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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October 26, 2018

Travel Accessories that Make Traveling Easier

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Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, create your own first-class travel experience with these practical and ultra-luxe travel accessories:

Wireless Shiatsu Massager

The cushy reclining seats on charter buses might be plenty comfortable, but sitting in an upright position for an hour or more can be hard on the spine. And if you’re flying on a budget airline, it’s even worse—the compact seats can really knot up your lower back. For instant pain relief from travel-related back strain, a portable back massager can provide the deep tissue massage you need to enhance circulation and reduce inflammation. Many back massagers have built-in features like healing heat functions and a 20-minute automatic shut off to prevent overstimulation of the muscles.

 

Portable Chargers

When you include a portable charger on your packing list, you’ll never be the desperado at the airport or bus station who has to fight over wall outlets to charge a device. A must-have not just for passing the time, a smartphone is the single most important travel accessory you can have because it keeps you connected during your journey. So when you need to make an important call or send an urgent text, a portable charger ensures that your phone never runs out of battery at the most critical moments. Make sure you pay attention to the amperage of the battery pack because it dictates how many times you can recharge your phone before having to recharge the battery pack itself.

 

Neck Pillow & Blanket

The unique shape of a neck pillow is designed to comfortably support your head in an upright position. Without it, you run the risk of waking up with a sore neck if you fall asleep in an awkward position. Bringing the comforts of home to your travels, the blanket ensures that you feel cozy and warm on the journey. Whether it’s a charter bus or airplane, there’s a good chance that the air conditioning with being on full blast, so keep your travel blanket close by and be comfortable in any temperature. Fleece blankets are nice and soft, but reflective “space blankets” are effective and real space savers compared with other blankets.

 

Noise Canceling Headphones

Don’t let outside noise pollution like loud talkers or crying babies put a damper on your travel experience. The perfect solution is noise canceling headphones, which help block out noise around you so you can concentrate on listening to your podcast, watching videos on your smartphone, or jamming out to your favorite music playlist. Without any outside distractions, these high tech headphones are perfect for helping you stay focused and fully absorbed in your on-the-road activities, whether it’s an eBook, writing in a notebook, or dreamily gazing out the window. You can also turn on the noise-canceling feature without music on, which will create a nice, calming quiet space.

 

Hard Carry-on Luggage Case with Charging Ports

Roller bags are essential for an easy and seamless trek through airports, bus terminals, or other transportation hubs. Made with ultra durable polycarbonate, the hard shell case has a glossy finish that holds up in the roughest of conditions. Luckily for the savvy traveler, this popular type of luggage gets a major update with high tech features like a TSA compliant lock that protects your valuables, plus a built-in USB port, which gives you a convenient way to charge your devices. Finally, there’s an all-in-one luggage case for the smart passenger! Just be sure to check your airline’s luggage rules as some have been imposing restrictions on “smart luggage.”

 

Sleep Mask & Portable Sound Machine

If you’re a light sleeper, a sleep mask with built-in ear coverings is a must-have for your travel checklist. More comfortable and effective than regular earplugs, this soft and silky mask significantly blocks out unwanted sounds and light. For deep REM snoozing on your travels, make it a complete set with a portable sound machine that you can clip onto your clothing, plus sleep earbuds to deliver the soothing sounds of ocean waves, rain, and other types of white noise. Or just use your noise-canceling headphones over your earplugs to further block the noise.

 

Universal Travel Outlet

Whether you’re at a public transportation terminal or relaxing at your hotel or Airbnb, a travel power adapter with international compatibility is the most practical travel accessory you can own. The device includes access to outlets that are compatible with over 160 countries, including the UK, Europe, Australia, USA, and many more. Look for models with four USB slots and one AC socket, which allow you to charge five devices simultaneously. Make sure you check the voltage of your electronics! Some countries use a higher voltage than the US, so even if the plug fits, you need to make sure that your gadget is compatible with the host country’s voltage.

 

RFID Blocking Wallet and Passport Case

Thieves are going high tech with wireless scanners that can steal your personal info directly through a wallet. And nothing is worse for morale than having your personal security compromised during a trip. The answer to protecting your most essential items like a wallet or passport is the RFID blocking wallet or case. Look for wallets made with top-grade materials like grade 5 titanium and electro-plated gunmetal for maximum security. On your next trip, protect yourself against electronic pickpocketing with these advanced wallets, which are also available in leather or glossy aluminum.

 

According to T.S. Eliot, “the journey not the arrival matters,” so get ready to travel in comfort and style with these handy, on-the-go accessories.

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October 4, 2018

Group Leadership 101: The Ultimate Survival Guide

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As an effective leader, you’re expected to transform chaos into order while also keeping everybody happy. But that’s easier said than done, especially if you’ve been thrust into a leadership role for the first time. Even if this isn’t your first rodeo, successful leadership isn’t easy to pull off when you consider all the different personalities and opinions that can clash along the way. But if you have a solid game plan, leading a group can be an enriching experience. Using a combination of psychology, plus old-fashioned hard work and cooperation, we’ve got the essential blueprint for mastering the art of group leadership.

Know the Ropes

Having a clear expectation of the group event is an absolute must. In fact, it would be a huge benefit to have a power meeting before heading out on the trip or activity. This way you can establish your role as the pack leader while also reminding everyone to focus on the goals of the event. A meeting also gives you the opportunity to address any questions or concerns. Whatever your goals are, the top priority for any group is the safety and comfort of group members, so keep that in mind when you’re leading your team.

Share the Workload

For every accomplished person, there’s a dedicated team working behind the scenes to make it all come together. The same is also true with scenarios involving group leadership. The three-part divide and conquer algorithm approach used by software developers is a smart way to distribute work-related tasks among group members. First, divide the task at hand into subtasks or subgoals that are smaller instances of the main problem or goal. This will take some of the pressure off the pack leader while also making people feel useful and productive. Secondly, conquer the subtasks or subgoals by assigning them to the right members of your team. An effective way to gain trust and respect is by showing that you acknowledge the strengths of each member of the group. Finally, combine the solutions of the subproblem or sub goals into the solution for the original problem or goal. Remember: Micromanaging isn’t leadership, so try to avoid it. Instead, assign the task and trust that the qualified person can get the job done right.

Make them Laugh

Humor is a fun and effective way to bond with group, especially in high-stress situations. Anyone thrown into a leadership role knows the importance of laughter, including Eisenhower, one of the country’s most powerful leaders. His advice? “Always take your job seriously, never yourself.” Humor has a magical way of lightening the mood and keeping up morale, so if you get into a jam, admit your mistakes and make light of the situation. And trust us on this—your humility and sense of humor will be duly noted by team members, and that goes a long way when you’re leading a group.

Set a Good Example

Nobody’s perfect, including group leaders, but there’s nothing wrong with striving for greatness. When leading a group, remember that you’re in a position of authority, which means that the group is looking to you for guidance and support. This is your chance to shine, so make it count by setting a good example. When you’re in a leadership role, be confident in your abilities while also making group goals your main focus. This positive leadership style will help you gain the trust and loyalty of the team, and in group situations, building up social capital is essential for success.

Be Flexible with the Itinerary

You may have carefully mapped out every detail of your itinerary, but sometimes things don’t go as planned. But if you stay flexible with the plans, it shows your problem-solving skills and pragmatic approach to getting things done. When you solve problems quickly and efficiently, your group won’t have any doubts about your commitment as the leader of the event or activity. You never know when unexpected circumstances can throw you off schedule, which is why you should always have a solid back up plan. No matter what happens, the safety and comfort of everyone involved should always be the number one priority of a successful group leader.

Hone Your Time Management Skills

Being a group leader requires you to make quick decisions and snap judgments from moment to moment, which makes time management a major challenge. In order for things to run smoothly, try to “feed the eagles, not the turkeys.” In other words, try not to get bogged down in little details and instead, focus your energy on the tasks that can make your group really soar. Another big time-saver is chartering a bus. Instead of using taxis and rideshare services, keep it simple with a charter bus driven by a professionally trained driver. At Metropolitan Shuttle, we take the hassle out of travel arrangements by helping you coordinating the itinerary of your group. With an efficient schedule that meets your needs, you can focus on more important things, like bonding with group members.

Understand the Process of Group Formation

According to psychologist Bruce Tuckman, successful group formation happens in four steps: forming, storming, norming and performing. During the forming stage, some team members might be anxious if they are still unsure of the team expectations of the trip or event. Others members of the team may be positive and polite. These minor clashes then morph into the next stage, which is storming. As the pecking order is established, tensions may rise. Keep in mind that as a leader, you play a dominant role at this stage and can make the forming and storming stages proceed smoothly. Once the ice is broken and order is restored, the group enters the norming stage, where roles and responsibilities are established, and rapport is developed among group members. Finally, during the performing stage, goals can be accomplished as the group ascends to its highest level of teamwork and achievement.

The process of group leadership can be extremely rewarding for both the leaders and followers because of the opportunity to inspire greatness in others. As General Patton once said, “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” A great leader is also humble. “He who has learned to obey will know how to command,” as Solon put it. Great leaders can inspire great followers, who will in turn be inspired to do great work. Respect between leaders and followers is a two-way street, but once achieved, it can lead to innovation, creativity, and success for the group. In fact, as leadership expert Warren Bennis said, oftentimes the difference between a good leader and a great leader may come down to having a vision and being able to communicate that vision to the group to make it a reality.

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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 15, 2018

Tips for Easing Motion Sickness on Bus Trips

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According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Life is a journey, not a destination,” so don’t let the most important part of your trip be ruined by the soul-crushing symptoms of motion sickness. A disorder of the inner ear, motion sickness causes a long list of problems, including dizziness, nausea, and even vomiting. It is caused by an imbalance between your eyes, inner ears, and spine. This imbalance happens when there is a conflict between your senses, which sends your brain mixed signals. Most people get motion sickness during long commutes, although many experience the worst symptoms on planes and boats. If you are regularly affected by motion sickness, make your bus travels a lot more enjoyable with these tried-and-true remedies from the travel pros at Metropolitan Shuttle, the leading charter bus reservation company serving the U.S. and Canada.

OTC Medication

Antihistamines like Antivert, Benadryl, Meclizine, and Dramamine all help prevent motion sickness if taken about an hour before your travels. Medication is one of the most sure-fire ways for eliminating motion sickness, but you also have to consider the common side effects like drowsiness, constipation, and blurred vision. In fact, it is not advised to take an antihistamine while driving. If you’re traveling on a charter bus, you have the convenience of a professional doing all the work, so you can sit back, relax, and take your medication before you experience any motion sickness. You can also counteract the drowsy effects with caffeinated drinks like coffee or tea. Always consult your doctor before taking any OTC medications to make sure they’re the right fit for you.

Home Remedies

If you don’t feel like dealing with the negative side effects of medications, there are several natural remedies that are effective and also have great health benefits. You can more than adequately prevent motion sickness with common items like ginger, Vitamin B-6, and peppermint. Ginger is very effective for easing motion sickness, plus it comes in many forms, including candies, drinks, and capsules. Another popular home remedy is Vitamin B-6, which also contains cancer-fighting antioxidants that help rid your body of free radicals. A cup of soothing peppermint tea is also a useful remedy for easing an upset stomach. If you’re traveling on a bus, you can also try peppermint candies for a more convenient, on-the-go solution.    

Change Positions

On the Metropolitan Shuttle charter bus, you have plenty of space to lean back and get comfortable. Many people have reported that changing the way they’re sitting can help alleviate motion sickness. Having the ability to move around and stretch out can drastically reduce the symptoms of motion sickness, if not eradicate them entirely. If you crave the ultimate experience on your next bus trip, you should travel on Metropolitan Shuttle’s Luxury Coach Bus, a luxurious and spacious vehicle that allows you to get up and move around, even switch seats to a comfy reclining lounge chair with a footrest.

Good Ventilation

Fresh air is very restoring, and if you can access it, you can run in circles around motion sickness. When you ride with Metropolitan Shuttle, you’ll have plenty of ventilation and airflow since each individual seat has its own thermostat control, which allows you to make the most of your traveling experience. The charter bus also has great air ventilation and is guaranteed to keep you comfortable all the way to your final destination. If you feel any nausea, situate yourself in front of the air vent and let the cool air blow directly on your face. This method may sound strange but many sufferers of motion sickness have reported an instant reduction in nausea with a blast of cold air to the face. If you can’t get to an air vent quickly enough, keep a battery-operated hand-sized fan in your pocket or handbag and break it out any time you need a quick fix for queasiness.

Watch What You Eat

Eating food that is hard to digest may cause your nausea to worsen, especially spicy foods and alcohol, which can also heighten your chances of vomiting. Alternatively, you should go for foods that are easy on your stomach like crackers, soup, and granola bars. Preferably, you should stick with sipping ginger ale because the bubbles will help soothe your stomach while the ginger lessens your nausea. You might have been led to believe that traveling on an empty stomach will decrease your chance of motion sickness but this is a common misconception. In fact, eating a light, protein filled meal beforehand is recommended by healthcare professionals because it gently coats the stomach and prevents any symptoms. If you ride Metropolitan Shuttle’s charter bus, you’ll have access to a full galley kitchen that you can visit anytime you crave a snack or need a drink.

Focus on a Fixed Point in the Distance

Because your inner ears and muscles are sensing similar things, looking towards the direction you are headed can help re-calibrate your inner ear and eyes. You should notice it working after three to five minutes, which makes this method an easy and effective way to put motion sickness in the back seat. It also gives you a fantastic excuse to pay attention to the scenery around you rather than burying your face in a phone or book.

Distract Yourself

Talking with a friend or even a stranger sitting next to you can help reduce the consequences of motion sickness. There are many ways to distract yourself from your current conditions but engaging in conversation with your neighbors is among the best ways to go about this. Not only will meeting new people make your trip more enjoyable and entertaining, but it can also alleviate nausea that has been putting you in a bad mood for the past few miserable hours. Another crucial way to calm your motion sickness is by listening to music. Playing some jams can seriously help distract you from your onslaught of nausea and put you back on track to having an absolutely wonderful journey. This is especially true for people who can endlessly listen to music. But the distraction method isn’t just anecdotal; there is research that supports music and its ability to help you evade the harsh effects of motion sickness. According to Dr. Levine, who studies behavioral and alternative motion-sickness treatments at Siena College, Listening to one’s favorite music as a distraction showed improvements in symptoms including nausea, as well as in physiological changes.”

The stomach-churning, uneasy, about-to-upchuck feelings of motion sickness can make bus travel a major bummer, but when you pre-treat the symptoms with these fail-safe remedies, get ready for smooth sailing on your next road trip.

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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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