Archive for July, 2010

Saint Thomas – The Caribbean Pearl

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

st thomas vacation rentalsSaint Thomas is a beautiful Caribbean Island that along with other smaller islands conform the unincorporated territory of the United States Virgin Islands. The island holds the capital port of Charlotte Amalie. As of the year 2000, the total population of Saint Thomas was 51,181 living in approximately 32 square miles of astonishing Caribbean landscape. White-sand beaches, crystal clear waterfronts and a sophisticated dining and shopping scene, offer travelers unlimited outdoor recreation. Diving, snorkeling and other water sports are also extremely popular on the island.

Aside from outdoor activities and nightlife, Saint Thomas offers many historic attractions. Visit Blackbeard´s Castle, built in 1679 by Danish soldiers as a watchtower to protect the harbor. Nowadays, the castle is surrounded by a small hotel, restaurants and a swimming pool. Fort Christian, built in 1672, is the oldest building in Saint Thomas and today houses the Virgin Islands Museum. Take a ride on the Paradise Point Tramway and ascend 700 feet above Charlotte Amalie for a breathtaking view of the harbor and the whole island.

When it comes to water sports, nothing surpasses Saint Thomas´ beaches and aquatic adventures. Visit the Hull Bay, or watch the sunset at the beautiful Brewer´s Bay. If you are into snorkeling, go to Sapphire Beach, an open-public resort where you can swim in nice clear water and coral. The best snorkeling beach in Saint Thomas is Coki Beach. With normal underwater visibility of more than 100 feet, this is a great beach for kids to learn to snorkel. It’s very calm and you can feed the swarming fish in about 3-4 feet of water. Windsurfing and kayaking are also very popular in untamed locations as the secluded Vessup Beach.

You can arrive to Saint Thomas by airplane, flying from major US Cities into the Cyril E. King Airport, or by cruise ships. Saint Thomas is a very popular stop for cruise lines, gathering between 4 and 8 ships on the harbor any day of the week. Check the most important cruise lines to find scheduled trips and arrival dates. If you are thinking of visiting other major US Virgin and British Virgin Islands, take the ferries that run regularly between them. If you are looking for an affordable and intimate place to stay in the islands, don´t forget to check out our Saint Thomas vacation rentals.

Safety Tips for Your Next Vacation Trip

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Traveling can be stressful considering you may be going to an unfamiliar location, sometimes with a different culture and language. Safety should be your prime concern to avoid hazards. Here at Rentalo, we want you to enjoy your vacation trip, taking into consideration practical tips for a safer stay.

Before leaving your Home

Protecting your home before leaving on your vacation is very important.  Please take the necessary precautions to protect your own home while you are away.  For information on how to protect your home while you are away, check home security companies.

When Arriving to Airports:

  • Keep your eyes on your bags and luggage at all times.
  • Only uniformed and properly identified airline personnel should handle your bags.
  • Avoid showing off your cameras, jewelry or other items that may draw attention. Try to blend with the crowd.
  • Watch out for unusual situations. Staged acts may be enacted to divert your attention and pick your pockets.
  • Keep a record of the contents in your checked luggage while keeping anything of value in your carry-on.
  • While on the Road

  • Always research your travel route before departing; take maps and driving directions with you.
  • Make sure your rental car is in good condition. Learn how locks, windows and other emergency equipment are used.
  • Store your luggage in the trunk and keep car doors locked at all times while driving.
  • Keep your rental agreement, insurance, maps and other important documents concealed.
  • Have your car keys ready when approaching your car; this is a favorite moment for thieves to mug you.
  • Park in safe, well-lighted areas close to building entrances and walkways. When appropriate, use private parking zones.
  • If you are involved in a car accident, think before you get. If something doesn´t feel right, signal the other driver to follow you to a nearby police station, or a busy area where it is safe to get out of your vehicle.
  • At your Hotel or Vacation Rental

  • Never leave your bags and luggage unattended.
  • Keep your lodging doors and windows locked at all times.
  • Do not display your lodging keys in public or leave them at tables, swimming pool or in other places where they can be stolen.
  • Identify fire exists, stars, elevators, and public telephones in case of emergency.
  • Leave your valuables at home, but if you want to take them with you, store them in the hotel safe.
  • Ask your host or hotel manager about the neighborhood and areas to avoid.
  • Before taking a cab, ask your host or lodging personnel about directions and estimated fare price.
  • You should always be prepared as crime is never announced. Try to limit your chances of becoming a victim by staying alert and aware of people and surroundings. These simple tips can help you stay safe while enjoying a pleasurable vacation. If you are travelling overseas and need assistance, check the U.S. Department of Transportation Travel Advisory and Airport Safety Hotline (800-221-0673) that advises international travelers of potentially dangerous airports and countries. You may also want to check out the U.S. Department of State Citizens’ Emergency Center (202-647-0900) that offers assistance in emergency situations to travelers abroad.