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There’s a new
sheriff mayor in town, and he doesn’t really see the charm and nostalgia of the horse drawn carriages doing their thing in and around New York City’s central park. Mayor Bill de Blasio has only been in office for a few months, but he’s made it clear that he wants the horses to head elsewhere for a variety of reasons. We won’t agree or disagree with his thoughts and opinions, but we will let you know of an alternative—old timey horseless carriages.
The New York International Auto Show is busy doing its thing, and as part of the show The Creative Workshop showed off a prototype of what it calls a Horseless eCarriage. There’s oversized wheels, room for up to eight tourists, a lot of shiny brass, and a really big battery—as the whole thing is electric.
Booze Travel / Drinking Travel / Beer Travel / Bars / Florida Restaurants / Road Trips / Florida Travel / Florida Keys Travel / Subaru XV Crosstrek / Cars / → All Tags
Dive bars are a place you can go without needing to dress up and drench yourself in cologne. Each has its own character which makes the casual wanderer-in want to be him/herself. While in the Keys recently, we found a few such dive bars worth mentioning.
· Green Parrot Bar - 601 Whitehead St. Key West - Open Daily 10am - 4am
This dive bar is a long time favorite among locals and tourists. Formerly called The Brown Derby Bar during WWII, it was a favorite among the submariners and sailers stationed a few blocks away. Now called Green Parrot bar, some of the retired sailers still come back to the bar to find it virtually unchanged. I’m sure it can get very busy during the summer but the bartenders are quick and knowledgable so you won’t be waiting for your drink for too long.
Road Trips / Florida Travel / Florida Keys Travel / Subaru XV Crosstrek / Cars / Key West Travel / → All Tags
There's a good chance that, if you're reading this, you're well aware of the seemingly endless winter weather impacting much of the United States. And you're probably also wishing for some sun and warmth right about now. An easy remedy comes in two words: Key West.
We recently made the popular drive along the Keys in a new 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid, and discovered a few things along way, aside from the fact that fresh air and sunlight does a previously snowed-in traveler a world of good.
The Overseas Highway (part of US 1) runs from Key West to Miami and allows access to the Keys in between. Consisting mainly of leftover bridges and road sections from the original railroad system constructed by Henry Flagler, the completed highway opened to traffic in 1938. It is a destination of its own, and allows vacationers easy access to the sandier beaches south of the state's continental limit.
FlightCar / Rental Cars / Cars / Road Trips / Car Shares / Car Sharing / Driving / Airports / LAX / SFO / BOS / → All Tags
We’ve talked about FlightCar before, and in case you don’t remember—we will fill you in. Basically it’s a car sharing program over at the long-term rental car parking lot. When you drop your car off it’s paired up with someone looking for a car. The renter gets a better deal by borrowing your car, and you get a better deal because you make some money instead of paying for parking. It’s all licensed, insured, and what not, as they realize that there needs to be some guarantees and promises to get everyone comfortable with things.
Right now FlightCar is an option at airports in Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, but what we wanted to share is how they’re changing things up for business travelers. The company isn’t just interested in the leisure market, as they’re now trying to get road warriors interested in their services.
Rental Cars / Hertz / Arizona Travel / Cars / Road Trips / Travel Deals / → All Tags
There’s been plenty of deals to drive rental cars out of certain states and into other states as well; however, we’re not sure that has been the case at the same time. Hertz is either confused, or they just are really excited about the state of Arizona. The rental car company is now offering up one-way deals for those looking to depart from or arrive to the Grand Canyon State.
Heading into the state is the better option, so we’ll start with that. Drive into Arizona deals can be had starting at $5 per day on economy cars, and if you’re looking for something a little better—they also promise a good deal on other car classes. You need to book your reservation sooner than later, and pickup the car prior to March 10. Just utilize RQ “ICFLT1” to score the deal, and be sure to grab your car at a participating location. This includes options rented in and around Southern California, Las Vegas, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, and the state of New Mexico.
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Over in London there’s a new look for the city’s iconic taxicabs, as Nissan has revealed its design and plan for a vehicle that they hope can compete for a decent share of the market. The new look takes cues from the city’s usual car design, but as you can see above—it’s certainly not the same thing.
Nissan is hungry to score success in London, as they already have gobbled up contracts to supply similar vehicles in spots like New York, Barcelona, and Tokyo. Its new look for London is based off the NV200 van, and it hopes that the petrol-powered taxi can take to the city’s streets by the end of the year. As for a greener version—it might be 2015 before an electric option is available for spinning around Piccadilly Circus.
Rental Cars / LAX / California Travel / Cars / Bill Diffenderffer / Silvercar / Skybus / → All Tags
At this point you probably have heard us mention Silvercar, and their plans to change the way we do the rental car thing. The company offers up one type of car, so you can pick whatever you want to rent as long as it’s a brand new silver Audi A4. The cars come with plenty of free stuff including WiFi, GPS, Satellite Radio, and they even have a fairer way in which to refuel your car.
There’s no need to check-in at the rental car desk either, as you’re able to do everything right from the comfort of your mobile device. They’ve been expanding across the country slowly but surely, and they are an option in spots like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston-Hobby, and Austin. Now they’re more eager than ever to have you check them out, and there’s a pretty good introductory offer.
FlightCar / Rental Cars / Cars / Road Trips / Car Shares / Car Sharing / Driving / Airports / LAX / → All Tags
Those looking to head out of town have a new option when it comes to the long-term parking lot, as FlightCar has recently started up shop over at Los Angeles International Airport. In case you don’t remember the deal with FlightCar—basically you rent out your car to others instead of just leaving the car in the parking lot. Someone gets the wheels they need, you don’t have to pay for parking, and you even make a little money on the deal.
The peer-to-peer car sharing system hasn’t really gone gangbusters as of yet, but the head honcho at FlightCar—he’s 19 years old—reports that the company has roughly 3,700 listings for the not really rental cars. We guess we would be a little concerned letting someone else take our wheels out for a spin, but at the same time the insurance, the liability, and other guarantees do provide some kind of warm and fuzzy feeling. Overall we think the idea is kind of awesome, and yet again we're jealous that we didn't think of this first.
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Hey, what's the deal with the unmarked Boeing 747 in the background of test track shots on BBC Top Gear?
A quick Google search revealed that we're not the only curious ones, as the plane is part of a Wikipedia article on the former airfield where Top Gear films:
Adventure Travel / Portugal Travel / Sagres Travel / Jeep Tours / Tours / Road Trip / Cars / → All Tags
So when he pushes it into fourth gear and rips down the off-road dirt trail to make sure you don’t “feel the bumps as much” or takes you up 45-degree climbs to reach coastal vistas, don’t say we didn’t warn you, all right?
Seriously, this was easily the most free-wheeling jeep tour we've ever experienced. It's all thanks to Sandro Pombal of Sagres Discovery, who is a former driver for Mitsubishi's regional rally team and who has since "settled down" to spend his days driving the trails along Portugal's rocky, elevated south and west coastlines, an area that is, without question, still undiscovered by American tourists (which we'll nag you about tomorrow).
Rental Cars / LAX / California Travel / Cars / Bill Diffenderffer / Silvercar / Skybus / → All Tags
It’s been a bit of time since we first found out about Silvercar and its plan to take the rental car industry by storm with one car option—the silver Audi A4s. We guess things have been going pretty, as the company has expanded since starting things out of Dallas-Ft. Worth. Following its arrival on the scene, Silvercar has starting doing its thing in Austin, Houston, and Dallas-Love Field, and towards the end of the summer it finally made its way out west—to San Francisco.
Up next is another California destination, as the plan is to start offering up vehicles in Los Angeles at LAX on November 4. Reservations are already available, so if you’re hitting the area for business or pleasure you might want to give them a try.
Again the way it works with Silvercar is that you’ll download the app beforehand, as that’s what you need to pretty much to do the rental car thing. From your mobile device you can book your car, change your reservation, and pick up your very own silver Audi A4. That’s right—you open the doors to the car and climb inside after unlocking it with your phone. Even better is that lots of stuff is included with your rental car like turn-by-turn directions, WiFi right from the vehicle, and satellite radio.
Rental Cars / Road Trips / Cars / Enterprise / Travel Tips / → All Tags
That's right. Before his travel writing days, this Jaunted contributor was kinda/sorta/not really in the travel industry as a management trainee with Enterprise Rent-a-Car at a California airport. He learned that he hated wearing a shirt and tie to work, but also picked up tips on how to save a buck on a rental:
Enterprise employees may walk and talk like they're your friend, but they're really just trying to butter you up so you'll dig deeper into your pockets. One of the best kept secrets in the rental industry revolves around taking advantage of this aggressive approach.
When I was at Enterprise, one of my regular sales goals was centered around getting the customer to spend more money than their reservation intended. This was accomplished by selling insurance, pre-paid fuel, or through upgrades at the counter. Even if it was just a little more money, like a dollar or two, it was to my benefit to upgrade customers in order to increase my numbers so long as we had the cars available.
Because of this, one of the best things a customer looking for a deal can do for themselves is book an economy car and upgrade at the counter. This is a tried and true approach, one you should definitely utilize if you have a reasonable amount of flexibility. Because this trick is dependent upon availability, you shouldn't do this if you have to have a certain type of vehicle -- it all depends on what they have on the lot.