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July 2009

July 31, 2009

The Beach & The City: All-in-One Vacations

Cityc beach It’s a well known dilemma: do you go for the exciting buzz of a city break, or the more relaxing option of topping up the tan on the beach? Well, why not do both? Maximize your holiday time by combining city break with sandy break and visiting an urban beach this summer. Beaches, deckchairs and cocktails can be found well within the city limits of these hot spots.


Barcelona, Spain: This Spanish city is a great place to blend a beach break with city slicking. One of the biggest beaches around is Barceloneta which attracts hundreds of Barcelonans when the sun comes out – which is fairly often of course! If you prefer something more chill, try Nova Icària, one of the quietest beaches in the city, ideal for families.

Copenhagen, Denmark: The Danish capital may not strike you as a sand hot spot, - until you get here, that is. Copenhagen has two beaches: Amager Beach Park and Haynebad close to the city centre, easily accessible by the local S-train. Here you’ll find clear water, white sand and warm water temperatures during summer.

Brighton, UK: Brighton beachfront is famous for its pier which hosts a fun fair, arcades, side stalls, bars and an atmosphere of traditional seaside fun. Brighton is also known for its lively night life and funky beach club culture.

Vancouver, Canada: The fact that Vancouver has 11 miles worth of beaches within its city limits is doubtless one of the reasons why it’s consistently ranked as one of the best cities to live in the world. Trendy Kitsilano Beach has a great outlook spanning from the bay to the North Shore Mountains. It also has Vancouver’s largest heated salt water pool.

Dubrovnik, Croatia: Warm azure seas line the Dubrovnik Riviera and most of the seafront hotels in the city have access to beaches. Most are pebble rather than sand but all offer the usual fun in the sun amenities such as cafés, beach bars, and swimming pools. Banje is probably the most famous beach in Dubrovnik and offers a divine view of the city’s red roofed architecture.




For more vacation ideas from RTM, visit us here.

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July 30, 2009

New Car Review: 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan

By Bob Plunkett

Vw-tiguan-pic2 Volkswagen of Germany ships to the United States a new compact-size crossover utility vehicle for the class of 2009 wearing a peculiar name: Tiguan. The moniker, chosen by German consumers in a public vote, is a mixing of animal names for tiger and iguana. The badge is difficult to pronounce and perhaps unusual to a fault. But we love the sporty crossover that bears this odd badge.

We get to steer a 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan over Colorado canyon courses like U.S. 36 climbing into the Rocky Mountains to Estes Park, and we find the driving experience is way too much fun due to this vehicle's tight structure and precise mechanical components derived from German engineering.

A Tiguan outfitted with the turbo in-line-four leaps immediately off the line for a run up the gear ladder. All of the turbo muscle is manipulated through a manual six-speed transmission or the optional six-speed Tiptronic automatic with shift-it-yourself manual controls. Stomp the go pedal and the Tiguan whips your neck back into the headrest and sprints to the fast lane. Drop the short stick down a gear on the manual transmission version and engine torque surges from the shift to higher rpms. Fact is, Tiguan has attitude.

Continue reading about the VW Tiguan here.

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July 29, 2009

Safe & Stylish Cars for Teens

Ford fusion 08 If the back to school list this year includes a car, you will want to know which vehicles are recommended for young novice drivers. Because new drivers are still developing good, defensive driving skills and learning how to handle a vehicle, they are more likely to underestimate dangerous situations or hazardous conditions. The safety and reliability of the car driven may be the difference in saving their life.

Each of the selected models, recommended by CarMax and Driver's Edge, scored at least a four-star rating from NHTSA for both frontal and side impact protection in each of the last three years (besides the completely redesigned Chevy Malibu, which has only been available since the 2008 model year). Each car is affordable, especially in the used car market, and offers an array of active safety features as either standard or optional equipment. Cost, reliability and vehicle styling have been considered, but safety considerations weighed more heavily in determining the cars to recommend.

  • Chevy Malibu
  • Dodge Caliber
  • Ford Fusion
  • Honda Civic
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Nissan Altima  
  • Pontiac G6  
  • Subaru Legacy
  • Toyota Corolla
  • Volkswagen Jetta

For young drivers who deserve a brand new ride, the 2010 Ford Focus will come standard with MyKey technology, which allows owners to program a key that can limit the vehicle's top speed and audio volume. MyKey also encourages safety-belt usage by muting the audio system until front occupants buckle up, just the perfect way to get a teenager's attention.

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July 28, 2009

Three of the World's Most Luxurious Resorts

Ventanas Las Ventanas (Los Cabos, Mexico): Since its opening in 1997, Las Ventanas has met critical acclaim as one of Mexico’s most exceptional resorts. Featuring 71 spacious suites that welcome guests with in-room tequila, fresh fruit, and personal butler service, Las Ventanas pampers until one’s heart is content.

Juluca Cap Juluca (Anguilla, West Indies): Situated on the southwest coast of Anguilla and overlooking Maundays Bay and the mountains of St. Maarten, Cap Juluca blends the flavors of Dutch and French St. Maarten – transcending simple tranquility with Moorish-style beachfront villas.  

Feltrinelli Villa Feltrinelli (Lake Garda, Italy):

The Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli’s distinctive guest rooms and suites are individually decorated and feature hand-printed Venetian paper, in-room music panel and heated marble bathroom floors. Tour the ancient home from the Library to the Salon, garnering dramatic views over Lake Garda.

Visit RTM's Luxury Travel Section for more hotel reviews.

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July 27, 2009

Child Safety Seat Tips For Ages 0-15

Baby car seat Infant: A rear-facing seat in the back of your car supports your infant's upper body, protecting the head, neck and spine and spreads crash forces across the back. Properly installed child safety seats reduce the risk of death by 71 percent for infants involved in crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Toddler: It’s time to switch to a forward-facing safety seat. To save money, buy one that’s convertible right off the bat.

4- to 8-year old: Research from a Partners for Child Passenger Safety study shows that booster seat use reduces risk of injury in a crash by 59%. Booster seats elevate children’s small bodies to ensure proper seat belt fit, better protecting them in case of a crash. Children 8 & Up: When a child is 4’9” or taller, he or she is ready to use only a properly secured seatbelt. They need to stay in the back seat until age 13, or risk injury by an airbag.

Did you know?

· As children age, their risk of injury in a crash rises. 13- to 15- year-olds are at the highest risk for injury in a crash. Head injuries are the most common type for all age groups.

· Children have a much higher risk of injury when the driver is younger than age 20. Although only 4.2% of crashes involve a driver aged 16 to 19, child passengers in these crashes are nearly four times as likely to be injured as if they were riding with an older driver.

· Vehicle crashes with the highest number of significant injuries occur on roads with posted speed limits of 45-64 mph.

To continue reading child safety tips from RTM's Teens & Tots Section, click here.


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July 24, 2009

Express Passport: Get Yours & See the World ASAP

Ppppaasspyort Ordering a new passport can be nerve-wracking, especially when you already have travel plans, or a last-minute need for a passport due to recently changing regulations. Passports and other legal travel documents usually take 4-6 weeks, but if there's paperwork trouble or other holdups, it can take an untold amount of time. If this risk isn't worth taking, there is now a new option. From new passports to child passports to passport renewals, you can order one expedited at an extra charge from

The service charge is $99-$279 (depending on how soon you need it) for a new, lost, renewal, name change, child’s passport, or new passport pages, plus the government fee of $60-$135. U.S. citizens can even order expedited travel Visas to any other country that may require one. Passports arrive anywhere from 1-14 business days from when the transaction is complete.


Other sites, like,, and even the US Passport Bureau are offering expedited passport service online to help relieve that strenuous passport delay.


For airline rules from RTM, click here.

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July 23, 2009

2009 Spa Trends

Are these spa trends Spawomenenthralling, or over-the-top? You decide.  

1. Casinos: High-end, world-class spa facilities situated within casino hotels cater to a captive, free-spending clientele that both appreciates pampering and sees the value of balancing both high-octane indulgence and recharging, healthy pursuits.

2. Medical Tourism/Dental Spas: The line between spas, medical spas and hospitals is becoming ever more creatively blended. The era of the ‘spa-spital,’ with global consumers traveling to access the services they want, need, and can afford, has arrived. Even dentists are offering spa services.

3. Eco-Embedded Spas: Expanded green initiatives and eco-processes are quietly and meaningfully enmeshed throughout entire spas, so there’s no demanding efforts required by the spa guest, who is, after all, there to relax. Consider a health club like Green Microgym in Oregon where the energy created on cardio-fitness equipment is captured and reused to light the facility or the Six Senses in Thailand, where guests can eat all of the resort landscaping.

4. In-transit: With overbooked flights, tight security and longer delays, there’s no doubt that the stress of modern travel has increased. Thankfully, spa-going while traveling is reaching a whole new cruising altitude: trains with fully equipped gyms and spas, planes with in-flight spa showers and massage treatments, and wellness-oriented cruises.

5. Mind, Body & Spirit: Consumers are looking to spas to recharge not only their body, but their spirit and mind as well. Many spas are increasing self-discovery services like ropes courses, art classes and other learning activities that help consumers to stop, be still and focus on themselves. 

6. Tech-savvy: Cutting-edge new treatments combined with amenities like Wi-Fi, iPod jacks in treatment rooms, and online booking make spas more appealing to technology-obsessed Gen-X and Y.


Visit RTM's Spa Reviews Section for more spa-going tips.


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July 22, 2009

Group Getaway Planning Advice for Friends

What to share:


  • Money - by starting with a money pool for shared expenses like taxis and activities, you'll save any money-related tension about figuring everyone's share. Just contribute an equal amount each, take money from the pile every time you pay for something everyone's taking part in, and split the remainder at the end of the trip. Put the money on a debit or giftcard to make things even easier.

  • An everyday meeting spot, especially if phones aren't in service.

  • Interests & Planning - Though the most fun is often spontaneously stumbled into, it's good to get an idea of what everyone wants out of the vacation beforehand

What not to share:

  • The luggage load - Each of you don't need to bring a hairdryer, straightener, and toothpaste, especially if you're all booked in the same room!

  • Phoho Picture-taking duties - Everyone should bring their own camera, so the group can later share their experiences with each other. Seeing the trip through each other's perspectives will make the vacation more meaningful to everyone.

  • Room-space - Though it may be tempting to not even bother unpacking, interspersing clothes and toiletries together as you get ready each morning - resist the urge. It will just cause re-packing mayhem. 

Find vacation planning ideas in RTM's What Women Want Section.

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July 21, 2009

The Best Used Luxury Cars to Buy Now

Infiniti m It's fairly easy to get half-off the price of a luxury vehicle - just drop a few numbers off the model year and start your search again. Because any car’s value depreciates the second it is driven off the lot, consumers can buy valuable used luxury cars (or CPO's) at, well, the price of an average new car.

BMW: The 2007 328i  or 2004 M3 - A few years can’t put a damper on the ’07 328i sports sedan’s finely-tuned, Euro-style luxury.  The ‘04 M3 coupe, with its high-performance power and acceleration, retains its driving machine durability 5 years after it's release.

Lexus: Just about any model - Lexus, which ranked highest in vehicle dependability by J.D. Power and Associates for 14 consecutive years, has a slew of older models worth the buy today - even the '07 hybrid (the GS450h) gets high ranks by today's standards.

Inifiniti: The 2007 FX35 or 2007 M - A sportier version of the popular crossover, the FX35 strikes an appealing balance of spaciousness, luxe amenities and handling. The M, though sporty and luxurious, retains practicality and has an impressive array of usable tech features.

Acura: The 2007 MDX or 2004 TSX - The '07 MDX deluxe crossover built on a proper (not adapted) platform, with safety & navigation features that cover all bases. The '04 TSX is a fun ride, with styling that still looks modern.

Porsche: The 911, any year - Even the '98 911, which can almost be considered vintage, still packs a lot of punch and holds the "dream car" appellation, without the dream car price tag.

For tips on buying a used car, visit RTM's Used Car Buying Guide.

July 20, 2009

Getaways with Just The Girls

Girldgetawatys Murder Mystery: The Inn at Rooster Tail in Port Angeles, WA offers customized parties, such as a murder mystery weekend when you rent out the entire house for a group. will direct you to nationwide "Murder Mystery" weekend events. 

Yoga & Relaxation: Enter the promo code: GIRLFRIENDS when you book a getaway with Dream Resorts & Spas in Mexico and the Dominican Republic, and you'll get an automatic upgrade to the "dream girlfriends getaway package," which includes free yoga, manicures and pedicures, and champagne upon arrival.

Party Package:  The "Truth or Dare" girlfriends getaway may be just what you're looking for if things start to get wild when the girl get together. Located in Orlando, FL, Gaylord Palms Hotel will help you customize your getaway if you dare to make the call.  

Arsty: Visit the high-class Hotel Murano in Tacoma, WA, where you'll wake up inspired by the world-class glass art used to decorate every floor, corridor, and lobby. Guests also revieve admission to the Tacoma Museum of Glass and a glassblowing session at the Tacoma Glassblowing Studio.

Packages: Book an all-inclusive package for whichever type of travel you and your girlfriends crave at

Discover more girlfriend getaway ideas in Road & Travel Magazine's Travel Channel.