Carmel Limo Car Service: Tips For Stress-Free Transportation During Travel

Disclosure: Carmel Limo provided me with a voucher for one free airport to hotel transportation in exchange for my honest review.

I love flying but sometimes air travel logistics can be stressful. That’s why airport bars are soooo popular (ba-dum-bum). I’ve recently discovered an option I’m definitely adding to my stress-free transportation tips.

While planning my recent trip to New York for my niece’s wedding, I needed to arrange for transportation from LaGuardia Airport to our hotel, located about 35 miles outside the city. My brother-in-law suggested that I contact his favorite car service, Carmel Limo. He lives in Tampa and frequently travels to New York on business. Since I was traveling solo with my 9-year-old I really wanted to streamline everything as much as possible.

I’ve never used a car service before but now that I have I will definitely be incorporating it into my travel itinerary from now on when traveling to a large city and when I’m not in need of a rental car.

5 tips for stress free transporation


Here are 5 reasons to consider using a car service on your next trip:

1. Punctuality

Trying to hail a cab in an unfamiliar city during rush hour can add unnecessary stress to a work trip or family vacation.. Carmel Limo also has the highest on-time record in the business. I’ve missed a flight and had a near-miss before and it’s not a great way to start (or end) a trip!

2. Safety

Car service companies regularly service their fleet of vehicles, meaning you can rest at ease knowing you’re using reliable and safe transportation.

3. Dependability

Our driver was waiting for us when we arrived at LaGuardia and it was such a seamless process to schedule a pick up. Carmel Limo Service has been in business for more than 25 years so I knew they were a reputable company I could trust.

4. Relaxation

Being able to kick back and relax, check voice mail and email, and enjoy talking with your travel companions is possible if someone else is doing the driving. Car service vehicles are clean and pleasant.

5. Pricing

You can view Carmel Limo’s pricing online, taking the guess work out of that portion of your travel budget. We used the most economical choice, the four-door sedan, and it was perfect for me and my daughter.

I was impressed with Carmel Limo’s service area and glad to see they service BNA here in Nashville as well as several major metropolitan cities on the west coast and the east coast.

If you’ve ever experienced the edge of your seat thrill ride known as a New York taxi ride, then Carmel Limo is a much smoother, and relaxing mode of transportation which was just what I was looking for for my daughter and I (although riding in a yellow cab in New York City is on her travel bucket list.)

Carmel Limo offers a full range of vehicles, from full-size sedans all the way up to super stretch limos if you’re feeling a little more Lady Gaga.

The best part about Carmel Limo, however, is their free mobile app. After downloading the app you’ll earn $66 worth of Car Cash applicable toward your next ride using the Carmel Limo App and anyone who enters your referral code upon downloading the app will also earn $66 Car Cash as well. Suh-weet! Once they book a ride, they’ll get an additional $6 Car Cash and you will, too. You can also share your code directly through the app via text messaging, email, Facebook or Twitter. My referral code is 1015969 and you’ll bet I’ll be sharing it with family and friends who travel. You will also earn airline miles for every dollar you spend with Carmel Limo.

You can book rides directly through the app, viewing available cars and scheduling pick ups. You can also scroll through the many airports serviced by Carmel Limo, such as Nashville. Just enter your airline, flight #, and name of city you’re arriving from.

Carmel Limo App Nashville

 

Planning a trip to New York this year? I’d highly recommend Carmel Limo. Follow them on Facebook and check out their app and all the cities they service!

 

Behind the Scenes Family Fun at the Georgia Aquarium (Giveaway!)

Disclosure: The Georgia Aquarium provided me with two free tickets as well as one night hotel accommodations at the Hilton Garden Suite in exchange for my honest review.

Edited to add: This giveaway is closed. Congratulations to Jennifer Haendel for winning the Georgia Aquarium prize pack!

Atlanta is one of our favorite family road trip destinations. Just a four-hour drive from Nashville, it’s the perfect distance to get away, without exceeding the “Are we there yet?” limit.

With big city Southern sophisticated dining, shopping, and entertainment experiences for mom and dad, as well as tons of family friendly activities, it’s perfect for a weekend getaway.

The Georgia Aquarium, located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, is one of the world’s largest aquariums and one of our favorite must attractions in the city.

We ended our recent spring break staycation with a surprise trip to Atlanta. My older daughter was out of town, so my 9-year-old Miss A and I hit the road and spent a recent Saturday at the Georgia Aquarium. Part of our day at the aquarium included an amazing behind the scenes tour, offered as an add-on to regular admission for ages 10 and over. As part of this special hour tour, visitors get to visit the top of the Ocean Voyager exhibit to view feedings as well as tour the facilities that keep the aquarium running. Lucky for us we were also able to see new baby penguins as well as the aquarium’s “kitchen” featuring the largest walk-in freezer filled with restaurant quality seafood I’ve ever seen. The residents of the Georgia Aquarium eat very well!

Jellyfish

The Georgia Aquarium features five primary exhibitions:

  • Cold Water Quest

  • River Scout

  • Georgia Explorer

  • Ocean Voyager

  • Tropical Diver

It’s difficult to choose which one is our favorite, but my 9-year-old really gravitated toward Cold Water Quest (she absolutely LOVED the sea otters and wanted to “visit” them twice) and I think the sea otters love their adoring fans as they put on quite a show.

You can easily spend an entire day at the Georgia Aquarium. I’d suggest purchasing your tickets in advance online and arriving when the doors open. Plan to stay most of the day, breaking it up with performances and lunch. Also note that the aquarium sometimes has extended hours, such as during spring break.

There are so many great things to see and explore at Georgia Aquarium. This was our second visit and I’m sharing some of our kid-friendly favorites.

Georgia Aquarium Must Dos Kids


10 Must Dos for Kids at Georgia Aquarium

  1. Touch a ray at the touch pool located at the entrance of the Georgia Explorer exhibit

  2. See the amazing acrobatic talent of the performing dolphins in Dolphin Tales

  3. Watch Deepo’s Undersea 3D Wondershow

  4. Observe divers feeding the fish

  5. Book an Animal Encounter experience (the aquarium features three: Dolphin Encounter, See Otter Encounter, and Penguin Encounter)

  6. Get a sneak peek at the amazing care and feeding that keeps the aquarium creatures healthy and happy by booking a one-hour Behind the Scenes Tour

  7. Have lunch at the Cafe Aquaria Food Court

  8. Explore the fun indoor playground in the Georgia Explorer exhibition

  9. Walk through the incredible clear aquarium tunnel in Ocean Voyager (this exhibit alone contains 6,300,000 gallons water) and get a glimpse at what it’s like to be surrounded by thousands of fish, plus spot the gentle giants, whale sharks and mantas.

  10. Have a caricature artist sketch your likeness for a unique souvenir. My daughter loved hers!

The Georgia Aquarium also features AT&T Dolphin Tales, an amazing performance featuring live actors, special effects, a musical score, and performing dolphins. It’s kind of a mix between Broadway and the Rockettes, but with sea creatures.

One of the coolest experiences at the aquarium, however, involves what you don’t see. Offering Behind the Scenes Tours for visitors, ages 10 and up, the Georgia Aquarium does a great job of educating the public on marine life. During our Behind the Scenes Tour I was impressed to learn that 25% of the Georgia Aquarium building (which opened in 2005) is earmarked for education. Besides the usual tours and day visits, the aquarium also offers camps, overnight experiences, and other special events highlighting education and awareness.

During our weekend stay we had overnight accommodations at the downtown Hilton Garden Inn which was literally just steps away from the aquarium’s entrance. Although we travel quite a bit, this was actually our first time staying at a Hilton Garden Inn property and we loved it. The outdoor heated pool was my 9-year-old’s favorite amenity, but a close second was the indoor heated pool. I also appreciated the indoor gym and being able to walk on the treadmill while keeping an eye on her in the pool. We both loved dining downstairs at Legal Seafood and my daughter had her first ever Shirley Temple. We will definitely rebook the Hilton Garden Inn the next time we are in Atlanta.

Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta View

Our fantastic view of the Atlanta skyline from our spacious and comfy room at the Hilton Garden Suite. You can see the SkyView Ferris Wheel in the distance (which was gorgeously lit at night!)


Some of the perqs I loved, besides a spacious room and bathroom, were the Neutrogena brand toiletries and the Keurig coffee maker. The Georgia Aquarium Package offered by the downtown Atlanta Hilton Garden Inn includes two tickets to the aquarium as well as free breakfast, which was also a fantastic buffet. The downtown Atlanta Hilton Garden Inn is also within walking distance to the World of Coca Cola.

Looking for a fun getaway this summer? If you haven’t visited the Georgia Aquarium, it’s perfect for families and kids of all ages. Be sure to visit the official Georgia Aquarium Plan Your Visit guide!

Here’s a fun update Georgia Aquarium would like to share with my Southern readers:

Southern Hospitality Discount- Save $6 on Total Tickets!!


Hey neighbors! Georgia Aquarium is showing our southern hospitality to our neighbors in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Florida. We invite you to visit us for just $29.95 +tax for an adult Total Ticket this spring, until June 13, 2014. That’s a nearly 17% savings on our regular price ticket.


Just show your valid ID from one of the states listed above at our ticketing window and tell our guest services representative that you want the Southern Hospitality Discount. Not available for purchase online, as you must show your ID to receive this special pricing.


WIN IT


One lucky BlondeMomBlog reader will win four tickets to the Georgia Aquarium as well as a behind-the-scenes tour and a parking voucher! To enter, just leave a comment on this post letting me know which exhibit at the Georgia Aquarium you’d like to check out the most. For up to four additional entries (and please leave a comment below for each of these you choose to do):

      • Let me know if you are a fan of BlondeMomBlog on Facebook

      • Follow BlondeMomBlog on Twitter

      • Follow BlondeMomBlog on Instagram

      • Tweet the following - I entered to win 4 tickets to @GeorgiaAquarium on @BlondeMomBlog #giveaway http://blondemomblog.com/?p=21107

I’ll select a winner from all eligible comments using Random.org; giveaway closes at midnight CST Friday, May 23. The giveaway is open only to U.S. residents, ages 18+.

Save on Your Next Disney Family Vacation: OrlandoVacaction.com Review

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written on behalf of OrlandoVacation.com about Disney family vacation and I received compensation in exchange for my honest opinion about their website and services. As always, all opinions on my blog are mine solely.

Cinderella's Castle Disney Family VacationMy girls pose in front of Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom during our first Disney family vacation.


When I planned our first family vacation to Disney World two years ago, I meticulously researched all of our options, from lodging to dining. This was our inaugural Disney experience and I wanted to make every moment count, and save money while making memories!

I recently was asked to review OrlandoVacation.com, a family run business based in Orlando and operating since 1991. I wasn’t familiar with their website, but I was instantly attracted to a couple of features they offer on their website.

First off, OrlandoVacation.com features accommodations close to Disney World, but not on Disney property. Because we ultimately chose to stay on Disney property for our first Disney vacation experience, I didn’t research many options outside of Disney proper but I love that OrlandoVacation.com has partnered with properties that are in close proximity to Disney World’s parks. They also require a very reasonable $50 deposit to reserve your accommodations. I definitely think free shuttle services to Disney are a MUST if you are staying off Disney property and many of the properties that OrlandoVacation.com has partnered with offer free regularly scheduled shuttle service to Disney’s parks.

Because OrlandoVacation.com has partnered with a few select properties close to Disney, they can offer great prices. Here is more information from their website:

OrlandoVacation.com is proud to have partnered with a select group of properties that we feel deliver the highest quality in accommodations and location, while offering remarkably reasonable prices. By working with a smaller pool of high-quality, select hotels, we are able to present exceptional service and savings to our customers.

The site is easy to navigate and is approved by the Better Business Bureau.

Orlando Vacation Website Review


While planning our Disney vacation I quickly learned that the best advice is offered by people already familiar with Disney’s parks. Disney veterans are a veritable goldmine (or should I say Mickey Mine?) of info! Pump them for all they can offer! Seriously, though…Disney afficianados rock. OrlandoVacation.com offers a call center which is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday –Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. All their representatives live in the Orlando area and are well versed on the theme parks.

A couple of observations after reviewing OrlandoVacation.com:

I love the “average rate” feature. After you plug in your prospective trip dates, you’ll see an average nightly rate for your accommodations.

I also love the “Map It” feature. As a family traveler who isn’t very familiar with the Orlando area, I love seeing the proximity of accommodations to Disney World. It’s often tough to envision just how far your hotel is from Disney World, but the “Map It” feature offered by OrlandoVacation.com removes the guess work.

OrlandoVacation.com also features direct options to purchase tickets for several popular Orlando tourist destinations, from Disney World to Sea World.

I do wish that the search features offered more filters (such as lowest rate to highest rate), but overall I found the site easy to navigate.D

If you’re planning a trip to Disney World this year and you are considering staying off property, I’d definitely recommend checking out OrlandoVacation.com.

What features are important to you when booking a Disney vacation?

 

 

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