September 17, 2018

How to Throw the Ultimate Bachelor Party Without Breaking the Bank

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Bachelor parties are fantastic ways to party with the guys and celebrate the groom’s transition into married life. But you shouldn’t have to take max out your credit card just to afford an epic bachelor party. If you’re looking to party on a budget, say ‘I do’ to our budget-friendly bachelor party ideas and get ready to have a bachelor bash that everybody can afford.  

First, consider the bachelor’s interests: “Does he like sports?”; “Is there another state or city he’d love to visit?”; “Does he want to simply go camping?” Wherever you decide to go, stay on budget with some fun bachelor party tips from the travel experts at Metropolitan Shuttle, the leading charter reservation service and your answer to significant savings on travel expenses.

Plan Ahead

Going with the flow is great for yoga and meditation class but when it comes to an affordable bachelor party, you’ve got to have a game plan. Instead of going the way the cookie crumbles, make the most of organized fun when you book your travel arrangements in advance. When you reserve a charter bus a few months ahead, for instance, you get the best deals because you can lock in the cheapest possible rate. Advance notice also gives your pals plenty of time to budget for the trip.

Charter a Bus

Compared to ride-sharing services, car rental, and taxis, charter bus rental is significantly less expensive, especially when you consider the price per passenger. Whatever the size of your group, another benefit of chartering a bus is that everybody arrives together and you can party along the way. Our Party Bus, for example, can fit up to 40 passengers and also features luxury amenities for on-the-road comfort and convenience. At Metropolitan Shuttle, we make the process of renting a charter bus as seamless and efficient as possible. When you reserve your charter vehicle, you can expect a flat fee with no hidden costs—this way, you can divide the price between your friends without having to worry about surprise charges later on that can throw you off budget.

When you charter a bus, it also takes the stress out of traveling because the pack leader doesn’t have to worry about appointing a designated driver, finding parking, or figuring out directions. When an experienced professional is doing all the driving, everybody can relax and focus on what’s more important—quality time with your bros before the groom walks down the aisle.

Throw a Blowout House Party

It is common knowledge that alcohol is more expensive at a restaurant or bar than the liquor store, so make your shopping list and get ready for a legendary Bachelor-themed blowout. On average, bachelor parties cost every member involved anywhere from $700 to $1,500 (besides the groom). Much of the cost is attributed to food and alcohol. Instead of a formal dinner or heading to the bar, fire up the grill and cook a delicious meal that everybody can enjoy while also drastically reducing the cost of food. With the amount of money you’ll save on food and drinks, you and your friends can pool together your extra cash and rent a luxury beachfront house with a pool and all the trimmings.

Go Camping

You should never underestimate the fun you can have while camping. It can be a worthwhile trip to visit a natural spring or lake with campgrounds, plus it’s way cheaper than a hotel or Airbnb. Whatever the occasion, tubing is a great way to relax while wandering about the meandering twists and turns of a river, giving you an up close look at the great outdoors; it is a mesmerizing experience. You can also have an exceptional time grilling, swimming, hiking, and if the campgrounds allow it, partying! So, throw some burgers on the grill and have a good time.

Head to the Mountains

Or, you can travel to the mountains, but be careful because you won’t want to leave. The majestic cathedrals of Mother Nature, mountains are among the most beautiful wonders you’ll ever experience. Plus, you’re really missing out if you’ve never gone snowboarding or skiing. It is an enthralling way to challenge yourself as you weave through the scintillating snow-covered slopes. According to Mark Twain, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did,” and he was right. Even though this idea is a little pricier, nobody will regret the trip, plus, our Bachelor Party Bus will save you a ton of money and make the journey there even more entertaining!

Have a Boat Party

You can never go wrong with a party on the water! You can enjoy activities like water skiing and wakeboarding, or rent some jet skis and have a blast. Nothing beats water sports, especially if you visit the captivating crystal-clear lakes in the west like Lake Tahoe. When Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki visited Lake Tahoe he claimed, I have been fortunate to travel all over the world, and in my mind, Tahoe is still one of the most incredible places I have seen.” Once you arrive, you will know exactly why he praises Tahoe as such.

Place Your Bets on Casino Fun

You can’t go wrong with partying at the casino… unless you lose all your money! Plus, it’s is a terrific way to please everyone involved. You may spend as little as you want or as much as you would like. In turn, if played responsibly, everyone of any financial status can appreciate this flexible idea. It’s a great all-around emergency plan for a bachelor party that everyone can enjoy. You can also choose whatever you would like to place your bets on: Whether you play drinking games, poker, or blackjack, everyone will love the rush of winning big at the casino. If you’re on a budget, don’t overplay your hand by going to Vegas. Instead, choose a lesser-known city and get ready to place your bets on some affordable casino fun!

 

After a summer of love, head into wedding season with your wolf pack and get ready for the last big hurrah with all your bros—the budget-friendly version.

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September 11, 2018

Budget Friendly Bachelorette Party Ideas to Wow the Bride

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If you’re like most people, you’re probably totally pumped that your BFF asked you to be her maid of honor. But that coveted title also comes with lots of responsibility. Besides helping the bride look amazing on the big day, you also are tasked with organizing an epic bachelorette party that everyone can afford. Show your commitment to the bride and all your girlfriends with these helpful bachelorette party ideas from Metropolitan Shuttle, the leading charter reservation company serving the U.S. and Canada.

Set a Budget

Send out a mass email and take a survey to determine how much money you’ll need to pool from the group. Everybody will want to offer an opinion, so stay connected with group texts and document sharing services like Google Drive and Dropbox. Try using the divide-and-conquer approach, which allows everybody to chip in money for travel expenses while also helping out with planning and shopping for party essentials.

Plan Ahead

When it comes to planning a bachelorette party that rocks, planning ahead is essential for stress-free group travel. Show up to the party with a game plan, otherwise, you’ll find yourself going over budget while herding cats, a perfect storm of travel-related stress that’s further induced by great expectations. When you book your travel several months in advance, you can lock in the cheapest possible rate, whether it’s a charter bus rental or airfare. Pre-planning also helps you stick to a budget since the biggest expense is usually transportation.

Charter a Bus

Ride-sharing services and taxis might be the go-to choice for traveling short distances within a city or town but when you crunch the numbers, the price per passenger is significantly less when you charter a bus. When you consider the high passenger capacity, our Party Bus is more efficient because it can fit up to 40 people. It also features luxury amenities like comfy reclining seats and a state-of-the-art sound system and festive lighting, which allows you to sit back, relax, and have a party on the way to your destination. Whether your party is a few people or a large group, our fleet of charter vehicles can fit any size and budget. At Metropolitan Shuttle, you pay a flat fee upfront, which means there are no hidden costs that can throw you off budget later on. And because transportation is often the biggest expense, knowing the amount in advance gives you and your girlfriends enough time to put aside some bachelorette party funds.

Clothing and Accessories Swap

Along with having an incredible night that you’ll always remember fondly, an Instagrammable outfit is another must-have for an epic bachelorette party. But that doesn’t mean you need to max out your credit cards for the perfect out-on-the-town ensemble. Chances are, your girlfriends share your chic sense of style, so have everybody bring the best items from their wardrobes and join forces in a clothing and accessories swap. It also gives you and your pals an excuse to have a fun get together before the big blowout. Plus, it allows you and your girlfriends to coordinate outfits for a buzz-worthy Instagram post. So get to lending and borrowing and strike a pose!

Free Printable Party Invitations

An easy but very expensive way to wow the bride is with custom-made party invitations, but these can get pricey, especially if you go big with luxury details like gold engraving and hand-written calligraphy. Keep it simple and affordable with card design services like Canva, which features a huge database of invitation templates and free or inexpensive graphics. The user-friendly interface also makes it easy to add a personalized touch. Once you get the group’s approval on the invites, print them up and start saving money the bachelorette extravaganza.

DIY Mimosa bar

It is common knowledge that food and drinks are significantly more expensive at bars and restaurants verses buying it at the store. But if you decide to party at home, the maid of honor doesn’t have to do all the work. Instead, ask the ladies to each bring something from the shopping list, like a bottle of bubbly, fruit, and your favorite table snacks.

Make Your Own Pizza Party

Not only is making your own pizza a fun bonding activity with your princess posse, but customized toppings on fresh baked pizza makes for a memorable feast. It’s also significantly cheaper than going to a restaurant. Plus, making a pizza is easier than you think. Have someone bring the pre-made pizza dough, another person the tomato sauce, and the rest of the party can bring cheese, toppings, drinks, and desserts. Build a customized pizza with your gal pals, pop in the oven, and bon appetito!

DIY Photo Booth

The most important thing about a bachelorette party is having fun and posting Instagram-worthy photos. But with the quality of smartphones pics, plus a little creativity, your bachelorette party photos can have a personalized, professional touch that sets them apart. Make your own pom-poms out of crate paper for the background and string up some lights for a hint of warmth in the background. For a goofy photo session with your girlfriends, make photo props out of construction paper and popsicle sticks like kitschy mustaches, oversized sunglasses, and other slaphappy designs. Have fun with the girls while constructing your DIY photo booth and get ready for a selfie close up!

Go Glamping with the Girls

Hotels and Airbnb can get very expensive, even if you book your stay in advance. Instead, save a ton of money when you bring luxury amenities to the great outdoors. Glamping is everything you love about nature but without giving up the conveniences of modern life. Look for campgrounds with hot showers and campsites close to a body of water, like an oceanfront nature park or meandering river. Behind a stunning natural background, gather your girlfriends and strike a pose for #Sunset.

Say ‘I do’ to these money saving tips and get ready for a legendary evening that you’ll still be talking about long after the bride walks down the aisle.

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August 8, 2018

How to Make the Most of a Long Bus Trip

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With an ocean of highway between you and your final destination, a long bus trip can quickly get monotonous and boring. But when you make the most of your travel time, it makes getting there half the fun. With charter buses, a professional driver does all the work, which gives you the luxury of being able to sit back and relax during the drive. From the travel experts at Metropolitan Shuttle, here are a few activities to keep you occupied for the long haul.

Network with Like-minded Professionals

If you’re traveling on a charter bus with a large group, everybody is headed to the same event, which means that there’s a good chance you’ll share similar interests. Using your travel time to engage in conversation is more than chitchat – it’s a smart and productive way to network with friends and colleagues.

One of the easiest ways to start a conversation with acquaintances is by asking a question because it shows that you have interest in the person. Or, you might need help or advice about the upcoming event – people are usually happy to offer their advice and assistance. Another approach is commenting about the weather. It might be a cliché, but it can easily lead to other topics of interest.

Catch Up on Your Favorite Entertainment

Think of these couple of hours on the bus as free time you wouldn’t normally have during your busy schedule. This makes a long bus ride the perfect time to catch up on all your favorite entertainment, which can be easily accessed from your smartphone or laptop. With apps like PLEX, you can stream the latest releases as well as classic movies and TV shows. After binging on a few shows or indulging in a double feature, you’ll be at your destination before you know it.

Stream New Music for a Playlist

Making a playlist isn’t something you can just throw together. There’s a certain approach to each mix depending on the theme, recipient, and occasion. As your bus travels down the interstate, take some time to search for new music, plus albums you’ve been meaning to upload. Everybody loves a good playlist because as soon as you put on headphones, it takes you away to a special place of insight and introspection, a state of mind that allows you to focus on the music and what it means to you.

Get a Jumpstart on Work

With smartphone technology, you have the convenience of your office in the palm of your hand. Use your time on the bus to catch up on emails, sort through paperwork, put together invoices, or other administrative tasks on your ‘to do’ list. When you’re on your way from point a to point b, make every minute count by being productive. After a few hours, you’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish when you set your mind to it.

Set Goals For the Week

A long and boring commute is the best time to make goals for the work week ahead. In fact, many successful people are in the habit of setting goals on a regular basis. With plenty of time to think, try focusing on what you hope to accomplish. Get out your calendar and make self-imposed deadlines for yourself so you’ll always be a step ahead at work. Take a moment to step back and look at the bigger picture – did you achieve all your goals or do you still have some work to do?

Bring Snacks

If your charter bus allows it, pack a variety of your favorite road trip snacks, including something savory, sweet, and most importantly, thirst quenching to wash it all down. If the bus doesn’t allow food and drinks onboard, another option is to pack a tailgating cooler for the whole gang to enjoy in the parking lot before the event. Whether you’re catching up on work-related tasks or watching your favorite entertainment, snacks make everything more enjoyable.

Catch Up on Pop Culture

As long as you catch the major headlines, it doesn’t matter if it’s TMZ or CNN. Listening or reading articles about news, sports, or the weather forecast gives you plenty of material for small talk, the social balm you need to create a rapport with clients or colleagues. When you sound informed, you’re more likely to make a good impression.

Make Time for Personal Growth

Educational audiobooks and other materials are widely available, including accessible lectures from The Great Courses, which are taught by college professors. You could also learn a new language or hone your mental reflexes with a brain-training app like Lumosity.

Have Fun with Trivia

If you’re traveling with a group, get the whole gang involved with a friendly but competitive game of trivia. Download a trivia app like Fun Blast Trivia, which is like Trivial Pursuit for your smartphone. You’ll find a variety of questions that cover history, pop culture, politics, and more.

Meditate

While you might not think that a bus trip is the ideal place to meditate, the rhythm of riding on a comfortable and lengthy bus ride might be the perfect place to center yourself. If you need some guidance, there are a variety of guided meditations available on Youtube or apps like Headspace. Take a deep breath, count to ten, and slowly close your eyes. Picture a peaceful lake next to a field of flowers, with a gentle breeze rustling through a grove of aspen trees. Relax in your comfy reclining seat, and soon you’ll be deep into your meditation session, which will help you mentally prepare for the upcoming event.

Exercise

On any long trip, it is important to improve your circulation through exercise. You might not realize it, but there are many exercises you can do while seated and without needing special equipment. Start with an upper body stretch by raising both arms over your head and then finish with a few calf raises. Do ten reps of each to feel energized and refreshed by the end of your trip.

Podcasts

Podcasts provide an amazing array of entertaining and educational information. iTunes or Google Play features any topic imaginable, which makes it easy to find podcasts that pique your interests. Another great feature of podcasts is that you can adjust the setting to faster speeds, which means you can gain even more knowledge in a shorter amount of time. Before your trip, visit iTunes or your favorite podcast app, and start learning about a new business venture or hobby, or simply be entertained. Another way to enjoy the journey is with a comedy podcast. Having a few laughs with your favorite comedians helps relieve stress and keeps you in a positive mindset for the journey.

Games

Play a game. Whether it’s Punch Buggy, I Spy, Twenty Questions, or Truth or Dare, a good old-fashioned game is a great option for passing the time and bonding with the group. You could also play traditional board games such as Scrabble, Battleship, or Four in a Row, which come in popular travel versions. Sometimes real games are more fun than video games, and they are far more relaxing.

With a range of fun and productive activities at your fingertips, getting to your destination is anything but boring.

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August 4, 2018

6 Reasons Why you Should Travel Alone at Least Once in your Lifetime

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Traveling is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have, which is why it makes numerous appearances on everybody’s bucket lists. Seeing the world allows your adventurous spirit to come alive, making travel a priceless endeavor. Traveling with others has its obvious benefits; every smart traveler appreciates a wingman that offers companionship and most importantly, safety in numbers. Traveling with a group also saves you money since you can split the costs of meals, transportation, and hotels. In fact, the more people in your group, the cheaper the price per passenger, especially with charter buses. Before you go, get a quote from Metropolitan Shuttle and see how much money you’ll save on transportation.

One of the most common reasons people don’t travel is because they have no one to bring along. Whether it’s due to scheduling conflicts or other unforeseen complications, trying to coordinate travel dates can often seem impossible in adulthood. But that shouldn’t hold you back from checking off items on your bucket list. According to Eleanor Roosevelt, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.” So listen up solo travelers–pack your bags and say yes to new adventures.

  1. Get to Know Yourself Better

Traveling alone gives you the luxury of spending time with yourself and your thoughts. Add a stunning backdrop of an island paradise, snow-capped mountain peaks, or a massive canyon and you have the perfect formula for inspiring a crowning moment in life. You might be drawn to the wandering life, but that doesn’t mean you’re lost, especially when you get the opportunity to see awe-inspiring sights and natural wonders around every corner.

Without a travel companion to distract you, you’ll be able to do some serious soul-searching. Use your alone time to write down your hopes and dreams in a journal; a stroke of genius could happen at any moment, which is why it’s important to make notes. If writing isn’t your cup of tea, try photo journaling, another creative way to chronicle your journey. Travel can make you speechless and then turn you into a storyteller–that’s one of the magical things about exploring new terrain.

  1. Meet New People

Traveling alone forces you to make connections with strangers, whether it’s asking for directions or striking up a friendly conversation. For extroverts, it’s a chance to show the world their charming and witty side; for the quiet types, it challenges them to break out of their comfort zone and reach out to people when they normally would keep to themselves.

If you’re searching for your tribe of like-minded travelers, traveling alone gives you the opportunity to invite love and romance into your life. With a romantic setting in the background, falling in love can be truly magical on your solo travels. To give yourself more chances of meeting new people, consider taking classes with other lifelong learners who share your interests, like cooking or dance lessons.  

If you’re far from home in a foreign country, making friends with the locals is also a great way to experience the culture. An easy way to create a circle of neighborhood pals is by becoming a regular fixture at your favorite bar, restaurant or cafe. While it’s exciting to take the road less traveled, it also helps to create a routine because it gives you more chances of encountering the same people.

  1. Accomplish Career Goals

Without the distractions of everyday life, solo travel gives you the chance to focus your mind more intensely on one project. Many famous works of art, music, and literature were created on an extended journey; Van Gogh painted his iconic impressionist paintings on a trip from his hometown in Amsterdam to the scenic French countryside; When John Steinbeck traveled across the country on a road trip, he documented his experience in his memoir Travels With Charlie. The list goes on and on…

The point of traveling alone is that the experience can be anything you want it to be. With an abundance of “me time,” you won’t have anything distracting you from important work that resonates with your creative vision. Whether it’s documenting your travels, learning a language, or writing your memoirs, lone travel gives you the space you need to cultivate your strongest talents.  

  1. Discover Your Creativity

With only his loyal poodle Charlie by his side, Steinbeck had the time to let his thoughts and ideas marinate in his head and then blossom into classic works. The lesson here is simple: For creativity to flourish, you need an abundance of alone time so that you can cultivate and hone your talents and skills.

Successful people often say that creativity is a two-part process—50 percent of the time is spent thinking and the other half is focusing and getting the job finished. In other words, half the time you might be staring at the ceiling while the other half you’re drinking coffee and typing furiously on your laptop or painting on canvas. When you travel alone, you can make a personalized schedule that complements your creative process. And once you get into a rhythm, the rest comes easy.

If you travel alone, it also gives you the chance to try something new, which can be an exciting way to discover hidden talents. When you don’t have another person to consider, it makes it easier to be spontaneous and go out on a limb–like taking belly dancing lessons in Morocco or learning shoemaking from an apprenticeship with an Italian cobbler. The world is a big place with lots of opportunities, but if you’re with others, it might hold you back from taking chances.

  1. Make Your Own Schedule

Traveling solo gives you the option to be selfish with your time but without feeling guilty about it. When you hit the road as a lone traveler, you don’t have to worry about other people’s needs, which gives you plenty of time to explore every nook and cranny of your destination. You also have the freedom to be lazy and spend the whole afternoon at the cinema. However you choose to spend your time, traveling alone allows you the freedom to wander aimlessly, be a tourist, or whatever strikes your fancy from moment to moment.

Traveling alone doesn’t have to be boring or lonely, especially when you arrive at your destination with a plan. If you’re on a work vacation, try working in the morning over breakfast and then a few hours in the evening after dinner; that way you’ll have the entire afternoon for exploring all the highlights. Another option is to bring your work with you wherever you go, which is easy with smartphones, iPads and the like. With your project at your fingertips, you have the freedom to work whenever and wherever you want – the Eiffel Tower, Grand Canyon…the world is your oyster.

  1. Boost Confidence in Yourself

Traveling alone forces you out of your comfort zone, which might seem uncomfortable at certain moments, like when you have to dine alone, for example, or go to the movies without your usual plus one. But it’s also an effective way to get involved with the local community. When you have inside connections, you never know what amazing and unexpected experiences you’ll come across. Having a local show you around is one of the best ways to get an up close and personal look into the culture. When you’re in a foreign country and learn the lay of the land, it will naturally give you more confidence in any situation.

Learning another language makes the challenging of adapting to a new culture even more rewarding. It also helps you engage with new people from different backgrounds while also honing your communication skills. It’s more than learning words but also about understanding a new world of body language and subtext that contrasts with your own country. When you embark on a journey, consider taking language classes, which gives you a head start on communicating with the locals while also helping you connect with other travelers.

One isn’t always the loneliest number, especially when you travel with a purpose. Stop dreaming, start living, and be the traveler who just goes for it.

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July 30, 2018

Best Cities for Fun Summer Getaways

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There’s something magical about summer; it’s more than backyard barbeques and pool parties. In order to really appreciate your vacation time, sometimes you have to get out of the house and go on a road trip to make memories that will last a lifetime. And to inspire your adventurous getaway spirit, Metropolitan Shuttle has put together a list of awesome tips from road tripping travel insiders to help plan your summer adventure.

For those wanting some Southern flavor, head to Charleston, South Carolina, a favorite travel destination of Kika, a travel influencer. While New York, Boston, and Los Angeles are popular cities will well-grooved tourist tracks, Kika prefers the old-fashioned charm of Charleston, South Carolina. According to Kika, “Everyone I encountered was friendly and made me feel welcome. The food is also very memorable. I went to the award-winning Hyman’s Seafood and the service was impeccable. I definitely recommend their hush puppies! Southern Coney and Breakfast is a great diner to go to if you are looking to meet locals. Charleston is a city that makes you feel comfortable when you’re walking around and the vistas are straight out of a storybook. For those seeking nightlife, I recommend The Boardroom. It has good drinks and the live band was very engaging and talented.”

When it comes to getting around Charleston, take the worry and hassle out of your holiday by chartering a bus. If you don’t feel like driving, it’s a surprisingly economical and relaxing way for groups to travel with confidence and ease. Another transportation option is a free trolley that operates throughout the historic Charleston Peninsula. Part of the CARTA bus system, it offers routes to sight-seeing highlights, including the Aquarium and the Riley Waterfront Park, an idyllic oasis that offers spectacular views of the harbor. With park benches, picnic tables, and a large lawn, the park makes the perfect spot for a lazy afternoon by the water. On the way there, stop by The Market nearby and peruse the exclusive specialty foods from Gita’s Gourmet, your picnic basket headquarters.  

Following the rays of sunshine along the East Coast, Cori Sue of Bitches who Brunch, suggests Savannah, Georgia, for a less traveled destination. It oozes Southern charm with incredible architecture and amazing cuisine, including Gerald’s Pig and Shrimp, a food truck that serves Deep South comfort food like Georgia shrimp po-boys and hand-squeezed limeade.  

Further north, she recommends Portland, Maine, for a different flavor of New England character as well as plenty of outdoor fun. Upstate New York has lots of mountains, rivers, and cute towns, villages, and wineries to explore. Woodstock, Vermont also is recommended for its “gorgeous views and killer, highly instragramable drive-in restaurants.” For a casual, on-the-go meal before your next adventure, stop in at The White Cottage Snack Bar, which has been proudly serving up classic diner food like burgers, sandwiches, and seafood since 1957.

Vanessa Valiente, a travel influencer, always makes time in her schedule for a pit stop in San Diego, Chicago, and New Orleans. For San Diego, Vanessa raves about the largest Little Italy in America – “You must go to the farmer’s market on Saturdays, and there are different neighborhoods for all preferences. With an average temperature of 72° and constant activity day or night, anyone can have an amazing visit here!” A must-see is Balboa, a sprawling 1,200-acre urban park in the heart of the city. Whether you meander through the gardens or stop in at the San Diego Zoo, the combination of culture and nature makes it a pleasant summertime destination.

Vanessa also recommends visiting Chicago. “Chicago feels as if Manhattan and San Diego had a baby. You get the hip hustle and bustle of Manhattan with the water lifestyle of San Diego. Folks are kayaking mere feet away from a skyscraper filled with $20 cocktails being sipped by people you want to know.

And everyone is insanely nice –All to a background of magnificent architecture, textured history, and teal waterways. I also love it for being a day city and night city. High energy people can find action at all waking hours in spring and summer.” For art lovers and intellectuals, a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) is the perfect place to cool off on the hottest summer afternoons. While staying cool and refreshed in the air conditioning, enjoy a dose of cultural enrichment when you peruse a rotating collection of modern and post-modern art.

She also can’t say enough about New Orleans, another popular destination for visitors. “New Orleans is amazing for drinking, air boating, dancing and eating – All set to a rich ambiance of historic balconies, lazing fauna, and soulful music. This city is so alive with a good time you can feel it on your skin, and like all my favorite cities, there is something to do, day or night.” First order of business is a pit stop at the French Quarter Market for a stylish hat, the must-have accessory for keeping you protected from the sun. After shopping for your party wardrobe, reward yourself with traditional New Orleans specialties like muffaletta and po-boy sandwiches.

Whether you’re planning on boozing it up on Bourbon Street in New Orleans or opting for a more elegant winery visit in upstate New York, consider hiring a charter bus for peace of mind for your summer adventure. You can have fun and bring the whole gang!

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July 26, 2018

Best Cities to Travel to in Fall 2018

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With cooler temperatures and the summer tourists back to work or school, fall travel is one of the best-kept secrets of the savvy traveler. While all of these locations make ideal summertime travel destinations, the highlights are even more spectacular with a refreshing crispness in the air, a signal that the hot and sweltering dog days of summer are officially over.

Vancouver

With a reputation as the outdoorsy capital of cool, Vancouver offers everything you could want in a modern city – a cosmopolitan vibe, excellent public transportation, and easy access to surrounding natural wonders. Start your introduction to Vancouver with a mix of nature and cultural highlights, including a tour of Stanley Park, a 1,000-acre green space with inspiring ocean views. If you’re up for it, get in some exercise with a bike ride along the seawall path. After you’ve had enough fresh air for the day, make a stop at Robson Street downtown for some Vancouver-style retail therapy.

How to Charter a Bus in Vancouver

If you’re traveling with a group, booking a charter bus is a convenient and affordable way to safely get to your destination. When you plan your Vancouver trip, make a budget for travel costs, food, and accommodation, which gives you an idea of how much your group can afford. Prices for Vancouver charter buses vary based on time of year, availability, and location. If you break it down, the price is always much lower per passenger when you compare it to airfare and taxis. For a larger group, it might be more affordable to fly in to Seattle, and charter a bus for the short trip over the border.

San Francisco

With moderate temperatures and fewer crowds, the best time to visit is September or October. Against a backdrop of modern and historic architecture, San Francisco offers world-class museums and galleries, lots of green space, and forward-thinking shops and restaurants. If the weather is cooperating with sunny skies and a pleasant temperature, head to Dolores Park for an epic picnic spot overlooking the city. With a range of habitats, plus a state-of-the-art planetarium, the Academy of Arts and Sciences is also a favorite with tourists and locals.

Insider Travel Tips:

For a stress-free trip to the city, San Francisco charter buses are a comfortable and hassle free way to transport your group safely and efficiently. If you’re wondering how to charter a bus in San Francisco, contact the travel experts at Metropolitan Shuttle and get a quote for your next Northern California group adventure. San Francisco charter buses offer many benefits, including less travel-related stress and a significantly lower cost per passenger.

Washington, D.C.

When you visit the nation’s capital in the fall, it gives you the chance to tour the monuments but without hordes of school groups and tourist buses. But there’s more to this city than Capitol Hill and the White House. After a day of sightseeing, stop by Georgetown to peruse a variety of sophisticated shops and gourmet restaurants. For the best in live music, check out the rock scene at the iconic 9:30 Club or become cultured at the world-class Kennedy Center. Appealing to its cosmopolitan charm, the city also features historic luxury hotels like Four Seasons and the Ritz-Carlton, plus international boutique brands like Hotel Monaco and Mandarin Oriental.

How to Charter a Bus in Washington, D.C.

One of our most popular destinations for charter bus travel, the nation’s capital is a must-see for school trips and other group events. Book Washington, D.C. charter buses for your next trip and leave the hard work to a professional driver who knows the lay of the land. That way, you can concentrate on more important things, like viewing historical monuments, visiting museums, or participating in a peaceful protest for issues that resonate with you and your group.

New York City

No rest for the weary in the city that never sleeps. In the Big Apple, the cuisine and cultural experiences are second to none. From the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State Building, you’ll find a historical hotspot on every corner. Along the way, take a cue from the Sex and the City playbook with a romantic rowboat or carriage ride in Central Park. For a feast of the senses, try a sample of the city’s best old world cuisine in Little Italy and Chinatown. You can also catch striking city views at the top of the Rock Observation Deck. If you’re an art lover, try the astounding works of art at the MOMA or Guggenheim. Also, make sure to stretch your Subway legs with a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, a national landmark that features some of the best views of the city.  

Travel Tips for the Big Apple:

If you’re traveling with a group of 6 or more, consider booking New York City charter buses, a budget-friendly alternative to driving yourself or paying for expensive airline tickets. If you want to know how to charter a bus in New York City, consult the charter reservation experts at Metropolitan Shuttle and receive a quote, plus all the information you need for your upcoming itinerary.

San Diego

The combination of pristine beaches and the best Mexican food north of the border makes San Diego a top vacation destination in Southern California. With legendary beach towns, impressive surf spots, and a world-famous zoo, there is never a shortage of things to see and do. Make sure you include Balboa Park on your sightseeing checklist, especially with San Diego’s year-round mild weather. Bring a picnic and make a day of exploring the lush gardens and green space. For a night out on the town, the Gaslight district features a slew of classic and inventive restaurants, shops and cafes.

Are We There Yet? San Diego Travel Tips:

Bring along the whole gang when you book San Diego charter buses for your trip. If this is your first time considering charter bus travel, you’re probably wondering how to charter a bus in San Diego. Pricing depends on several factors, including availability, time of year, and number of passengers. Contact Metropolitan Shuttle for a quote and get ready for an epic group vacation.  

Miami, FL

Fall marks high season, which gives Miami a rest from summer budget travelers that crowd local hotspots like South Beach. In autumn, Miami Beach is in the pleasant mid-70s with an abundance of sunny weather, making it a tropical oasis when the temperatures start to drop in other parts of the country. After enjoying a day at the beach, explore the hottest artists of the moment in Wynwood, the art district known for contemporary and street art. The trendy neighborhood also features craft breweries and gourmet food trucks for hungry travelers.

One of the most distinctive architectural styles found in the world, the Art Deco district is worth a tour either by foot or bicycle. For retail therapy, Lincoln Road features all of your favorite brands in an outdoor promenade dotted with restaurants, cafes, and nightclubs.

How to Charter a Bus in Miami

Miami charter buses are a safe and budget-friendly option for group travel. At Metropolitan Shuttle, we offer 24/7 support throughout every part of the process – from the initial booking until the last passenger has left the bus.

Charlotte, NC

Put on your sweater, point your compass towards Charlotte, and get ready to discover a landscape dotted with the rich earthy colors of fall foliage. Because of its close proximity to the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian Trail, Charlotte makes an ideal hub for exploring the mountains at the peak of their dramatic foliage shift, a natural phenomenon that can be seen from space. With an abundance of shops, restaurants, and cafes, Charlotte is a great place to gear up before you hit the mountain trails.

How to Charter a Bus in Charlotte

With hundreds of destinations throughout the U.S., Metropolitan Shuttle offers Charlotte charter buses and other destinations in North Carolina. If your group is headed to the mountains, contact Metropolitan Shuttle today for a customized travel itinerary and a quote for the price of the trip.  

Celebrate the change of seasons with a trip to one of the coasts, America’s heartland, or another hidden gem off the beaten path. Wherever you end up this autumn, let the world be your oyster.

 

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May 15, 2018

Best Speakeasies in SoCal

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Prohibition might be over but the spirit of the 20s is alive and well in these hidden bars throughout Southern California. An enduring American tradition, going to a speakeasy makes for an exciting, group-friendly event in Los Angeles or San Diego. So, put on your wingtips, warm up the Studebaker, and get ready to be transported back to the Roaring Twenties at these top-rated (and very secret) speakeasies.

  1. Parlour Lounge, Long Beach

What sets this speakeasy apart is the location—this retro cocktail lounge is cleverly tucked away in the basement of The Federal Bar, which used to be a bank vault. In traditional speakeasy fashion, patrons are required to jump through a few hoops to get inside, which include finding the hidden door and knowing the secret password. But it’s worth it once you’re in because of the excellent cocktails and authentic décor.

  • Blind Barber, Culver City

It’s all business in the front with an old-fashioned, full-service barbershop on display. Stop in for a shave and haircut, then head to the back where it’s a full-on party, twenties style as you sip on an Old Fashioned at the bar. The Blind Barber is easy to find. Just keep walking towards the back of the shop and there it is.

  • Exhibition Room, Long Beach

For the whiskey connoisseur, this speakeasy is a real treat, especially with their collection of vintage spirits that are extremely rare and no longer in production. Located at the back of Roxanne’s Lounge, follow the trail of flappers and gangsters through a 1940s-era phone booth, say the correct password, and get ready to sip craft cocktails like it’s 1927.

A fun start to group friendly events in San Diego is a handcrafted, old fashioned man soda at the Prohibition Lounge, a legendary speakeasy establishment that caters to the whiskey drinking crowd. And if you’re entertaining large groups of gangsters and flappers, here’s the rub: When it comes to booze, don’t take any chances with your family, friends, or colleagues. Party like a responsible bootlegger and book a charter bus rental at Metropolitan Shuttle, one of the safest ways to travel.   

  • Old Lightening, Venice

Tucked away in the back of Scopa Italian Roots restaurant is a tiny Prohibition-era bar with a cozy layout that makes you feel like you’re sipping cocktails in someone’s swanky bachelor pad. Made with exotic liquors from around the world, the drinks are old fashioned and straight up, just like back in the day. But not everyone can handle the authenticity, especially the no cell phone rule and strict dress code (no shorts or flip-flops). To get in, ask your server at Scopa or send an email for the password.

  • £10 Bar, Beverly Hills

The Ten Pound Bar is one of the most exclusive speakeasies in Los Angeles, and rightly so. The owners and regular patrons want to keep the rare collection of Scotch to themselves. In fact, £10 is the only place in North America that features Macallan Scotch. Served in Lalique crystal glassware and ice cubes made from imported water from the Scottish Highlands, cocktails cost between $30 and $2500. Make a reservation by phone and get ready to be a big spender.

  • Noble Experiment, San Diego

Staying in line with the secretive tradition of the speakeasy, this Prohibition-style bar is hidden behind a wall of boutique eateries and can only be accessed by patrons that know where the entrance is located. Once you step inside the swanky establishment, it takes you out of the present and into a time machine that takes you back to the Roaring Twenties.

  • Sunset & Vinyl, Hollywood

You won’t find a sign advertising this hidden hotspot, which makes it one of the most secret spots in Los Angeles. It’s hard to believe a speakeasy exists above the 800 Degrees Pizza, but if you walk past the restrooms and up the stairs, you’ll know you’ve arrived when you see the groovy 60s and 70s décor of this vinyl-themed bar.

Standing out in the speakeasy scene with its strong punk vibe, this rock-theme speakeasy is hidden inside Bar Clacson. It’s a cozy hideout where you can get the best highballs in Southern California. The menu only has eight cocktails, which includes classic drinks like Jack & Ginger or an Old Fashioned. Look for the “Highball” sign and follow the arrows. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see the vintage Pac-Man and pinball machines.

  • Mezcal Bar, West Hollywood

With about 100 different varieties, this speakeasy specializes in top-rated mezcal, which makes a perfect complement to their selection of Mexican dishes with a modern twist. The place is about a secret as you can get, especially since the small bar is hidden within the Laurel Hardware restaurant. Walk to the front of the restaurant and you’ll find a spicy little speakeasy right behind the curtain. And most importantly, don’t forget your designated driver from Metropolitan Shuttle, the leading charter reservation company for safety and affordability.

  • The Boardroom, Downtown Los Angeles

If you’re going to a show at Disney Hall, this exclusive lounge is the perfect spot for pre-show cocktails. Hidden inside the ultra-upscale Kendall’s Brasserie, The Boardroom has also become the go-to bar for late-night jazz. With delicious cocktails, a classy ambiance and a small menu of gourmet bar food, it’s a favorite downtown destination for jazz aficionados. On busy nights, it’s a good idea to make an online reservation. But if you happen to be in the neighborhood, just ask the host at Kendall’s and they will escort you to the entrance.

  • Black Rabbit Rose, Hollywood

With nightly performances by Magic Castle magicians and décor inspired by famous illusionists like Houdini, the Black Rabbit Rose stays in line with its theme by serving magical cocktails—some drinks are even made on your table out of smoke plumes. Another trick up their sleeve is the legendary jazz club hosted by Fred Durst. Every Thursday, the top musicians in Los Angeles gather for a night of music and magic.

  • La Descarga, Koreatown

With a rum-soaked cocktail menu, a designated cigar lounge, and lots of salsa dancing, this ultra-secret speakeasy is a celebration of 1950s Havana. You can always hop on a flight to Cuba, but in the meantime, La Descarga is the next best thing. Getting in is pretty standard—make a reservation, then look for a plain door on Western Ave. If you know the password, the host will take you to an office and then to a closet, which is where this tiny bar is situated.

  • No Vacancy, Hollywood

Located in the historic Janes House, this elaborate hideout boasts an impressive Hollywood pedigree—it was the same building where stars like Charlie Chaplin sent their kids to private school. It’s also the oldest residential home on Hollywood Blvd. Even the décor is old school Hollywood with opulent chandeliers, plus a patio with a restored 1930s bar made of marble. Getting in takes patience, but once the doorman lets you in, get ready to party like it’s the twenties with live jazz, burlesque dancers, and circus performers.

  • Seventy7 Lounge, Culver City

To find this Parisian-themed speakeasy, you’ll have to wander down a back alley, but on nights featuring live jazz and burlesque dancers, it’s totally worth it. The vintage décor, including antique chandeliers, crushed velvet walls, and an absinthe fountain, gives it a classy Old World vibe. When you see a neon sign that says “Cocktails,” you’ll know you’ve come to the right place.

  • Jackalope, Downtown Los Angeles

Situated inside Seven Grand, this exclusive bar takes whiskey tasting to a whole new level of refinement and sophistication. You’ll get to sample rare, hard-to-find whiskey that you can’t find anywhere else. If you call ahead for reservations, it’s easy to get in. Just look for an unmarked door in the back and ring the doorbell. If you become a member, you can even secure your own whiskey locker.

If you’re in the mood for a late night cocktail on the down low, put on your 20s garb, gather your entourage, and feel like the cat’s pajamas in the best (and most secretive) speakeasies in SoCal.

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