November 2017 - Starr Tours & Charters

The Season of Giving – How Travel Experiences Enrich Lives

Research shows that travel/experiential gifts create more lasting memories than material gifts. Take, for example, the last holiday season – can you remember every gift you received? Now, think about your last vacation, or a vacation you took in your 40s, or 30s – that’s easier, isn’t it? No matter how much time has passed, we recall fond and challenging memories more easily. Plus, the experience begins before the trip even departs. The planning and the anticipation of the upcoming adventure create joy before the trip begins and the memories from the vacation last a lifetime. So, why worry about the perfect fit, color, brand, style, etc. this year? Give the gift of travel!

Check out these four reasons why a travel gift card or vacation is the best gift your money can buy:

  • Travel lowers stress and enhances creativity. We’ve already covered how travel can lower stress, even for retirees, but did you know that travel enhances creativity as well? Immersing oneself in the different traditions and way of life of a group of people increases cognitive flexibility and the ability to adapt to changes. Trying new things, working through new challenges, meeting new people and getting away from daily routine change a person for the better. You’ll be giving the gift of happiness and health!
  • According to a Cornell University study, experiences make us happier than material goods do. It turns out, doing things rather than having things brings more lasting joy.
  • Experiential gifts and the memories they create last longer than the book that will be read in a month, the clothing that will be out of style next year, the object that will eventually break, and the electronic that will be obsolete by the next holiday season. Plus, they require less wrapping and the recipient doesn’t have to figure out where to put it!
  • You’re giving the gift of friendship. Spending a few days on a bus with a group of people is a surefire way to come home with a few new friends! We have many stories of solo travelers and couples teaming up with other passengers while on vacation and continuing the friendship after they return home. Many regularly meet for dinner or plan to take their next Starr vacation together. There’s also been quite a few matches made on a Starr motorcoach!


Don’t take our word for it, click here to see why Travel is the Secret to Happiness!  Then, head over to our website to purchase your gift cards! And don’t forget to bring your kids on your next vacation!

Starr gift cards for bus trips come in any denomination, and they never expire! Your loved one can choose from over a hundred destinations for a day trip, multi-day domestic or international vacation or an all-inclusive cruise! Browse our bus tours, then call or stop by our office to pick up a Starr gift card for everyone on your list!

Stay tuned next week for our Vacation Gift Giving Guide with suggestions for trips you can gift to that special someone!

Honoring Our Veterans Through Donations

Doc Hastings once said, “We owe our World War II veterans, and all of our veterans, a debt we can never fully repay.” This November 11th is Veterans Day, a day when we remember and honor those that have fought for our freedom. This Veterans Day, keep in mind the privileges we hold as Americans, and help to empower those that have served our country.

Here are some ways we can help our veterans, no price tag attached.


Donate Candy:

Have a lot of leftover Halloween candy? Or, can you just not stand the taste of Twizzlers? Either way, your Halloween candy rejects can go to a good place, and brighten up the day of a soldier. Soldier’s Angels is a charity that, “provides aid and comfort to the men and women of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and their families.” Their mission is to make no soldier go unloved, and you can help them do just that. As part of their Treats for Troops Program, you can donate candy through the mail, or visit or start a registered collection site. They have a goal this year of 17,000 pounds of candy, so drop on by and give some soldiers some sweets. In the event you don’t have any candy, they also accept donations year round, or join their Adopt-A-Soldier Program, and change the lives of some heroes.


Send a Thank You Letter:

Nothing can make people smile more than a nice handwritten letter to make you feel more at home. Through Operation Gratitude, you can send letters and thank yous to soldiers that will be sent in the care packages the company delivers. They encourage to include your child on this journey with you, make it happy and colorful, and get ready to make a veteran’s day. Maybe you’ll even make a new friend in the process.



Donate Your Old Cell Phone:

Sometimes just hearing the voice of a loved one, even if they’re a million miles away, is all you need to feel a little bit closer to home. Sadly, many veterans do not have this opportunity. In 2004, Minutes That Matter was started by two young kids who wanted to change the lives of soldiers. They started this charity and have provided 300 million minutes on the phone for soldiers to talk to their family and friends. To help out Minutes That Matter, donate any old flip phone, smartphone or tablet, even if its cracked. Your donation will help connect families.



How Starr Honors Veterans:

Starr values veterans, and would like to formally salute anyone who has risked their lives for our country. We honor their sacrifices and they will never be forgotten. Starr’s bus tour division gives a 5% discount to all active or retired military, disabled veterans, and military reservists. When making a reservation for a bus trip, please provide Military ID and Starr’s Travel Advisor will be happy to offer the discount.


Be sure to check out last year’s post for more charities to check out to support our veterans!

Breaking Bus Records

Everyone knows that Starr buses are luxurious. Between comfortable seats, on board entertainment and wifi, they have all you need to make getting to each exciting destination enjoyable. Our buses, Drivers, and Tour Directors make noteworthy accomplishments every time they head out, but what about the other buses in the world? As it turns out, Guinness World Records has a whole list of the best world records involving buses! Some of them are unbelievable feats. So, sit back, relax and enjoy.


Longest career as a bus driver

Many things in our world have changed since 1946. One thing that hasn’t, however, is Carl Fisher’s career as a bus driver. Set in 2011, Fisher holds the world record for the longest career as a school bus driver. He started driving school buses at age 16, and found a job he loved and excelled at. Fisher estimates he has driven over two million miles, and has owned twelve different school buses. He finally retired at age 82, after spending 66 years driving Missouri’s children to and from school.


Furthest distance to pull a single decker bus with the ears

Famous strongman and grandfather Manjit Singh has been training as a strongman all his life, and he has broken over 55 world records. On March 31 2008, Singh pulled a single decker bus 20 ft in Loughborough, UK. Singh attached cables to his ears, and yanked the bus almost 6.1 meters. He did this to raise money for the Manjit Fitness Academy. Read about his other bus pulling record here.


Most people crammed into a single decker bus

According to Guinness, on June 1st, 2011, a group of people in Poland took a 57 second journey, but this one was no ordinary bus ride. Normal buses of this size can usually fit somewhere around 50 people. But this bus contained 229 people, most were faculty at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Krakow University of Technology.


Longest Journey by Bus

In 1988-1989, longtime friends Hughie Thompson, John Weston and Richard Steel took the world’s longest journey traveling by bus, as reported by Guinness. The group rode a red London Routemaster double-decker bus, which was their home for over a year. In the end, the boys traveled 54,289 miles and visited 18 countries, going all throughout Asia, Europe, Australia and the USA.


Our Cross Country Trip of a Lifetime

While they may not have broken any world records, our annual Cross Country trip accomplishes its own set of impressive stats!
June – July 2017, 34 passengers, 1 Tour Director, and 2 Drivers traveled across our great country and back in 26 days.
– They slept in 20 different cities, enjoyed 30 attractions, visited 5 National Parks, and gambled in 4+ casinos (with the possibility of many more on their free day in Las Vegas).
– They drove on 30 major routes and highways across 19 different states, passing through all 4 time zones for a total of 7,304 miles!
(You can set your own personal records on our Cross Country trip in 2018!)


So, the next time you’re relaxing on a bus trip on a Starr bus, think about all of the incredible things that were accomplished in buses just like these, and relax as you travel to your wonderful destination.