Best Crossover SUVs for an Amazing Family Road Adventure

Adventurers looking forward to carrying more than just a few passengers should consider looking into a seven passenger cross over SUV. Not only can you haul the whole family and a few friends around, but you can also tow a trailer or a small boat for family outings. The cargo space vs is great for extended family vacations as well.

Whenever an automotive manufacturer decides to take a magnifying glass to their vehicles, they usually decide to focus on improving one or two things instead of achieving the whole package. Some will work on the handling of the vehicle, while others will focus on the consumer appeal.

Either way, consumers will appreciate the ability of these SUVS to navigate the roads with ease, while hauling the whole family.

Below is a featured list of the top 10 most capable Best Value Crossover SUV for Family Road Trips.

2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid

The term ‘hybrid’ would most likely never be associated with off-road handling capabilities. Yet, somehow, GMC has managed to find a way to successfully these two features in one packaging. If you decide to opt for the four-wheel drive model, you’ll be more than satisfied with the off-road prowess ness of this vehicle. This SUV is competent of seating up to eight passengers without any conflicts of comfort or complaints of any sort. The 379 horse power engine is more than capable of hauling the whole family around in the city or out in the country.

2012 Dodge Durango

When Dodge decided to try their hand at creating a high-capacity vehicle, they created a formidable foe. The strange design of the body is intriguing enough to lure most buyers to consider this vehicle more closely. For a good reasons. The underside of the vehicle is completely decked out with skid plates incase you decide to go off roading. The Dodge Durango is equally at home in the city as it is on the rugged roads of the country. If this all sounds great but you need a vehicle absolutely capable of some towing, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the 7,400 lb towing capacity.

2012 Ford Expedition

The Ford expedition has earned the seal of approval by many families due to its reliable nature. The platform is shared by the already successful F-150 truck. This sport-utility vehicle is more than competent of handling family outings with ease while tackling rough road conditions with prowess. The interior is spacious and capable of providing seating for up to eight passengers with the addition of roomy cargo space. The suspension system is a capable system which will help you navigate the trails with confidence.

2012 Land Rover LR4

Perhaps one of the most luxurious of all SUVS, the Land Rover is worthy of a consideration. This particular make offers more room for passengers out of all the models offered by Land Rover. The auto manufacturer has somehow managed to combine a luxury vehicle that is capable of doing some off roading tasks as well. One of the most impressive systems ever developed is the Terrain Response System. Drivers can select modes depending on the driving conditions which range from mud, snow, and even sand. The system also comes with a rock crawl system which makes it a breeze to navigate uneven surfaces.

2012 Chevrolet Suburban

The Surburban is another vehicle that has been considered as a family-friendly SUV for years plus it could be the best crossover for gas mileage considering its size. The 7 passenger seating ability combined with the cargo space and road handling has earned the approval of many within short duration of ownership. If you need the extra room for an extra two passengers, the Surburban has no problem accommodating these additional passengers. If you want to take this SUV off roading, consider upgrading to an off-road package. With the addition of an off-road package, your vehicle will be more than ready with skid plates, and a firm suspension that can navigate mud and snow with no problem.

2013 Toyota Land Cruiser

The Land Cruiser is a more than a capable vehicle for off roading and city driving. You can comfortably carry a family of 7 with complaints in regard to comfort. The engineering has made this a powerful vehicle that features an incredible chassis and suspension system. Four-wheel drive is standard, and you can opt to choose features such as hill descent control, and all terrain packaging such as skid plates for rough terrain.

2012 Lincoln Navigator

The Lincoln seems to base its focus primarily on providing a comfortable and luxurious ride to its passengers. Some may be surprised to note that the base platform is derived from the Ford Expedition. As expected, some characteristics have been transferred over from the Ford counterpart. You can take this vehicle off the road or navigate the city streets with ease. However, with the exceptional exterior of this vehicle, who would want to take it off roading?

2012 Nissan Armada

The size of the Armada makes traveling with seven passengers an easy feat with the addition of 100 cubic feet for cargo space. However, this vehicle is worthy of consideration if you want to do some light towing every now and then. The 9,100 towing capacity is incredible for the SUV segment. This particular advantage is owed to its truck like platform. Buyers can pick from the four-wheel drive option, but the five-speed automatic transmission is the foundational base for this capable vehicle.

2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV

The Cadillac has earned the reputation of the top luxury auto manufacturer. At least within the United States. The large sport-utility vehicle is perhaps at the top of most shoppers’ lists with its unrivaled luxury features. The 8 passenger vehicle is supplemented with 137 cubic feet of cargo space. Don’t expect to be navigating any trails however, this isn’t the purpose of this particular vehicle. However, if you must have towing capacity combined with the ability to haul the family all over, consider the 8,000 lb towing capacity to be in your favor.

If your taste is more on the affordability side then take a moment and check a list of the best and most affordable crossovers that are actually in the market.

3 Useful Tips To Save Money When Traveling

Do you want to just pack a backpack and go on a fun, exciting adventure? Do you want to see the world, take in your surroundings, relishing in the beauty of nature and buy souvenirs to help you remember your trip?

Nevertheless, you might be holding yourself back from actually going because you are concerned about the expenses that you would have to pay. However, traveling does not always have to be expensive! You can definitely still go on countless escapades without having to prepare lots of cash and spending too much. If you want to know more, please just keep on reading for some money saving tips when travelling.

How To Save Money When Travelling

A lot of people dream of going on a vacation but not a lot of people actually go. Why is that so? Well, basically because some people think that going on a vacation automatically means spending a lot of money. However, that is not always true! Here are some tips you can follow so that you can go on a trip without spending too much money.

Look for cheap accommodations. Before you go on a trip, choose your area of destination first. Once you have chosen where you want to go, thoroughly research the internet for affordable but reliable accommodations. If you are more concerned about going on an adventure and not on your lodging, then staying at a cheaper hostel is the best option. You do not necessarily have to stay at a 5-star hotel to have a good time.

Walk around. When you are already in your vacation area of choice, walk around instead of riding some form of transportation! Walking around can bring you a lot of benefits. First of all, it is good exercise. Second, when you walk, around you are basically already on an adventure! Just enjoy your stroll, look around, observe the people and sights around you and just relax. If you get lost, then so what? No one can judge you since no one knows where you are going anyway. Just take this time for yourself and breathe in your surroundings. Do not rush yourself.

Look for local shops and bargains. Naturally, you would also want to buy souvenirs to help you remember your trip. However when buying souvenirs, avoid going to big malls or popular souvenir shops. Instead, look for local markets and buy products from the natives! Not only are you helping them out, but you can also meet new people at the same time. Also, when you go to a local market, you would have the opportunity to negotiate the prices, which can help you save some money.

These are just three tips you should consider when you go on a trip. Remember, traveling does not always have to cost you a lot of money – just be wise about it and have fun! Also, if you are really more interested in having an adventure, worry less about your other expenses and just focus on yourself. Hopefully, these tips are able to help you out. So what are you waiting for? Go out and have fun now! You definitely deserve it.

The Backpackers’ Secrets And Tips

There will be times that you come across backpackers, all you will ever think that they are people who are off for adventure. Yes it is, backpacking as all about adventure and independence, the chance to see the world and what nature has to offer.

So these people must be prepared enough and will be packed by everything that is basically needed to endure what the world will take them ahead. This is considered to be the cheapest way to travel, you will sure enjoy how they live in every single day they travel and go to unfamiliar places with unfamiliar faces, food, ways, and culture.

How these people prepare themselves to do such challenging things in life? Would you like to adopt their mind setting? Their survival instinct? The way they survive in leaving the comfort of their homes? These tips below would help you discover what’s within backpackers.

  • Backpackers consider cheap accommodation and travel just like traveling through ship and sleeping in a hostel, many hostels all around the world still are offering decent rooms for accommodation, just don’t let the bugs bite by clearing your bed sheets before jumping on a bed after a tiring day.
  • Use your bare feet in travelling. Really, backpackers will not let themselves skip the fun when they travel and go along with beautiful places,, through walking you will be able to stop at the spots that you wish to have a picture taken.
  • You have to leave everything on your home unless you want to have tons of loads at your back for you to carry around as you travel, travel light and bring what is basically needed.
  • Never stick to your boring itinerary, you travel for the sake of traveling, get out of your room and see what’s in the place you are in.
  • When you wish to do backpacking abroad, you have to book your flight with a promo fare or you may have it booked months before for you to get the lowest flight rate, and you will also have the time to prepare financially.
  • When it comes to food, eat light and drink a lot of water. You are outdoors and exposed to the direct heat of the sun. Avoid dehydration and constipation on your travel for you will surely miss the fun.

There are teams and groups of backpackers online that will guide you for more tips to be like them, they prepare meal plans, and itinerary, a pack of fun and excitement your money will all be worth it, you don’t have to spend a lot just to see the beauty and wonders of the world.

All you have to do is to bring your backpack with you that contain all the things you needed and need not to worry to the world.

Try it out yourself, you may have this activity alone or have it with group for a more fun and crazy experience.

Avoiding Scammers during Vacation

Vacationis a welcome thought for just about everyone. It’s not uncommon for people to find themselves day dreaming about their expectations for their upcoming vacation.

Will you spend it on the beach? Or will you be taking a plane to a popular tourist attraction?

People frequently look forward to vacation time because it gives them a chance to take a break from their usually daily routine, and to relax.

It’s during your vacation or the planning of your vacation that you tend to neglect to pay attention to special details. This is a critical mistake that could make you an easy victim for a vacation scam.

Tourists are a favorite for scam artists because they’re easy to spot and manipulate. Tourists are easy to spot because of the cameras around their necks, a folded map in their back pocket or other obvious spot, and even fanny packs.

You can reduce your chances of being targeted by blending in with the local guests. A quick search on the web will reveal plenty of information about your potential vacation spot and what the locals are like. Utilize this information to make yourself blend in.

Once you’ve arrived at your destination, keep a lookout on these top popular scams:

1.- Confusion involving the credit cards-

You may have had a great day and are now at a hotel to relax. Suddenly, the phone rings and the hotel clerk explain that there’s been an unfortunate mix up with your paperwork and the credit card number on file.

They want to verify they have the accurate number on hand by reading it out loud. They read the last four digits from your card and ask if these digits are right. They’re usually not.

The supposed clerk will then ask you to correct the card number. So you tell them the correct number.

After you’ve finished, the clerk then claims they’ve found the number, and everything is fine now. You may not realize it yet, but you’ve just been scammed!

How would this situation be better handled?

Don’t ever give important information out over the phone. Go downstairs and visit with the clerk to get the problems straightened out.

2. The Taxi Scam-

While waiting for a vacant taxi to come pick you up, and you notice a nicely dressed person who tells you they have a taxi cab ready just for you. You follow this person to wherever this cab may be.

Ignore this person! Scam artists are clever and often pretend to be taxi drivers. You’re not just risking your wallet; you’re risking your life! If you get into the vehicle with this con artist, they may take you to a quiet location and potentially kill you and steal your valuables.

If you are approached, keep in mind that legitimate taxi cars will feature a number and company logo outside the vehicle.

If you don’t see one, avoid this person. Make sure you check the rate sheet and the meter whenever you get into the car.

This will keep yourself from paying nearly double, should the unscrupulous taxi driver decide to charge extra. If you’ve never used a taxi before, ask your hotel for advice and see if they can put you in good hands.

3. The Overly Friendly Guest-

If you’re in a popular tourist destination, chances are you’ll be bumped into a lot. The person who bumps into you may spill food or drink all over you and offer to help you out. While you’re distracted, the stranger snatches your wallet from you without you even knowing.

How to handle the situation:

Stay vigilant in the crowd. Ignore any attempt to distract your attention. Don’t carry too much money on hand, and leave some back at your hotel room.

4. A great deal you can’t refuse-

These scammers will tell you they have a considerable deal you can’t pass up. They’ll offer you a huge discount to a great vacation spot or a luxury hotel. The goal is to take as much money as possible from you.

In order to achieve this goal, they may offer a special bonus or even a prize if you decide to take up their offer. The prizes sound like a wonderful addition, but they’re not as described.

Some others scammers are on the internet so be careful when choosing your rental vacation online.

What to listen for:

Avoid any conversations or offers from someone who says the offer is for a limited time only, or they tell you to keep it secret.

Verbal stuttering or nervous tension when you say you want to decline until you check to see if the company is legitimate.

In North America, most companies should have liability insurance. You can spot a scammer if they have no idea what that is or can’t provide proof of insurance.

To keep a paper trail, ensure you pay for all items with a credit card during your vacation time.

Avoid cash if at all possible. This enables you to dispute any charges if any problems should arise.

Some Ski Destinations to Consider

Girdwood Alaska

Girdwood Alaska- Great for people who don’t mind an adventure that will take them into un-paved trails.

This small-town success lays behind the earlier success as a gold-mining town. Surrounded by forests and the Chugach Mountains, Girdwood has become a favorite place for ski enthusiasts.

Hippies and ski enthusiasts were abundant in the 70s which led to the creation of a luxurious hotel located close to the ski resort. Despite the sensual touches of this particular hotel, the laid back and frontier style ambience of this town has stayed intact.

Several of the roads are difficult to navigate due to the lack of pavement, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more popular clothing brand other than Carhartt.

This little town is located about forty miles from the busy city of Anchorage. Life is incredibly quiet and humble for this minuscule town with a population of about 2,000.

Just on the edge of town is the Alyeska Resort, which is the largest renowned ski resort located in Alaska.

This particular resort features such amenities like six ski lifts, and a tram that is capable of holding up to 60 people. During the steep climb up the mountains, the tram features views to the ocean.

The tree line in this specific location is particularly low, the top half of the mountain is covered in alpine trees that are carefully scattered throughout. This resort is reminiscent of the Alps rather than an American ski resort.

There’re plenty of options that are perfectly suited to the expert and beginner skiing enthusiasts.

However, expert skiing individuals will be best suited to this particular resort. If you’re not afraid of including some hiking in your adventures, there’re several ridges near the peak of the mountain that contain a variety of chutes that you can hike through.

Whether it’s the freezing temperatures, or the distance from the rest of North America, Alaska isn’t notorious for huge crowds.

Which is a shame considering the beauty would give some other resorts a run for their money. The best times to visit are during March when 12 hours of daylight shine through the angry clouds. The lifts run through April and some weekends in May.

The Locals

Elyse Saugstad is native to Girdwood and knows the mountains like the back of her hands.

She’s a professional skier and claimed the champion status in the 2008 free ride championships. When inquired about her specific advice for this particular resort, she had the following to offer:

Best budget hotel is the Alyeska Hostel which is conveniently close by to the resort. It may not have all the bells and whistles, but guests are usually thrilled with the accommodations. This hotel was first established in 1980 and is rich with history.

Luxurious accommodations:

The Alyeska Hotel. This hotel is owned and operated by the ski resort. This five-star hotel has amazing dining options, and they even offer the option do reminder wake-up calls so their guests may sample the delights of the northern lights. Once you step out of the entrance, you can board the tram.

Dining Options

If you’re on a budget, Coast Pizza offers slices of pie, grilled cheese sandwiches, and the finest pizza around town.

High End:

The Double Musky Inn offers some of the optimal Cajun inspired cuisine for guests. It’s important to note that this option may not be best for vegetarians as the menu seems to be mostly comprised of meat options only.

The fillets are perfectly sized. You definitely leave this restaurant feeling like you got enough food for your buck. If you’re a gumbo connoisseur, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the Gumbo.

Down Time from Skiing.

At the bottom of the mountain sits a ski bar that has managed to stay intact despite the frequent changes the resort has endured through the years.

You can find amazing food, hard drinks, and some live music all in this action-packed bar.

When you want to take a break from skiing.

Take a drive into the nearest city; Anchorage Alaska. Being just 45 minutes away, you’ll find great shopping and other entertainment outlets.

Classical Ski Options.

Try the north side of the mountains down Christmas Chute.

Whitefish Montana

Who this destination is ideal for: Families and groups

Whitefish Montana’s has a rich history as a logging and rail road town. While this particular destination for skiing may not be the first suggested resort for skiing, it has a lot to offer to families or groups who have various experience levels of skiing.

White the natives of this town are renowned for being drama and glitz free, there has been a steady influx of luxury cars and fur coats rolling in.

Despite this, the town has maintained its rough hard-working character its well known for. The newly renovated Whitefish Mountain Resort which was formerly known as the Big Mountain resort, towers over most of the bars and restaurants in this western downtown.

Roughly 15 percent of the winter tourists will arrive in this town via a train service, which intertwines with the free shuttle service. Getting around town without a vehicle is very easy to do in this western town.

Whitefish is family friendly and offers mild trails for people just starting out with skiing. If you’re more advanced, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the more advanced trails. If you’re looking for a ski resort that won’t be engulfed by crowds of people, give this place a chance. Rarely are there any crowds on any side of the mountain.

If you happen to visit the mountains during a nice day where clouds don’t block your view, you’ll find yourself gasping for air due to the stunning views.

Advice from locals.

Ryan Friel has called Whitefish his home for over 17 years. He’s an established ski patroller and a fly fishing guide for the tourists of this area.

When he’s not fishing or helping tourists, he’s a chief editor for the local journal. When inquired about any advice he has to give to potential tourists, he had the following to offer:

Budget stays:

A place known as Hibernation House is located just on the mountain. This budget-friendly accommodation offers a warm breakfast to wake up to as well.

More Expensive accommodations:

The Lodge located near Whitefish Lake features an ice-skating attraction on the frozen lake, and a hot-tub close by to the shore. Once you’re in the hot tub, you can enjoy exquisite views of the mountains.

Places to eat:

If you’re on the search for a budget eatery, check out the Buffalo Cafe. Buffalo pies are accompanied by hasbrowns, ham, cheese, and eggs. No don’t worry; the pies are not made with Buffalo meat.

If you’re up for a high-end restaurant, give the Tupelo Grille a chance. The dinner menu includes chicken and dumplings, an amazing wine selection, and a bread pudding that is to die for.

Tired of skiing?

Check out the Bierstube. Here you’ll find good food, drinks, and a welcoming vibe.

Some views up high: