 60s, the town of Sugarbush was a big deal among the glamorous jet setters that loved to ski. Legend has it that the term ‘jet setter’ originated in this area. Today, dedicated skiers are drawn here year after year to experience the fun and thrill of Vermont’s highest chairlift. At the nearby Mad River Glen Mountain, it’s a skier’s dream with real snow that follows the curves of the slopes.

Jay Peak, Vermont

Situated in the green mountains of Vermont, Jay Peak has some of the best skiing terrain in the east. Make the most of your ski vacation with picturesque tree glades, long trails, and an abundance of natural snowfall. You’ll find a range of ski runs from beginner level to advanced, making it ideal for the whole family.

Killington, Vermont

Known as the “Beast of the East” in the skiing community, people come here to experience the rugged terrain, including tree glades and lots of bumps. The best place for experienced skiers is the Outer Limits, which features the steepest and longest runs in New England.

Pats Peak, Massachusetts

Only a few hours drive from Boston, Pats Peak is easy to get to and also stands out among other resort areas with nighttime skiing and a large amount of terrain for beginners. When you’re not shredding the slopes, the town of Henniker serves as a cozy backdrop with a charming downtown that features many local businesses and a private college.

Catamount, New York

Another accessible skiing area, Catamount is only a few hours from New York City and Boston. It also has the best beginner terrain in the Berkshires, plus a steep run for experts and a selection of terrain parks for snowboarders and freestylers. If you love the magic of skiing at night, you’ll also find over 32 trails with plenty of lights. When you’re taking a break from the slopes, you can thaw out with a hot chocolate in the nearby town of Hillsdale, which is known for its friendly and relaxed vibe.

Sugarloaf, Maine

Situated in a remote part of Northern Maine, Sugarloaf is a four-hour drive from either Boston or Montreal. But the longer travel time is worth the effort, especially with plenty of natural powder from 200 inches of annual snowfall. It also features the only ski lifts in the east that are above the treeline. In the western mountains of Maine, the ski season stretches into May, giving you access to wide open snowfields and 2,820 feet of continuous vertical.

Stowe, Vermont

With a long history of skiing that dates back to the 30s, Stowe was the ski town where on of the first chairlifts were used, an interesting historical fact along with other notable events that are highlighted at the Vermont Ski Museum. On the slopes, you’ll find Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s tallest peak. More than half of the runs are rated for intermediates while experts can get their adrenaline pumping on some of Vermont’s most challenging trails. Three terrain parks are also available for snowboarders and other outdoor sports like sleigh rides and snowmobile tours.

Tuckerman’s Ravine, New Hampshire

For the best in backcountry skiing, Tuckerman’s Ravine offers stunning vistas of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast. The wild terrain provides the perfectly rugged and natural landscape for a true East Coast skiing adventure.

Okemo Mountain, Vermont

Its location in south-central Vermont makes the Okemo Mountain easily accessible by car or charter bus. Along with being close to major interstates, Okemo also has excellent natural snow and well-groomed runs that are perfect for all levels. It also features the longest superpipe in the east and nine top-rated terrain parks, making it a hotspot for snowboarders.

Whiteface Mountain, New York

A mix of natural and man-made snow, these extensive ski trails make up 35 acres of mountainside, including the longest single intermediate run in the Northeast. Whiteface Mountain also features two terrain parks, a beginner’s park, and a half-pipe for snowboarders and freestyle skiers.

Some would say that you can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a lift pass, and for those who love skiing, it’s practically the same thing. With winter in the air and eternal spring in your heart, keep calm and shred some slopes!

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