December 2017 - Starr Tours & Charters
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2017 End of Year Recap and Thank You

As we approach the New Year, let’s take a look at the past, present, and future of Starr. Let’s also give thanks to everyone involved, from our readers to our drivers, our office staff to our Tour Directors, our Mechanics to our Travel Partners and finally our wonderful customers. We could not be the business we are today without the blessings and support from all of you.

 

The Past

The story of Starr starts with a bus – well, two buses actually. Our journey started in the year 1947. There were two transit buses that went in between Trenton and Hightstown, NJ. Back then, no one riding those buses knew that this little bus company would become one of the largest privately-owned tour and motocoach companies in America.

 

Then came the 1950s. Starr grew into a fleet of charter buses that were sleek and modern, unlike anything anyone had seen at the time. We started giving individual tours in the 1960s with the World’s Fair in New York and developed several and exciting bus trips – both day-trips and multi-day trips.

 

In the 80s and 90s, Starr developed into a first-class Tour Operator. With 80s hair and Culture Club pumping through our Walkman radios, Starr quickly became one of the largest operators of day trips and fabulous vacations in the United States.

 

The Present

 

Now, Starr is one of the best companies in the world. With luxurious motorcoaches, exclusive trips, and amazing customer service, Starr caters to your every need. We are constantly expanding and innovating within the bus industry and we are always on the lookout to provide every comfort and need. However, Starr wouldn’t be where it is today without the tireless work, determination, and support of many people and employees. From our Starr Family including Alan, Renee, Sandy and Pete, we would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all who have helped us get here today and will continue to have us grow into tomorrow and beyond.

 

The Future

 

The future is bright! Not only are we continuing to evolve and improve ourselves, we also have several fun events planned. Next October, we will be celebrating our 71st birthday, so get ready to head south to our Myrtle Beach Birthday Bash!

Starr has come all this way thanks to all of you and we are all so eternally grateful. Let’s keep riding, folks! Stay tuned for our New Year´s Resolutions for the Young at Heart series where we will will examine four big vacations that will surely hit your bucket lists.

A Happy and Healthy New Year to All!

Take a Bus to Ski Shawnee

Take a Bus to Ski Shawnee

It’s that time of year again! It’s time for winter holidays, spending time with friends and family, and planning the perfect winter activity for your group. Well, look no further, because the best winter fun is right here. Get together your group of at least 35, or make it a real party with up to 56! Take a load off your shoulders and follow our plan for the best winter day trip that will have everyone buzzing: a Starr Charter trip to Shawnee Mountain in the Poconos.

 

3 Reasons Why You Need a Ski Trip

 

It’s social

There is no better time to catch up with friends and family than on a ski lift taking in the beautiful view. Get closer with friends you already know, or rekindle old friendships, while taking in breathtaking winter views or watching skiers and snowboarders below. If you’re with a group, there’s no better way to get to know each other than the ski lift. You’ll be so busy laughing and bonding, you won’t even realize how quickly you reached the top of the mountain.

It’s great exercise

In the wintertime, it can be hard to tear yourself away from a warm fire and a good book to go outside and get some exercise. Plus, with the holiday season there is sugary goodness all around. It can seem impossible to stay in shape during the winter with parties, holidays, and cold weather. Plus, why do the best movies always come out during the holidays? Instead of cursing the winter, why not incorporate it into your workout? Skiing downhill can burn up to 400 calories an hour and is an amazing full body workout.

Take your group out on the slopes, and then enjoy the latest Star Wars movie guilt free, with a big bowl of popcorn on your lap.

It’s a great photo op

Does your instagram need a spruce-up? What about your Facebook? Nothing says I’m active and have a perfect life like a cool picture of you tearing up the mountain. So much of Facebook is just pictures of people’s babies or boring rants. Do the world a service and add some spice. Or, for the more camera shy, act as a group photographer and capture the joyous moments for years to come. Making memories with friends is always fun and the mountain backdrop is the perfect place to do it. Plus, rosy cheeks from the cold are always a great look and show up beautifully in pictures.

 

So, you’ve decided you absolutely have to take a group skiing. But where do you go? There is really only one option if you want the best fun, services, and food. Plus, you get a handy discount if you book with Starr. Here are three reasons to take your group to Shawnee Mountain.

 

Endless Options

Do you have a group of younger kids? What about bored teenagers itching to try something new? Or maybe you’ve been dying to try snowboarding? At Shawnee Mountain, the options are endless. Take a chance with something new – you never know what kind of gems you will find. Take snow tubing, for example! It’s sledding, with an upgrade, perfect for someone who isn’t quite ready to strap on some skis or is craving a new adventure. If you’ve got some daredevils in your group, try Shawnee’s two fantastic terrain parks, where you can try out jumps and tricks for people of all levels and abilities. Or, channel your inner Lindsey Vonn and ski your heart out on any of their 23 slopes and trails.

Food, Glorious Food

As said before, hitting the slopes in quite a workout. Picture this: you’ve been snow tubing all day and worked up quite the appetite. It’s such a good time, you didn’t realize how hungry you were until you smelled the delicious aromas of one of Shawnees five amazing dining options. With countless options catered to fit any taste, it’s a far cry from the half frozen PB&J or stale fries offered at other mountains. You can sit down and nourish your mind and body. Then, after you’ve recharged, hit the mountain with a new burst of energy.

It’s Friendly for All Levels of Experience

If you’re sending a group to Shawnee, chances are not everyone will be the same level of experience and ability and that’s okay, in fact it’s encouraged. Only 25% of Shawnee’s trails are expert level, and the rest are geared toward beginners or just average skiers. Shawnee staff is trained to help everyone of all levels, through lessons on skiing or snowboarding and everything in between. Just like how you can’t have *NSYNC with only Justin Timberlake, Shawnee is here for you, regardless of your ability.

 

 

Now you’re almost all set with your trip to Shawnee. All you have to figure out is transportation. Here are three reasons why you need to choose Starr buses for your Shawnee Mountain experience.

 

Great prices

Between gas money, random stops, and bribing cashiers to let you use their bathroom, road trips can be shockingly expensive. Cut to the chase and choose Starr. With affordable prices and guaranteed satisfaction, you can be sure to avoid those little fees, and it will definitely  be more comfortable than the backseat of a minivan. Avoid the awkwardness of the whole ¨you owe me gas money¨ conversation and let yourself relax. With prices as low as $26 a person, it’s a sure deal, plus booking with Starr gets you a discount at Shawnee.

Safety First

Transportation can be such a bummer on a perfect day. You can have the perfect skiing trip planned, and have it all ruined by trying to make plans on who is going to drive who. Now, it’s your responsibility to deal with Tommy’s weird uncle, and figure out if Jill’s grandma is too old to drive. It’s understandable to be worried about safety so solve everyone’s problems by hiring a professional. You’ll give the entire group the thrill of a luxury bus and the parents peace of mind. With a professional and friendly driver, you’re sure to get to your destination on time and completely safe. With one of the best driving safety rates in the industry, you can be sure to trust Starr.

Starr solves all of your logistical nightmares

Okay, so you’re almost finished, you have booked, chosen and vetted every part of your trip, and you can almost taste the crisp mountain air – you’re so close. But then you try to figure out rides and it’s a nightmare. Julie can drive, but she has to be home by 2:30 for soccer, leaving three kids without a ride home. Kevin gets carsick, so he has to have a window seat, Anna and Hallie refuse go unless they can sit together, and if Robbie is anywhere near Colin, it’ll be a bloodbath.  Between dealing with the schedules and preferences of parents and kids it’s easy to get caught up in the mess. So take a Starr bus, and be guaranteed a safe, easy drop off and pick up. With the space and room of a deluxe bus, everyone can get what they want saving both the kids and parents of unneeded drama. Before you know it, you will have glided into Shawnee, stress free and ready to take on the mountain.

 

You’ve heard the facts, and the choice is clear. Skiing is the trip, Shawnee is the venue, and the Starr will take you there. All that is left is you. Make your group’s reservation with Shawnee Mountain online. Then, contact Starr’s Charter Department. Get ready for the jolly season and embrace all things winter.

Bus Travel Accessories Make Great Gifts

‘Tis the season for gifts in all shapes and sizes! With travel always on our minds, we’ve put together a list of some of the best travel gifts for any world traveler on your list this year. If you’re traveling by bus or plane, this list is great to share with friends and family or to just treat yourself. If you or someone you know loves to travel, look no further! Their perfect gift is just a few clicks away!

 

 Here are our 13 travel accessories suggestions for the traveler in your life:

 

  1. Personal Organizer Toiletry Bag – this hanging toiletry bag or organizer comes in 4 sizes – small, medium, large, and family – and many fabric colors and patterns.  I love this bag because it saves counter space when traveling and has lots of pockets to section off items.  It hangs easily from a towel bar, shower curtain rod, or bathroom door.  With over 600 five-star reviews on llbean.com, it’s worth checking out.

 

  1. Vitamin Pill Case – this handy case is perfect for taking those vitamins or medications on the road with you! 16 pill envelopes can be used in a variety of ways (AM/PM for 8 days, one dose for 16 days, etc) and can be removed from the case to discreetly slip into your purse or pocket.

 

  1. Portable phone charger – There is nothing worse then having your phone die on the go. With this little gadget, you can save yourself a huge amount of stress. Plus, it’s super small and extra portable.

 

  1. Subsorb SPF 30 Lip Balm – for your traveler hitting the slopes or the beach, this is a terrific lip balm due to its SPF30 protection. Even for those not needing sun protection, (travelers often lament about dry lips on the plane or on vacation) this lip balm is ultra-moisturizing and full of aloe vera and antioxidants.

 

  1. Aquis Adventure Towel – this fast-drying towel is incredibly lightweight. It folds up really small, is quite absorbent, and dries quickly. Some travelers are known to keep one in their carry-on; it doubles as a light blanket on long bus trips.

 

  1. Travel Clothesline – a “must-have” for a world traveler who is known to do some laundry in their hotel sink. Also great to hang wet swimsuits and towels if you take advantage of the hotel pool. No clothes pin needed, this stretchy, braided line hangs nearly anywhere.  For our family of four, we travel with two and wouldn’t consider leaving home without it.

 

  1. Portable water bottle – Staying hydrated is essential, especially when on the go, and this cute little gadget can stay in your pocket, allowing you to whip it out when you need it. As a bonus: it comes in many fun colors.

 

  1. Road ID – simple, wearable identification for your next adventure, Road IDs hook to your shoe or come in bracelet form. First Responders are trained to look for these IDs, which are often faster to access in an emergency than finding a loved one or locating the victim’s wallet. Road IDs include contact info and health information (ex. diabetes, allergies) – vital information in an emergency.

 

  1. “Smart” luggageawaytravel.com has created a line of “perfect” suitcases. Features include a built-in battery to charge any device, integrated TSA-approved lock, lightweight design, impenetrable exterior shell, and easy-to-pull wheels. The best part?  100-day risk-free trial and a lifetime warranty.

 

  1. Compression socks – These socks are great for long walks or hikes, and are ideal for any day when you’ll be on your feet a lot. They are designed for flights three hours or more, but are perfect on and off your feet. They’re fun, come in a three pack and have lots of nifty colors to choose from.

 

  1. Noise cancelling headphones – There is nothing worse than that annoying plane sound or listening to someone cough or even worse, a baby’s cry. It can be fine for a few minutes, but after a few hours it can really get on your nerves. Plus, some people next to you are just such loud breathers. Well, luckily Bose has you covered. These headphones can be a little pricey, but they are specifically engineered to tune out excess noise, giving you some well deserved rest.

 

  1. Eye Mask – When you travel often, you learn to sleep almost anywhere, but it never hurts to have a little something help you out. These Kamossa sleep masks are incredible, and they are made of the softest memory foam, which can fit and form to your face. They keep their shape when folded and they come with their own carrying satchel and ear plugs!

 

  1. Slippers – Sometimes you would love to take your shoes off after a long day of traveling, but do you really want to walk around in bare feet on hotel room floors? Invest in a pair of lightweight, portable slippers like these to keep your feet clean and happy. They come in a variety of colors, are easy to slip on and off, and are machine washable! Be sure to check out their men’s designs, too. It’s great here and away from home.

 

So, that’s all folks! Enjoy these great holiday gift ideas, perfect for someone who travels often for work, or just loves exploring new places. I hope you enjoy some of these items on your next Starr Bus Tour!

What’s your favorite, must-have travel item?

Give the Gift of Travel – Vacation Gift Guide

Why worry about the perfect color, fit, or style this year? Give something that will always be in season, never goes out of style, and keeps on giving for years to come – give the gift of travel! We’ve already covered how travel experiences enrich life, here are a few suggestions for the perfect vacation, no matter your price range.

For Day Trips by bus under $100:

Atlantic City Air Show – for just under $55 you can send your loved one on a comfortable bus to the Jersey shore for the high-flying excitement of the Atlantic City Air Show and even a little casino fun! They’ll be treated to a casino package with $25 Slot Play and a $10 Food Voucher, along with the intense thrill of the famed military and civilian pilots flying acrobatic maneuvers above their heads!

Coney Island
Credit Daniel Fleming

Coney Island Express – Brooklyn’s famed boardwalk destination is less than $55. Imagine giving them a day at the beach with all of the history and unique flair of Coney Island. They can try one of Nathan’s Famous Hotdogs, explore the New York Aquarium, ride the Wonder Wheel, catch a thrill on the Cyclone, relax on the beach, and more! It’s a perfect day away from the daily grind.

National Zoo, Washington, DC – for just under $70, your loved one can enjoy a day at one of the oldest zoos in the nation! Over 2000 animals call this 163-acre park home including Giant Pandas from China, exotic birds, reptiles, rain forest creatures, and more.

Cars, Collectibles, and Yuengling – new for 2018 is a tour just under $100 that offers an afternoon of history and nostalgia as they visit America’s first brewery and revisit the ’50s! At Jerry’s Classic Cars & Collectibles Museum, they will take a journey back in time to the 1950s and leave with an unforgettable experience.

 

For Broadway Show Packages by bus under $200:

The Lion King – Disney’s classic movie takes center stage in an amazing production of artful puppetry and incredible music.

Carousel – “One of the most hallowed works of the American stage” (The New York Times) returns to Broadway for the first time in more than two decades. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s timeless musical Carousel comes to life in a new production. Elevated to an epic scale with a sweeping musical score and incandescent ballet sequences, this story of passion, loss and redemption introduced Broadway to a new manner of musical drama – one that “set the standard for the 20th century musical” (Time Magazine) and would captivate theatergoers for generations to come.

The Phantom of the Opera – this timeless tale of seduction and despair is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s masterwork and has been running on Broadway for 30 years. The unforgettable score, heart wrenching story, and captivating set make this a must-see show.

Hello, Dolly! – Bernadette Peters takes center stage in one of the most cherished musicals in theater history. Featuring music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and a book by Michael Stewart, “Hello, Dolly!” tells the story of an outspoken matchmaker and her attempts to marry “half-a-millionaire” Horace Vandergelder.

 

Multi-Day Vacations by bus under $500:

Boston, Massachusetts – The famed and bustling New England city has never been so easy to visit! Your loved one will be treated to a comprehensive city tour by one of Boston’s most knowledgeable guides and enjoy plenty of free time to experience all of the wonders of “Beantown.”

Cooperstown: National Baseball Hall of Fame – perfect for the baseball fanatic in your life. This tour includes a one year membership to the National Baseball Hall of Fame including a subscription to Memories and Dreams magazine, Hall of Fame Yearbook, complimentary admission to the Hall of Fame for one year, and other perks. Combine this with the fun shopping and dining found in Cooperstown and your gift will hit a home run!

Niagara Falls, USA – No passport required! Our newest option for a Niagara vacation makes this wonder of the natural world even more accessible! They’ll enjoy a boat ride into the horseshoe of the falls on Maid of the Mist as well as a tour of the area and accommodations in Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino. What a lucky gift!

Pittsburgh
Credit Derek Cashman

Pittsburgh, PA: The Golden Triangle – the intriguing “Steel City” awaits on this tour to western Pennsylvania. Truly a unique destination, Pittsburgh is home to a fascinating mix of historical landmarks, captivating architecture, compelling characters, and more! They’ll tour the Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning, be treated to an in-depth tour of the city, and more!

Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun Casinos – this tour is every casino lovers dream! Featuring two of Connecticut’s greatest casinos this tour includes a casino package at each and ample time to try their luck at a plethora of table games, slot machines, Poker rooms, and more! They’ll be saying “Jackpot!” when they open this present!

 

One size rarely fits all and with Starr, you don’t have to settle for the generic! In addition to our immense lineup of incredible bus tours, we also offer gift cards. Our gift cards come in any denomination, and never expire! Whether you purchase a gift card so they can choose their own adventure or surprise them with a vacation you know they’ll love, you can rest assured that when you give the gift of travel, you’re giving a gift that will keep on giving for many years to come!