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August 02, 2011

The History of Route 66

 The History of Route 66

Hit the Open Road on Route 66 by Ann Hattes

Route 66, known as the Mother Road, was a two-lane ribbon of highway extending 2,448 miles through small town America from the fresh water shores of Lake Michigan to the sunny beaches of the Pacific Ocean in California. Along the way it crossed eight states - Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

A national celebration of the route's 75th anniversary took place in July in Albuquerque, New Mexico, though communities all along Route 66 are planning festivities throughout the year.

For those who made the westward trek beginning with the Dustbowl Migration in the 1930s, Route 66 represented opportunity.  Later with the hit song, "Get Your Kicks on Route 66," and the CBS TV's Route 66 Corvette duo from 1960 - 1964, it symbolized freedom.

But mostly Route 66 is a memory for millions of Americans who've hit the open road - crossed the Mississippi, the Great Plains, the Continental Divide - and helped to shape the Southwest.

[Discover full history here]

July 22, 2011

How to Plan a Road Trip on a Budget

Tips for a Budget Road Trip
When planning a family vacation, how can travelers stretch their budgets and maximize just a few vacation days? The answer for an increasing number of families is: Take a road trip close to home.

Driving vacations allow families to select scenic destinations that are nearby, reducing time spent in transit and fuel costs. In fact, the RV Industry Association says that a family of four can save up to 65 percent on a camping road trip, compared to other vacations, such as taking a cruise or traveling by plane.

Family Roasting Marshmallows

"Families that are starved for quality time together don't have to take a three-week trek," says Jim Rogers, president and CEO of KOA Kampgrounds of America, the world's largest system of family campgrounds. "Parents and grandparents can plan several weekend trips close to home, yet still enjoy an authentic camping experience and save money too."

The size of the camping travel market in North America may be larger than you think. Private campgrounds accommodate 107 million overnight stays each year, and two-thirds of U.S. campers are RVers, according to KOA's comprehensive market research. [Full story]

June 24, 2011

Summer Safety for Teen Travelers

Teen Summer Travel Safety Tips & Advice

Tips for Parents & Teens from Industry Veterans

Whether you are sending your child to a traditional overnight camp, on a school field trip or half way around the world, safety is always paramount in a parent’s mind.  For 20 years a Chicago-based service adventure travel company called The Road Less Traveled has been providing teens and young adults the chance to embark upon unique, life-changing experiences in some of the world’s most incredible locations.  Whether participants are hiking the Andes Mountains in Ecuador or scuba diving and replanting underwater reefs in the Florida Keys, the programs’ first priority is always safety.
To ensure the best and safest journey possible, here are some safety tips for teens and parents from the staff of The Road Less Traveled:
For Parents…

Choose A Credible Company: With so many teen tours, adventure trips and service-focused programs available to teens these days it can be hard to know which one to go with.  Select a program that has a great track record and an established reputation.  Don’t be afraid to ask for references or testimonials from previous participants.  Another consideration is to choose a program that is accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA). [Read full story]

June 14, 2011

Campgrounds Offer a Place to Plug In

Charging Your Electric Vehicle at Campgrounds Across the Nation

Electric Car Owners Are Increasingly Using Campgrounds
as Refueling Stops on Longer Journeys
By Jeff Crider

Most private campgrounds have 50 amp/240 volt hookups, which can charge most electric vehicles in about 4 hours

Cherry Hill Park is probably one of the greenest campgrounds in the country, having made substantial investments in solar panels for water heating and power generation.

But two years ago, a visitor from the University of Delaware opened park owner Mike Gurevich’s eyes to yet another way his park can support the environment.

“This guy knocked on the door and said, ‘Can I charge my car?’ I said, ‘Absolutely.’”

Using a campground’s 50 amp/240 volt electric hookups, most electric vehicle owners can charge their cars in about four hours.

So what do people do when they’re waiting at Cherry Hill Park for their vehicles to recharge?

“They just hang out,” Gurevich said. “Some sit at our picnic tables and work on their computers, using our Wi-Fi system. Others eat lunch at our café.”

Only a handful of electric car owners have used Cherry Hill Park for refueling purposes so far, but Gurevich plans to market the concept in the coming weeks in an effort to build a new business base and to support the environment. He charges $10 for a four-hour charge. [Full Story]

June 09, 2011

Preparing Your Car for a Summer Road Trip

Summer Road Trip Vehicle Preparation

Summer Road Trip Vehicle Preparation
Brought to you by Car Care Council

Deep down, you know your car should be checked out before hitting the road for a summer road trip, but with so many other things left to do, some folks put it off. Bad idea, says the Car Care Council, especially when motorists realize that in as little as 10 minutes, they can determine if their car is ready for long-distance travel.

The 10-minute pre-trip checkup recommended by the council includes the following:

  • Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering and brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.
  • Check the hoses and belts that can become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose or show signs of excessive wear. These are critical to the proper functioning of the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering and the cooling system.
  • Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.

But wait, there's more to the story. Click here.


June 02, 2011

10 Tips to Planning an Active Vacation


It is summer vacation planning time again and knowing how to find and vet the best options is an important step. Following are Ten Tips from a “world’s best” tour operator to take you from research to R&R as you strategize when and where to spend precious vacation time and dollars.

The first bit of advice in choosing the right tour operator is to get everyone involved and as Austin points out, “remember it’s the journey, not the destination that counts.” To help guide the consumer through the maze of vacation options, the tour experts at Austin-Lehman Adventures offer these useful tips ( when starting the trip planning process... [Full Story]

Visit Road & Travel Magazine for thousands of more articles.

May 25, 2011

Fuel Saving Vacations for Long Summer Weekends

Fuel_saving_vacationsLooking to escape for a long summer weekend, but worried about fuel prices depleting your pocketbook or the hassle of air travel?  These fuel saving vacation ideas will help you getaway without braking the bank.

Get Away without Leaving Home:
Try visiting local attractions such as the local zoo, parks, museums, traveling carnival, or amusement parks. Splurge on a big meal out at that restaurant you've always wanted to try and take in a play or musical at a local theater. Many people live within a short driving distance of some great attractions, restaurants and entertainment. Contact the tourism office in your area and ask about great attractions you may not know about. Check out RTM's World Travel Directory and Destination Reviews for possible information about your area.

Continue reading "Fuel Saving Vacations for Long Summer Weekends" »

March 11, 2011

How to Save Money on a Cheap Motel

Motel Car companies tend to introduce their new models at very posh places. I appreciate the luxurious amenities, though with the media presentations and the time spent driving or photographing the vehicles, I rarely can partake of more than the mint on the pillow and the thirsty terry cloth robes on padded hangers.

When I’m on my own, the places I stay tend to have numbers in their names. No mint, no robes. And the towels are sometimes more see-through than thick and thirsty. (OK. Use two.)

On a recent drive between Santa Fe and Los Angeles, I came up with a question for which there is no logical answer: Why is it easier to read in bed at Motel 6 than at the fancier place? [Full Story]

March 03, 2011

How to Jump a Car Battery

Man-jumping-car In the world of automotive emergencies, motorists need to learn certain procedures for "safety's sake." Two of the most valuable lessons, changing a tire and hooking up jumper cables are best learned before an emergency arises.

The process of boosting a battery is especially important in cold weather. Jumper cables or cables on a portable battery booster should be connected properly to avoid sparks, which can cause an explosion of the hydrogen gas emitting from a battery. Beyond this, an incorrect hook up can damage critical, and expensive, electronic components. [Full Story] 

July 28, 2010

Stay Safe On Your Road Trip

Planning_road_trip Heading on a road trip this summer? Proper preparation is key for a smooth, problem-free ride and fun for everyone.

Is Your Car Road Worthy?
As obvious as it sounds, you want to make sure that you're vehicle will be able to make it to your destination and back. Check the oil, coolant, wipers, lights, horn, belts, hoses, battery, and tires before take off on your journey. For information on how to prepare your vehicle for a road trip, check out RTM's article Vacation Car Care Tips.

Continue reading "Stay Safe On Your Road Trip" »