Melanie, Author at Starr Tours & Charters - Page 2 of 3
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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, 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” 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?

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.

The Magic of Radio City

The Magic of Radio City

One of my favorite childhood memories is watching the movie Annie when I was a little girl and delighting with wonder and fascination at the scene where Daddy Warbucks takes Annie to Radio City to watch the Rockettes perform. I stared at the beautiful dancers in the same way Annie did, with such wonder and fascination, as the Christmas carols played in the background. Although I am far from being a red-haired orphan living in the 1930s, the wonder of the Rockettes is a universal feeling, one that many have shared for decades.


There is nothing quite like the holiday magic of Radio City Music Hall, which opened in 1932. Over 300 million people have flocked to the theatre to escape to the world created between the velvet curtains. Despite being 80 years old, the theatre still creates that pure sense of joy and wonder for people of all ages, while staying true to its history and roots. This season, millions will take a step back in time and enjoy the Christmas Spectacular which has wowed audiences from around the world with sparkling costumes, twinkling lights, and of course, the high-kicking Rockettes.


The first Christmas Spectacular, which debuted in December of 1933, was only thirty minutes long, but today the show has bloomed into a 90-minute celebration of the holiday season straight off the pages of a storybook. However, to the delight of audiences everywhere, two iconic numbers done by the Rockettes have remained completely unchanged for decades. “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “The Living Nativity” give the same holiday joy to millions over, and over again while transporting them back to a similar, classic era.


Every April, hundreds of New York’s best dancers strap on their tap shoes to audition for a chance to dazzle audiences on one of the world’s most famous dance teams, the Rockettes, and continue this iconic piece of history. Over 3,000 women have performed as Rockettes, and even more hope of someday joining the kick line that so many dancers dream of being a part of. Those dances have become a part of history, and many want to continue that tradition.


This season, you can be part of history and experience the timeless beauty of the Christmas Spectacular. Take a relaxing motorcoach trip and gawk at New York City, glistening and shiny with the Christmas season. Then, take a step back in time to Radio City Music Hall to see the Christmas Spectacular like no one has seen it before. Watching from Orchestra Seats, you’ll be immersed in the sounds and sights of show. Finally enjoy some free time, and look at the cheery holiday energy in the City, maybe watch the skaters at Rockefeller Center, or just enjoy a bite to eat under that massive Christmas tree. This is an experience that is essential for the holiday season. Dazzle your eyes, maybe bring a little dancer with you, and book your trip now. Starr tours has 28 departures this year – but tickets are selling fast. Spend a day in the city with us and experience this once in a lifetime opportunity!