Nine Reasons Why Charter Buses Are The Bomb

Welp! If you just look outside, you will clearly see that the weather is getting better! The sun is shinning, birds are out, and the sky is blue. Across the country this time of year, folks are finally ready to shed those winter parkas in favor of swimsuits. So whether you’re heading to Austin, Padre, Miami, or LA, let me tell you why a charter bus would be your best bet.

  1. Safer than other road travel.

The drivers are trained to drive these long distances and because they aren’t in a rush or have to follow a set route, they can take their time. In other words, you’re in excellent hands!

  1. Cost effective for groups.

Trust me. It’s true. There’s a reason so many groups choose to use charter buses instead of air travel (including some of your favorite entertainers).

  1. Flexibility and convenience.

You set the schedule. You pick the destination. You’re in charge! Everyone arrives to the bus and leaves together, all stops are made together, and everyone arrives at the destination together and at the same time right at the front of your destination! That DEFINITELY beats a 10 car motorcade trying to all follow each other down the highway and risking someone getting lost. Because that’s a darn headache.

  1. No delays or cancellations.

You customize your trip, set the schedule, and all those good things. Your driver will make sure you get where you need to be!

  1. Comfort. Comfort. Comfort.

Foot rest. Only two people per row. Restroom on board. Big comfy seats. Large over head bins for all your junk you just had to bring with you. You get the picture.

  1. You don’t have to drive.

Read: No trying to stay awake, no speeding tickets, DUIs…

  1. Friendly drivers.

I have been on quite a few trips on charter buses. That being said, I have never met a bus driver that I didn’t like! They are some of the friendliest people ever and are incredible helpful. For real.

  1. Free time.

Since no one in the group is behind the wheel, you can get things done while on the road. You can have meetings, presentations, etc.

And lastly…

  1. YOU DON’T PAY BAGGAGE FEES! *Oprah voice*

So what do you think, guys? Another other awesome things about traveling by charter bus? Let me know in the comments!

Signed,

Preferred Motorcoach Transportation

The Family That Vacays Together: Destinations Sure to Please Everyone

When you decide to take a family vacation, there are a lot of things you must take under consideration. Will the kids actually have fun? Will the grown folks be miserable and bored out of their minds? And what if the kiddos are different ages; will everyone be satisfied? Lots ‘o things to think about, eh? Here’s the thing: choosing a destination for a family trip isn’t always so easy. So I figured I’d give you a little inspiration.  You’re welcome.

 

Vail, Colorado
Home of popular the popular Vail Ski Resort in Vail Village, Vail is a perfect destination for a winter themed family getaway. Designed to make you feel like you’re smack dab int eh middle of the Swiss Alps, there are plenty of things to do here that everyone in the fam can enjoy. There are plenty of restaurants, shops and entertainment and if you’re not feeling like skiing, there’s also snow shoeing, tubing and other activities to partake in off the slopes.


 

 

Anaheim and Los Angeles, California
Contrary to popular belief, Disneyland (the Most Magical Place on EARTH) is not located in Los Angeles, but actually about 25 miles south of LA in the resort city of Anaheim. The close proximity of the cities (they’re both a part of the same Metro area) make them a perfect ‘kill two birds with one stone’ situation. Hit up LA and see the all the Hollywood landmarks or Universal Studios, and take a few days to check out the fun Anaheim has to offer like Disneyland, California Adventure, and Downtown Disney (my favorite part). Everyone will have a BLAST. Seriously.

 

 

Washington, DC
I am a self proclaimed nerd. I have always loved museums and historical sites. But I think even kids who aren’t as into the museum life as I was (and still am) would have so much fun in the nation’s capitol. There are the obvious tourist stops like the National Mall to see the monuments, duh. But my favorites are the museums like The National Children’s Museum and any of the really cool things housed in the Smithsonian museums. I mean, where else can you see the flag that inspired our national anthem, Prince’s yellow cloud guitar and the Muppets (!!) all in one place?!

 

 

Las Vegas, Nevada
Hold up! Hear me out. While many of the resorts in Vegas have programs and activities to occupy the kids while the parents…play, my opinion is the best place in Vegas for kids is Circus Circus Hotel. I’ve been and let me just say: SO. MUCH. FUN! There is a literal theme park called Adventuredome inside the hotel, not to mention a pool and aracade! Vegas also has numerous shows the kids will enjoy and lots of fun on Fremont Street in Downtown.

 

 

Big Bend (and surrounding areas), Texas
Located in the desert of West Texas, Big Bend is a perfect spot to take the family if you’re looking to unplug and truly retreat. Home to Big Bend National Park, there are plenty of activities to get in touch with nature and get your outdoors on like rafting, swimming, fishing, and horseback riding. There are also plenty of lodging options in case you want to really rough it and pitch your own tent or whatever, or just come to a hotel room at night. It’s up to you, though the park itself is pretty remote so you will have to have a car. A perk: at night, the skies get super dark (something that doesn’t happen in the city), so this it like a star gazers Mecca!

 

 

So what do you think guys? Ready to get the family together? Let me know in the comments!

Signed,

Preferred Motorcoach Transportation

Summer Summer Summer Time: Summer Road Trip Playlist!

Well… Summer is upon us!! I am not a fan of heat, but I love the summertime vibe. Summer is chill and laid back and the perfect time for summer road trips! Of course that means a new playlist. Because you can’t have just one. My music taste is so eclectic, so the songs on my list come from all different genres, but the vibes are all the same; SUMMER FUN. Music will definitely help pass the time on the long trips so if you’re heading out on the road this summer and need some ideas for car tunes, here are some of my favorite summer road trip songs!

 

Umbrella

Rihanna ft. Jay Z

I try to not be a Rihanna fan. I really do. But that girl just keeps putting out music that I really love! And Umbrella just makes me want to dance!

 

 

Treasure

Bruno Mars

This is the PERFECT car sing-a-long song! TREASURRRRRRRRE! THAT’S. JUST. WHAT. YOU. AREEEEEEEEE!

 

 

American Boy

Estelle ft. Kanye West

I really like this song. It just has…vibes. So much vibes.

 

 

Happy

Pharrell

Yes this song has been all over the place. OH WELL. I love it still! And in moderation, it really is perfect for being on the road.

 

 

Love Never Felt So Good

Michael Jackson ft. Justin Timberlake

One of the new previously unreleased MJ songs, this was my favorite on the album! Just like Umbrella, this song just makes me want to dance! And I do not dance well. But that’s ok!

 

 

Viva La Vida

Coldplay

During a trip from Dallas to Austin once, I played this on repeat for a good 30 minutes. You couldn’t tell me I wasn’t the unofficial 5th member of Coldplay. It’s a very infectious song so I have a feeling it will have the same effect on most of you. So, sing to your heart’s content. You won’t be able to help yourself.

 

 

Get Up

Mary Mary

Such a motivational song! This song will certainly get everyone up and at ’em. Especially when you were supposed to have left 30 minutes ago but someone is holding everyone up…

 

 

End Of Time

Beyoncé

This is fist pumping greatness. Queen Bey never rarely disappoints me. (Don’t tell The Beygency…)

 

 

Valerie

Mark Ronson ft. Amy Winehouse

Amy’s soulful voice is PERFECT for a summer playlist. And this song is so much fun to sing-a-long with also!

 

 

Get Lucky

Daft Punk

Those French robots struck gold with this one. I’ve never gotten tired of it! #vibes

 

 

And last but not least…

 

Summertime

DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince

This is THE official song of all summers from 1991 until the end of time. This is not up for debate. Bye.

 

 

So there you have it. What are some of your favorite summer tunes? Let me know in the comments!

 

Signed,

Preferred Motorcoach Transportation

10 Very Cheap (Or Very Free) Things To Do In… Ausitn, TX

Let me say this: I love Austin, Texas. Like, a lot. As you know, Preferred Motorcoach Transportation is based in the Austin Metro area. Austin is one of those cities where I always have a great time! One of the things I love most about ATX, is that you don’t have to have Diddy’s bank account balance to enjoy it. There are lots of things to see and do in Austin for cheap or just downright free so I’m going to share some with you now. This is something I’m going to do periodically, and I figured it was only right to start in the Great State of Texas!

 

Congress Avenue Bats

Sounds weird, huh? Well it is. But in a good way! Basically, every year a bunch of bats congregate under the Congress Avenue bridge. They usually pop up around March. Apparently, they are mostly female and pregnant, so there’s that.  They usually give birth around this time (June-July) so the best time to see the Bat Flying Spectacular (that’s what I call it) is later in the summer, around August, when the little bat babies fly with their mamas. It’s pretty neat to see and it’s free so check it out. Also, be careful and don’t touch the bats. Because rabies.

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Sixth Street

Bars. Lots of bars with no cover. Do I need to say anything else?

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Harry Ransom Center

The center (museum, really) is located on the sprawling campus of The University of Texas. They have so many really cool things here. Check their website because they often have traveling exhibits that might be to your liking. Currently, they have an exhibition about WWI. Starting in September, they will feature an exhibit about the making of Gone With The Wind. One of the cool things about them, though, is their permanent pieces. The world’s first photograph is here as well as an authentic copy of a Gutenberg Bible. There is no admission fee but they do take donations. So break them off a little something when you visit.

gutenberg

 

Mount Bonnell

Despite the name, this is more like a very large hill. But whatever. Semantics. Anywho, the view!! To get to the top, you will need to climb a stone staircase, but it isn’t that bad. Once you’ve reached the summit, you will be very happy you climbed those stairs because that view of ATX is breathtaking. It’s perfect for photographers and iPhonographers alike! It is free, and also has some picnic tables and walking trails if you want to spend a little more time there.

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The State Capitol Building

I mean, it’s the capitol building and it is beautiful! Go see it! You can tour it during business hours and it is free, but you might have to pay for parking.

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Hamilton Pool Reserve

I’ve written about Hamilton before but it deserves a place on this list too! The cost is $15 per vehicle so get your people together and pool your money (see what I did there…) And again, be careful. There are no lifeguards on duty. You will have to guard your own life.

hamilton reserve

 

Barton Springs Pool

Speaking of pools, this isn’t an actual pool. At least not in the chlorine sense. Barton’s water source comes from the spring that shares its name. This place is perfect for year round swimming because the pool is naturally heated to 70 degrees on average all the time. And word on the street is Robert Redford learned to swim here. So that’s nice. Check the website for the pool’s hours. There are some times of day when they charge admission (about $4 max) and some times when they don’t; it varies. Also, it’s closed on Thursdays for maintenance so…don’t go on Thursday. Problem solved.

bartonsprings1

 

Free Concerts and Movies

Austin is famous for its entertainment, particularly its music scene. I’m about 99.864% sure that whenever you find yourself in the ATX, you will be able to find some free shows or movie screenings. Sites like 365 Things To Do In Austin have an entire section dedicated to free events. 365 is updated at least weekly so you can be up on the latest!

cinema east

 

Umlauf Sculpture Garden

USG was created to showcase the work of sculptor Charles Umlauf and it looks like it was plucked right out of a fairy tale! Unlike most museums, you can touch the pieces. They’re even coated with a wax to protect the bronze for the vision impaired or any one else who just can’t help themselves (people like me). Admission is cheap, just $5 to get in, and they’re closed Monday and Tuesday. So don’t go on Monday or Tuesday.

umlauf

 

Cathedral of Junk

Just like a sculpture garden, but completely different, and located in a guy’s backyard. Literally, in his backyard.  Basically, he’s collected a bunch of, well, junk. He’s assembled it into quite the impressive structure. It’s now kinda famous in Austin and he lets people drop by to marvel at it. Honestly, it’s a sight to see. If you want to see it, all you have to do is call and make sure he’s home. Because he’s a regular guy and this is in his literal backyard.

the_cathedral_of_junk_austin_tx

 

Have you been to Austin? Anything you like to see or do there? Let me know!

 

Signed,

Preferred Motorcoach Transportation

For The Love Of Money: 11 Ways to Save Money While Traveling

“Save some money? Nah, I’m good”, said no one ever. Vacations are fun. It’s your chance to see places and things that you’ve never seen before and have experiences you’ve never had before. But you still want to get the most bang for your buck, right? I thought so. So what are some things to keep in mind when trying to keep your travel costs down? Glad you asked! I have 11 tips. You’re welcome.

 

Buses are bestest!

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it once. Ok, maybe more than once but I’m going to say it again (you will deal): Buses are generally cheaper! I have a friend who lives in Houston and almost always travels by bus when she comes to Dallas because it doesn’t cost as much as flying. This is especially true for groups. Chartering through a company like Preferred Motorcoach Transportation *wink, wink* will save everyone in the party a lot on getting to their destination.

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Look at how happy they are. Look at them!

 

Do what you can before hand.

Scar and the hyenas said it best, “Be prepared!” While this seems pretty obvious, you’d be surprised. Obviously, it is going to be a good idea to start saving up your spending money before you go. It’s also a good idea to look for online deals on some of the fun things you want to do and see while on your trip. Sites like Groupon and LivingSocial offer lots of deals on some fun stuff.

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Don’t forget anything and prepare for EVERYTHING.

Again, I’m sure this seems self-explanatory. But again, you’d be surprised. Don’t forget something that you’ll end up having to buy when you get to where you’re going. And prepare for all kinds of weather anomalies to occur. When I went to New York with a friend last year, it rained the first day we were there. It continued to rain for a majority of our stay. And guess what? She forgot to bring an umbrella. So guess what happened? She had to buy one! I always travel with an umbrella, a jacket, and both open and closed toe shoes. Even in the summer. Because you never know.

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Don’t be this guy. Poor thing.

 

Travel during off-peak times.

This is something my mom taught me a long time ago because, you know, moms know everything. Traveling during the week instead of on weekends tends to be cheaper. This includes hotel rooms, tickets for things, etc. If you do want to travel on the weekend, hotels that typically cater to weekday business travelers are usually a lot less expensive on weekends. More money in your pocket, boo. Make it rain.

make it rain 2

 

Sharing is Caring!

My friends and I did this once on a trip to New Orleans. This was a good idea for two reasons. 1) We got to sample more things by sharing, which is great in a food rich city like NOLA and 2) We spent less on our meals.This is also true for hotel and everything. Basically, the more people who share the cost, the less money you each pay. Because math.

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Use public transportation. Or your feets.

Remember that NOLA trip I was talking about above? We call this trip our “Struggle Trip” because we each had less money than we thought we would. The reason is because we didn’t take into account that we’d have to pay to park the car for three days. THREE. DAYS. THREE! It was parked. Not moving. Not one time did we get into that car until it was time to go. Most big cities have great public transportation systems that are very user-friendly. Don’t count out walking. Walking is how you stumble upon those little gems that you might have missed otherwise. Don’t make the same mistake we did. We were so upset. Smh.

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Talk to a human person.

I know this might seem archaic. Or even like a foreign concept all together. But when booking things like hotels, if you don’t see any good deals online, try calling and talking to a human. The optimist in me believes that humans are generally nice. And helpful. Speaking to a live human on the phone can save you a lot more than if you’d just booked online.

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Give the local food & libation a chance.

Let me tell you something: those sketchy looking hole-in-the-wall spots are probably going to be better on your wallet than those tourist-trap spots. Most times, the food is a WHOLE lot better, too.

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Don’t get caught up, y’all.

 

Swap lunch and dinner.

Fun fact: Americans tend to be the only people who save their largest meal of the day for the end of the day. Most everywhere else in the world reserves lunch for the largest meal. Doing this while on vacation can be a real money saver. Lunch is typically a cheaper meal than dinner. You can also take it a step further and do a late lunch. A late lunch during happy hour times when meals are cheaper AND free food is often included? Winning!

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Stay in smaller, independent hotels.

Smaller, independent, boutique type hotels are usually cheaper than their larger chain hotel counterparts. I love these kinds of hotels because aside from their lower cost, they tend to have a lot of character and are a lot more charming. The hotel shouldn’t be where all of your money goes. Besides, you probably won’t be spending much time in there anyway. This is a hotel my friends and I stayed in New York last year. It was adorable! The best part was it was about $100 less per night than some of the larger hotels in the area.

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Do not, under any circumstances, eat those hotel room snacks.

I know. I know that basket is just set up so pretty and what not. And you need a little midnight snack and they won’t notice that small bag of pretzels missing, right? Wrong. I used to work in a hotel. I worked in the food and beverage department and part of my job was stocking the mini bar and snack basket. Guess what? They know EXACTLY what is in that basket. And they will find out and charge you. If you want some snacks in your room, get them from a drug store. Your wallet will thank you.

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Resist the urge. Those M&Ms probably cost $20.

 

So. Do you have any tips to save money on vacay while still being able to enjoy yourself? Let me know in the comments!

 

Signed,

Preferred Motorcoach Transportation

Don’t leave here without trying… Episode 1: Houston, Texas

Hello good people! It looks like winter finally got the memo that she TOTALLY over stayed her doggone welcome so it’s definitely time to start planning those spring trips. As you probably all know, one of the best things about traveling is…FOOD! Whenever I go on vacation, one of the highlights for me is finding great restaurants to try. Now I tend to be a bit of a picky eater (understatement of the year), but that’s neither here nor there. I still enjoy great food. Recently, someone suggested a great idea to me. Periodically, I am going to pick a city in our great United States, poll my friends who have lived or traveled there, and compile my finds into a list of places that you shouldn’t leave said city without trying. It’s all very scientific. As always, because Preferred Motor Coach is so great, they can take you and your friends to any city!

 

First up… Houston, Texas!

 

The Breakfast Klub

http://thebreakfastklub.com/

Average price: $10-$30

This place is truly DE. LISH. I would recommend getting here early or going on a week day. On weekends and holidays, you will likely have to stand in line to get in, but the earlier you get there, the less time you spend waiting. They open at 7am on weekdays, 8am on weekends and they close at 2pm everyday. I am partial to their chicken and waffles (SO. GOOD.) but just about everything else on their menu comes highly recommended. The atmosphere is very laid back and friendly. Don’t forget to check out the awesome artwork that is hanging up, too!

Recommended: Chicken wings and waffle, catfish and grits, pork chops, French toast.

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Backstreet Café

http://www.backstreetcafe.net/

Average price: $20-$30

My friend Kyndal is a food connoisseur. She even has a food blog (one post happens to feature my mom’s taco soup). Long story short: when she speaks (especially about food), I listen. According to Kyndal, brunch is a must try. They have flavored mimosas that feature a different flavor daily and also a gluten-free menu for all the gluten-free peeps out there! The atmosphere is more upscale, so dress like you have some sense.

Recommended: Crab cake & eggs, lamb meatballs, gingerbread waffle, pecan-crusted chicken.

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Gatlin’s Barbecue

http://gatlinsbbq.com/

Average price: $10-$15

Of course barbecue was going to be included here. Because TEXAS. I asked Kyndal what was good here and she said, “basically everything…” but the ribs are “especially good.” From what I can see, she’s probably right! Gatlin’s is laid back and very small, but they do offer patio seating, which is always nice! Be mindful that it can get crowded here, usually with a line outside. But stick it out…it is worth the wait!

Recommended: Ribs, brisket, dirty rice, baked beans, potato salad.

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There you have it. So get your voyage to Houston planned, and put these places on your ‘must eat’ list! Also, I’m hungry now.

 

Signed,

Preferred Motorcoach Transportation

Travel Hacks!

I love to travel. I’m one of those people who would be content to just live out the rest of my days traveling all over the US and the world. There’s only one thing that I dread when I’m about to go somewhere: THE PACKING. I hate packing. That moment when I pull out my bag or suitcase and stare into the empty abyss that I must fill with all of my random things, my heart stops a little. Where will everything go? How will I get all this junk that I MUST take with me in this bag?! Really. It’s terrible. The only thing I might hate more is unpacking. Well, I know I’m not the only person who experiences this feeling of dread before packing. So I scoured the interwebs and found these things that may make your next trip a little easier.

 

1. First things first: make a list. I mean, really. Lists are great. It assures you don’t over pack… Maybe. Possibly.

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2. Binder clip to cover razors. Protect those fingers, guys.

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3. Place a dryer sheet in your bag. It’ll smell like heaven and keep things fresh.

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4. Use a pot holder to store your flatiron or curling iron. (How did I never think of this!?)

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5. Use buttons to keep your earrings together. (Again… How did I not think of this?)

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6. Those hanging jewelry cases are great for storing all those cords you have for all that miscellaneous technology you can’t travel without.

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7. Old glasses cases too…

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8. Roll your clothes instead of folding them. Leaves you more free space. My mom hipped me to this years ago. It works! Because moms know everything!

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9. One of the 278,983 old contact lens cases you have laying around is great for storing things in your suitcase and saving space.

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10. Old medicine bottles are also perfect for storing stuff. I’ve used one for q-tips but you can use them for lots of things, like shampoo or lotion, or first aid kits!

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11. Use plastic wrap on your bottles to prevent spills. GENUIS.

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So, do you guys have other ideas or things you do to tame that packing beast? Let me know in the comments!

 

Signed,

Preferred Motorcoach Transportation