At GoCar Tours, we can’t imagine a worse nightmare scenario that losing a passport while overseas. This may seem like a situation it’s impossible to get out of, but there are actually just seven steps you have to follow to get yourself safely home. 1. Get ahold of the closest consulate or U.S. embassy The first thing to do is to report that your passport has been lost or stolen to either the U.S. consulate or embassy. To find out which one’s nearest to you, look at the department of state website and see their country-specific guide. When you speak to a consular officer, make sure you tell them about any crime you’ve been a victim of and when you’re scheduled to leave. 2. File a police report if necessary It’s not always necessary to file a police report. It’s not going to make the process of getting a new passport any easier, though it may help to confirm to some entities that your passport was actually stolen. If you have limited time, then you may choose to skip this part. 3. Get a new passport picture taken Before you go to the consulate, figure out where to get a new passport photo taken. If you can’t find one, then you can proceed directly to the consulate but it will be faster if you can get it taken elsewhere. 4. Fill out the required application The consulate will need two forms from you. One is the basic application for a United States passport, and the other is a statement about losing or having your previous passport stolen. This will make your lost passport unable to be used. You can fill out these forms at the consulate but, again, it’ll go faster if you can do it before hand. 5. Get…

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Do you need a car to visit San Diego? While it doesn’t have the all-encompassing public transportation options you’d find in Chicago or New York, it does offer both trolley and bus service. That said, the stops can be few and far between and most forms of transit don’t run at all hours. Does that mean that if you want to visit San Diego you have to rent a car? We so no – you can do it without one. Here’s how. Stay downtown or on the beach The most important factor is staying somewhere that both has public transportation stops and is easily walkable. Any beach, whether Pacific Beach or Ocean Beach, is going to have plenty of stuff to do within walking distance. The downtown area, specifically the Gaslight District, will offer lots of restaurants, shopping, and nightlife within walking distance as well. Yes, it will be more expensive to stay on the beach or downtown than it would to stay further inland. That said, make sure you compare the truth costs. It’s likely that staying in a highly popular beach area would still cost less than the price of booking a cheaper room but adding on the cost of renting a car and paying for gas – not to mention all the parking fees you’d likely end up paying. Make use of the many available tours San Diego is a popular tourist destination and for good reason! There’s a seemingly endless list of things to do here and many tours to help you see it all. Whether you hop on a tour of Balboa Park or one of the naval facility, this is a great option for most anyone. Of course, the GoCar Tours option is the most affordable and the most flexible. Hop in one of…

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There are a million and one things to get excited about when you’re planning a trip to Madrid – including the food. GoCar Tours is here to offer some of our favorite foods everyone should try when they visit Madrid. 1. Cocido Madrileno This simmer pork stew can be tasted at any authentic, classic Madrid restaurant. It’s their own unique take on a traditional Stew and it typically has veggies, pork, chorizo, and chickpeas. It simmers for hours, the result of which is an incredibly robust flavor. 2. Huevos rotos Many people only think of meat and potatoes when they think of food in Madrid – and there is plenty of that. There are also dishes like huevos rotos, which translates loosely to “broken eggs.” This is a dish that starts with a plate of friend potatoes, which are topped with over-easy cooked eggs. Some spots have servers who break the yolks at your tables, while at others you’ll be given a crusty piece of bread to do it yourself. 3. Bocadillo de Calamares This is the most famous sandwich in Madrid for a reason: It’s delicious! Made with fried squid, it’s a simple sandwich that includes nothing more than fresh, delicious bread that’s loaded with deep-fried squid. Some spots may top it with tomato, paprika, or garlic mayo. 4. Callos a la Madrilean We especially recommend this dish if you’re visiting Madrid in the winter. This is yet another stew-like dish. It’s made with stripes of tripe, big chunks of chorizo, and slices of blood sausage. It’s smoky, it’s savory, and it dates back to the 16th century. 5. Churros con chocolate If you’ve only had churros at your state fair then you’re missing out. Madrid’s churros are served light night and are a popular choice for festival goers…

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If you want to experience the most memorable trip ever with your best friends, then there are a few things to keep in mind. At GoCar Tours, we offer a unique way to tour some of our favorite cities. Keep our storytelling cars in mind and check out some other tips for friends-only trips. Make sure your expectations are in sync One of the hardest things to accomplish with your group trip is getting everyone on the same page. Start by asking what kind of accommodations everyone wants to stay in. If you have some who want to stay in hostels while others want to stay in 5-star resorts, then you’re going to have an issue. Then make sure that your goals are the same. For example, let’s say you were visiting San Francisco. Make sure that you don’t have half the group that wants to hit up all the tourist destinations while others want to spend the entire time at the hottest eateries and bars. Don’t get stuck on the idea of a group vacation Yes, you’ll be traveling together but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything together. If you do have part of our group that’s more adventurous than others, or some are night owls while others are early risers, then consider breaking up for part of the day. Perhaps you can have time together from lunch to dinner and otherwise spend time separately. You’re most likely to fight over money – but you don’t have to When it comes to group travel, there’s one thing that you’re more likely to fight about than anything else: Money. The good news is that you don’t have to. It all comes down to communication. Decide before you leave if you want to split up every bill, pool money,…

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There are many reasons that it’s wonderful to travel during the holiday season but it can be a difficult experience as well. With crowds, the emotions that run wild during holidays, and other stresses, you may be overwhelmed. Here are five tips from GoCar Tours to help make your holiday travels a success. 1. Do what you can to avoid peak travel times It’s true that the holidays are peak travel times in themselves, but there are some times busier than others. For example, if you’re going on vacation during Thanksgiving, traveling on the day of is going to be much more affordable than traveling the day before. Likewise, flying home on any day besides Sunday is going to be more affordable.   2. Be early for everything From showing up to the airport to getting to your dinner reservations, you should plan to be early for everything – and then expect that there will be delays. This is just a reality of holiday travel, unfortunately. 3. Don’t bring gifts with you If you’re heading out to your parent’s house in San Francisco, or any other destination, don’t try to bring gifts on the plane. Even if you pack them in your checked luggage, the TSA may open anything that’s been wrapped. Simply buy gifts online and have them sent directly to the spot you’ll be spending the holidays. 4. Travel as early as possible There are many reasons that it can pay to take the first flight out in the morning. Not only will you have extra time in your destination on the day you arrive, but the airport won’t be as crowded. More importantly, you’ll be less likely to experience delays. Remember that a single delay can have a domino effect and cause delays all day. When you…

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The National Weather Service has put out an excessive heat warning for San Francisco and the surrounding areas this weekend. Don’t let that keep you cooped up – get out and explore the beach in a San Francisco GoCar! The coast is going to be much cooler than it will be inland According to the National Weather Service, it’s going to be hot all over but the truly excessive heat – which will get up as high as 115 degrees – is going to happen inland. The coastal regions are looking at unseasonably warm temps as well, but with highs in the 80s to 90s, it will be noticeably cooler. It’s a great time to head out to San Francisco’s coast and let us keep you cool. The beach is nature’s air conditioner The reason that coastal cities like San Francisco and San Diego tend to stay so cool is because the ocean keeps them that way. While some heat sneaks by every once in a while, the solution is simple: Go straight to the source. Head out to the beach, take a tip, cool off, and have a great day regardless of how hot it gets. We can help you make the most of your Labor Day weekend Our GoCars are zippy, fun, and ready to go. Hop in, plug in the destination you want, or follow one of our pre-programmed routes. You’ll get updates on the destinations all around you, you’ll learn about the history of the buildings around you, and you’ll stay cool with the wind rushing through your hair. It’s an excellent way to get out and see everything San Francisco has to offer. Will the heat this weekend keep tourists away from the Bay? Three-day weekends are understandably busy times of the year for the…

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Traveling on a honeymoon is a unique opportunity to see the world in a way you might not otherwise see it. San Francisco has an almost endless list of things to do, many of which are perfect for honeymooners. Read on to learn more about them and then reach out to GoCar Tours to book the tour of a lifetime. 1. Head straight for Golden Gate Park Golden Gate Park offers incredible photo opportunities, lush gardens, and incredible blooms. Make sure you make it through the entire park, including the Conservatory of Flowers. There you’ll see almost every type of flower imaginable. 2. Have a bite to eat Fisherman’s Wharf Locals will tell you that Fisherman’s Wharf isn’t what it used to be. They’ll tell you that what was once pure has now become a tourist attraction. While it is true that it’s changed over the years, and that some aspects of lost their initial charm, it’s still a magical, unique place that’s well worth a stop. In fact, we suggest you get there hungry and eat some of the freshest seafood available in the world. 3. Get your creep on at Alcatraz There’s a ton of history to be experienced in San Francisco, and a trip to Alcatraz Island is necessary if you want to see it all. There’s no question that visiting is an intense experience but it will also ground you in California and in the past in a way that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. 4. Do it all at the California Academy of Sciences There’s something for everyone at the California Academy of Sciences. Do you like watching fish in their natural habitat? Then check out the aquarium. Do you love outer space and marvel at the planets? Then the planetarium may be your favorite spot….

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There’s really no bad time to visit Madrid, but if you want to be here during a unique and special time of year, then you may consider visiting during the Day of Madrid festival. Known simply as the Day of Madrid, the longer version of the name is “The Day of the Autonomous Community of Madrid.” This public holiday is celebrated yearly on May 2nd and celebrates the uprising against French troops that took place in 1808. What to expect at the Day of Madrid If you do come to Madrid during the Day of Madrid, you’ll have access to a wide range of festivities. They include police and military parades, celebrations in all the various districts not only of the city of Madrid but of surrounding villages, a number of street parties, and a wide range of communal meals. Most people in the city don’t work on May 1st or May 2nd so you may expect that many local businesses will be closed. What to be careful of at the Day of Madrid This is a public holiday, which means that government offices will be closed as well as many businesses. While a lot of stores may be closed, you’ll likely be able to find a few bakers or food stores open. Public transportation will be running but will have a reduced schedule in Madrid itself. More rural areas may have no service at all. There is likely to also be traffic jams as people head to large events. It’s not always on May 2nd While the holiday is almost always held on May 2nd, there is one exception: If that date falls on a Sunday. In that event, it will be moved to a different date. Why? Because May 1st is Labor Day for the entire country. As…

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At GoCar Tours, we understand that there are a number of situations that could arise which would lead to your need to take your pet on a plane with you. First, we want to remind you that it’s not possible to take your pet to another country without following specific procedures – some of which may involve your pet being alone in quarantine for up to a month. As a result, these tips are geared toward domestic flights only.   Make sure your pet is microchipped Regardless of your destination or how you’re traveling, it’s wise to have your pet microchipped before you leave. They should also be wearing a collar as well as a tag that has your contact information on it. Losing your pet is the worst case scenario but if they are easy to identify, the problem can be solved quickly. Book a direct flight if at all possible Booking a direct flight means less stress on your pet because they’ll be moved around less. It also means that the chances they’ll be left on the tarmac during hot or cold weather will be lower. If it means driving an extra hour to get a direct flight, we recommend you do it. Visit your vet and get everything in writing Take your pet to the vet within ten days of your departure. Ask your vet for a certificate that states they’re up to date on shots and that they’re healthy. Ask your vet if they have any advice on how to relax your pet during the flight. Depending on the health and age of your pet, the vet may be able to offer medication that keep your pet calm during the flight. Get the right crate You’ll need to buy a crate for your pet. Choose one…

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Lisbon is known as a foodie’s paradise. In fact, there are so many incredible eateries that it can be hard to narrow it down. Check out this list of some of the most critically acclaimed restaurants and see which ones whet your appetite. Don’t forget to check out these amazing Lisbon group tours while you’re at it! Lisboete If you want a fine dining experience, you’d have a hard time doing better than Lisboete. With a six-course tasting menu that will cost you a pretty penny, this is not a restaurant for those on a budget eating plan. However, if you feel like splurging, this highly acclaimed Mediterranean eatery should be a strong contender. Estamine Art Food Drink For those on a budget, Estamine Art Food Drink is a great choice. This pub offers the ambiance of old Lisbon with modern flavors. Don’t expect fancy food here, but if you want to order several tasty small plates to enjoy with a drink or two, this is your top choice. Locals swear by the banana pie and this is also considered one of the best vegetarian friendly options in Lisbon. Belcanto Those of you interested in traditional Portuguese cuisine in an upscale setting will likely love what Belcanto has to offer. Once again, this is going to set you back, but the incredible tasting menu is like no other in the world. This is classic Portuguese haute cuisine with some unique and fantastic twists. Ha Tapas no Mercado!!! Possibly the only restaurant in Lisbon with exclamation points in its name, Ha Tapas no Mercado!!! is a top choice for tapas. This tiny, tiny restaurant is located right outside the biggest market in Lisbon. As a result, the ingredients here are incredibly fresh and the options are always changing. They have tapas…

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