Take Your Dog to the Beach Day

Dog is man’s best friend.  . .

So, it stands to reason family pets and family vacations go hand-in-hand. Thanks to the rules and regulations of the City of Virginia Beach, these four-legged friends can enjoy all the area has to offer in its parks, trails, shopping, and dining options that will accommodate a canine companion.

1. Let’s start with the best part: Beaches!
No matter the time of year, a trip to Virginia Beach just isn’t complete without an actual trip to the sandy beach. Dogs are welcome on most public beaches, but some caveats do apply. From Labor Day to Memorial Day dogs are allowed on all public beaches, including the boardwalk, at any time. However, during the peak summer months, pets are restricted from the boardwalk and the beaches below 42nd street. They are allowed on all other public beaches, before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m.   Sandbridge is another great option, located south of the boardwalk area. Keep in mind leash laws do apply and you will need a bag for anything Fido leaves behind.

2. Parks
Virginia Beach has some spectacular parks, and of course dogs are welcome. In particular both Red Wing Park and Woodstock Park feature off leash dog parks, where you can let your puppy run to his or her heart’s delight. There are also walking trails you can traverse with your dog, just be sure to keep them on their lead.

3. Town Center Shopping
If you’re looking for something a little more indoorsy to do with your pooch, Town Center has a number of stores that allow friendly dogs and their human companions to browse. Some stores even have resident dogs of their own. A complete list can be found on the Town Center Website, but includes stores such as: Anthropologie, Bevello, Free People, Jones Art Gallery, Mrs. Bones Bowtique, and more. You can enjoy quality shopping and quality time with your puppy.

4. Dog-Friendly Dining
When you and your dog get peckish, choose Virginia Beach restaurants with dog friendly seating options. You can chow down seated on outdoor patios and enjoy the beautiful weather at the same time. Both the Town Center Website and BringFido.com have published great lists of dog accommodating dining options in the city. Casual and higher-brow restaurants alike allow dogs on their patios including: The Abbey Road Pub & Restaurant, Froggies Cantina By The Bay, The Sonoma Wine Bar & Bistro, and so many more.

5. Breweries
Warm summer nights, cold brews, and best canine friends just seem to go together. Virginia Beach has a booming brewery scene and friendly, leashed dogs are welcome! The Back Bay Brewing Co., Wasserhund Brewing Co., and Commonwealth Brewing Co. are just a few of the great options that will let you enjoy great atmosphere and great beers with your best buddy.

 

On your next day trip to Virginia Beach, bring Fido and enjoy our beautiful City!

Stress-busting Travel Checklist

Planning Vacation the Stress-Free Way

Travel of any kind is stressful enough without the hiccups that inevitably come along. The best way to combat this is to plan and prep everything ahead of time. It’s like you’ve started your vacation early. A solid checklist such as the one we provided below can help you prepare and rest easy knowing you’ve covered all your bases.

Paper work and passports
Get all of your paper work in order ahead of time. Keep in mind a passport can take a few weeks to process, so if you need it, get the ball rolling early. You can look online for specific information about your country’s requirements. Information about passport application or renewals can be found on government websites such as the one for US citizens offered by the Federal government.

Prepare your transportation
If you are flying or taking a train you will need to choose an airline/railroad company and book your ticket. If you plan to drive once your reach your destination you’ll need to book a rental car. If you are driving yourself; make sure your car is in working order: check the oil, tire pressure, and fill up the gas take before you leave.

Book your accommodations
It’s a good idea to make your bookings ahead of time, this way you’ll never be left frantically searching for a room in an unfamiliar city. Making reservations early can help ensure a destination and price of choice.

Scout your destination
Whether traveling for business or pleasure, scouting out attractions, restaurants, and activities can help make your trip memorable without letting it get stressful. Many cities have official travel websites like the one offered by Virginia Beach. If you are traveling internationally, it can also be helpful to brush up on local lingo and customs to head off any confusion or misunderstandings.

Check the forecast
While researching your destination, check the local weather forecast. You won’t be able to rely on it completely, but it can give you a good idea of what to expect and can help you pack more effectively. Websites such as the The Weather Channel are a good place to start.

Packing
You can divide your luggage into two main sections: luggage you will check, and your carryon. Pack clothes and shoes in your larger check luggage, but keep essentials such as chargers, money, and medications in your carry on for easy access. Keep in mind all prescriptions will need to be in a labeled prescription bottle.

Snacks and entertainment
Choose your travel snacks and entertainment ahead of time and pack them in your carryon bag.

Money and banking
If you are traveling internationally, be sure to alert your bank ahead of time. Check exchange rates before you leave and get some local currency to keep close by in case of an emergency. You can check up to date exchange rates on a number of different websites like Exchange-Rates.org.

Know what to expect with security
Security guidelines and restrictions can change quickly. Be sure you have information that is as current as possible. This makes it easier to pack correctly and keep you from any unpleasant surprises.

Prep your home
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of planning a trip, but don’t forget about the home front. If you have pets or even houseplants that will need care, ask a friend or loved one to help you out. Websites such as Care.com can also help you find reliable house/pet sitters. Clean up a little bit before you leave, nothing kills vacation-induced relaxation like coming home to a disaster.

VSA Resorts is always ready to welcome you to one of our beautiful properties.  Please give us a call for the latest promotions: 1-800-340-1158.

Traveling with a Senior Citizen

6 Tips for Traveling with a Senior

Travel, whether for pleasure, business, or any other reason, can be fun and rewarding for people of all ages and abilities. If you are traveling with a globe-trotter who is basking in the glow of their golden years, there are particular needs that may not seem obvious to a younger companion. These six tips offer sure-fire solutions to common travel needs for mature travelers.

1. Call Ahead: To make travel as easy and as stress-free as possible, planning ahead for any special needs is a must. Travel companies are able to make arrangements ahead of time to help with the passengers with special needs. Services such as seating sections for those with disabilities, advanced boarding passes, or wheelchairs can all be prearranged. Some airlines require you call them directly to set up special arrangements or notify them of disabilities, while others offer the option of alerting them when you book. Be sure to work with your travel company’s system to ensure smooth travel. The AARP Travel Website has resources to help senior travelers plan trips and book their transportation.

2. Balance Your Pack: Packing under any circumstance is a fine art that requires balance; pack too little and disaster can strike, but pack too much and you’ll be bogged down. Traveling with an elderly loved one is no different, the lighter you can pack, without skipping on essentials, the sleeker and less stressful your trip will be. Be sure to pack absolute necessities like medications in a carryon bag, so even if you baggage is lost or delayed you’ll be covered. Be sure all medications are in properly marked containers.

3. Remember Security: Make special note of any implants like pacemakers or joint replacements that your companion might have. These could set off a metal detector so be sure to inform their security agent ahead of time. Many airports offer advanced screenings or security lines specifically for passengers with disabilities or special needs; you can take advantage of these to keep things running on time.

4. Keep Things Simple: Non-stop flights or direct train rides are a good way to minimize travel time and reduce the stress of switching planes or trains. Cutting out connections also makes it less likely that a flight will be missed or delayed, which can make a huge difference if you, or your companion, are traveling with a disability or tire out easily.

5. Maintain Regular Schedules: It’s a good idea to plan for short rests and downtime to keep everyone as energized and comfortable as possible. It’s also helpful to stay on as regular a schedule as possible, especially for meals and medications. Maintaining a normal schedule can also help reduce stress for those with Alzheimer’s or other cognitive issues.

6. Talk to an Expert: It’s always a good idea to consult your loved one’s doctor before travel. The physician should be able to offer tips for managing any particular ailments or special needs that may be affected by travel. A doctor will also be able to let you know if they will need any particular vaccinations or prescriptions depending on the length of your trip and your destination. The CDC has additional information about particular travel needs and considerations for senior travelers.

 

To reserve a Virginia Beach getaway for the Seniors in your life, give us a call at VSA Resorts today – 800-340-1158.

How to Plan the Best Vacation

You deserve it – so plan the best vacation ever!

Map for Vacation Options

Live your dream – plan the best vacation ever. Perfect vacations can be elusive. Every person has their own idea of perfect with different balances of exciting and relaxing, luxurious and practical. No matter what your own dream come true looks like, there are five crucial steps that can help you plan the vacation of a lifetime.

  1. Know Yourself

To plan the best vacation you have to decide what YOU want to do! Do you want to go on an exotic adventure? Do you want to sleep by a pool? Do you want to be warm or cold? Do you want to be in a bustling city or a quiet cabin? The best vacation will always be a vacation that fits your preferences.

  1. Budget

The best vacation will also always be one that you can afford, so break out that calculator and start crunching numbers. If you want to splurge you can always upgrade your airline seats or fly to a distant location. If you are looking to save some cash you could always bundle your expenses on things like flights or car rentals. It’s a good idea to consider every possible expense while you plan your finances. This can include dining, entertainment, shopping, and emergencies.

  1. Research different destinations

Once you know what kind of vacation you want and how much you want to spend, it’s time to hit the books (or search engines). Research is your best friend. Most cities have official websites and many also have tourism sites that can help you quickly and easily see what each location has to offer. You can also check out reviews specifically designed for vacation.

  1. Book!

Once you pick the perfect destination, it is time to book! You’ll have to decide the best way to travel and book your flight, train ticket, or rental car. If there are any special events or activities you know you want to participate in, book those too. You can often save money by booking as early as possible, so it’s a good idea to do this step as soon as you can. You can also buy tickets to shows and concerts early, often for special discounts.

  1. Plan All the Fun!

After you choose your destination, it is time to plan the details. The key to creating a good itinerary is to balance variety with practicality. Make sure to give yourself plenty of options for restaurants and activities, but stay flexible and don’t overbook yourself. The last thing you want is to come home from a vacation more exhausted than when you left.

 

VSA Resorts is part of an international family of resorts offering travel options around the globe.  Give us a call to see how we can help you see the world!  800-340-1158.

 

Ways to Battle Mess When Traveling With Kids

Tips to remember when planning family Spring Break travel.

Family on beach pier for vacation

Traveling with kids is bound to be full of surprises. Some surprises will be sweet and full of family bonding, while others will be sticky or dirty. The best way to battle mess while on the go is to arm yourself with the best tools and options to prevent a mess before it happens, and quickly eliminate it when it does.

Tried and True Mess-free Travel Snacks

No snack can really claim to be completely mess-free, whether it’s intended for kids or adults. But, steps can definitely be taken to limit the amount of mess made by a snack and prevent unnecessary crumbs and stickiness.

  • Granola Bars

Pros- They come in individual packages, are relatively healthy, and all of the bits stick together to make fewer crumbs.

Cons- They can make little fingers sticky, some brands have high sugar (sugared up kids and confined spaces do not mix), and they can always be dropped for mom to find stuffed between car seats later.

  • Carrot sticks

Pros- They are practically perfect and make no crumbs.

Cons- They may require lunch box, dips can be messy, and are technically a “vegetable,” which can repulse young eaters.

Snack Transportation

When contemplating snack storage options there are three classic choices: Tupperware, Ziplock Bags, lunch boxes, or some combination of the three. While, these are all excellent options, some companies have produced creative alternatives for all of your snack mess-preventing organizational needs.

  • The Munchkin Snack Catcher has clever design perfect for travel. It is designed to hold finger snacks like dry serial or crackers and comes with two handles for added convenience. The kicker for this snack delivery system is that the special lid is made of flexible rubber that allows little hands in and out for retrieval but stops snacks from spilling if the cup is overturned.
  • This Organize-It Kids Backseat Auto Organizer is a life-saver for long car trips. This storage solution buckles right into a vacant seat and can hold whatever you need: snacks, games, books, you name it. It has separate compartments to keep things organize and (this might be the best part) it has a shoulder strap so you can just take the whole thing with you where ever you need to go.

Clean-up Products On-The-Go

For all your planning, disaster has struck! Maybe something has spilled, someone isn’t feeling well, or just general mess has descended on your once happy caravan. Do not despair! Keeping the right travel clean up products handy can mean the difference between magical memories and chaos.

  • Moist wipes

Moist wipes are a must have when traveling, with or without little ones. You can get travel sized wipes designed to do almost anything. Companies like La Fresh offer wipes to cleanse your face, kiddos, and even apply insect repellent and sunscreen in convenient individual packets. You can also get travel packs of Clorox Disinfecting Wipes for easy sanitation and clean up.

  • Stain Pens

To keep everyone’s clothes as fresh and presentable as possible a stain pen can be a huge help. Spills happen, and when they do products like Tide To Go or Dryel On The Go can save your outfit and keep you from having to change or travel messy.

  • Trash bags

Trash bags are great to include as a kind of messiness insurance policy. If you have a mess disaster that results in heavily soiled shoes, clothes, travel pillows, or really anything, a trash bag can help you contain the mess and stay on the move. They’re also handy to have for your return trip to keep your dirty clothes from mussing up your luggage.

Thanks for visiting our page.  We’d love to have you join us here at a VSA Resort for your Spring Break travel – give us a call for our travel packages.  800-340-1158.

Five Great Reasons to Book Your Vacation Early

Sometimes running off on a spur of the moment trip is just the ticket. However, there are so many advantages to booking your vacation in advance.  Early booking isn’t just for meticulous planners either: you can book your trip early and still maintain an air of spontaneity.

  1. All the Options You Could Want

The earlier you book your vacation the more likely it will be you get your pick of everything: flights, rental cars, activities, you name it. The closer you are to your vacation’s tee-off date, the more likely it is you will have to compete for booking space, or at least not get your first pick on every detail. But, as they say, the early bird gets the worm, and early bookers get OPTIONS.

  1. Super Savings

Early bookers get more than just options; they usually get savings, too.  Airlines and vacation companies tend to do everything they can to ensure they are booked as close to capacity as possible. To incentivize customers to book early they often have special deals for advanced tickets.  However, if you are worried about prices changing after you’ve booked, rest easy.  In the unlikely event prices decrease after you’ve booked, many companies have deals to make up the difference.  Be sure to check out price guarantee options before you finalize your booking.

  1. Less Stress

If you book your vacation months in advance, you can plan your trip at your own pace.  This means leisurely browsing activities or restaurant spots to your heart’s desire.  If you enjoy planning, you have time to work and rework your itinerary until it is perfect.  If you aren’t a planner, you can book your vacation and forget about it to keep that spontaneous magic alive.

  1. More Time to Save

When you book your trip early, you can know well in advance what kinds of activities you want to try.  You will have plenty of extra time to save for that special something.  Some companies even provide payment plans, the option to pay in advance, or the ability to put down a deposit, allowing you added financial flexibility.

  1. More Time to Anticipate

There is something about waiting for that big vacation to arrive that is just magical.

If you book a summer vacation during the cold, dark months of the winter, you can beat the wintertime blues by dreaming of your get-away. No matter what, the earlier you book, the more time you have to dream of the perfect trip.

VSA Resorts is always ready to roll out the red carpet and provide a home away from home on your next vacation to Virginia Beach.  Give us a call for the latest travel deals – 800-340-1158.

Get Away from the Crowds – at the Beach

Visiting Virginia Beach in January is a great way to vacation without the crowds.

The winter season is a little less busy, a little quieter, but by no means boring! There are still plenty of exciting things to do. January offers a host of special events and festivals that celebrate many different areas of interest.

Hampton Roads International Auto Show

Cars, cars, and more cars! Get your gear on at The Hampton Roads International Car Show, or HRADA, which will be held January 13 and 14 from 10am until 10pm and January 15 from 10 am until 6 pm at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. The show will feature displays about new automotive technology and the future of the industry, as well as, a huge range of car and truck display models. Admission costs include:

  • Children 11 or younger- Free
  • Adults and children ages 12 and up- $10
  • Seniors and Military- $7

Advanced tickets are also available for $7 each until January 12, so get the while you can and peruse as many cars and trucks as your heart desires.

 

Winter Wildlife Festival

For nature lovers and the less mechanically minded, the Winter Wildlife Festival will be going on from January20 until the 22. Vendors and displays will be set up at the Princess Anne Recreation Center on January 21 from 11am until 2pm. The rest of the festival will be devoted to scheduled outdoor trips and special sessions. Each of the trips has an age limit and a fee, some trips like the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and Fisherman’s Island excursion is only for those 18 or older and costs $45. Others, like the Owls and S’mores session, are for any one 5 years or older and only costs $10. For the excursions, participants will explore different habitats in Virginia Beach and focus on particular kinds of wildlife observation like bird watching, photography, or exploration. There are a huge number of excursions and sessions to choose from so check out the festival web page to choose the best ones for you.

 

Virginia Flower and Garden Expo

Nature lovers more interested in flora than fauna should definitely check out the Flower and Garden Expo. The expo is designed to foster education on horticulture for everyone from the seasoned professional to the casual hobbyist. The expo will feature vendors, exhibits, and displays to educate and inspire gardeners of all kinds. There will be chances to shop and special children’s activates for young plant lovers. The expo will be held at the Virginia Beach Convention Center on January 27 and 28 from 10am until 7pm, January 29 from 10am until 4pm, and admission is just $10 a person.

 

Naturally, while you’re in town, we’d love to have you as our guest at a VSA Resort.  Call us for special January rates, 800-340-1158.

Being on the Beach has its Perks – in the Winter

For nature lovers, beach vacations aren’t reserved just for summer.

Virginia Beach is home to nature lovers in both the cold and warm seasons. The forests, rivers, marshes, and oceans each have a place where an incredible array of wildlife and natural beauty are in abundance. Animal and nature lovers grab your cameras because winter is a great time to catch visiting wildlife and unique beach scenes.

 

Set Sail! Whale Watching and Wildlife Tours

Virginia Beach offers many opportunities for visitors to get a view of local wildlife on the open ocean.  Rudee Tours and the Virginia Aquarium Sea Adventures offer special boat rides no matter the season. In the winter months graceful humpback whales grace the shoreline and can be seen breaking the surface. Boat tours also offer a great chance to see fin whales, minke whales, right whales, which are on the critically endangered list, harbor porpoises, harbor seals, sea turtles, and a wide range of seabirds all in their natural habitat.

 

Put on your walking shoes: Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

If the high seas are not for you, the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge can offer a more land-based method for seeing local wildlife in their natural habitat. The Refuge offers a number of hiking and biking trails, as well as guided tours. Visitors can use any of six spotting scopes that are placed throughout the refuge to get a close up look at deer, raccoons, bobcats, muskrats, river otters, birds, and more depending on the season. The Refuge is located directly south of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront at 4005 Sandpiper Road.

 

Take a trip to the beach – on horseback

There is no wrong way to enjoy the beautiful scenery and wildlife of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. It can even be done from horseback! Companies such as Virginia Beach Outer Banks Horseback offer visitors the chance to saddle up and hit the sand. One-hour tours are available and offer a way to get in touch with nature without the hassle of crowds. Keep an eye out for whales and other marine life to surface closer to the shore, since there are no swimmers to scare them away in the winter.

 

Enjoy the Virginia Aquarium Walking Trails

The Virginia Aquarium is a fun, entertaining way to learn about and experience the wonder of the wildlife of Virginia Beach. It boasts two facilities with exhibits about the local ecosystem, live exhibits, and touch tanks. Visitors can get an up close look at river otters and harbor seals in special enclosures. The two buildings are connected with a beautiful walking trail with multiple wildlife outlook areas. The trail offers opportunities to see a host of sea and estuary creatures like periwinkles, crabs, sea birds, and more.

 

When visiting Virginia Beach, VSA Resorts is the perfect place to rest your head.  Give us a call to learn about our special vacation packages.  1-800-340-1158.

Celebrate your Holidays at the Oceanfront

It’s the holiday season in Virginia Beach, and December is a great time to visit. The halls are decked, the lights are lit, and everything is ready for a month-long party. Virginia Beach offers a variety of activities to get you in the holiday spirit, and of course, everything has an oceanic twist and a little bit of sand.santa-robe

  1. Holiday Lights at the Beach

Nothing evokes the holidays quite like giant light displays, and nothing says Virginia Beach like the oceanfront. The Holiday Lights at the Beach bring together the best of both and results in a bright, beautiful display that bursts with December cheer for more than 30 blocks. The lights display is open through January 1 where visitors can see giant blinking fish, crabs, Santa Clause, and so much more, right on the sand. This is a driving tour, which means you will not have to battle the wind or cold to enjoy this light display, and participants will be ushered right on to the boardwalk at 2nd Street. Each car is $15 and entrance fees must be paid in cash.

  1. Last Night on the Town

Last Night on the Town is Virginia Beach’s biggest New Year’s celebration. The party will begin at Pembroke Mall at 2 pm on New Year’s Eve. There will be family entertainment, a children’s New Years countdown, and balloon drop at 5 pm. Throughout the night the party will continue across the street at Town Center. There will be live music on multiple stages with headlining acts that include Smash Mouth, BJ Griffin & The Galaxy Groove, and Jesse Chang. There will also be fireworks, a laser light show, and the Virginia Beach Ball Drop at midnight. All of the entertainment is free, and food and adult beverages will be available for purchase.

  1. Santa’s Seaside Village

Through January 1, Santa will be at his seaside village on the Virginia Beach oceanfront. Enter a world of holiday magic and wonder, conveniently located on the corner of Atlantic and 30th street. Santa’s Seaside Village has carnival rides, a petting farm, and pony rides. There will also be snacks for purchase, festive decorations, and adorable holiday shopping. Walk through special animated displays, enjoy live entertainment and meet the big man himself (Santa Clause, of course)! The village will be open every weekend, Friday through Sunday, from 2pm to 9pm. Admission is $4 for everyone over the age of two, but special family 4-pack deals are available.

Give us a call to reserve your vacation suite for the Holiday getaway you deserve!  800-340-1158

Virginia Beach Welcomes “Before I Die” Wall

The wall can be seen in more than 60 countries and will now call the Virginia Beach oceanfront home.

 

November 15, 2016 . . . VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – Before I die I want to right all my wrongs.  Before I die, I want to feel comfortable in my own skin.

These are just two of the dreams scribbled on a Before I Die wall in Tampa, Florida. What started as an experiment in making a public space a shared inspirational space and grown into a global art project.

Candy Chang created the first Before I Die wall in 2011 on the side of an abandoned building in New Orleans after losing a close friend to liver cancer. The wall was gone a few months later when a developer started construction at the site. However, the movement has grown. More than 400 walls have sprung up in 60 countries from Afghanistan to Chile, and in 25 languages.

 

Carl Gress Constructing the VB Before I Die Wall at VSA Resorts

Carl Gress constructing the official Virginia Beach Before I Die Wall at VSA Resorts.

Virginia Beach will be the home of the next Before I Die wall at 17th Street and Atlantic Avenue. Thanks to the efforts of Nadine Paniccia, Vice President of Sales and Marketing with VSA Resorts, the wall is currently under construction.

 

“The 17th Street location is vitally important as it truly is the gateway to the Virginia Beach oceanfront,” Paniccia said. “What better place to add inspiration – where most people enter and exit the oceanfront.”

The concept started after Lori Overholt, president and CFO of VSA Resorts, went on a family vacation to Austin and saw the wall in person. She came back and brainstormed what it would take to get a wall in Virginia Beach. Paniccia took over from there.

However, the Before I Die wall will be more than just a chalkboard fixture.  It will be a permanent part of the new resort underway at that location.

“VSA Resorts has expansion plans, and when the 17th street location came up for sale, we jumped on the opportunity,” Paniccia said. “The Before I Die wall will be a permanent art installation creatively incorporated into the design of any project we ultimately move forward with on the property.”

Until then, VSA Resorts is working on completing construction of the Before I Die wall and is planning a grand opening ceremony.

“We want to share the hopes and dreams of our local residents and the people who come from around the world to visit Virginia Beach,” Paniccia said. “What do you want to do before you die?”

 

 

Media Contact:
Nadine Paniccia
Vice President of Sales and Marketing
VSA Resorts
424 Atlantic Ave.
Virginia Beach, VA  23451
757-425-2200
npaniccia@vsaresorts.com