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6 Last Minute Travel Planning Apps

Despite our best efforts, sometimes circumstances out of our control force us to change our plans. Anybody who has ever found themselves without a place to stay as the sun sets in a foreign city knows the value of good advice or a travel guidebook. Likewise, a last minute business or family trip can force us to book the easiest hotel and rental car, or eat the most accessible and obvious meal, despite better and lower cost alternatives nearby.

Fortunately, the digital world is leveling the playing fields. With a smart phone in your pocket or tablet in your bag, a number of easy-to-use apps are making it possible to enjoy first-class amenities without prior planning AND on a budget.

If you’re often on-the-go, add these apps to your handheld arsenal:

Reno Tahoe USA

reno tahoe usaWhen a travel app is valuable even to locals, it’s worth downloading, and the official Reno Tahoe app certainly makes the cut. With all the entertainment constantly coming through town, the app will keep you up-to-date, in addition to offering daily snow reports, lift statuses, and even golf course green fees. When you’re walking around town, use the onboard map to locate restaurants that fit your palate. There may even be a corresponding coupon you can use in the app to save a few bucks on your bill.

Hotel Tonight

Hotel TonightAs simple as it sounds, this free app for Android and iOS specializes in last minute hotels. Each day at noon in the time zone for a particular market, that day’s deals are announced, based on availability at partner hotels. If a place is completely under-booked, they’ll often mark the prices down to 70 percent off. At most any city in the U.S. and throughout Europe, you can count on at least 20 percent off, just by waiting to commit until the day of your stay.

Triposo

TriposoBilled as a “living, breathing travel guide”, Triposo is working hard to corner the market on up-to-date travel info by outcompeting paper books that may quickly contain outdated information. Their database already includes 200 countries and 8,000 destinations, so chances are that your next stop will be covered. Perhaps best of all, the guides update themselves while you’re connected, but you don’t need internet or wireless coverage to access the guides and maps from your Android or iOS phones and devices, so you’re good-to-go even when you’re off-the-grid (provided you keep that battery charged).

Foodspotting

FoodspottingAlthough plenty of apps exist to find great places to eat, Foodspotting might just be the most fun (which is also why OpenTable recently scooped it up for $10 million). Let’s say you’re in Memphis, but you’re not in the mood for BBQ. Foodspotting pulls up a map of the area, but instead of the names of restaurants, you get photographs posted by other users, pinned to the location of where you can get it. An hour later, you’re sitting at The Elegant Farmer, enjoying their Vegetable Plate, instead of at the chain spot next to your hotel.

Verbalize It

verbalize itJust in case you had any doubts about the small world we live in today, VerbalizeIt is here to connect you anywhere you go. This app doesn’t work like a traditional phone or internet translator, which often provide awkward translations and can be tedious to use. Instead, this iOS and Android app hires human translators who are available 24/7 to translate between English and Spanish, Hindi, Mandarin, French, German and Portuguese. The founder was inspired by an emergency trip to a hospital in rural China where nobody understood him. With the app used on a phone with the speaker setting, a live translator instantly helps two people communicate their exact words. Usage is sold in time increments per language, and the only downside may be that cell service or Wifi is necessary to access the translators.

Milewise

milewiseFlight search engines may be a dime-a-dozen, but for constant travelers, Milewise is worth knowing about. With airlines constantly consolidating and combining their rewards programs in new and confusing ways with their partners, it can be tough to keep track of which flights are eligible for reward travel. With MileWise, all of your accounts are kept in one place, and any flight you search for where you can utilize your miles will be highlighted (as well as those that will help get you to the next benchmark in your miles accumulation). They’ll also give you a heads up to avoid letting miles expire and will estimate the actual value of your rewards, helping you get the most out of your hard-earned miles. Finally, you can set price alerts just like most other search engines so you get the best possible deal.

Has an app ever helped you out of a bind in an unfamiliar city or foreign land? Which of these apps (or others) do you recommend?

Written by guest blogger, Joe Laing

Joe Laing is the Marketing Director for El Monte RV Rentals, your nationwide source for RV rentals. El Monte RV also sells used motorhomes through eight different locations across the United States. For more information on purchasing a used motorhome see http://www.elmontervsales.com/.

North Lake Tahoe SnowFest 2013

Every spring since 1982, North Lake Tahoe comes alive with 10 fun-filled days and nights jam packed with events and activities for all ages. This year, the annual favorites will return March 1-10, along with a host of great new ones! On and off the mountain, at North Tahoe’s numerous resorts and vibrant lakeside neighborhoods, there’s something for everyone.

336545_10151287843365001_4888850_oIn its 32nd year, SnowFest, is expected to draw thousands of attendees, with the majority of events free to spectators.

Event Highlights:

Opening Night Ceremonies, Laser Show, Torchlight Parade and Fireworks at Squaw Valley (March 1)

Mamasake Extreme Food Challenge for those with a strong stomach (March 1)

Jack London Commemorative Sierra Sled Dog Derby (March 2-3)

SnowFest23rd Annual Gar Woods Polar Bear Swim in Tahoe’s frigid waters (March 2)

SnowFest Parades in Tahoe City and Kings Beach (March 2 and March 9 respectively)

Rahlves’ Banzai Tour at Squaw Valley (March 2-3)

37th Annual Great Ski Race, a 30-kilometer cross country race from Tahoe City to Truckee (March 3)

Jake’s Mardi Gras on the Lake Party (March 4)

Truckee’s Fastest Bartender Contest (March 6)

Blue Agave’s Indoor River Rafting and Trivia Night in Tahoe City (March 8)

Mother-Son Laser Tag at the Rideout Community Center on the West Shore (March 8)

Rahlves’ Banzai Tour at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort on Donner Summit (March 9-10)

25th Annual Snow Sculpture Contest at Tahoe City’s River Ranch Lodge (March 10)

Ta-Hoe Nalu Arctic Standup Paddleboard Race in Kings Beach (March 10)

For more information about SnowFest and a complete list of events, visit the organization’s website at http://www.tahoesnowfestival.com/. There you can also click to follow the event via Facebook and Twitter.

Downtown Reno Celebrates St. Paddy’s Day with the Inaugural Leprechaun Crawl

It’s no blarney…downtown Reno is celebrating St. Paddy’s Day with the inaugural Leprechaun Crawl, so get out your green outfit and crooked hat and join in the revelry!

373324_463398110380435_1093915398_nWe can’t promise a pot o’ gold but we can guarantee a pot full of fun when Circus Circus Reno, Eldorado Hotel Casino, Harrah’s Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino host the Leprechaun Pub Crawl on Saturday, March 16 beginning at 7:30 p.m. Just $5 for the official Leprechaun pub crawl cup gets you mystical, magical drink specials in 13 participating bars and lounges in downtown.

Where are the bar stops on this lucky tour?

Circus Circus Reno                                      Harrah’s Reno

Dos Geckos Bar                                               Stage @ The Zone

Sports Bar                                                         Zone Sports Bar

Village Bar                                                        Sapphire Lounge

Eldorado Hotel Casino                               Silver Legacy Resort Casino

The Brew Brothers                                        Aura Ultra Lounge

BuBinga Lounge                                             Rum Bullions Island Bar

Bar Centro                                                       Silver Baron Lounge

The Blender Bar

What else is going on?

Food and drink specials, costume contests with cash and prizes, green beer at a number of stops, popular Irish music and meet the little leprechaun’s…that is, if you get a glimpse of them! What’s more, a portion of the proceeds is benefitting Future Kind, a non-profit dedicated to improving infrastructure and education and closing the global opportunity gap and building communities. To learn more about this exciting and action-packed event, go to www.leprechauncrawl.com “The Leprechaun Pub Crawl” is presented by Circus Circus Hotel Casino Reno, the Eldorado Hotel Casino, Harrah’s Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino. You can also find more information at www.circusreno.com, www.eldoradoreno.com, www.harrahsreno.com or www.silverlegacy.com.

2013 Special Events Brochure

It’s here! Jot down the dates to all of your favorite events, and find new ones, for 2013!

Reno Fun Train 2013

All aboard! Escape to Reno Tahoe in the heart of the Sierra’s winter season aboard the Reno Fun Train! Party and dance your way through the snowy mountains to a weekend of fun and games.

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Treat yourself to a weekend of winter fun with a live-music Dance Car, Piano Lounge, Smoking Car with Cigar Lounge, available chair massage and Elvis tribute artist, there is no other train like it in the world! The journey includes roundtrip charter train with reserved seats; including, meals served at your seat, entertainment, hotel and more.

ft_50logoFUN TRAIN Departure Dates & Themes:

  • Feb. 8 (Mardi Gras)
  • Feb. 22 (Rock n’ Roll w/ Chocolate & Wine Tasting)
  • Mar. 1 (Soul Train best of the 70’s & 80’s)
  • Mar. 8 (1960’s Murder Mystery – Featuring Elvis)
  • Mar. 15 (St. Patrick’s)

For pricing and more information please visit: http://keyholidays.com/ft.html

Passengers must be 21 or older to ride this party train.

Get the party rolling!

Hot August Nights Presents Barrett-Jackson

Barrett-Jackson, the world’s premier collector car event company, announced a new Reno Tahoe auction starting in August 2013,

The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions™ will be coming to the base of the Sierra Nevada’s to join the world’s premiere classic car and nostalgia festival, Hot August Nights. The inaugural Hot August Nights Auction Presented by Barrett-Jackson will take place in Reno Tahoe, Aug. 8-10, 2013. This event marks a historic partnership between two of the most recognized names in the classic and collector car industry.

The new partnership between Barrett-Jackson and Hot August Nights will offer fans and customers of both the classic car event and collector car auctions a weeklong opportunity to celebrate and revel in some of the most recognizable and historic automobiles in the world. Not only will buyers be able to bid on and purchase from Barrett-Jackson’s famous selection of collector cars, but now they can take them right from the auction block to the streets of Reno Tahoe to participate in one of Hot August Nights’ famous cruises or Show-n-Shines.

For more information, please visit Barrett-Jackson.

Barrett_Jackson_photos

Reno Tahoe Welcomes the Year of the Snake

The Chinese New Year is upon us, marking the time when we transition from the Year of the Dragon to the Year of the Snake. While the Dragon brought us a year of excitement, unpredictability, exhilaration and intensity, the Snake is believed to bring prosperity, gracious morality and great wisdom. To usher in the New Year, beginning February 10, Reno Tahoe USA is celebrating with a week of dining specials, dances and concerts!

Eldorado Hotel Casino

Ring in the Year of the Snake at the Eldorado with dozens of specialty dishes and magnificent White Crane Lion Dances. From February 10-17, enjoy the variety of changing options at The Buffet, including Chinese five spice head on shrimp with chili sauce, roast duck and cashew chicken. Feast on the all-you-can-eat selections for $17.99 from February 11-14, and $24.99 on February 10 and February 15-17.

From February 16-18, the Eldorado is carrying on the ancient Chinese New Year tradition of the White Crane Lion Dance. Watch as the spectacular display begins on the mezzanine and winds down through the casino. Saturday performances begin at 5, 8 and 11 pm. Sunday dances will start at 4, 7 and 10 pm, followed by a final dance on Monday at 1 pm.

Silver Legacy Resort Casino

Celebrate the beginning of the new Chinese Lunar Calendar with the legendary ritual of the Lion Dance, performed by international award-winning members of Leung’s White Crane Dance Association. Catch the Lion Dance on Silver Legacy’s mezzanine level near the Mining Rig on:

  • February 16 at 1, 4, 5 and 10 pm
  • February 17 at 12, 3 4 and 8 pm
  • February 18 at 12 pm

In addition to the dazzling performances, enjoy Chinese delicacies at two delicious dining spots from February 10-24. Flavors! the Buffet presents an endless assortment of Chinese favorites, including baron beef with Asian rub, crab leg clusters and pork pot stickers for $22.99. And at Café Sedona, enjoy authentic dishes such as Hunan beef, stir fry rice cakes and Fat Choy.

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe

Hop on the chair lift and welcome in the Year of the Snake with a little “snaking” of your own down the slopes of Mt. Rose. In between runs, take advantage of fantastic food and drink specials, exciting activities and catch the one-of-a kind Lion Show behind Base Lodge at 11:30.

Reno Ballroom

For an exciting evening filled with live Chinese music, join Tavia Yeung Yi, Ron Ng and Sean Lin on February 17 at 8 pm. Tickets are $88.

While celebrating the Year of the Snake, be sure to keep up on the latest trends in Reno Tahoe USA by checking out The Hive – the month’s 10 most “buzz worthy” things to see and do.

Valentine’s Day Guide in Reno Tahoe

Roses are red, violets are blue, if it’s planning Valentine’s Day you dread, let Reno Tahoe help you! Wow the socks off of your Valentine this year with these lovable ideas you’ll only find in Reno Tahoe USA:

1. Last Tracks Wine Tasting

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From Diamond Peak’s mid-mountain Snowflake Lodge, guests enjoy the beautiful views of Lake Tahoe while tasting fine wines and tasty appetizers. At the end of the event, after the lifts are closed, guests ski, telemark or snowboard down a freshly groomed corduroy run to the bottom.

Last Tracks is held on Saturdays starting in February, until the end of the season. Events start approximately at 4:00pm, but you can pick up your Last Tracks ticket at 2:00 pm to get some runs in before the event starts. The event ends around 6pm or at sunset, whichever comes first. All guests must stay until the end of the event and go down as a group. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today!

Single event tickets are $29. Includes a ski lift ticket valid from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm.  Reserve Online!

2. Spa Atlantis Valentine’s Day Spa Packages

Spa Atlantis

Treat your sweetheart to a romantic day of wellness at Spa Atlantis, insides Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Nevada. Spa Atlantis offers guests complete serenity in an award-winning spa. For the month of February, guests can choose from the following Valentine’s Day spa packages.

Sparkling Mimosa Pedicure

Raise a toast to soft and silky feet.  Champagne bubbles and raw sugar cane granules create sparkling skin.  Relieve roughness, as the healing properties of orange and grape essential oils seal in the moisture benefits from a warm paraffin wrap.  Your feet are then massaged with Mimosa Champagne lotion.  60mins $80

Sweethearts Escape

Our jetted tubs and effervescent bubbles are the perfect way to start your romantic escape.  Slip into the warm waters and experience the true ambiance of love.  Next fall even deeper into relaxation with a side by side couple’s massage.  90mins $310

Evening Primrose Wrap

Your blissful experience will begin with a hydrating rose sugar scrub. Relax while tired and dull looking skin is gently buffed away to reveal new, refreshed skin.  Your body is then deeply moisturized with a rose petal infused moisture cream and essential oils.  Float blissfully away as you relax in our weightless floatation bed, while enjoying a scalp massage.  You’ll leave with glowing, healthy skin as soft and delicate as a rose petal. 60mins $145

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To make a reservation, please contact Spa Atlantis at 775.954.4315.

3. Crazy in Love… with Sports

Archie, the Reno Aces loveable mascot, is ready to help you ace this Valentine’s Day with the perfect gift – an Archie Gram! The package includes a $15 gift card, flower arrangement and two Outfield Reserved tickets (with an option to upgrade) to the Reno Aces home opener on April 12! Archie will deliver the packages between Feb. 7-14, and delivery is FREE to those in the Reno/Sparks area. I want to get in the game.

4. Turn Up the Heat

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Keep the heat going into the weekend. Feb. 15, the #1 male revue in the world, Chippendales®, hits the stage at the Silver Lagacy’s Grande Exposition Hall with their exclusive “Ultimate Girls Night Out” tour. Capturing the perfect balance of sex appeal and tasteful teasing, this full production show portrays everything from men in uniform to dusty cowboys. Ok, I’m interested.

5.  Romantic Serenades

perlman_-_Akira_Kinoshita

Listen to the chords of harmony and love at Artown’s Encore Performance of Violinist Itzhak Perlman with pianist Rohan De Silva at the Pioneer Center, Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. Friends of Artown receive 10% off ticket prices, contact Artown at 775-322-1538 for code. Click to tune into more info.

6. Indulge in Decadent Treatments at Stillwater Spa in Tahoe

Throughout February, Stillwater Spa offers a pair of luxurious spa treatments for individuals and couples seeking blissful relaxation:

o    I Love Me” special treatment features a 50-minute Stillwater massage, 25-minute Lushly scrub, a Moroccan Oil™ Blowout, a complimentary champagne toast, and a $25 resort credit when guests spend $50 or more. Price: $225.

o   “I Heart You” special treatment for couples includes a 75-minute Couples Escape, 25-minute Moroccan Oil™ scalp massage and conditioning treatment, complimentary champagne toast, and $25 resort credit when guests spend $50 or more. Price: $425.

3-Day Getaway Weekend Guide

No time is ever enough to take on all that the Reno Tahoe area has to offer, but how’s a three-day weekend for starters? Whether you’re looking for a snowy, high-adventure escape, or a relaxing getaway with friends, we have 7 reasons you should use this 3-day weekend to visit Reno Tahoe USA:

1. Downtown Reno Wine Walk

Jensen_L WineWalk 0139_3872x2592Every third Saturday of the month (including Jan 19!) from 2pm – 5pm, Riverwalk merchants host the popular Wine Walk along the Truckee River and neighboring streets in downtown Reno. Wine-tasting fee of $20 allows you to sample wine at any participating locations.

2. Ski and Board a new resort in Tahoe

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There are 18 ski resorts within 90 minutes of downtown Reno. Chances are you haven’t hit all of them. So find some slopes you haven’t shredded! It just might become your new go-to.

3. Get cozy in Midtown

Clark_K midtownad 16_1680x1437Grab a local brew, split a bottle of specialty wine, or sip a latte to quench your thirst between shopping sprees and games of pool. It’s all walking distance in the new hip Midtown District!

4. Fish in the middle Downtown Reno

Rudd_A Waiting Reno Background 021_4002x2722Yes they’ll bite! Wilderness flows right through the downtown area, bringing all sorts of cuddly critters, and hungry fish under our city lights.

5. Rink on the River

Elliott_D IceSkating Downtown Reno 018_3872x2592Delight in an afternoon at Rink on the River, located along the Truckee River in downtown Reno.

6. Relax!

Tokunaga_M colt donner lake 004_5184x3456Sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery. Donner Lake is a must-see hidden gem in the Sierra.

7. Cheers to the three-day weekend

Jensen_L SierraTapHouse 236_3872x2592Grab a brew and play a game of shuffleboard at one of the hip bars along the Riverwalk, like Ole Bridge Pub.

Pro Football Championship Parties

While The Big Game is in New Orleans, the real party is in Reno Tahoe USA!  Big screens, beer, buffets and the Budweiser Girls. What more could you ask for?

Peppermill Resort Spa Casino

pep super bowl

For an experience packed with hard hitting action on massive screens, stadium food and Budweiser Girls, the Peppermill’s Super Stadium Bash XLVII is the place to be. Tickets are $60 per person in advance, and $65 at the door. Admission to the party includes:

  • Complimentary Bud & Bud Light at every table
  • Three drink tickets per person
  • Meet and greet with the Budweiser Girls
  • All-you-can-eat stadium food buffet
  • Door prizes every quarter
  • Complimentary gift

The party kicks off at 2:30 pm.

Eldorado Hotel Casino

Enjoy the game while lounging in Eldorado’s award winning showroom. With stadium style seating, you’ll have the best seat in the house – no matter where you sit. Tickets for a reserved seat are $25 and include a special souvenir hat, beverage and your choice of a hot dog, nachos or sandwich. You’ll also party with former NFL stars, such as, Frank Hawkins of the Oakland Raiders and Glenn Carano of the Dallas Cowboys. Doors open at 2:30 pm.

Silver Legacy Resort Casino

Join the Big Game Party hosted by Silver Legacy at the Downtown Reno Ballroom where you won’t miss a single snap, hit, touchdown or hilarious commercial while watching the game on multiple giant screens. In between plays and high-fiving your buddies, enjoy the all-you-can-eat buffet, along with a complimentary drink and commemorative hat. The party starts at 2 pm.

Atlantis Casino Resort Spa

Catch all the exciting Big Bowl Bash drawings at the Atlantis Race & Sports Book, including a chance to win $100,000 if the opening or second half kickoff is returned for a touchdown. Receive one drawing entry for every $25 sports or race wager made from noon through the end of the game. For great food and drink specials, head over to the Sports Bar & Lounge where you’ll also have a shot at Bud Light giveaways throughout the game.

With the Atlantis Big Bowl Bash Getaway Packages, NFL Championship excitement and Four Diamond luxury go hand-in-hand like Colin Kaepernick and record rushing yards. Choose from the following packages and enjoy Luxury Tower accommodations for two, along with two tickets to the Big Bowl Bash.

  • 1 night package – February 3.  $240
  • 2 night package – February 2 & 3. $390
  • 3 night package – February 1, 2 & 3. $540

Circus Circus Reno

To celebrate the biggest football game of the year, Circus Circus Reno is transforming into Super Sunday Central with the grand opening of the newly remodeled Race and Sports Book where you’ll party with the Corona Girls while enjoying Batch 19, 1554 and Big Eddie Stout beer tastings. At Dos Geckos Cantina, the Tequila Girls will kick the party up a notch with tequila tastings, while $2 domestic draft beers flow at every bar across the property. And most importantly, there isn’t a spot in Dos Geckos, the Race and Sports Book or on the casino floor where you won’t be able to see the game with TV screen galore!

Grand Sierra Resort Casino

Earn big bucks while cheering on your favorite team during the Big Game Watch and Win, where 12 lucky winners will pick from suitcases containing $250 – $2,500 cash.

For more information visit our events calendar.