Tag: Car

Despite A Bumpy Ride, This Travel Car Seat Is Ready To Hit The Road

Any parent will tell you that car seats are a travel nightmare, especially now that safety experts recommend keeping children strapped into booster seats until they’re 8 to 12 years old. Carrying or switching car seats can prove extremely difficult and time consuming, if not realistically impossible. Renting them from car rental agencies when traveling is expensive. What about car seats in taxis and Ubers? Most parents just give up and say, “Nope!”

In 2017, two jet-setting “dadrepreneurs” decided to tackle this problem. Andy Macaluso and Daneil Schlaepfer conceived their idea while rock climbing. They then spent two years developing and testing WhizRider, a breakthrough harness-style portable child restraint system that solves car seat woes. About the size of a coffee cup and weighing less than one pound, WhizRider is small and light enough to toss into a handbag, backpack, suitcase, or glovebox – so that parents can bring it with them everywhere they go.

WhizRider is developed based on the latest data from the biomechanics and accident research fields. Its innovative concept prevents children from sliding under the lap belt (or “submarining”), one of the most common safety issues for kids in vehicles today. WhizRider keeps children safe on trips and in a pinch when a car seat or booster isn’t a viable option. It exceeds U.S. federal safety requirements.

Macaluso and Schlaepfer had begun a new fundraising round to grow retail channels and brand awareness in the US back in January 2020. Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and WhizRider lost almost 90% off all commitments overnight. In parallel, WhizRider was defined as an emerging brand by Amazon USA and became a member of their Launchpad program. But then Amazon closed its warehouses for non-essential products. Furthermore, families stopped traveling and using taxis or ride sharing apps altogether.

“We were ready, but couldn’t sell product,” says Macaluso. “It was and is still an extremely difficult situation without real monthly revenue. However, as an entrepreneur, you need to be optimistic. We worked very hard and have been able to win some deals in retail stores in 2021.”

To survive, WhizRider’s cofounders did everything they could to cut costs. They terminated agreements with some partners and reduced services with others. And of course, Macaluso and Schlaepfer decreased their own salaries. They remain motivated thanks to the positive feedback they continue to receive from customers and the retail world in general.

These days, Macaluso and Schlaepfer feel optimistic leading WhizRider into 2021. “With all the positive news regarding vaccines, we are very hopeful that some sort of return to normalcy is around the corner. We strongly believe WhizRider will take off once ride sharing and travel become more prevalent again,” says Macaluso. “We are also extremely proud

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Car travel won’t see a huge drop this Thanksgiving, with AAA expecting to rescue 413,000 US drivers roadside

a view of a city street filled with lots of traffic: Those in urban areas can expect much heavier traffic the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving. Reuters

© Reuters
Those in urban areas can expect much heavier traffic the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving. Reuters

  • Travel rates this Thanksgiving will be down across the board, but those who elect to travel will largely do it by driving, according to AAA.
  • Traffic and road congestion will be lighter than in years previous, but those in urban areas can expect heavier-than-normal delays in bottleneck areas.
  • Traffic in urban areas is expected to peak the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Traditionally, the days around Thanksgiving are the ones that would see some of the heaviest travel in the United States. But thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, travel will be a lot lighter this year.

With positive COVID-19 cases on the rise and renewed, tighter quarantine restrictions, AAA believes anticipates at least a 10% decrease in travel from 2019 — the “largest one-year decrease since the Great Recession in 2008,” it said.

AAA predicts that all forms of travel — whether via cars, planes, buses, trains, and cruises — will decrease this year compared to last year. Bus, train, and cruise travel will fall from 1.5 million passengers last year to 353,000 this year, a 76.2% decrease; air travel will fall from 4.6 million passengers to 2.4 million, a 47.5% decrease; and car travel will dip slightly from 49.9 million to 47.8 million, a 4.3% decrease.

Road trips dominate

“Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including health concerns and high unemployment, are impacting Americans’ decisions to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday,” Julie Hall, AAA’s public relations manager, told Business Insider. “Those who decide to travel are likely to drive shorter distances and reduce the number of days they are away, making road trips the dominant form of travel this Thanksgiving.”

So if you’re the type of dread holiday travel traffic, you can expect less of it this year.

But those living in major urban areas won’t be so lucky. AAA projects increased delays at typical bottleneck areas of “up to 30% above normal pandemic congestion levels,” Hall said, citing transportation analytics company Inrix’s prediction that Wednesday afternoon will have the highest traffic volume.

table: AAA and INRIX's predictions for the busiest corridors during this Thanksgiving. Screenshot via AAA

© Screenshot via AAA
AAA and INRIX’s predictions for the busiest corridors during this Thanksgiving. Screenshot via AAA

Just be sure your car is travel ready so it won’t break down on the way. AAA said it “expects to rescue more than 413,000 Americans at the roadside this Thanksgiving.”

Video: Amtrak Says Passengers Can Travel Safely, Comfortably On Northeast Corridor This Thanksgiving (CBS Philadelphia)

Amtrak Says Passengers Can Travel Safely, Comfortably On Northeast Corridor This Thanksgiving



Know the risks

Knowing the risks involved is important to those choosing to travel this holiday. 

AAA highly recommends planning ahead. Check with state and local authorities where you are, along the route you’re planning on taking, and at your destination to find out about any potential restrictions that could be in effect.

And follow public health guidelines! Wear a mask consistently,

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Away’s CMO Selena Kalvaria Says Travel Has Shifted From Airplane Overhead to Back of the Car

Few industries have been hit as hard by the coronavirus crisis as the travel industry. Hotels, airlines and cruise lines have all seen revenues decline as closed borders and public health mandates have limited travel—for business or pleasure—across the globe.

At Adweek’s Commerce Week virtual summit, Selena Kalvaria, CMO of luggage startup Away, spoke with retail reporter Richard Collings about how the brand has put community first during the pandemic and refused to panic when faced with uncertainty. She also outlined how traveling in the age of Covid-19 has become a new experience that the brand has learned to embrace.

“We had to decide really quickly how, and if at all, we could talk about travel,” Kalvaria said. “We took that first week or two to huddle together to see how the news developed and talk about what our role could be.”

One shift the brand has noticed about the new normal: Luggage needs have shifted from airplane overhead to back of the car.

Another aspect Away has had to deal with is that, as Kalvaria put it, travel is weird right now.

“It’s weird to talk about, it’s weird to share on your social channels,” she said.

To address this uncomfortable reality, Away partnered with artist Robert Beatty to create some psychedelic and fantastical illustrations that help capture the moment.

“We have everything you need to travel safely and confidently, and we want travel to be the escape and still feel like a happy place,” Kalvaria said. “It’s kind of that juxtaposition with it being weird, but we’re here to get you through it.”

Watch the full conversation below.

Source Article

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2 injured in Downtown crash involving squad car heading to weapons call at hotel, Madison police say | Crime

crime scene tape

An officer and another person were injured in a three-vehicle crash Downtown Thursday night involving a squad car heading to a weapons call, Madison police reported.

The crash happened about 10:15 p.m. at North Park Street and West Johnson Street as the officer was heading to the Best Western East Towne, 4801 Annamark Drive, Lt. Kipp Hartman said in a statement.

After the crash, one person was transported to a local hospital for treatment and the officer who was driving the squad car was treated for a minor injury at a hospital, Hartman said.

UW police took several witness statements and an internal investigation will be conducted as to the cause of the crash, Hartman said.

No further details on the crash were released.

Shell casings pile up in Madison as city, activists try to contain spike in gun violence

Meanwhile, three people were arrested in the weapons violation at the hotel, where police were called shortly after 10 p.m. on an initial report of a disturbance inside a room, Hartman said in a separate statement.

Arriving officers were met by Brooks, who was described as “extremely hostile” and attempted to physically engage with officers, who disengaged and attempted to retreat from the room, Hartman said.

But an officer’s foot became lodged under the door as Brooks continually attempted to slam it shut. Officers then heard what they believed to be a gunshot from inside of the room, Hartman said.

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Man fatally shot outside Eagan hotel; 2 in car with out of state plates are arrested

A man was fatally shot outside a hotel in Eagan, and two people who drove from the scene were quickly taken into custody, authorities said Tuesday.

The gunfire occurred shortly before 9 p.m. Monday at the Sonesta Suites, just off the Lone Oak Road exit of Interstate 35E, police said.

Officers arrived at the scene and found the gunshot victim on the grass on the south side of the hotel, according to police and emergency dispatch audio.

Police soon stopped a car leaving the area and took a 29-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman into custody. The car had Kentucky license plates, the dispatch audio disclosed.

The man was shot several times, the audio revealed.

Authorities haven’t identified the homicide victim or the suspects, and “whether they knew each other is still under investigation,” said police officer Aaron Machtemes.

Police also have yet to address a motive for the shooting.

Anyone with information about this case is urged to call police at 651-675-5799.

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How to tell if your airline seat, hotel room or rental car is clean

Here’s something driving travelers a little crazy as the pandemic drags on: How can you tell if your airline seat, hotel room or rental car is clean? Is there any way to know, objectively?


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When Chip Bell checked into a Hilton hotel in Midtown Manhattan recently, everything looked clean.

“The valet was wearing a face mask and gloves,” he says. “The front desk had a large dispenser of hand sanitizer accessible to guests. The front desk person, behind protective plexiglass, told me there would be a seal on my guest room door certifying it had been cleaned.”

But Bell, a customer loyalty consultant and author who lives in Atlanta, had his doubts.

“There was no guarantee or Good Housekeeping seal,” he says. “It is a reminder that customers judge their service experiences in their own irrational, illogical and completely human ways.”

That’s the thing. The travel industry may insist that there are ways to tell whether your airline seat, hotel room or rental car is safe. But it comes down to taking someone’s word for it. There are solutions, but they’re either impractical or pricey. All of which leaves travelers with few choices on their next trip.

Travel companies are trying to assure customers that their products are safe and healthy in two ways. First, they have announced sweeping initiatives to sanitize their rooms and cabins. For example, Hilton teamed up with the makers of Lysol and Dettol to create the CleanStay program. The hotel chain promises to thoroughly clean and sanitize its rooms and public areas.

And second, the companies place seals on cleaned areas. At Hilton properties, there’s a sticker on the door to indicate that a room has been sanitized and inspected. Seals are not new to the travel industry. In hotels, a paper ring on the toilet is supposed to signify that it’s been cleaned by the housekeeping staff. But some guests don’t believe it, and for good reason.

“I would not trust a seal,” says Beverly Byrum, a nurse from Louisville.

Byrum recalls stories that an acquaintance, who works for a hotel, told her. The acquaintance said her housekeeping staff sometimes takes shortcuts to save time. One of them will place that paper ring on the toilet even if it hasn’t been cleaned.

“How would I know that wasn’t happening with a room seal?” Byrum asks.

Companies are trying to restore some of that lost confidence.

“Most of the seals that companies are putting on hotel rooms and cars are not actually a verification that the cleaning has been audited,” says Peter Clark, the marketing director for Tulu, a company that offers businesses a way to digitally audit cleaning services by recording the process.

Tulu — which is used by Thrifty Car Rental and Uber — provides a purple decal with a QR code, a type of bar code, as proof that an area is clean and healthy. The QR code can be scanned with a smartphone to get a page that shows

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This Osaka hotel has a train-themed suite with actual rail car seats and a driving simulator

Japan’s train system is super smart, speedy and efficient, no wonder it’s gained a cult following. Rail fans now have something new to geek out to, as this hotel in Osaka has outfitted a suite with elaborate train paraphernalia including a driving simulator.

Fraser Residence Nankai Osaka is conveniently located next to Nankai Electric Railway’s Namba Station. The hotel has converted one of its guest rooms into an all-encompassing train-themed suite. The sumptuous 77sqm suite is now the largest accommodation in the service residence, containing a living room, two bedrooms and two bathrooms as well as cooking amenities.

Fraser Residence Nankai Osaka
Photo: Nankai Electric Railway Co.

To make the room look even more ‘rail’, actual seats from Nankai’s Southern Limited Express train are used as furniture in the living room while train paraphernalia are displayed in the bedrooms. One of them in particular even features the same wallpaper as Nankai’s Rapi:t airport express train – plus, there’s a train simulator which you can play on.

Fraser Residence Nankai Osaka
Photo: Nankai Electric Railway Co.

The other bedroom, while slightly pared down, offers glass walls overlooking the surrounding area and a table from the airport express train. Nevertheless, the entire suite is studded with details celebrating the joys of train travel, from the Nankai Railway tableware and train-related books and DVDs to authentic rail car plates and other decorative items.

An overnight stay in this train suite starts from ¥39,000. But you’ll be glad to know that Fraser Residence Nankai Osaka is eligible for the Go to Travel campaign, meaning you’ll save 35 percent on the room rate. For bookings, click here.

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Car Travel Games for Kids

age and up)

by Laurel
(Road Trip Mom)

Taking a car trip with your
kids is a wonderful opportunity to spend some quality time with them, away
from other daily distractions. A little undivided attention from Mom or
Dad can go a long way toward a little person’s happiness. It’s sometimes
nice to sit in the back of the van with your kids while dad is doing the
driving and play these car trip travel games right along with them.

This is the most complete
list of classic and contemporary car trip games and activities you’ll find
anywhere. It’s all good fun to keep kids busy and happy in the car on a
long trip.  Included are many free printable games from this website
as well as products that readers have recommended over the years. Everything
here has been road tested!


Give your kids an allowance for the day.

Tell them that this money
is for snacks, treats, souvenirs etc… but when it is gone, that is all
there is. Help them learn to budget their money and make good choices.

Let your children have a map


Give your kids an opportunity
to have their own copy of a map of where you are going. Show them how far
you have come, how much further there is to go and let them mark it with
a crayon. Every time they ask “How much further? have them take out their
map and see for themselves. You might also like to get a compass and show
them how it works along with the map. You can buy kid’s travel
maps and travel guides
, or for more fun, you can also print driving
directions from any mapping website such as mapquest. You can also try
a Kids Road Atlas
if you are going to be traveling across several states!

Also kids who are old enough
to read can help you navigate with Travmatix.com.   You can use
this site to print driving directions along with a list of all the food,
fuel and hotel options at every exit along your route. When they start
getting hungry or need a break, have them check the list of what is available
at upcoming exits! 

MAKE your own  “map” of where you are going.

Draw your own that has the
major stops and cities, and a nice happy drawing for your final destination.
Throw in a few simple drawings of landmarks you’ll see along the way, such
as a big bridge you’ll or a mountain tunnel. A home made map is easy for
kids to follow and gives them a clearer picture of how much further there
is to go. If your kids are old enough and it’s a trip that you take frequently,
have the kids make their own map!

Mystery Writing

One child holds out his
hand and closes his eyes while the other child “writes” on his hand with
her finger.  The first child has to guess what the second

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