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Is it a Good Idea to Purchase Rental Car Insurance?

People rent cars for various reasons and some even rent cars quite frequently. Whether it’s for going on a vacation or business trip, facing the question of whether or not to purchase rental car insurance for your travel always pops up. As you’re signing the contract for your vehicle, you only have a split second to make a decision. Here is a simple guide you can use the next time you’re faced with this decision.

 

Does Your Auto Insurance Cover Rental Cars?

 

A lot of insurance companies offer coverage for rental car protection on personal auto policies. If you purchased comprehensive and collision coverage for your vehicle it generally transfers to the rental car. So if there are any dents, scratches, theft, accidents, etc. while you’re driving the rental car, it will be covered by your auto insurance policy. Just to make sure, call your insurance company to double check. But before doing so, read on.

Will Your Credit Card Company Cover Damages for the Rental Car?

 

There are various credit card companies that offer coverage for damage done to rental cars when the card is used to rent the vehicle. This is secondary to your auto insurance if it doesn’t have comprehensive and collision coverage. Towing charges may also be covered by your credit card company, so it’s a good idea to ask. Never know if you may need a tow. If you are the cause of injury or damage to another driver and their car, the credit card company will not offer coverage. This is strictly for liability or personal injury coverage from an insurance company — this is why it is very necessary for your to have your own auto insurance.

Is Your Travel for Pleasure or Business?

 

Some companies offer coverage for employees that rent cars for business purposes. Check with your boss or fleet department to see if you’re covered before buying extra coverage from the rental car company. So if you’ll be traveling far to get to a meeting or visiting with a client in another state and end up having to rent a vehicle, you should see if the company you work for offers benefits for rental car services. You’ll be surprised that they do. If not, being that your rental car is basically a temp vehicle to replace your current car, your insurance policy may cover it.

Be Careful if You’re Driving Out-of-State or the Country

 

Each state has its own policies when it comes to auto insurance. It is important that you read through your insurance policy to see exactly what it covers. If things aren’t too clear, give your insurer a call. You should also check with your insurance company to see if they cover out-of-state travel. For instance, in Massachusetts, auto insurance only applies to travel within the state. Then other states offer coverage in any state within the United States. Some offer limited coverage in Mexico and Canada. If you’re planning to travel out of the country, it may be best to purchase insurance through the rental car company.

Don’t Allow Anyone to Drive the Rental Vehicle

 

It doesn’t matter if it is a spouse, sibling, best friend or descendent, if you’re renting a car, no one else can drive the car, but you. Many rental car companies are picky about who drives their vehicles and the insurance policies they offer only cover you, the driver. Now, if you’re going on a vacation on a long out-of-town trip, likely you’ll want to alternate between two or more drivers. Ultimately, you will have to put them down in the rental contract, so that they will be covered if anything happens. Of course, this will cost more money. Even your own insurance policy may not cover other drivers for the rental vehicle, so make sure to check beforehand. Better to be safe than sorry.

Now that you have a general idea of what to expect when renting a car, you should be safe. Your best bet would be to check with your insurance company, credit card company and employer (if going on a business trip) before purchasing any auto insurance from a rental car company. It could save you money in the end. What’s most important is that you get enough coverage as to where you won’t have to pay any expenses out of your own pocket. Check if other drivers will covered, if you would like to alternate drivers.

If you’re renting a car because of car issues, you can find discounted parts on Groupon from Newegg.

Facts About Long Term Villa Rentals

Since most people choose not to stay in a hotel for an extended period of time (whether due to budget constraints or personal preference), the options for long-term holiday rentals are plentiful. You can either choose to stay in an apartment, house, villa or condo depending on what kind of experience you’re looking to have while you’re away.

Regardless of the different options available, villas tend to be the most popular choice for people in need of long-term accommodation. This is thought to be because villas combine the basic elements of a hotel stay with the luxury of having your own space to inhabit – almost like a serviced home.

That said, you can pick and choose what kind of villa you stay in, and you don’t have to have maids, butlers or chefs at your whim. Similarly, some of these properties come with pools, spas, gyms and home cinemas – whereas others are more basic in their offering. Whatever you’re looking for, there is bound to be a villa out there to match your needs.

The best place to start looking for accommodation is online. Here, you will be able to spend time surveying the different options available to you, as well as comparing prices between providers. If you can’t find a list of long-term rentals on the company’s website, it’s best to contact them over the phone to discuss whether this kind of let is an option.

Many people buy villas overseas because they are an incredibly worthwhile investment, with many being cheaper than in the UK or US. While owners will typically use them for their own holidays, they may also choose to rent them out while they’re not in use, generating an income and making sure the home remains looked after.

In order to ensure that the property is being kept to a high standard and is safe and secure, many owners will employ a rental agency to manage it in their absence. They will provide you with a point of contact, much like a letting agency would if you were renting a home to live in. You should be able to find details of available rentals on the agency’s website.

The agency should therefore be located in close proximity to where you’re staying in case there is an emergency or you need assistance. They may go one step further than this and actually supply the staff to clean, cook and wait on you during your stay.

These services can provide you with a much-needed break from day-to-day life, or allow you to get on with working, exploring, or whatever you planned to do when you arranged your trip away. If budget is an issue, talk to your chosen accommodation provider to see if they can provide minimal services that won’t break the bank.

Most long-term holiday homes will ask for rent to be paid on a monthly basis, similar to a property you might rent back home. When looking online, properties should be ordered on a monthly rental price basis – from lowest to highest – but may also be arranged in accordance with your size and location preferences.

If you can’t find anything that fits within your specifications, it’s best to get in touch with the agency directly as they may have other options available.

Common Mistakes When Booking a Hotel

Traveling to a new destination is not only a good way to unwind, but it is also a learning experience. Whether you are traveling for fun or on business, it is important to consider your accommodation before departing. Many a trip has been ruined because of poor lodging choice and the experiences are always painful.

There are many mistakes people make when looking for hotels and these can easily be avoided. Here are a few of these pitfalls to enjoy your next trip:

1. Ignoring Hotel reviews

While finding the most suitable accommodation in any destination, be ready to take time and read reviews by past guests. Yelp and Trip Advisor are just some of the sites where you can get credible information about the place you want to stay. You will find more details on such websites than on the establishment’s site.

2. Failure to Confirm Location

With so many technology tools such as Google Street View to help locate properties, there is no excuse for failing to confirm where your hotel is located. Check what other facilities are around the area lest you book a room above a major interstate highway or a market.

3. Not checking Availability of Airport Shuttle

Nothing irritates as much as trying to hail a cab in a new city once you land. To avoid this inconvenience, go for a facility that provides transport to and from the airport.

4. Taking Parking for Granted

If you are using a rental, make sure you confirm availability of parking at your place of stay and the cost for the same. Consider the security of the rental and the high cost of parking if the establishment doesn’t have space.

5. Consider Internet Access

Whether you are travelling on business or fun, it is important to have access to the internet and a good hotel should offer this. However, you also need to consider the cost lest you end up paying more for WiFi than for the room.

6. Failing to ask about Breakfast

No one likes to leave their room to go to look for breakfast, hence the importance to confirm about the availability of this meal and the cost. You can easily confirm this by calling in advance.

7. Failing to Sign up for Loyalty programs

It doesn’t hurt to sign up for rewards whenever they are available because sometimes they start paying off immediately thus saving you money.

8. Using Loyalty Points with 3rd Parties

As a rule of thumb, if a loyalty program belongs to a particular brand, you only enjoy the benefits when you book through them.

9. Fear of the Bargain

It is your right to ask for a better rate and you shouldn’t have any qualms when doing this; after all, any savings will make your stay even better.

10. Don’t be afraid to call the hotel

Online information might not be up to date and by calling directly, you will get deals that other guests won’t find.

These are just some of the ideas you can use to get a good accommodation deal.

Reason You Should Rent A Condo For Your Beach Holiday

If you’re thinking of jetting off somewhere sunny, you’ll need to decide on a place to stay. But with so many accommodation choices out there – from apartments to villas and hotels – it can sometimes be difficult to know which is the right option for you and your fellow holidaymakers.

Your decision will obviously rest on what rentals are available in your holiday destination. There will also be other factors to consider like how many people will be staying with you, what services and amenities you may require and what kind of holiday you are looking to have.

Some people prefer to be in the thick of the action (with direct access to bars, nightclubs and shopping centres) whereas others would rather abide somewhere more remote. Whatever your preference, there is bound to be a rental out there to suit your needs – you just need to know where to look.

A good hotel will obviously supply all the amenities and services that you might need on your holiday, but the price per bedroom can be high if you’re opting for 4 or 5 star establishments. There is also a lack of personal space, with no private kitchen or lounging area.

The fact that you can’t prepare your own meals in a hotel will certainly make the trip more expensive. You will either need to eat in the hotel restaurant or find eating establishments elsewhere. This can be time consuming and costly, adding unneeded stress to your holiday.

A full rental home, however, will provide more space but won’t necessarily have services on hand should you need them. This means you will have to cater for yourself and do all of your own cleaning and laundry – making the holiday feel like less of a break than you may have imagined!

Rental homes (depending on their size and location) can also be expensive, charging a higher price per bedroom than other accommodation options. If you’re looking to keep the cost down, but still enjoy a luxury getaway, you’ll be pleased to know that there is another option.

A condo can provide a happy medium between hotel accommodation and a full rental home. While you will be able to enjoy all the amenities and services of a luxury hotel, you will also have the personal space you need.

Condos are available for any sized party, whether you’re on a couple’s break or looking for a multi-bedroom penthouse to accommodate your wedding guests. So whatever the nature of your holiday, a rental condo is sure to put you all up in style.

They are surprisingly affordable, too. Obviously price varies according to where you are staying and how big the property is, but renting a condo can actually end up being cheaper than staying in a hotel.

When it comes to booking a condo, you’ll want to find yourself a reputable holiday agent who can help find you something to suit your exact requirements and fit within your budget.

Look for a company who specialize in your holiday area – this way they will be better equipped to help you book transport, restaurants and other activities. They should also be able to help you settle in when you get there, so spend some time looking for a company that offers a full management package.

Although it’s best to try and organize the details of your holiday in advance, many holiday companies will offer a last minute special – meaning you can book your accommodation at a discounted rate. This could help save you money, meaning you’ll have more to spend on shopping and cocktails when you’re actually there.

Spa Holiday On Thailand

Thailand has become a popular spa destination and people from all around the world are choosing the country for their spa holidays. Many of the spa resorts in Thailand offer excellent packages that people can choose to meet their needs. There are spa resorts affiliated with major commercial chains in addition to the more personalized boutique resorts. Both have their own individual charm and come at different price points. You can choose whichever works the best for you.

Major commercial chain spa resorts offer standard services, and you can be sure of the good quality of their services since they are established and cater to many people. However, boutique resorts offer more personalized services and often better value.

If you are planning to visit Thailand for a spa holiday, here are the top 3 places to consider.

Koh Samui: The scenic, tropical beaches on the island of Koh Samui in Thailand make it one of the best locations for a spa holiday. The spa resorts here offer pampering spa services such as foot reflexology, Shirodhara, Ayurvedic treatments, Indian head massage and a range of traditional Thai spa treatments. You can choose services that target specific parts of the body if you are dealing with specific issues but usually a holistic approach works best. For complete rejuvenation, you can opt for full body massages, body wraps, etc. These are very relaxing and help you feel refreshed. Since you will be staying near the beach, you can spend your time relaxing on the beach in between the spa session. To get more health benefits, you can select the detoxification programs that these spa resorts offer.

Chiang Mai: For people who connect more with the tranquil atmosphere of the mountains, you can select any reputed spa resort at Chiang Mai. This location is surrounded by the foothill of the Himalayas and offers a memorable spa experience because of the scenic beauty and quiet atmosphere. The spa resorts here offer various detoxification, rejuvenation and yoga programs in addition to spa services for your overall well-being. Whether you are just going for a weekend or planning to stay for more than a few days, you can choose different packages to make the best of your trip. You can spend your time in between the different spa services exploring the location and enjoy the location.

Phuket: The spa resorts in Phuket offer a range of Asian therapies. Their services focus on the overall wellbeing of a person and try to create spiritual, mental and physical harmony. Many of these resorts also offer meditation programs, yoga classes and more in addition to spa services. You can also get guidance from certified trainers and experts to plan a workout regime for you. The mouthwatering and healthy Thai dishes are sure to make your taste buds crave for more. There is a good mix of luxury and affordable spa service packages offered by the resorts here. When you opt for a spa resort in Phuket, you can also take some time out to explore the island, which is a very popular tourist destination.

Magic on Bukit Nanas

Think Kuala Lumpur, and images of massive shopping centres, fun-filled theme parks, meandering traffic, bustling eateries and street food come to mind. As Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur continues to capture the hearts of locals and tourists alike with abundant opportunities and attractions that it has to offer.

One of the oldest and well-known areas of Kuala Lumpur is Bukit Nanas where the KL Tower, the 5th tallest telecommunication tower in the world, calls home. Although Bukit Nanas is known for its serenity and tranquillity in the midst of the booming modern metropolis, many have yet to discover the hidden gems and attractions that the sprawling verdure have to offer.

Breath of Fresh Air

Throbbing with life in the middle of the bustling city centre is KL Forest Eco-Park, a small patch of greenery known as the only remaining virgin tropical rainforest in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. The forest reserve is teeming with wildlife as a plethora of flora and fauna finds refuge within its premises. KL Forest Eco-Park, also known as the ‘Green Lung’ of Kuala Lumpur, boasts paved footpaths for enjoyable nature trails, including an impressive 200-metre canopy walk where visitors can enjoy a light trek with a wonderful aerial view of the treetops and the city beyond.

Reach for the Sky

Forget KLCC, the latest adrenaline-pumping, sightseeing experience is at the Sky Box at KL Towers, which officially opened its doors to the public on 20th May 2016. Located 300 meters from the ground, the Sky Box is an extension from the Sky Deck ledge and is made of glass (not for the faint-hearted!) so that visitors can enjoy an unobstructed panoramic view of Kuala Lumpur.

Since its completion in 1996, the KL Tower (known locally as Menara Kuala Lumpur) has been an icon for Malaysia before the KL Twin Towers took its limelight a year later. Unbeknownst to many, the KL Tower blends Eastern designs with Western architectural technology, and its interior is designed with Islamic motifs to reflect Malaysia’s Islamic heritage. The main lobby is decorated with glass-clad domes designed and arranged in the form of the ‘Murqarnas’ by Iranian craftsmen from Esfahan.

Gastronomic Treasures

Looking to have a nosh after an adventure in the reserve? Relish in local fanfare at Lot 10 Hutong, a ‘gourmet heritage village’ that offers signature Malaysian cuisine from well-known eateries, all clustered under one roof (within the comfort of an air-conditioned food court). For a more authentic experience, the renowned Yut Kee Kopitiam, a stone’s throw away from KL Tower, is where locals rave about their signature Roti Babi (pork bread), and Beef Rendang and Kaya Toast.

Respite in the City

At the foot of Bukit Nanas and nestled in the quiet cul-de-sac of Lorong P. Ramlee, guests looking for a quiet respite in the heart of the bustling city will find comfort at Oasia Suites Kuala Lumpur. Redefining and setting new standards to city hospitality experience as the destination of choice for the wellness-conscious, Oasia Suites Kuala Lumpur is a restorative retreat in the city that inspires and empowers guests to Journey Well when travelling through three wellness pillars – Refresh, Refuel, and Recharge.

Explore the treasures of Bukit Nanas that is Kuala Lumpur’s gold mine of nature and adventure for thrill-seekers and visitors alike! An idyllic green sanctuary for all, this is the ideal hideaway to escape from the hustle and bustle of the cityscape and revivify your senses

How To Staying Safe When Meet Bears

Anyone embarking on the exciting wildlife experience of bear tours is highly unlikely to encounter a confrontational situation with one of these majestic animals. It is still very wise, however, to educate yourself on how to react if you ever did come into close contact with a bear, by understanding the psychology of how and why they attack. While on reputable bear tours you’ll always be accompanied by an expert guide, but the information below will outline the basics.

Why Might a Bear Attack?

Determining how to react depends a lot on the situation. A bear may attack either because they are being defensive or because something is standing in the way of their food source. If the animal sees something as a threat it will not stop attacking against the tactics of ‘playing dead’ or shouting and it requires a little more imagination in defensive tactics. Instances of threat include a mother protecting cubs or a hidden food stash, or if it feels its space has been encroached upon. It may also be more predatory if it is exceptionally hungry.

How to React to an Encounter

Bear experts say that the first rule of thumb, however difficult it may seem, is to remain calm and not panic, as a panicked person exhibits behaviours that resemble potential prey. The advice is to try to make yourself bigger than you really are; you can do this by holding your arms above your head and standing with your legs apart. If you have a jacket on, wave it above you to make you appear larger and wider, and leave any backpacks on as they also add to the illusion of size.

You should always avoid eye contact but never turn away from the animal, as you need be aware of what it is doing at all times. Noise can be helpful, but be warned that in some cases it can have the opposite effect-some larger bears are more curious about noise and may well be attracted to it, while others will run away, especially if the sound is of a metallic nature.

After Dark

If you encounter a bear at close quarters at night, shine a torch in their eyes and, although you might feel the urge to run, the advice from expert guides on bear tours is don’t. Sudden movements may cause the animal to give chase. It’s a common misconception that climbing a tree will keep you safe in the case of a bear attack, but this is not true. Some bears can climb very fast and, while a bigger animal may not be exactly nimble, it’s never a guaranteed escape route. Distance is your best tactic, so try to put something large between you and the animal, such as a tree or a rock.

Bear attacks on humans are actually extremely uncommon (and never on properly organised bear tours). However, it’s always prudent to understand the right way to behave in unlikely event you ever come face to face with this most impressive and intimidating of creatures.

Tips To Loving Outdoors Vacation

Obviously today’s society is a very stay at home, anti social group of individuals who see the outdoors as the equivalent of running a marathon. Well over the years I’ve come to understand that the wild IS for everyone, they just don’t know it yet. In many cases, a camping trip is one outdoor enthusiasts trying to talk someone, usually of the opposite sex, into joining them in the great outdoors. And in most cases the person who has never been camping usually has a difficult time adjusting to sleeping outside. I believe every person has that primeval wild side inside them, it just needs to be drawn out slowly. So from my experience, turning many city dwelling individuals into wanting to be the next Bear grills, I’ve put together a simple guide to help get your friends or significant other to take a walk on the wild side with you.

The Guide to Getting Anyone to Love the Outdoors!

Question Their Experience

First and Foremost find out what experience your guest has with the outdoors. Did they grow up in a rural area or in a downtown apartment? Have they gone camping in the past? What are the details of the trip? Did they stay in an RV with a TV and shower, or was it in a tent and they used baby wipes as their shower. Usually people always say they have been on a camping trip where they were “roughing it!” Obviously err on the side of caution because roughing it for some people may be a full blown survival situation and for others it may be going without Phone Service.

Start Small and Simple

Once you have an idea about how far you can push them, you have to use the acronym KISS to plan a trip! Keep It Simple Stupid! You might be a survivalist badass who can climb Everest in a single bound, or pull salmon out of the river with your beard, but remember, your guest probably don’t even know what a beard is. Start small with what I like to call “cheater camping!” Rent a Cabin, a Yurt, an RV, or find a campsite with all the amenities like hot showers, temperature controlled clean bathrooms, etc. The shorter and simpler the outdoor adventure is, the less chance for things to go wrong, and more likely that your guest will return. Plan short hikes that aren’t difficult, or drive to the great view instead of hike. Avoid any areas with mosquitoes or really cold weather! Those two things will end a great trip real quick.

Make Them Overly Comfortable

Now that you have the perfect plan and you’ve got them outside, make their outside experience as cozy as their home. Whatever everyday items your guests just can’t live without, find a way to bring that into the outdoors. Maybe your guest can’t go a day without brushing their teeth, blow drying their hair, Starbucks coffee, checking their email or missing a home cooked meal. Many campsites offer electrical hookups, and showers which can be a life saver for someone who isn’t use to roughing it. Bring pillows and extra blankets to place in the tent to keep it soft and warm instead of just the old ground pad and sleeping bag. Bring a French press for Starbucks on Trail! Get creative with the cooking and take the kitchen outside. This also gives you the chance to show off your cast iron cooking skills, your guest will rave about. Nothing smells better than bacon and eggs on a cast iron grill over an open flame!

Teach and Be Taught

Be a Mentor, a supporter, and then learn. Teach the student, then have the student teach the teacher. Most people like to learn new skills, and are excited, but people are usually nervous or embarrassed when trying something they don’t know. Get your guest involved in the trip, don’t act like a know it all, be humble and teach them the cool skills you know and love. Show them the best way to pack a bag, build a tent, bait a hook, or make a fire. Then on the next night give them at a shot at making the fire, or building the tent, but don’t let them get discouraged and make sure you are always motivating them. Explain the calls of the wild to them. People see the outdoors as something to be feared instead of embraced. Explain that the sounds you hear at night are beautiful and not to be feared. Sounds like the howling of coyotes, the hoot of an owl or the call of a moose are all to be enjoyed. Explain the different animal tracks on trail. Nothing is cooler than your friend heading into work on Monday to brag about all the new stuff they learned.

The WOW Factor

This tip is the icing on the cake! Make sure that first adventure has a WOW factor somewhere in the trip. Find one visual scene that will burn a lasting memory in your guest’s mind that will have them itching to come back for more! Whether it’s a beautiful sunset/sunrise, a splendid mountain view, endless night sky or close encounter with wildlife, make it EPIC! A picture worthy shot of your friend with the special scene will go a long way.

Surprise and Reset

The Surprise and Reset part of the trip can be as simple as extra candy on trail, to a night at a 5 star hotel. It’s up to you, depending on the difficulty or duration of your adventure, to determine when the best time to use this will be. It may be earlier than later depending on how hard you pushed your guest. Once you have hiked all day, camped multiple nights in the back country, or lived off mountain house meals, execute the Surprise and Reset tip. Take your guests into town to grab a beer and a sit down meal, order a pizza, have an extra box of chocolates for them that you pull out when they run out, or ditch the tent for a warm cabin to cap off an amazing trip. Whatever you do, surprise your guests so they aren’t wondering when all this nature will stop. Let them have a brief, relaxing moment that will reset them from all the new outdoor experiences.

Prep and Push The Envelope

The Final stage is to prep and push the envelope. Once you are on your way home, reminisce about the great times you had and the funny mishaps. Motivate your guest, explain how impressed you were with how they handled their first camping trip and prep them for the next adventure. Now that they have experienced a small piece of the outdoors, ask them what they are willing to give up in the future. Maybe they can shower in the stream, eat a mountain house, or bring a solar panel to check their emails on trail. Push them a little further each time and do whatever it takes to get them back in the outdoors. Follow this guide and you will have given someone the greatest gift of all. A Love for the Outdoors!

I hope this helps you get that significant other, friend or family member off the couch and into the great outdoors. Feel free to send me some ideas you’ve used in the past to make someone fall in love with the outdoors.

All About Garner State Park

Would your ideal vacation spot be a perfect natural haven filled with hiking, canoeing, tubing, geocaching, and even dancing? For many the answer is yes, and each year many outdoor enthusiasts choose Garner State Park as their ideal summer destination. Chock full of numerous nature-based activities, loaded with Mother Nature’s wonders, and highlighting the beauty of The Frio River, this state park could be your prime location for summer outdoor adventures as well. Are you unfamiliar with this amazing state park in Uvalde County? Here are 5 cool facts to know about Garner State Park.

1. Location

This beautiful state park is located in Concan, Texas on the southwestern edge of what is known to be the Edwards Plateau in the Balcones Canyonlands. It was created during the Cretaceous age due to fault line activity. Deep cliffs and mesas define this picturesque canyon land and surround clear rivers and streams perfect for fishing, canoeing, and tubing. The location, although visited by many year after year, remains mostly unchanged by human activity. The natural changes that occur due to weathering, flooding, or plant growth are allowed to constantly redefine the landscape without human intervention.

2. Wildlife

Being that the naturalness of this park is preserved as much as possible, much wildlife live and thrive there. Visitors to the park will frequently spot this wild life around them. Squirrels, raccoons, and white-tailed deer are the most common, but more exotic animals exist there too. Look for Rio Grande turkeys and mourning doves amongst a whole selection of various birds. If you are a bird watcher then you are in for a treat. The golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo, both endangered species, nest in the park from spring until summer.

3. The Frio River

Rising from springs as the West Frio River, it promptly joins 2 other tributaries and flows southeast for 200 miles before draining into the Nueces River. The name Frio means cold in Spanish and this name perfectly describes the fresh cool waters that lure swimmers and campers up and down the length of its banks. This river is given a shout-out in the song, “All my Ex’s live in Texas,” by George Strait who grew up in Frio County.

4. Geocaching

Merge the joys of hiking and exploring with a scavenger hunt and you have geocaching. Hundreds of geocaches are hidden throughout the park and can be found using a GPS device or an app on a smart phone with GPS capabilities. The GPS device tells you how far away a geocache is and you must go off searching for it. They can be hidden in trees, under rocks, or even placed behind signs and landmarks. Often times a geocache will house a log book so you can write in your name and claim victory over that treasure forever.

5. Dancing

Back in the 1940’s during summer evenings, people would gather at the park’s concessions building and host a dance. This tradition has survived to this day and the park hosts dances each evening. They are very popular and require early arrival as they fill up quickly.

As you can see, this national park is a wonderful vacation destination filled with wildlife and natural beauty.

Benefits of Sailing

Sailing is not only beneficial for the body but for the mind and soul as well. You can achieve an excellent fitness regimen while having a tremendous time under the sun. Here are to mention some of the health advantages of sailing.

1. Physical fitness – The constant task of pulling and hoisting a sail to keep the boat in the right track strengthens and builds muscles of the upper and lower extremities, trunk and abdomen. Agility, flexibility and endurance of the body needed to meet the demands of sailing activities are developed and enhanced.

2. Cardiovascular fitness – Just like all physical activities and sports that keep one healthy, sailing activities can decrease the risk of heart disease and hypertension, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce risk for obesity. And just like all muscles, the heart grows stronger with exercise, so it can pump blood more effectively throughout the arteries and veins of the body and also work at maximum rate with less effort. Those who exercise also have a slower resting heart rate due to less effort needed to pump blood.

3. Psychological – Why are people always in a jolly and pleasant mood while out on the water? Aside from the natural calming effects generated by the sounds of the waves and the wind, the saltiness in the air also contributes to that feeling of euphoria. The various moods of an individual are greatly affected by a neurotransmitter called serotonin, a chemical substance that is known to produce a happy feeling. The saltiness of air is comprised of charged ions which promote oxygen absorption in the body, thereby producing a more balanced serotonin levels. The more balanced the serotonin levels in the body are, the greater the sense of happiness.

4. Relaxation – The sound of the wind and waves, splashing water, the cadenced movement of the boat, and the feel of breeze on your face stimulate the brain wave patterns in ways that promote a relaxing and calming effect to a person. The body and mind are alleviated from stresses and anxiety as one becomes relaxed and focuses on the fun and exciting tasks.

5. Concentration – Concentration skill is developed and enhanced while sailing as sailors need to stay focused and mentally alert to perform the multiple challenging tasks at hand.

In addition to the above health benefits, sailing provides an opportunity for people to socialize and spend time outside with a positive ambiance. Sailors belong to an active, diverse and dynamic enthusiast group. Furthermore, sailing creates a sense of healthy and strong appreciation for nature.