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Kemwel Travel Blog

Kemwel makes it easy to book the best discounted travel services and car rentals in Europe. Whether you need a rental car, a buy back auto lease, airfare, hotel reservations, or even a luxury auto rental, Kemwel can meet your needs. Check out our car rental guides for useful travel and driving information. Drive Europe!

We have been driven to provide the guaranteed best travel service at the best price. We guarantee it with our beat rate policy and our philosophy of no surprises or hidden costs.

If you have any questions, you can contact us online or call us toll free at 1-877-820-0668.

Short Trips for Long Weekends

Bank holidays may seem lackluster when compared to the great headliners like Christmas and Independence Day, but they are a boon to working professionals and busy students. There’s nothing better than an extra day off without time-consuming holiday obligations attached to it. With that extra 24 hours of leisure, you are free to consider a myriad of options, ranging from road races to retail. Among the many possibilities, I would like to suggest a weekend getaway this Presidents Day. There are many accessible cities that are ripe for mini-vacations. After even a quick vacation, you can return to work, school and life with great stories, revived enthusiasm and unique perspectives. By using your long weekends for short trips, you can infuse your whole year with accomplishments and satisfaction.

Paradise Collage

Ready, set… travel! Three days of paradise is better than no paradise, at all!

There are a few simple guidelines for choosing a perfect long-weekend destination. The idea is to hop off a plane after a relatively quick flight, and land in a whole new world of unique scenery, tempting cuisine and fun activities. It can be a delicate balance, but what you want is a place completely unlike where you are right now, and you want to get there without losing an excessive amount of time to air travel. It’s important to keep your expectations realistic: in a short stay, you won’t be able to do every possible activity, but you can do a lot. If you are looking for a good starting point, here are a few great places to spend a long weekend, or longer!

Icelandic Horses

Icelandic ponies are perfectly suited for the rugged terrain.


As far as exotic destinations go, it doesn’t get much more otherworldly than Iceland. Reykjavik is a small, hip city with a robust nightlife, geothermal hot springs and unparalleled scenery. This arctic capital is set among a breathtaking island landscape shaped by both volcanic and glacial activity. Given just a couple of days in Reykjavik, I would want to soak in the mineral-rich waters of the natural spas, gaze into the enigmatic northern sky, and take a nod to the maritime traditions and incredible wildlife of this proud seafaring nation with a whale watching tour. It’s also possible to rent some famed Icelandic ponies and ride into the jagged mountains at the outskirts of Reykjavik, or dance until well into the winter’s night at the plentiful bars and dance clubs in the downtown area.  Kemwel provides convenient car rentals right in the Keflavik Airport, so you can get right on the Iceland roads. Both hot and cool, Iceland truly is the land of fire and ice.

Flight Time: Approximately six hours from New York*


Amsterdam Canals

Adventure awaits in the historic canals of Amsterdam!


Fun-loving Amsterdam has long been known as an intense city for revelry; however, it is more than merely a decadent playground. Among the rivers edge and fresh sea air, there is a wealth of history and beauty to experience in the lovely capital of the Netherlands. Hire a small boat and discover why they call this historic city the ‘Venice of the North’.  Amsterdam hosts dozens of world-class museums, performance spaces and parks, so choosing the ones you hope to visit can be quite a task. In town, some of the must-see’s for beginners include the fantastic collection at the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House. Those who are curious may want to take a stroll through the red light district, though keep in mind that doing so is much safer by day. With a rental car, you can take a quick journey to the historic De Gooyer windmills, which thirsty travelers will be delighted to learn is also a brewery.

Flight Time: Approximately eight hours from New York*


Dublin Cobblestone

Hit the ancient cobblestone streets of Dublin’s bar district


Get an early start on the upcoming Saint Patrick’s Day festivities with a long-weekend trip to Dublin. Start with an informative and tasty tour of the Old Jameson Distillery, and then make a nod to the deep literary tradition of this proud city which birthed such celebrated writers as Bram Stoker and James Joyce with a literary tour or pub crawl. To get a real sense of the Irish way of life, you can explore the outlying areas with a rental car. Walk the jagged cliffs of Howth and then continue just a little further north to see the roots of Celtic culture at the megalithic tombs of Meath, a UNESCO World Heritage site. For a quintessential Emerald Isle experience, be sure to catch the traditional Irish music and enjoy a fresh Guinness in a Dublin pub. Look to our helpful Ireland driving guide for tips on cruising the roads around Dublin!

Flight Time: Approximately seven hours from New York or Boston*


Barbados Sailboats

Soak up sun and sailing on the Barbados beaches!


As a relatively small island with only one city, Barbados is perfect for a weekend getaway. You can relax and warm yourself in the sun, ride some of the most powerful Atlantic waves, snorkel with sea turtles, or take on a round of golf in the island’s internationally renowned courses. Whether you prefer the nightlife of Bridgetown or the wildlife of the tropical coral reefs, Barbados is a gorgeous and welcoming island, perfect for either a long or short stay. Keep in mind, however, that once you sink your toes into the white sand beaches and sample the famed island rum, you might start having second thoughts about ever leaving this lush locale.

Flight Time: Approximately five hours from New York or four hours from Miami*


Miami Street

The hot city of Miami is known for it’s sizzling nightlife!


With only one word to describe Miami, I would choose “caliente.” From the sun-drenched beaches to the thumping club scene, this city is hot! Take in the pulse of Cuban drums in little Havana, explore the gorgeous greenery of lush Floridian parks and zoos, and catch an eyeful of the gorgeous and fashionable locals. If you’re able to tear yourself away from the surf and sand, check out the 10th century Ancient Spanish Monastery in its tropical new home, or catch a glimpse of the sweet life with a visit to the luxurious Star Island. Never leave Miami without dining heartily on the flavorful local fare, and keep in mind that you can always return to this city of sun.

Flight Time: Approximately three hours from Chicago or New York, six hours from Seattle*


Lovers Beach Cabo

Lover’s Beach at the gorgeous Land’s End of Cabo San Lucas!

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas is the place to go for miles of luxurious beachside resorts beset by authentic Mexican culture and gorgeous natural scenery. Located at the southernmost point of Mexico’s Baja peninsula, this city is blessed by some of the best sport fishing, surfing and sailing in the world. You can explore vibrant reefs with snorkel gear or from the comfort of a glass-bottomed boat or hit mountainous trails in a well-equipped dune-buggy. Cabo is a great city for young adventurers looking to swim in a sea of margaritas, but with a historic old town and the striking beachside rock formations, it’s also a worthwhile family destination.

Flight Time: Less than three hours from Los Angeles, less than five hours from Chicago*


When you only have a couple of short days to enjoy your chosen vacation spot, you don’t want to spend it waiting for busses or trains. Renting a car for your long weekend is a great way to save time when you travel. Kemwel provides a large selection of convenient rental car pick-up offices, a lot of which are right inside the airport. Book your rental car right on the Kemwel website, or call our reservation specialists at 1-877-820-0668.

*listed flight times are approximated for direct flights.

Top 4 French Riviera Beaches from Monaco to St. Tropez


With 71 miles of coastal beaches and 300 days of sunshine per year, it’s no surprise why every year, millions of tourists flock to French Riviera beaches. There are so many excellent beach destinations in this region, so it can be difficult to choose which beaches in the French Riviera to visit.


Here are 4 of the best French Riviera beaches from Monaco to St. Tropez:

In Nice, the beaches stretch from the airport for about 3 miles down the Bay of Angels. From the wide array of private and public beaches to the multiple restaurant options along the Promenade de Anglais, Nice has some of the best beaches in the French Riviera. However, many tourists find the beaches’ smooth pebbles, called galets, to be uncomfortable and aren’t willing to pay the 15+ euros for a lounge chair in a private beach. To save money and potential back pain, visitors can take a quick drive in their Nice rental car to Villefranche, a village 20 minutes from Nice. Although not a sand beach, the small pebbles on the Villefranche beach are far more comfortable than galets. Plus, the village offers plenty of restaurant options for beach-goers, making it one of the top French Riviera beaches.

Tourists will love tanning and swimming amongst the world’s rich and famous at Monaco’s only public beach, Plage du Larvotto in Monte Carlo. Although most of Monaco’s small coastline is composed of a heliport, seaport, and yachts marinas, the city of Monte Carlo has done a superb job protecting Larvottofrench-riviera-best-beaches-monte-carlo-kemwel Beach. The beach itself has small pebbles, is clean and comfortable, and has toilets and showers for guests to use. Plenty of bars and restaurants line Larvotto beach, along with options to book jet skis, boats, windsurfing, and para-sailing. For tourists who don’t prefer beach activities, Larvotto Beach also offers a roller blading and skateboarding area. Plage du Larvotto is also one of the most family friendly beaches in the French Riviera, so feel free to bring the kids.

Tourists looking for one of the most world famous French Riviera beaches should head to La Croisette, which runs along the Boulevard de la Croisette and is near the Palais des Festivals, the location of the annual Cannes International Film Festival. At La Croisette, tourists can celebrity watch while sunbathing. For tourists not into tanning, La Croisette also offers great swimming, as it is a cove, protected from winds. Visitors looking for all the amenities at a reduced rate will enjoy Plage Macé. The city manages this particular section of the beach, so it has lockers, toilets, showers, lifeguards, and cheaper rental prices than private beaches.

St. Tropez
When Pampelonne, the main beach of St. Tropez, is too crowded, tourists will enjoy one of the best French Riviera beaches, Plage des Salins. Not only is Plage des Salins less crowded than Pampelonne, but also it has spectacular landscape that makes up for the fact that it is a bit windier than Pampelonne. This 600-meter beach is intersected with a creek that flows inland towards a marsh. In addition, green pines and grassy dunes surround the white sands. Plage des Salins is a peaceful place to relax in nature.

Getting Around Beaches on the French Riviera

With so many wonderfully balmy destinations along this beautiful stretch of coastline you’ll certainly want a convenient and cost-efficient means of getting around. Avoid the hassle of flagging expensive cabs and crowded buses with a car rental in France and you’ll be able to tour the French Riviera with comfort and ease! You won’t have to worry about price, either, because Kemwel offers the best deals in the industry on an array of travel transportation services, from portable GPS rentals to excellent hotels and more. Browse our rates online or call one of our friendly agents anytime, 24/7 and toll-free at 1-877-820-0668.

You deserve a fantastic holiday abroad and you can take your dream vacation for less than you imagined with Kemwel, so start planning your next international adventure with us today!



Best Day Trips from Madrid: Best Road Trips in Spain

Start your Spanish adventure in the capital city of Madrid – the exciting city features stunning boulevards, excellent shopping and a wealth of museums and galleries to explore. Enjoy city life in the large bustling center of Spain before thinking about your next stops, which are plentiful. Due to its central location, Madrid is the ideal base to begin some of the best road trips in Spain!


Rent a car, put on your seat belt, and get ready for some of the best day trips from Madrid:


The Valley of the FallenValley of the Fallen Monument

Valley of the Fallen | Madrid, Spain

The Valley of the Fallen was commissioned by Spanish dictator Francisco Franco to honor those who died in the Spanish Civil War. The monument is famous as one of the most controversial in the world, given that prisoners were forced to carve it. The Valley is the resting place for around 40,000 people from the 1930s conflict and the burial place of Franco. It is an impressive and moving sight to this day.

Distance from Madrid: 1 hour



Plaza de Santa Theresa in Avila, Spain

Historic Center of Avila | Avila, Spain

If you have enjoyed some of the most impressive churches and cathedrals in Madrid then you will love Avila. Known as the City of Stone, the city has more churches and cathedrals per capita than any other city in Spain. It is also the highest city in Spain, and has spectacular views across a river. Tour the churches and the inner city wall that dates back to the 11th century.

Distance from Madrid: 1 hour 30 minutes


New Castle of Manzanares el Real

New Castle of Manzanares el Real

Manzanares el Real Castle | Manzanares el Real, Spain

One of the best preserved castles in the area that surrounds Madrid, the New Castle of Manzanares el Real is worth the short day trip from the city. Known for its role in the movie “El Cid”, the castle was once the presidential palace of the Mendoza family. With six spectacular floors, the palace is an excellent example of Spanish military architecture.

Distance from Madrid: 50 minutes



Hanging Houses of Cuence, Spain

Historic Center of Cuenca | Cuenca, Spain

You have to visit Cuenca to see the unique houses hanging from cliffs! The medieval town has been in battles for centuries and features buildings that date back to the 12th century. The town also has a Gothic cathedral and plenty of Spanish sensibility. The drive is around two hours one way so you may need to set out a little earlier to make the most of this day trip from Madrid.

Distance from Madrid: 2 hours


El Escorial

El Escorial Palace

San Lorenzo de El Escorial | Madrid, Spain

The royal palace, school and museum are all part of the Monastery complex called El Escorial, just outside of Madrid. First constructed in the 16th century the monastery was originally built for Hieronymite monks, but is today inhabited by the Order of Saint Augustine. Gaze at the impressive architecture of the complex, which was designed under one of the architects who worked on St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Distance from Madrid: 50 minutes



Toledo, Spain

Historic Center of Toledo | Toledo, Spain

The hillside ancient city of Toledo is one of those must-see cities that is just an hour away from Madrid. Start your tour from the top of the hill and work your way down through the ancient cobbled streets. Discover the eclectic architecture within this historic town at its impressive cathedral and its tasty local marzipan.

Distance from Madrid: 1 hour


Start Planning Your Day Trips from Madrid Today

Find a great deal on any car rental in Spain when booking through Kemwel and you’ll have affordable transportation for any day trip from Madrid! Kemwel offers great travel specials on everything from accommodations to van rentals and more. Check out your options online or call one of our travel experts, toll-free at 1-877-820-0668, to get your vacation planning started today.

Book Your Spain Car Rental

Peugeot Open Europe Buy Back Leases

Discount long term rentals!

Kemwel car rental has partnered with the car manufacturer, Peugeot to provide you with discounted long term car rentals through our buy back auto lease program.

If you need to rent a car in Europe for more than 17 days, we can save you money. More information...
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