Information On Vancouver Buses

busvancouverExtending 50-70 Km out from the city centre to Langley in the east and the US border, the south Vancouver’s bus system is very extensive. It is quite a challenge to get from suburb to suburb, but service to downtown from any area is quite good. West Vancouver (the Blue buses) has its own system which you can catch downtown on Georgia Street. The fares are the same and you can transfer from one system to the other.

Electric trolley buses are mostly used downtown. There are also fast buses to the outer suburbs, which have limited stops, and what Translink call “B-Lines”. Continue Reading →

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Information On The Vancouver Skytrain

skytrainThe light rapid transit system in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada is called the SkyTrain. It has 68.7 km or 42.7 mi of grade-separated track and uses fully automated trains. Passengers get a good view of the city because it runs mostly on elevated guideways and helps the SkyTrain to consistently hold high (over 95%) on-time reliability. It also uses the SkyBridge which is the longest mass transit-only bridge to cross the Fraser River.

The system has three lines and a total of 47 stations. British Columbia Rapid Transit Company operates the Expo Line and Millennium Line under contract from TransLink, a regional government transportation agency. Continue Reading →

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Getting Car Insurance While Traveling

carinsuranceAre you one of those people who live for traveling? Are you someone who will take several trips in a year? If you are and you do a lot of driving while traveling then you need to think about getting traveling car insurance. This will protect you if any accident happens during your trip. This article will go over the basics of traveling car insurance and how it benefits you.

The first step to getting auto insurance is to call the current company you work with. Most companies offer traveling car insurance policies and will most likely give you the best deal, especially if you already have a policy with them.

If you don’t have insurance with a current company then you will need to do your own research. The internet is a great help, as it’s very easy to get several quotes very quickly.

There are several reasons why you would want xcar insurance, but some of the most important reasons involve protecting yourself. For example, you don’t want to be liable for any bodily injuries that happen to yourself or someone else involved in an accident. Having insurance will make sure all of the medical bills and other expenses are covered. There is some insurance that will even cover your car in case it breaks down or stops working. You will be able to take it to the nearest mechanic and have all the expenses covered.

One type of insurance that’s not as common but may be needed is traveler’s car insurance for property damage. This insurance will cover any damage that happen to people’s property. For example, let’s say you are driving in a residential neighborhood and you get a little tired. Before you know it you have crashed into someone’s tree in their front yard, destroying their landscaping in the process. If you had insurance this would all be covered.

If you are going to be traveling in an area that is known for high winds and other kinds of disasters, you might consider getting comprehensive traveler’s car insurance. This will pay for any damage done to your car by a natural disaster such as a hurricane or fire.

So as you can see there are several reasons you would want to have car insurance when you are traveling. It’s not only going to give you piece of mind, but you will be protected in case things take a turn for the worst on your trip. Travel safely, knowing that you are protected by your insurance. If you don’t have to worry about what will happen if an accident occurs, you are bound to have a much better time.

If you are looking for some good places to find an auto insurance quote, check out Grey Power. They are happy to assist with your research in traveler’s auto insurance and have lots of great options available.

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Saskatoon Experiences That are One-of-a-Kind

Saskatoon travelIf you’re a tourist in Saskatoon, you’re in for quite an adventure. There are a whole lot of things to do and explore, whether you’re a shopaholic or a history geek, the artsy type or the sporty type. Saskatoon is as cosmopolitan as any city, but its urban parts are punctuated by vast areas of natural beauty – trees, rivers, sunshine, and blue skies. This makes Saskatoon a one-of-a-kind experience for all who visit it.

Just strolling around the sprawling campus of the University of Saskatchewan, for example, will amaze you with its breathtakingly beautiful buildings that have been constructed at different points in the school’s history, starting with the grey stone buildings in the Gothic style, up to the most recently constructed Athabasca Hall, all laid out against a wide open sky in a 360-degree spectacle from the central field called The Bowl. Particle Physics enthusiasts will flip out when they learn that Canada’s synchrotron light source facility, where many notable physicists have done some research, is on campus.

There are countless museums and historic sites where one can learn about North Plains Indian culture, and conservation areas where one can marvel at the areas of natural beauty and indulge in some outdoorsy activities. The Meewasin Valley Trail is a must-do. It is considered one of the best hikes in Canada, running along the South Saskatchewan River, and through various parks, prairies, and grasslands, such as the Saskatoon Natural Grasslands, which is a parcel of native Saskatchewan grassland that has somehow managed to persist in its natural condition. It is an ecosystem of grasses, flowers and plants, and various fauna, birds, and insects representing 10,000 years of natural history since the Ice Age.

The Meewasin Valley Trail is 40 kilometers of untouched wilderness, history, and culture, with a Berry Farm and a homemade berry pie waiting for hikers at the end of it.

For sports enthusiasts, catching a Huskies game would make for an awesome Saskatoon experience. There is also skiing, ice skating, and hockey, which a lot of the locals indulge in during the cold months. If you’re into golf, tennis, or kayaking, come to Saskatoon in the summer.

Making the most of your trip can be exhausting; you may at the end of each day just want to collapse in your hotel bed. The city also has a smorgasbord of offerings for the foodie in you, which you simply cannot miss. Many different ethnic cuisines have found a home in Saskatoon – Ukrainian, Burmese, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Italian, Persian, Indian, Greek, and even Vietnamese. But though it is entirely possible that you may not have the energy to venture out for dinner, all is not lost, because you can actually order from restaurants in Saskatoon and have their delectable dishes delivered to you. Just go to the Just Eat site and virtually check out the different restaurants to see if anything on their menus strikes your fancy. Though you miss out on the experience of each resto’s atmosphere, you don’t have to miss out on the food.

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Where You Should Buy Car Insurance Before a Long Road Trip

Young Couple in a ConvertibleIf you are a driver, there comes a point in your life where taking your car for an open joyride is considered an attractive idea. Indeed, a long road trip can be both a carefree and fun way to enjoy sightseeing. At the same time, driving to a destination often provides you with freedom in traveling around. For many people, the journey is more important than the destination. Cross country road trips are common because of this. Many people worry about legalities in making sure the car is registered. However, there is another more aspect to be considered.

If you plan to take your car for a long road trip, there is a need to ensure it is adequately covered by auto insurance. Even though you may not want to think about potential dangers, the risk is still there. Driving in unfamiliar territory and roads may be dangerous, depending on the area you are visiting. These dangers may pose havoc to your vehicle. Perhaps, you may not be aware of these risks, but they still exist.

Where to Buy Insurance

If you still do not have car insurance for your car, make sure to obtain it even before you embark on your trip. For this, you might need the help of local agents in your area. It is recommended to buy from an insurance company in your area, even though the coverage may require services in another territory. For instance, as an additional option, your local agent may recommend you add roadside assistance which offers 24/7 assistance when your car faces problems on the road. Such a package may include fluid delivery, tire change, battery jump, towing and lockout assistance. The peace of mind will be worth it, knowing that you have protection before embarking on a long road trip.

Other Considerations
Even if you have the most helpful insurance agent, you still need to take responsibility for doing your own research such as the following:

Check limitations. Some policyholders renew their policies without checking the limitations, even when their circumstances have changed throughout the year. All limits should be adequate to your needs, especially when it comes to considering taking your car for a long ride.

Enjoy the advantages of an ‘umbrella’ policy. You may face troublesome financial consequences due to at-fault accidents. To help you out during these challenging situations, you may take out an additional ‘umbrella’ policy which will add another layer of protection when it comes to dealing with necessary legal judgements that are not covered with your basic auto insurance policy.

Choose the right insurance company. There may be several companies in your area, and they all want your attention. Therefore, it is very important to choose the right insurance company before signing up with any of their services. Make sure you have identified what you need, and the car insurance company offers them.

Indeed, it is very important to have your car protected before going on a long road trip. Get a quote from your local insurance provider and enjoy the ride of your life, protected and insured!

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Summer’s Here, Let’s Travel

Summer's Here Let's TravelSchool’s out and the next thing on our list is to go on a nice, relaxing vacation. That’s easier said than done these days because of the variety of stuff that’s out there for you to discover. The idea of a perfect vacation is still an idea, because so far our trips have been anything but that. Not that the places and things we’ve seen are not breathtaking or the adventures less thrilling. However, sometimes there are little things that can ruin it for you, like being late for your flight or forgetting to pack your personal meds. It’s true what people say – there are times when the success of a trip lies in the details.

Planning a vacation has evolved into a whole new world for me because there are so many people that I have to include in the preparation now. Over the years, my family has experienced the addition of new members which means makes us a pretty lively bunch. The planning process has become more complicated as well.

I finally have the organization down to almost an art form and it comes in handy for our annual trip. I compiled a list of guidelines and my basic points are:

  • Decide the kind of vacation that you want to have. Would you prefer to have yours packed with events and activities, or would you like to include a few lazy days in between when you can just laze on the beach and sleep the hours. Ahhhhh, I would prefer that but when you have kids with you, you need more activities than just a nap time. Choose a destination that fits in with the idea that you have. Spending some time on the internet will allow you to view the amenities of different vacation spots and check out special package deals. Booking early allows you to choose and pick the one that fits your budget and preference.
  • Check the travel discounts and compare the prices of airline ticket online. This is especially important when you’re travelling with a bunch of people. On our last trip, I took advantage of the WestJet Seat Sale and saved a lot because I had to book 15 people for our Nassau trip. We used up the money to share a special family dinner before heading home. Talk about an extra treat!
  •  Double check your must-haves for the trip. A small first aid kit is important when there are kids with you. I always make sure that the stack of personal medicines is tucked in my carry all bag. This saves me from worrying in case a family member gets sick or experiences an allergic reaction.

  •  Make the most of the excitement. Counting down to your vacation day is also a fun activity for me. The thought of the vacation is enough to put everyone in a good mood. I can take advantage of the good vibes by asking people to do stuff for me. A trip to the grocery store to buy items like bottles of sunblock and snacks to munch on is an easy errand and family members jump at the chance to be able to help out. This gives me a chance to confirm the bookings I’ve made to make sure that there are no hang-ups or mistakes.

  • A good vacation does not have to take too long. Planning a two-week vacation is close to impossible with the adults’ busy work schedule so I take what I can get. A three or four day trip can be just as much fun if you know where to go. It’s lighter on the budget so you can plan another short trip before the summer is over.
  • Make the most of the activities. Try out something new with the family. Check out what the local scene offers. Consider scuba diving or snorkeling. These will be enjoyable for both the kids and the adults. On the last day, include a time to unwind. Sightseeing will give everyone a chance to cool down and be more relaxed on the trip going home.

Having gone through this list, my last suggestion is to relax and just enjoy. The truth is no matter how long or hard you prepare for a trip, it’s possible that you’ll still forget something or the accommodations can get mixed up. My approach to this is to take it easy and don’t let it bug you too much. Having a vacation is a treat so even if things don’t happen as you plan, choose to be positive. After all, your number one goal is to have fun.

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Costa Rican Tours Can Be Excellent

When Roberta and I were at the end of our world trip, we decided to complete our travels by spending a week in a warm, tropical climate. As we had already spent a week in Panama near the beginning of our travels, we decide to check out a different location this time. Our first time in Central America was fantastic and we really wanted to return, but not to the same place. Based on this, a Costa Rica vacation seemed like the perfect option.


As always, we researched a lot of options, from Costa Rican tours to Costa Rican all-inclusive resorts/vacations. In the end, we decided on the tours, as we wanted to see as much of the country as possible, rather than being confined to just one location. Don’t get me wrong, all inclusive vacations can be great – especially if you’re looking for the type of vacation where everything is taken care of once you arrive. For many people this represents the perfect time off from work, or their normal daily routine. For us, traveling around the country, staying in a number of locations and seeing a variety of sites was much more to our liking. We’ve also learned that when visiting a foreign country, with a limited amount of time, local tours can really deliver a big overview that is difficult to experience traveling on your own, and for sure if only staying in one location.


I’ve mentioned it numerous times on this blog, but I believe in doing as much research as possible, before you even decide on your destination, is very important. You can never know everything there is to know before you get there, but researching the various options, such as lodging, prices, customs, etc.  before you step off the plane, can make a really big difference in the experience that you create once you arrive.


Before we arrived, we knew that we not only wanted to tour some of the more traditional colonial towns, but we also wanted to spend a few days on the coast, learning to surf. Both Roberta and I did a lot of research on Costa Rican tours and finally decided on a tour we found through Lonely Planet. When you book a tour in advance, you never really know how things are going to turn out, but we quickly discovered that we had made the perfect choice.

costa rican tours

We flew from New York to San Jose, where we were met by Carlos Morales, right as we cleared customs in the airport. That evening they took us to Park Cafe, a fabulous restaurant in a beautiful downtown mansion, located in the heart of the old colonial center. We started with an amazing scallop appetizer. I devoured a lamb chop entree and we completed this fabulous meal by sharing flourless triple chocolate cake. The service was over the top excellent.  I believe this may have been the most memorable meal that I’ve had in 20 years!


The following 3 days we visited the main crafts market (the Mercada Artesania) and were able to find one of a kind wood carvings and native Indian masks, at prices that would be unheard of in Canada. For the second half of the week, Carlos arranged a 1st class bus to transport us to the special coastal town of Mal Pais. This place is known for great beaches (often rated as one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world) and seafood, and also has some of the most consistently good surfing in the Americas. Keep in mind that although we are quite experienced being in the water while scuba diving, my wife and I had never tried surfing. Our guide had also arranged for us to work with one of the better surfing schools there. It was comforting to know that we were being taught by an instructor that the tour company had used for years.

malipais surfing

We spend an hour or so, on the beach with our instructor in becoming familiar with the equipment, learning the correct stance, discussing what to expect, etc. Our instructor, was very skilled in not only teaching us how to catch waves, but he also started us out by actually pushing us into the waves as we learned to stand up. By the end of the first day, we were both standing and actually riding small waves! It was hard learning how to paddle out, as I had never used my upper body for that type of exercise/motion, but learning to stand up and actually ride the waves was exhilarating. We had such a good time on this leg of our trip that we definitely will return. If you’re researching different Costa Rican tours, there are a great many options to choose from. From what we discovered most of them are of high value and we found many with excellent reviews.


We also noticed that many foreign nationals have chosen to call this special country home and although we’re not ready to make a move like that in our lives, we definitely understand the allure of such a beautiful place. On our last night, we dined under the stars at a romantic seaside restaurant. We ordered fresh Mojitos and made a special toast, vowing to return to this tropical paradise again, for more of the adventures that we so dearly love.

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Panama Tours For The Adventure Lover

At one point in our travels, Roberta and I decided that we really wanted to experience Central America. Neither of us had ever traveled further south than Mexico City and the surrounding colonial towns. While driving south, down the eastern coast of the US, we started to have feelings of needing a “south of the border” experience. We decided to go to Panama and visit other neighboring countries from there.

panama-cityFor years, I have been interested in Panama. I have also done quite a bit of research on it, which further sparked my interest to travel there. Panama is the wealthiest country in Central America, according to GDP statistics, with some of the lowest crime rates. The government is also very welcoming to not only visitors, but especially foreigners who are interested in either retiring there or opening a new business within the country. The government has enacted one of the best programs in the world for retiring as well as obtaining a second citizenship there. On top of a number of excellent perks for living there, Panama also has some of the finest beaches, great diving, superb fishing and most beautiful mountain settings anywhere.

As we entered the southern US, we decided that we would fly from Miami to Panama City, as there are a number of direct flights and the total flight time is only 3 hours. American, United and COPA Airlines (the Panamanian nation airline) all have daily, direct flights. We decided to use United, as we had accumulated a lot of miles on other trips with them.

The next big decision that we had to make was whether we wanted to see the country with one of the many companies offering Panama tours, or simply travel on our own. There are definitely pluses and minuses to both. For most of our world trip, we traveled on our own, having some general planned destinations and activities but pretty much going where the wind would blow us after we arrived. With a pre-planned tour, you usually have a set itinerary and are most often traveling with fellow tourists. We ultimately decided to work with a tour company on this leg of our travels, as we felt that it would allow us to see more of the country, in the least amount of time. As we were on a time constraint for this portion of our world trip, it was the perfect decision.

Casco_ViejoWe used Embera Tours Panama, who specializes in visiting many of the country’s National Parks and allowing tourist to interface with many of the numerous Native American tribes that live there. Once we arrived in Panama City, we had two days to see city, tour the Pacific mouth of the world famous canal, and visit a number of the other impressive sites. I was particularly enamored with Casco Viejo, which was the area of the city that the Spanish originally settled. Although much of this area is in ruins, many of the very old colonial architecture is slowly being revived.  Taking a stroll through this area is like stepping back into time.

On our third morning, we were picked up from our hotel by our guide, Garceth Cunampio Tocamo. Garceth was obtained a degree in Natural Resources at the University of Oregon, but was born in the primitive jungle of the Darien province. This part of Panama borders Colombia and much of it is only accessible by boat or hiking. The Darien contains the largest intact rain forest in Central America.

native kids in PanamaWe spent 4 days in the jungle with Garceth always by our side. He was masterful in his detailed explanation of the local flora and fauna, and his ability to speak the local language with the indigenous people who live in that region was invaluable. I felt like Roberta and I truly bonded with these locals, in a way that we would never have been able to do had we been traveling alone.

At the end of our trip, we drove back up to the capital and headed back to Miami the following morning. We took hundreds of incredible pictures of not just the wildlife, but also life itself in this very special piece of the planet. Another option, which we are saving for our return trip to this country, is to explore the mountainous coffee region in the north (near Costa Rica). If you’re considering a trip of a week or less to this special place, I highly recommend that you do some in depth research to discover which of the many Panama tours might best fit your travel needs. You can also try visiting, where I usually book my travel tours.

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What We Learned About Shipping A Car Overseas

Shipping-A-Car-OverseasAt one point in our trip, Roberta and I considered moving to Europe permanently. In the end, we decided that it was the wrong time in our lives to make such a decision, and we moved on. A similar desire caught us while we were spending a few weeks in Australia. We really fell in love with the place and did a lot of research regarding moving our vintage Cadillac from Toronto to Sidney. We spent a lot of time researching which freight companies could offer us the best shipping rates, for such a long journey.

I have had this car since I was 18, done most of the maintenance and restoration on it myself, taken countless road trips with it. It was just not something that I wanted to sell if we moved to Australia. What we ultimately decided to do was sell our everyday car and use that money to buy a second car once we landed in Australia. We knew it would be easy to find a replacement everyday car, once settled into the new location.

I had no attachments to the everyday driver that I used for work, so it made sense to try to sell it for a decent amount and use that money to get a new car later. I absolutely knew that I was not going to part with my old Caddie, so the freight company search began.

Searching online, I found a number of them that would be able to transport something like this, but one shipping company seemed to stand out from the others – especially when I searched other blogs and read a number of positive experiences that others had with this company.

I made contact with them to find out what was involved, as well as the cost for me to get my car prepped, loaded up and shipped. I spoke with a very helpful man who took a lot of time, explaining the whole process to me.

In the end, we decided not to move permanently to Sidney, but going through the research process was a good. If you are considering moving overseas and want to ship your car to your new home, it definitely pays to do your research. I really like to read about other people’s experiences in these matters and I highly recommend that you read through a number of blog posts to discover the company that is offering the best service and prices when you’re actually ready to make a decision.

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The TravelSmart 2010 Initiative

snow driving

*Join us in our goal to reduce traffic (& air pollution) by at least 30%! Check out these tips for travel, commuters and businesses.


Learn How to TravelSmart

My wife and I attended the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. During our trip, we became aware the TravelSmart Initiative, created to reduce traffic and pollution in getting up into the mountains, where most of the events were held. This site was born from that movement started during that time.

Due to the road restrictions, increased vehicle traffic and no parking at venues and along key routes during the Games, the Initiative was important. It helped everyone to plan their travel, so that we could all TravelSmart and get where we needed to go when Canada welcomed the world in 2010! Here are the tips for travel, commuters and businesses that were created during that important time.


Know Before You Go – plan your travel in advance using online tools and up to date information available at any of the transportation partners presented on this site

  • In Metro Vancouver, take public transit, visit (for Sea to Sky, visit
  • Rideshare or carpool and Park & Ride to avoid traffic delays and parking restrictions
  • Leave the car at home and walk, cycle or in Whistler, ski!
  • Use real time Transportation Alerts to stay up to date on travel changes or impacts
  • Cycling
  • Take the Olympic Pledge to reduce traffic and your corporate carbon footprint during the Games
  • Provide Transit Passes to your employees to promote transit use and leaving cars at home
  • Support Telecommuting to allow your staff to work from home
  • Encourage Ridesharing & Carpooling

See more Business Tips on how to prepare for the Games and how to reduce travel for your business

Proud partners in Olympic and Paralympic transportation planning

  • 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games
  • City of Vancouver
  • TransLink
  • BC Transit
  • Vancouver Integrated Security
  • Municipality of Whistler
  • Ministry of Transportation of BC

Only a few months after the 2010 Winter Olympics were complete, Roberta & I took off on our world trip. The TravelSmart Initiative was so impactful on how we viewed traveling, we decided to continue the guidelines not only back in our hometown of Toronto, but especially out on the road. We hope you’ll be moved by the information on our site and the new way of thinking about travel that the Initiative generated for us.

Happy Trails,

Roberta & Ed

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Vacationing In Greece Was Truly Stepping Back In Time

Greece-villa-rentals.jpgWe spent the last 2 weeks of our world trip in the Greek Isles. We quickly discovered why Greece is one of the top 10 most favorite vacation spots in the world. With over 60 beautiful islands, tranquil beaches, towering mountain ranges, and other historic sites, we never ran out of attractions to explore here. We found that for a 2 week stay renting a Greek villa not only gave us the most bang for our buck, but also allowed us to more easily connect with the locals.

For those who have never experienced renting a villa or really never considered it, you’re probably naturally curious about the rental process. Here are 6 questions to ask before renting a villa in Greece, with corresponding answers and additional tips so you can relax and enjoy your vacation to the fullest and not have to worry about anything else.

First, you’ll definitely need to determine the price ranges of the villas. Prices of villas range from approximately $1,500 to $100,000 per week depending on where you want to stay. Some of the factors in determining the price of a villa are as follows: location of the villa and the island or region it is in, the size, number of bedrooms, architectural design, and the time of year you choose to travel. Villa rentals cost more during peak season so you’ll save more if you plan your vacation during off-season.

Second, you’ll need to know what is included in the rental package. You should check individual villa descriptions for a full summary of which services and amenities are included and which are not included in the villas you are interested in. Services and amenities vary from house to house and from location to location. Does it include TV, stereo, full kitchens, 24-7 maid service, or airport greeting and escort?

Third, you’ll also need to ask what the additional costs are, if any. Additional costs include utility costs such as house heating, pool heating, long distance calls, internet connection, and laundry services. In Europe, they may charge for electricity consumption if it is over a certain level. So, you should always check with your reservation or travel agent before booking a villa, to confirm any add-on costs in some locations, to avoid going over your travel budget.

Fourth, you should inquire how far in advance you need to book the villa. If you are sure you want a particular villa, the rule of thumb is that you should not think twice and put a deposit on it right away, as popular villas always get booked months in advance. In some locations, they put you on a wait list if your particular preferred villa is currently not available. However, in most cases, it is a first-come-first-served basis.

Fifth, you should ask about cancellation fees. Usually, if you cancel your booking within 30 days of travel, it will result in a forfeiture of the full rental price; if outside of 60 days of arrival, the cancellation fee is 20–25% of the full rental price; and if between 60 and 30 days of arrival, the cancellation fee is 50% of the full rental price. You should check with your travel and reservation agent for the specifics of the cancellation policy as these may vary from location to location.

Lastly, you should ask how many people you can bring with you. Usually, the maximum occupancy for Greece villas is two persons per bedroom, unless a maximum occupancy number is stated otherwise. If you arrive with additional people and above the maximum occupancy allowance, it may be grounds for the owners or management to ask you to leave the villa and to forfeit your rental.

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Planning a Family Road Trip

Lots of people remember going on road trips with their family when they were young. Most the time, these memories are very good. When a person is an adult, they want to try to make road trips for their children just as enjoyable as they were when they were young. There are a couple of things that can make a road trip successful and fun for your kids that will be considered below.

Safety is the biggest concern any time a person is planning a road trip. You can go to a boulder subaru repair shop and have your car tuned up and have any necessary repairs done on the vehicle.

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