How to Go Car Camping – Tips, Tricks, and General Advice

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Want to learn how to go car camping? Perfect! In this post, I’m sharing some tips and advice for doing just that.

Ideas for How to Go Car Camping

The open road is calling your name! There’s no better way to experience the freedom of the great outdoors than by going car camping. Whether you’re a seasoned road tripper or new to spending nights under the stars, it’s time to pack up your car, grab your pups (or kids) and partner and hit the road. 

In this post, I’ll give you my top tips and tricks for how to go car camping like a pro. From choosing the best car camping gear to planning your ultimate camp cooking set-up, I’ve got all the information you need to make your car camping trips easy, affordable, and so much fun. 

Get ready to soak in epic sunsets, gaze up at starry night skies, and create lifelong memories on your car camping adventures. Let’s hit the road!

Choosing a Car for Car Camping

When it comes to choosing a car for car camping, you’ll want to consider cargo space, gas mileage, ground clearance, and more. For my car camping trips, I’ve chosen to use my 2018 Chevy Equinox. This mid-size SUV has plenty of cargo volume with 63.9 cubic feet of space when the rear seats are folded down. The Equinox also gets decent gas mileage, averaging about 26 mpg combined city/highway. The 7.9 inches of ground clearance helps me navigate dirt roads leading to campsites too. 

I’ve test driven my Equinox fully loaded with my tent, sleeping bags, cooler, and other gear to make sure everything fits nicely. If you’re borrowing or renting a car for camping, be sure to test out your set-up at home first before heading out on the road.

Car Camping Gear Essentials

Here are some of the key car camping gear essentials you might want to bring along:

– Tent – You might want to use a 5-person dome tent that packs down pretty small. Rooftop tents and attachable tent add-ons are also great options.

– Sleeping pads and sleeping bags rated for the expected weather. Don’t forget pillows!

– Camp kitchen supplies like a portable propane stove, pots/pans, utensils, plates, and cups. 

– Headlamps or lanterns for lighting. Folding camp chairs and a rug for the site.

– Clothing layers and hiking shoes – be prepared for changing temps.

– First aid kit, fire extinguisher, bug spray, sunscreen

We Actually Slept in the Car In Lieu of Bringing a Tent

How to Go Car Camping - Two Pomeranian Chihuahuas Sitting on a Bed in a Car

One of the best aspects of car camping is being able to sleep in your vehicle rather than pitch a tent. Here are some tips for getting good sleep:

– Measure your car’s interior dimensions and get a mattress that fits perfectly once the seats are folded down. Memory foam mattresses are ideal for comfort.

– Completely clear out the car and organize gear so you have maximal sleeping space. Consider adding window shades for privacy.

– Bring battery-operated fans or ventilation systems if it will be hot. In cold weather, use sleeping bags rated for low temps. 

– To sleep level, place wooden blocks under the tires or inflatable camping pads under the mattress.

– Use curtains to block outside light and keep the car cool in sunny weather.

– Keep basic supplies like water, headlamp, and snacks within reach overnight.

– Park strategically – not directly under trees or too close to shrubs to avoid nature run-ins.  

With a few modifications, you can transform your car into a cozy bedroom on wheels for peaceful camping nights! Sleeping in the car makes car camping even more convenient.

Meal Planning and Preparation Tips

– Make a menu in advance and prep ingredients/supplies at home before your trip. Non-perishable foods are ideal.

– Pack a high-quality cooler with ice and resealable containers for dairy, meats, produce. 

– A portable propane camp stove makes cooking meals easy. You can also grill on a fire pit.

– Plan for simple camp meals like sandwiches, breakfast burritos, foil packet dinners. And snacks!

– Consider no-cook meal options too like wraps, salads, and fruits.

– Practice good food safety and hygiene, and cook meat thoroughly.

Finding Great Car Camping Locations

– Research national or state parks with campgrounds that allow car camping. Many are beautiful and affordable.

– Consider free dispersed camping on Bureau of Land Management or National Forest land. 

– Use camping apps like The Dyrt or Campendium to find location reviews and amenities.

– Factor in things like restrooms, showers, hiking trails depending on your needs.

Setting Up Your Car Campsite

– Scout the site while there’s daylight and situate your vehicle appropriately.

– Set up sleeping tents, kitchen area, camp chairs in a logical way in relation to your car. 

– Use a shade canopy or tarp for eating and hanging out area.

– Practice food storage safety – stow food away from the tent area overnight. 

– Have emergency items like a first aid kit, flashlight, and fire extinguisher handy. Be fire safe.

Tools and Apps for How to Go Car Camping

Here are some helpful tools and apps to have on hand if you plan to go car camping across the United States:

– GPS Navigation Apps – Apps like Google Maps, Waze, Apple Maps to help plan routes and navigate to campsites. Download maps offline.

– Camping Apps – The Dyrt, Campendium etc to find campsites and read reviews. ReserveAmerica for reservations.

– Roadside Assistance – AAA membership or roadside help through your insurance provider in case of car issues. 

– GasBuddy App – Find cheap gas stations along your route.

– Repair Tools – Spare tire, jack, tire pressure gauge, jumper cables, basic toolkit, duct tape.

– Utility Apps – Flashlight apps, compass app, weather radar app. First aid app.

– Charging Cords – Bring extra chargers and battery packs to keep devices powered.

– Emergency Communication – Satellite messenger, emergency beacon, or portable satellite device if in remote areas. 

– Camp Cooking Aids – Apps with camp recipes and cooking tips. Campsite cooking gear.

– National Park Apps – For info, maps, alerts and hiking tips when visiting parks.

Being prepared with handy apps and tools will give you more confidence and freedom when embarking on a US car camping road trip! 

Do’s and Don’ts for Car Camping


– Research camping regulations for where you plan to camp. Obtain permits if needed.

– Pack adequate food, water, first aid, and gear to be self-sufficient.

– Follow Leave No Trace principles – take trash with you, don’t damage vegetation. 

– Extinguish fires completely before leaving a site.

– Keep food stored securely when not in use to avoid animal encounters.

– Choose established campsites whenever possible to minimize impact.

– Be considerate of noise, keep music low in shared camp areas.


– Don’t leave food out overnight – store securely in the car or bear-proof container.

– Don’t wait until after dark to pick a spot to camp or set up.

– Don’t camp too close to cliff edges, rivers, streams or on an uneven surface. 

– Don’t leave trash behind or bury trash. Pack it out.

– Don’t cut down branches or damage vegetation to make a fire pit.

– Don’t feed or interact with wildlife – observe from a distance.

Following car camping do’s and don’ts helps protect the outdoors and your safety. 

Tricks and Tips for Car Camping

Here are some handy tricks and tips for car camping:

– Use binder clips to secure towels, lanterns, etc to your car doors or tents.

– Store camp cooking tools like spatulas and tongs in old socks so they’re easy to find and pack.

– Freeze gallons of water to use as ice packs in your cooler – they last longer than just ice.

– Bring a cheap solar shower or utility shower to hang outside for a warm camp shower. 

– Use magnetic hooks inside your car to hang and organize small items.

– Pack a multi-use piece of equipment like a camp shovel that can also chop or cut. 

– Keep food storage simple with Ursack bear bags to hang food at night.

– Use a plastic tablecloth on picnic tables to keep clean and dry.

– Attach glow sticks to tent zippers to see at night. Use headlamp on red light mode.

– Pack clothespins to hang wet clothes or towels to dry at your site.

Ready to Go Car Camping?

Hitting the open road for a car camping adventure allows you to fully immerse yourself in the great outdoors. With the right gear, supplies, and camp location, you’ll be on your way to making lasting memories under the stars in no time.

Start by choosing a roomy, fuel-efficient vehicle like an SUV or minivan to transport you and all your camping necessities. Outfit your car with a foldable mattress that fits perfectly after laying the seats down, as well as your sleeping bags, pillows, and linens.

Pack your camp kitchen, safety equipment, and plenty of snacks. Meal prep and plan easy camp cooking menus before you go. The best part about sleeping in your car is avoiding the hassle of setting up a tent!

Use helpful camping apps and maps to pinpoint amazing car camping destinations near national parks, forests, and public lands. When you arrive, scout the perfect campsite spot and set up your foldable chairs, camp kitchen, and shade canopy.

Above all, embark on your car camping trips with a sense of adventure and wonder. Bond with your companions, unplug from technology, and revel in the beauty of nature. You’ll be so glad you took the time to hit the open road and enjoy a simpler way of life.

Let the car camping begin! 

Dos and Don’ts of Attending a Drag Race

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Going to your first drag race? There are some things you should know. Check out my Dos and Don’ts of Attending a Drag Race!

8 Things to Consider When Attending a Drag Race

Over the weekend for my husband’s birthday I attended my first drag car races. I learned a lot about the dos and don’ts of attending a drag race. In this post, I’m sharing my top lessons. From what to wear to where to sit, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know to make your day at the races enjoyable and safe. So buckle up, grab your earplugs, and let’s dive into the world of drag racing!

What is a drag race?

A drag race is a type of motorsport event that involves two drivers competing against each other in a straight-line acceleration contest. The goal is to see who can reach the finish line first, with the winner being determined by timing and speed. Drag races typically take place on a designated track or strip, which is usually a quarter-mile long.

Attending a drag race can be an exciting experience for spectators, but it’s important to follow some dos and don’ts to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time. For example, one “do” is to arrive early so you have plenty of time to find parking and get settled in before the races begin. Another important “do” is to bring ear protection, as drag racing engines can be incredibly loud.

On the flip side, there are also some don’ts when attending a drag race.

Attending a Drag Race Yellow Car with Red Parachute

Do: Bring Earplugs!

When attending a drag race, one of the most important things to bring with you is earplugs. Drag races are notoriously loud and can reach decibel levels that can cause permanent damage to your hearing. By bringing earplugs, you can protect your hearing and still enjoy all the excitement and adrenaline of the race.

Not only do earplugs protect your hearing, but they also allow you to focus on the race itself without distraction. The noise level at drag races can be overwhelming, making it difficult to concentrate on anything else. With earplugs in place, you’ll be able to fully immerse yourself in the experience without being distracted by the deafening roar of engines.

We messed up here and forgot ours. Luckily, they were only $1 a pack at the race we attended!

Don’t: Forget to Check the Weather

One of the most important things to remember when attending a drag race is to check the weather beforehand. While it may seem like an obvious task, many people forget to do so and end up getting caught in unpleasant weather conditions. It’s essential to know what type of weather you’ll be facing so that you can dress appropriately for the occasion.

If it’s going to be hot outside, be sure to wear light clothing and bring plenty of water with you. On the other hand, if it’s going to be cold or rainy, make sure you have appropriate outerwear such as jackets or raincoats. You don’t want weather conditions ruining your day at the drag race.

Do: Dress for the occasion

When attending a drag race, it is important to dress for the occasion. This means putting together an outfit that is both comfortable and stylish. Drag racing events are often held outdoors, so it’s important to dress appropriately for the weather conditions. For example, if it’s going to be hot and sunny outside, you’ll want to wear lightweight clothing that will keep you cool.

In addition to dressing for the weather, it’s also important to think about the type of event you’re attending. If you’re going to a high-profile race with lots of VIPs in attendance, then you’ll want to dress up a bit more than if you were just going to a casual race with friends. A good rule of thumb is to always err on the side of being slightly overdressed rather than underdressed.

Overall, your goal should be to put together an outfit that makes you feel confident and comfortable while still fitting in with the overall vibe of the event. By following these simple guidelines, you can ensure that you make a great impression at any drag race event!

Don’t: Bring prohibited items

One of the most important things to remember when attending a drag race is to avoid bringing prohibited items. These can vary depending on the specific event, but common examples include outside food and drinks, weapons, drugs, and alcohol. Bringing any of these items can result in removal from the event or even legal consequences.

It’s also important to note that some events may have specific rules regarding cameras or recording devices. Be sure to check with event organizers before bringing any equipment with you. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to double-check the event’s website or social media pages for any updates on prohibited items.

Bringing prohibited items not only puts yourself at risk but can also disrupt the entire event for others in attendance. Play it safe and leave these items at home so everyone can enjoy the race without interruptions or safety concerns.

Attending a Drag Race Red Car Tire Spin Out

Do: Follow safety guidelines

When attending a drag race, it is crucial to follow safety guidelines. These guidelines are put in place to keep both the spectators and racers safe. First, always stand behind the designated spectator area. This area is usually fenced off, and it is important to stay within its boundaries at all times. Secondly, wear ear protection such as earplugs or noise-canceling headphones. Drag races can be extremely loud, and prolonged exposure to these high decibels can cause hearing damage.

Third, stay alert and watch out for flying debris or spills on the ground that may cause you to slip or trip. It is also essential not to run around the track during a race or cross the track while it’s in use; these actions could result in severe injury or even death. Lastly, refrain from consuming alcohol or drugs before attending a drag race event as they impair judgment and can lead to risky behavior.

By following these safety guidelines when attending a drag race event, you’ll ensure your own safety and that of those around you while enjoying an exhilarating display of speed and power. Remember that safety should always come first!

Don’t: Disrespect the performers or other attendees

When attending a drag race, it is important to remember that the performers are putting themselves out there and giving it their all. Disrespecting them in any way is not only rude but also takes away from the experience for everyone else in attendance. This includes heckling, booing, or making derogatory comments towards the performers. It’s okay to have an opinion on who should win or what you think of their performance, but keep those thoughts to yourself.

In addition to respecting the performers, it’s also important to be considerate of other attendees. Drag races typically attract a diverse crowd with people from all walks of life. Making fun of someone’s appearance or mocking their gender identity is unacceptable and can make others feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. Remember that everyone is there to have a good time and enjoy the show.

Overall, showing respect for both the performers and other attendees will help create a positive atmosphere at drag races. It will allow everyone to fully enjoy the show without fear of being ridiculed or judged by others in attendance. So sit back, relax, and let yourself be entertained by some fabulous queens!

Do: Cheer on your favorite racers

Attending a drag race is not just about watching the cars go down the track; it’s also about supporting your favorite racers. The energy and excitement of cheering on your chosen racer can be contagious, creating a memorable experience for both you and those around you. So, don’t hold back – cheer loudly and proudly.

When cheering on your favorite racers, it’s essential to be respectful towards other attendees. Make sure you’re not blocking anyone’s view or impeding their ability to enjoy the event. Additionally, avoid using foul language or derogatory remarks towards other racers or attendees.

Cheering on your favorite racer can also mean showing support through more than just vocal encouragement. Consider bringing signs or banners with their name or car number displayed prominently. You could even wear clothing that represents their team colors or logos, making it clear where your loyalty lies. Remember that attending a drag race is as much about being part of a community as it is about watching thrilling races, so show support for all those involved in this exciting sport!

Don’t: Miss Your Chance to See a Drag Race

If you’re a fan of drag racing, then you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to see one of these events live. Not only is it an exciting experience, but it’s also a chance to immerse yourself in the culture and community that surrounds this unique sport.

So where can you find drag races? One option is to check your local racetrack or speedway for upcoming events. Many tracks hold regular drag racing competitions throughout the year, so be sure to keep an eye on their schedules.

Another option is to look for specialized drag racing events and festivals in your area. These can range from small car club gatherings to large-scale festivals featuring some of the biggest names in the sport. By doing some research online or asking around in your local community, you’ll likely be able to find several options for attending a drag race near you.

A Quick Glance at Elk Cove Inn

Elk Cove Inn, a rare jewel located on the Mendocino coast of northern California offering ocean view accommodations, spa services and fabulous feasts.

Elk Cove Inn – a Rare Jewel of a Property Located on the Mendocino Coast of Northern California

ELK, CA Elk Cove Inn & Spa is a unique bed and breakfast located on the dramatic Mendocino Coast featuring breathtaking views, farm-to-table cuisine, impeccable yet friendly service, and an elegant Day Spa. Located in Elk, off California’s scenic Highway 1 (and seventeen miles south of the storied Mendocino Village), the property is a refuge for anyone seeking to connect with nature and themselves (furry friends are welcome to join as well). Centered around a beautiful Craftsman-style mansion from the late 1800s, there are also a variety of suites and cliffside cottages to choose from. Exquisite dinners can be booked at their onsite restaurant, Sibo, and sumptuous daily breakfasts are included with the room. Lavish gardens that supply an ever-changing array of beautiful blooms, produce, and herbs for the restaurant, and the onsite chickens, rabbits, goats, and honeybees complete the charming experience.

A gazebo on a beach

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Nestled in peaceful seclusion atop a bluff overlooking a mile of dramatic beachfront, the Elk Cove Inn’s Craftsman-style Mansion was built in 1893 by the L.E. White Lumber Company as the Mill Superintendent’s home. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the area was a hotspot for logging, and the wood from this area wood helped to build San Francisco, and then rebuild the city after the Great Earthquake of 1906. In 1968, the house was converted into one of the first bed and breakfasts on the Mendocino Coast, and it has been welcoming visitors ever since. 

With some of the most spectacular views on the coast, the Inn is surrounded by native trees, a creek, and the Pacific ocean, with private stairs leading from the property to the secluded driftwood-strewn beach below. Local shops and restaurants are within easy walking distance and guests can watch migrating whales and otters at play just steps from their room or from the Inn’s signature gazebo. Afterwards, they can relax in the hands of some of the North Coast’s finest professional therapists at the Inn’s European-style Day Spa.

One of the highlights of staying at Elk Cove Inn is discovering the French eclectic cuisine prepared by proprietor and Executive Chef Victor Passalacqua at the inn’s onsite restaurant, Sibo. Chef Victor has cooked alongside renowned chefs like Paul Bocuse, Edward Merard, and Ferran Adrià, and has worked in many countries and owned numerous restaurants, including Miami’s beloved Barrel Wine Cantine. His approachable European-style haute cuisine – and the inn’s justly famous sumptuous complimentary breakfasts – are an integral part of the magic that guests rave about, and return again and again to experience. Sibo is open Thursday through Monday from 6pm to 7:30pm and a Grab & Go menu is available Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The bounteous, complimentary breakfast, served daily in-room from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., includes a dizzying array of choices, incorporating eggs from their own hens and produce from their gardens. Dinners can be enjoyed in the restaurant, on the ocean view terrace (weather permitting), or in-room. Reservations are required.

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Chef Victor, who is also Co-Owner and Co-Proprietor of the property (along with wife Melissa), is taking farm-to-table to a new level by planting and harvesting his own vegetables, fruits, and herbs in the onsite gardens, as well as foraging for sea creatures, sea vegetables, and mushrooms. Melissa is a certified sommelier and is always happy to suggest the perfect wine from Elk Cove Inn’s curated wine list (featuring mostly local labels) to accompany Chef Victor’s stellar cuisine. 

Rounding out the management team is Rakesh Taneja, Co-owner of the inn, who handles all offsite guest relations. “80% of our bookings are repeat visitors and we love them,” states Rakesh. “They always tell us it’s like visiting a good friend’s house, and we strive to create that experience with every guest.”

Elk Cove Inn & Spa is also the perfect getaway spot for those who love to travel with their dogs. “We have four dogs of our own and we know how hard it is to find an elegant escape that allows you to bring your pups,” says Melissa. “We don’t just allow dogs – we welcome them as part of our family.”  

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Twelve of the inn’s sixteen bespoke suites and rooms are dog-friendly, and guests can choose from an array of ocean view luxury suites, cliffside oceanfront cottages, affordable garden view rooms, carriage house rooms, or elegant rooms in the historic mansion. All accommodations are individual in décor. All rooms boast high-end European Sleep Works mattresses, robes, and buttery soft sheets and duvets by Comphy. 

In addition, the inn is LGBTQ-friendly, and is also the perfect venue to host a wedding or private event. It’s available for full buy-outs as well, to host such gatherings as corporate retreats or family reunions.

Four Budget Honeymoon Destinations In Europe

Do you want to go on a European honeymoon, but do not think you can afford it? Follow these money saving tips and treat yourself to a five star vacation.

Newly married couples should not have to compromise their honeymoon because of lack of money. Here are some suggestions for some very romantic destinations in Europe that do not have to cost a fortune. These destinations can be reached by low cost airlines from London such as Ryanair and Easyjet and hotels can be booked through websites that discount hotel prices such as Agoda.

It is possible to spend as little as 1100US for a week for two people and this includes flights from London and five star hotels in all destinations except in Paris where the money only stretches to a four star hotel. Make sure to book flights and hotel far in advance to get the best deals.

Venice, Italy

Venice is a beautiful city, but it can also be extremely expensive. However, cheap flights and hotels make the destination more accessible and you can just wander around enjoying the atmosphere. If you cannot afford to pay for your own taxi boat or gondola, buy a ticket and travel around on the ‘floating bus boat’ and if you do not want to spend a fortune on eating out at Marco Square, bring a picnic.

Rome, Italy

Rome is another beautiful Italian city where you can just wander around enjoying the surroundings. You can either use the underground system or walk as most ancient sites can be reached by foot. Do not forget to just relax, enjoy the Italian food or just have a coffee in one of the many cafés.

Paris, France

Paris is one of the most romantic cities any time of the year. Many of the attractions in Paris are free or moderately priced. It is easy to get around by using the Metro system.

Rhodes, Greece

Rhodes is the place to go if you prefer a nice honeymoon on the beach instead of a city break. Enjoy sandy beaches and the lovely Greek food. Rent a moped to get around the island or hop on a bus to go to one of the many beaches.

Holland America Line Launches a ‘Kids Cruise Free’ Offer Just in Time for Family Holiday Cruise Travel as Vaccines Expand

This post is NOT sponsored. However, I did receive a press release from my Bloggy Friends over at Holland America. Check it out:

Seattle, Wash., Nov. 5, 2021 — Travelers looking for a family getaway can take advantage of Holland America Line’s latest offer that allows kids aged 5 to 17 sailing as the third and fourth guests in the same stateroom to cruise for free.

Good for select holiday sailings and cruises through spring 2022, families can make the upcoming months merry and bright by setting sail over winter break to the warm waters of the Caribbean or Mexico. After the holidays, the ships continue to explore both regions, along with the California coast. Come spring, families also can cruise through May to Europe, Canada/New England or Alaska with the same offer.

“Now that kids ages 5 and older can receive the COVID-19 vaccine, getting out and seeing the world is on everyone’s mind,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “A multigenerational cruise is the perfect way to return to travel, and we can’t wait to welcome our junior guests and feel the excitement as everyone is able to explore the world together again.”

‘Kids Cruise Free’ on Select Departures through May 31, 2022

The offer is good on select sailings through May 31, 2022. Bookings must be made by Nov. 18, 2021.

Ships in the Caribbean include Pinnacle Class Rotterdam and Nieuw Statendam, along with Eurodam and Nieuw AmsterdamKoningsdam and Zuiderdam are on the West Coast exploring Mexico, Hawaii and the California coast, as well as Panama Canal transits. In late spring, EurodamKoningsdam and Zuiderdam will be in Alaska; Nieuw Statendam and Rotterdam head to Europe; and Zaandam will be cruising in Canada/New England.

Amazing Alaska for All Ages

One of the most sought-after family vacations is a cruise to Alaska, and no one explores The Last Frontier like Holland America Line. Every port has an adventure that’s sure to excite all ages, like dog sledding on a glacier, panning for gold, a lumberjack show, whale watching, heading out on a leisure tour aboard a Bering Sea crabbing boat and more. On board, younger guests can earn their Junior Ranger Badge from the Glacier Bay National Park Ranger.

Holland America Line was named the top pick for Alaska in the 2020 Porthole Cruise Magazine Editor-in-Chief Awards, 2020 AFAR Travelers’ Choice Awards, 2019 Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards and 2019 TravelAge West Wave Awards Editor’s Pick; as well as Best Itineraries in the 2019 Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards, confirming its position as the number-one cruise line in Alaska by some of the world’s most discerning travelers and cruise experts.

Club HAL Entertains the Kids

On board, kids, tweens and teens ages 5 to 17 can enjoy Club HAL, Holland America Line’s supervised youth activities program. Younger cruisers can meet other kids their age for arts and crafts, sports, video game competitions, scavenger hunts, challenging team games, themed parties and more.

Cruise and Stay Healthy

Holland America Line is currently committed to operating vaccinated cruises, as defined by the CDC through Feb. 28, 2022, and children 5 years and older will be eligible to sail. These cruises are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination. Additionally, fully vaccinated guests must produce a negative viral COVID-19 test (medically supervised PCR or antigen test) taken within TWO days of embarkation on all Holland America Line sailings. Booked guests should keep up to date with the latest requirements for all ages at

Holland America Line’s Worry-Free Promise program gives cruisers full flexibility to change plans, cruise protection before and during the journey, and peace of mind with enhanced health and safety protocols on board and on shore. The Flexible Cancellation Plan enables guests to cancel for any reason up to 30 days before departure and automatically receive a Future Cruise Credit. The Cancellation Protection Plan allows cancellation up to 24 hours in advance of departure.

Cruise Fares Start at $898 for a Family of Four

With the “Kids Cruise Free” offer, starting fares for a Holland America Line cruise are $449 per person, double occupancy, so a family of four could take a vacation for just $898. Over the holidays, cruise fares begin at $549 per person, double occupancy, making a cruise getaway a great option over school break. *Taxes, fees and port expenses are extra. Restrictions apply.

“Have it All” fares are available for an additional upgrade fee as provided at the time of booking. “Have it All” premium package fares include four high-value amenities: two shore excursions, a Signature Beverage Package, two nights specialty dining in Pinnacle Grill, Canaletto or Tamarind (depending on ship), and a Wi-Fi Surf Package to stay connected throughout the cruise.

For more information about Holland America Line, consult a travel advisor, call 1-877-SAIL HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

EDITORS NOTE: Photos are available at

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Find Holland America Line on TwitterFacebook and the Holland America Blog.  Access all social media outlets via the home page at

About Holland America Line [a division of Carnival Corporation and plc (NYSE:  CCL and CUK)]

Holland America Line has been exploring the world since 1873 and was the first cruise line to offer adventures to Alaska and the Yukon nearly 75 years ago. Its fleet of premium ships visits nearly 400 ports in 114 countries around the world, offering an ideal mid-sized ship experience. A third Pinnacle-class ship, Rotterdam, joined the fleet in July 2021.

The leader in premium cruising, Holland America Line’s ships feature innovative initiatives and a diverse range of enriching experiences focused on destination exploration and personalized travel. The best live music at sea fills each evening at Music Walk, and dining venues feature exclusive selections from Holland America Line’s esteemed Culinary Council of world-famous chefs.

Spotlight: Midnight Moon Cabins In SoCal’s Idyllic Big Bear Lake Resort

The following is a guest post from the folks at Midnight Moon Cabin!

Reaching New Heights Of Style, Quality & Comfort: Midnight Moon Cabins In SoCal’s Idyllic Big Bear Lake Resort Invites Guests To Indulge In Romantic & Family-Friendly Adventures of a Lifetime

Southern California-Based Entrepreneur & Designer Sarah Salvatore Brings New Level Of Sophistication, Class & Contemporary Décor To The Big Bear Mountain Resort Vacation Rental Experience

It’s early in the work week and, not for the first time or the last, you find your mind drifting away from the mundane to the sublime. And in that moment of fantasy, you’re no longer seated at a desk, standing behind a counter, crowded around a conference table or glued to a computer screen. Instead, you’ve just been magically transported to a stunningly inviting mountain resort with a lake so blue no other color would dare taint it and a sky so clear no cloud would dare darken it.

Fortunately, for residents of Southern California and beyond yearning to rediscover their love of nature, recapture their youthful spirit of adventure, or rekindle their passionate sense of romance, translating such a common workday reverie into reality is as easy as driving to the nearby enchanted community of Big Bear Mountain in the glorious San Bernardino National Forest. And better still, experiencing this natural bastion of year-round recreation and excitement has never been as appealing as it is right now thanks to a forward-looking designer and real estate expert named Sarah Salvatore – the force behind the most modern, upscale, eco-friendly and unique vacation rentals to come along in the area in years: Midnight Moon Cabins.

Designing A Better Vacation Destination

Stylish yet homey, elegant yet bucolic, and supremely romantic yet eminently family and dog-friendly, Midnight Moon Cabins represents the best of all possible worlds to anyone visiting Big Bear – comfort, natural authenticity and stunning design all a short walk, drive or cross-country ski hike away from Big Bear Village and Big Bear Lake, as well as the star attractions for winter sports enthusiasts – Bear Mountain and Snow Summit.

Located in different but equally picturesque areas of Big Bear, Midnight Moon Cabins is comprised of three vacation destinations that each have their own distinct sizes, settings, features and personalities but share the common goal of making vacationers feel both at home and yet a million miles away from home at the very same time.

Offering mid-century modern decor that celebrates minimalism and sustainable luxury, Midnight Moon’s three dog-friendly cabins include Moondance, Firefly and Moonshine. So let’s put on our parkas and ski boots and visit all three Midnight Moon Cabins now!

MOONDANCE – Modern comfort meets mountain charm at Moondance, where every design, décor and amenity has been carefully selected for maximum comfort. Welcoming local adventure-seekers and global travelers alike,  Moondance boasts a cozy open floor plan, inspiring mountain views, and two private bedrooms able to accommodate up to five guests looking for a truly unforgettable experience.

Nestled in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in all of Big Bear, Moondance also offers visitors convenient access to the area’s varied mountain resorts, wilderness hiking paths, Big Bear Zoo (a new must-see attraction for families) and, of course, the town of Big Bear Lake Village.

FIREFLY – A picture postcard-worthy cabin offering couples, families and friends the perfect opportunity to escape, relax, and unwind, Firefly features stylish modern decor and thoughtfully appointed amenities. Situated in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Big Bear, Firefly has two bedrooms and accommodates up four guests. Explore miles of adjacent trails, walk two short blocks to the Bear Mountain and Snow Summit shuttle, or take a brief two-mile ride to Big Bear Lake Village. 

MOONSHINE – Like its two other Midnight Moon counterparts, Moonshine is another true work of art by Sarah that offers guests a one-of-a-kind getaway experience any time of the year. Offering the comfort of timely modern amenities combined with the majesty of timeless natural splendor, Moonshine is located in near proximity to all of Big Bear’s most desirable attractions and welcomes up to six guests per night.

All three Midnight Moon Cabins are surrounded by towering pines, are only a short drive away from pristine Big Bear Lake and are specially designed to offer visitors optimal luxury and comfort. In addition, all three Midnight Moon cabins have EV chargers – a unique amenity among vacation rental cabins in the Big Bear area.

Midnight Moon Cabin’s prices currently range from$299 to $499 per night, though prices vary seasonally and special offers are posted periodically throughout the year. Anyone interested in reserving a Midnight Moon cabin may visit

As Sarah puts it, “Whether you’re searching for the perfect romantic getaway in the mountains or a place to bring the whole family, Midnight Moon Cabins has got you covered. Adventurous couples can enjoy a day on the slopes or a romantic hike in the area. If cozy fireplaces and lazy snow days wrapped in luxe bedding are your style, then this is exactly where you will want to be.”

And a recent guest at Firefly wrote, “The details and design are what makes this place so unique. Its location is very convenient to all Big Bear has to offer and the hosts were very responsive and courteous. We also appreciated that they were so dog-friendly!”

Or as another guest raved: “As someone who appreciates a good eye for design, Sarah knocked it out of the park!”

Welcome To Big Bear

The jewel of the San Bernadino National Forest, Big Bear Lake is Southern California’s premiere four-season mountain lake escape destination. Located in the heart of Southern California – and close to Phoenix and Las Vegas – Big Bear invites travelers from near and far to enjoy such attractions as the pristine and fish-filled Big Bear Lake, countless mountain and lakeshore hiking trails, Bear Mountain ski resort (featuring terrain parks and learner slopes), the family-friendly Snow Summit ski resort and a diverse array of boutiques, gift shops and restaurants that line the streets of charming Big Bear Lake Village.

Meet Your Host!

With a multi-faceted background that includes running a theatre company, mastering the fine art of interior design and forging a successful career in real estate entailing several properties in California and elsewhere, Sarah Salvatore in 2018 set her sights on converting three optimally-located Big Bear cabins into idyllic bastions of romance, family togetherness and natural splendor.

According to Sarah, a mother of two who’s married to film composer, noted musician and Midnight Moon Cabins partner Troy MacCubbin, “Given the importance of tourism to Big Bear and the explosive growth of vacation rentals in the community, we found three years ago that many of the available cabins in the area were dated and old-fashioned. Our goal was to bring the Big Bear cabin experience into modern times while fully preserving the outdoorsy, all-natural mountain resort ambiance that defines the area.”

Calling upon a longtime passion for architecture, design and home renovation that enables her to do everything from decorate the inside of a house to drywall the outside of it, Sarah turned the three perfectly-situated cabins she and Troy purchased into veritable showpieces of warmth, luxury, coziness and functionality.

Summing up her Big Bear experience thus far, Sarah says, “Midnight Moon Cabins was born out of a dream I had that was shared and nurtured by my husband Troy – a fiercely faithful, brave and bold partner who believed in me so wholeheartedly and pushed me to be my bravest and best self. Today, our original dream has come true beyond our wildest expectations thanks to our cherished friends and neighbors in Big Bear as well as the wonderfully supportive guests we’ve welcomed over the past three years who make running Midnight Moon Cabins a genuine labor of love each and every day.”

To learn all about Midnight Moon Cabins, please visit

* Photos by Gianna Christina Photo.

Romantic Encounters of the Cruise Kind

If you will be cruising with someone you love sometime soon you may be looking for ways to amp up the romance. You’re in luck because I’ve created a list of ideas to help you wow your honey and have her thinking you are the king/queen of the lovey dovey!

  • Ask for a couple’s table at dinner. Instead of sitting with six to eight strangers you can request a private table on most cruise lines at dinner to really have some one on one time with your sweetie. If this isn’t possible then make sure to spend at least one evening at a private table in one of the restaurants on board.
  • Tell the cruise it’s your honeymoon. If you don’t want to lie then say it’s a second honeymoon, but either way make sure the word honeymoon is on the staff’s radar. Many cruise lines will place rose petals on the bed or fun tokens in the room to help set the mood.
  • Request champagne/wine and strawberries from room service. You can have this delivered upon arrival to your cabin or you could set it up for one evening after dinner.
  • Bring some non-flammable candles. Just because you’re on a cruise ship doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a night by candlelight even if it has no flame.
  • Skip an excursion at one of the ports of call and just spend the time with each other. You could walk the beach or just have lunch alone together.
  • Enjoy sunrise or sunset together. Grab a drink and possible even a snack and go to some area on the ship that isn’t overrun with people. This is much easier to do for sunrise, but if you can’t bring yourself to get out of bed early do this for sunset. Just sit and watch the sun go up or down and hold one another.
  • Get a couple’s massage. This may or may not be possible on the cruise you choose, but if your cruise line has couple’s massages make sure to try this. Then, afterwards just soak in the hot tub for a while to continue the good feelings.

Best Times for a Caribbean Cruise

For most of the year the weather in the Caribbean islands features average lows in the mid-70s to average highs in the mid-80s. With that in mind pretty much any time is a good time for a Caribbean Cruise, but when are the best times to go? The answer to this question depends on a few factors ranging from your budget to your travel needs and wishes.

According to several travel websites, the most expensive time to cruise to the Caribbean is in the summer months between June and August, spring break and during winter break from schools. The temperatures are generally higher in these months making for excellent swimming conditions. School is also out during these months and most families want to take vacations while their kids are off.

It’s important to note that because so many people are taking cruises the Caribbean during the summer these cruises are generally a very full. There will be a lot of people so if you prefer less people (especially less kids) around you then you should consider going in the slower season. June is also the beginning of hurricane season but the weather usually doesn’t get too bad until September and October.

The low/slow season and the cheaper time to cruise is April, May and September through January with the exception of spring and winter break from schools. December through April is also the driest time in the Caribbean with low humidity and less chance of rain. The catch with cruising during this season is the water is often a lot colder but for some people the smaller crowds, fleeing the cold weather of the north and cheaper cruise prices makes the colder water worth it.

Have you been to the Caribbean more than once? When is your favorite time to visit?

When is the Best Time to Plan Your Travel?

Ready, set, go! Wouldn’t it be great if traveling for vacations really worked that way? You pick a spot on the map and you just pack and go! Sadly, that privilege seems to only remain with the rich. So, the question is how can the average traveler decide on the best times to plan their trips?

First, you will need to decide on the details of the trip, i.e. the destination, whether you want cold temps or warm temps, when you can get time off from work and your budget. Once you have these ideas in mind the real research begins. The good news is that if you are working with a reputable travel agent you can bring your travel wishes to them and they can give you ideas for your vacation, but ultimately the final decisions will lie with you.

Once you have the logistics figured out of destination, budget, timing etc… it’s time to book the trip. Still, a question of when to book remains. In most cases your best bet is to book as soon as you nail down your trip goals. The sooner the better because you will have the best options on rooms, flights and transportation to name a few.

In the event you are choosing to visit a destination during its busy or peak season booking quickly becomes even more imperative as the cheaper accommodations can sometimes get snapped up so fast you will be left with either the priciest options or none at all. The same thing often goes for holiday traveling- the sooner you book the more options you will have!

With all of that said if you can book six months in advance great, but up to a year is even better! Besides, the sooner you book the sooner you can start making additional arrangements if needed such as canceling your mail, booking a pet sitter, putting in for the vacation time at work- you get the idea.

Romantic Destinations Worldwide

Whether you are planning an exciting couple’s escapade or a honeymoon, there are many romantic destinations worldwide to suit your taste. If you and your lover are seeking somewhere with that perfect ambiance for your next vacation, read on because we found some of the most romantic destinations in the world:

  • Venice – A ride in the gondola truly symbolizes the magic and romance of this city. Ride down the canals with your lover and enjoy the sites of Venice. Dine in stylish Italian restaurants by the canals and get lost in old brick passages while you stumble upon Italian squares and churches. Venice is definitely the place that can make you fall in love again.
  • Seychelles – These Indian Ocean islands located off the coast of Africa were home for some of the most amazing people in the world. It’s extraordinary, out of the way location makes it an incredible place to spend time with your loved one. There are many spas, golf courses, tropical drinks, and fishing trips ready to make your romantic trip unforgettable. Honeymoon here and you may never want to leave.
  • Maldives – These 23 small coral islands are barely above ocean water and the reefs in the area are teeming with life. And yet, even though they bustle with ocean life, they are quiet and secluded.
  • Tuscany – Villas, vineyards, and historic Italian towns, this entire place billows with a sense of adventure and love. Stay in cozy villas, eat the finest food, and bike through the amazing vineyards to drink the top class wine.
  • Bruges – This medieval city in Brussels may not jump to the front of your mind as a romantic destination, but the setting of the place will take you back to a simpler time that feels just right to reconnect with that special someone. The town has certainly protected its history to our benefit allowing visitors to walk through the ancient city lanes hand in hand and relax at sweet cafes filled to the brim with charm and love. A step back in time- perhaps this is the way every romantic getaway should feel.