Do you love the water? What about spending time at the beach or kayaking down a river? Do you like planning a picnic by a lake? Or are the woods your happy place? Perhaps you’re a person who is more comfortable in the middle of a bustling city. No matter what your idea of the perfect vacation may be, California offers it! At GoCar Tours we love exploring everywhere from San Diego to San Francisco and between. Today we’re here to share some of our best tips for planning an incredible weekend getaway in California. Stay somewhere near the action If you want to make the most of a weekend getaway then you want to minimize the amount of time you spend driving. For this reason, choose accommodations that are right where you want to be. Whether it’s a condo on the beach, a cabin in the middle of the woods, or a campsite miles from the closest building, California has it all. If you choose to stay in a city like San Diego we recommend not renting a car at all. Instead, use unique transportation options that can truly maximize the amount of time you get to spend doing what you went there to do. Pack some snacks California has some incredible restaurants and it’s wise to take advantage of such a large selection of cuisines from some of the most respected chefs in the world. That said, the last thing you want is to find yourself so hungry that your only option is to pull over into a fast food drive thru you could have gotten at home. For this reason, we always bring plenty of snacks. This lets us enjoy our day while still saving room for all the incredible meals we have planned. Don’t overpack If…

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While getting ready for an exciting trip, you don’t want to spend too much time worrying about what could go wrong. That said, there are a few disasters you can try to avoid. One example is getting sick. At GoCar Tours we’ve come up with four simple tips that can help you reduce your chances of getting sick on your next vacation. 1. Cut out the germs If you’re not normally a person who uses antibacterial wipes to clean up the bathroom, your sitting area, your hands, etc., then now is the perfect time to pick up the habit. You should be washing your hands frequently and not sharing lip balms, drinks, or utensils. This is especially true if you have a long international flight. Remember that all the air in the airplane is just recycling. With the 100+ people likely on the plane with you, there’s a good chance that someone is sick. 2. Treat your stomach kindly When you travel to a new place, you won’t be accustomed to their food or environment. This can cause an upset stomach even if there is nothing dangerous in the food or drinks. We suggest being wary of all tap water, including adding ice in your drink. We also suggest using boiled water or bottled water to brush your teeth, wash off fruits and veggies, make your coffee, etc. 3. Give your immune system a boost There are tons of products on the market that are specifically designed to help boost your immune system. They are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. While they can’t cure anything or prevent 100% of issues, they can help your immune system be stronger against any potential irritants. 4. Get plenty of rest When our bodies are tired, they are much more prone to getting…

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When you’re heading out on vacation you want to know that your home will be safe while you’re gone. The good news is that we’ve traveled all over the world and have some ideas on how to prepare your home when you’re taking off. Check out our tips and then follow up with GoCar Tours to see some unique travel ideas too. Invest in a home monitoring system The ultimate is a home monitoring system. You have tons of options, so choose one that’s right for your home. You can find home security systems that let you look at video of the interior and exterior of your home anywhere you have internet access, which can not only help keep your home safe but can give you peace of mind that everything will be fine when you get home. Make sure your home is maintained while you’re gone If there’s a thief doing the rounds, looking for homes that are unoccupied, one of the first things they’re going to look for is a home that looks as though it has been maintained. This means the grass may not be mowed, the garden may be overgrown, etc. There are companies in your area that can take care of these home maintenance issues while you’re gone. Leave a key with someone You can put your newspaper on hold, have your mail held too, but you don’t know when a surprise package may show up. You don’t know when you may end up being stuck in your destination for longer than you thought and end up with plants that need to be watered. Having someone at home with a key gives you the peace of mind that if the home needs to be gotten into, it can be. Have your mail and newspapers stopped…

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Everyone who heads off on vacation has things they’re looking forward to, like seeing the sites in San Francisco or going on a whaling cruise in San Diego. However, there are also things you absolutely don’t want to happen on vacation. If you’re a person who worries or who simply wants to be proactive and learn how to stay safe, read on. Then reach out to GoCar Tours to book your unique storytelling tour. Put money and other valuables in a money belt If you’re going to be sleeping in any public place, such as taking an overnight train in Europe, or staying in a crowded hostel room, then we recommend keeping your money on a money belt. We recommend also keeping your credit cards, passport, memory cards for your camera, and any other small items on your money belt. Keep your valuables with you Unless you’re staying in a hotel with a safe in the room, or one in the lobby they can put your valuables in, then you want to keep your things on you. This means not leaving credit cards back in your room, or your passport sitting on the bed. It’s unlikely that something bad would happen but simply having your valuables on you can give you peace of mind. Have a backup Some essential things should be backed up. For example, it’s a good idea to have an extra credit card stashed somewhere safe. That way, if your purse is misplaced or your wallet goes missing, you won’t be left with no money. Likewise, take a picture of your passport and other travel documents. They can make it a lot easier to have your passport replaced in an emergency. Stay in a safe hotel or hostel If you’re a bargain traveler then you’ve likely looked…

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No one wants to spend the first few days in their perfect vacation destination feeling jet lagged and tired. The good news is that there are some simple steps you can take to reduce the affect it has on you. At GoCar Tours some of our favorite destinations are overseas, like the timeless beauty we’ve found on trips to Barcelona, or the truly unique touring opportunities in Porto. Over the years we’ve discovered a few tips that really do help reduce jet lag. Begin by being well rested It’s common for people to try and beat jet lag by staying up all night the night before. Their plan is often to sleep on the plane and then wake up refreshed at their new location. This isn’t going to happen. In our experience, the more well rested we are when we got on a plane, the less jet lag will eventually affect us. Eat and drink healthy foods and beverages Skip the alcoholic drinks. We know they’re tempting, especially in a situation where you’re trying to wind down and relax. However, when you’re up in the air that alcohol is going to hit you two or three times as hard. You don’t need to throw your body out of balance like that. As far as drinks are concerned, an interesting fact scientists have found is that if you’re traveling west, you should have an espresso before the flight because it will help combat jetlag. But what about those traveling east? It has the opposite affect so don’t do it! Exercise Jet lag can make it feel as though you don’t want to do anything. Don’t let this guide your actions. We recommend exercising the morning before your flight. Once you’re at your destination, do a quick workout again. This helps to…

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It’s often difficult to find a gift that’s both personal and unique. At GoCar Tours, we have a lot of family and friends who travel. Here are some of the best travel gifts we’ve ever seen. What would you add to this list? A compact camera If your friend loves to travel and takes some of the best vacation photos you’ve ever seen, then there’s a good chance they’re using more than just a phone. However, dragging around a ton of camera gear can get exhausting, and with new fees for extra bags it can be expensive. Today’s compact cameras can do most anything a person needs them to, but they are affordable and take up little space. A new carry-on bag If you have a loved one who’s always on the move then a new carry-on bag is a great choice. You can find a pattern or color that fits their personality, plus a durable option that will last for years to come. Choose a unisex duffel that can be used by either person if you’re buying for a couple, and make sure it’s big enough that they can bring the things they need but not so large that they’ll be forced to check it. A camping hammock If the person you’re buying a gift for is a budget traveler, or just someone who likes to kick back and relax when they’re traveling, then a nylon camping hammock is a great option. You can even find a hammock that’s also a tent – complete with an inflatable mattress pad and bug net. A WIFI hot spot If your friend travels overseas then it’s likely they’ve had to choose between not having cell service and paying a ton for international cell charges. In many countries they’d also have to buy…

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Whether you’ll be visiting Europe for the first time or are going back for your 20th time, there are always traveling tips that can help. Check out these four must-know tips for traveling to Europe, and don’t forget to look up GoCar Tours if you’re traveling to Barcelona, Madrid, or Lisbon. 1. Make sure you check your Visa requirements If you check Visa requirements a year ago, then you need to check again. If you’ve never checked the Visa requirements for the country you’re visiting, then you need to check again. The last thing you want is to be turned away when you enter the country you’re visiting, all because you didn’t fill out a few forms. You won’t need a Visa for most countries in Europe – as long as it’s a short trip – but the country you’re visiting may be one of them. 2. Make reservations in advance If you’ve never been to a particular country before then you may not know how important reservations are, or if they’re important at all. It’s true that some places are very easy to get into, but it’s also true that in some countries you’ll have trouble booking flights, train tickets, hotels, and local tours unless you do so in advance. 3. Bring the most comfortable shoes you have There’s a lot of walking to do in Europe and it’s essential that you bring comfortable shoes. We also recommend socks you know you like, flip flops for quick walks to the pool at your resort, and slippers for the nighttime. If you’re prone to blisters then you should pack some band-aids and other products to protect your feet. 4. Go out and explore You may be surprised by how many people stick to the tourist attractions and don’t take the…

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There may be nothing better than traveling internationally but it has its downsides. One of the worst aspects of an international trip is having to say goodbye to friends and family. In the past, you’d then have limited access to them until you got back. Luckily, that’s no longer true. At GoCar Tours, we use a variety of methods to stay in touch with family and friends when overseas. Have a scheduled time to connect We’ll get into the specific ways to stay in touch when overseas, but first it’s important to set up a schedule to contact the person or people you want to contact. If you don’t, then you run the risk of calling someone at 3 in the morning, missing your loved one while they’re at work, etc. With the significant time differences, it’s essential that you set up a time to connect. Find international-friendly apps It used to be that if you wanted to call someone from overseas, you’d likely find yourself looking for a phone booth. These days, you’d be hard-pressed to find one in most of the world. This is in part because of all the international-friendly apps that allow you to talk to folks back home. Depending on whether you want to video chat, text, or have a regular phone call, you may want WhatsApp, Viber, or even Facebook Messenger. Others like Google Hangouts while others pick Skype. Try out a few and see which one works best for your needs. Make good use of social media Not everyone wants to be on social media but it can’t be denied as a great place to stay in touch with friends and family. You can post your photos of your Porto vacation on Instagram, update folks with your itinerary on Facebook, or leave short…

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Once you’ve made the decision to take your next vacation in San Francisco, you’ve booked your hotel, you’ve made a reservation for a unique sightseeing tour in San Francisco, and you’re getting ready to go, there’s one more thing to think about: Finding the right shoes. At GoCar Tours, we’ve tried them all and have some tips to help you get the right choice for your needs. Vacation shoes for the outdoor enthusiast In San Francisco, you’re not going to need hiking boats but you may want hiking shoes. They can handle a lot of walking, they offer great support, and they’re perfect for the hills in San Fran. What’s more, they’re relatively small compared to boots, so are much easier to pack. For an even smaller and lighter option, consider cross trainer tennis shoes that offer enough support for most activities. Vacation shoes for the person who loves to party While some people want to get up as early as possible while on vacation, others like to sleep in and take advantage of the nighttime hours. If you love enjoying the local nightlife of the locales you’re visiting, then you’re likely looking for shoes that look great but that won’t kill your feet. Options include choices that work great by both day and night, including block heel sandals or mules. Vacation shoes for a person traveling on a budget When you’re traveling on a budget, you want to avoid checked bag fees if at all possible. In this case, bringing one pair of shoes that works for all purposes is the best option. Something with no heel or a very short heel, or an ankle bootie that’s comfortable but will go with any outfit. We also recommend looking at soft suede or rubber soles because they’re extremely forgiving when…

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Writing a list of all the reasons to travel to Europe would take the rest of our lives, but one thing that’s certain is that Europe’s train system would be on that list. You can fly to one country and take trains to visit half a dozen more. It may seem complicated but once you get the hang of it, it’s a lot of fun – and every cost effective. Here are five tips to help you make the most of it. 1. Travel at night when possible There are a dozen reasons to travel at night when you can, from the soothing rocking of the train while it travels through the night, to the fact that you won’t be giving up precious exploring time, and the fact that you won’t have to book a hotel for the night you’re traveling. Depending on which train you’re on, you will likely have options for a shared cabin or private cabin (known as a sleeper). 2. Reserve a specific seat if possible Not all trains allow you to pre-book your seat, but if they do, then we recommend taking advantage of this option. This is especially true if you’re visiting Spain, France, or Italy. It’s possible in more popular destinations that you may not have a seat at all if you don’t pre-book, and will instead be stuck standing for potentially hours at a time. 3. Consider the various passes Many countries have rail passes for within their country. If you’ll be traveling to several countries, look into a Eurail Pass. These can save you money and make transportation much easier. 4. Find unique ways to get around the cities you want to visit Some people worry about taking the train through Europe because they won’t have transportation once they’re in their…

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