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One Less Thing to Stress

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Photo Credit: lastbookstorela.com Photo Credit: lastbookstorela.com
We live in one of the busiest cities in an already complicated world, and it’s so easy to let stress get the best of you. The good news is there are things that can be done to fight off stress. Little things like waking up 15 minutes earlier so you don’t feel so rushed in the morning. Cleaning out a closet. Really. It’s that whole declutter your life, declutter your mind tactic that seems to help. Fix something that’s broken, and if you can’t fix it, donate it or toss it. Get rid of things that aren’t useful to you or don’t give you any pleasure.

Then there are things that may be more difficult to do. Like saying “no” when you’re already overburdened. Or fitting in some play time or rest time each day. Or quitting a bad habit. Or quitting a bad relationship. Something that really helps in situations like these is calling up a good friend. When you need to vent, when you need encouragement, when you need help, lean on someone you trust. Don’t try to bottle up your stress and frustrations.

Believe it or not, volunteering for a good cause is a great way to ease stress. When you feel good about what you’re doing, it’s hard for stress to creep in. Plus, when you’re helping people who really need it, you gain perspective and appreciate all the good in your life you may have taken for granted. Gratitude will kick stress into last week!

And finally, just be you. Just be human, and know it’s okay to have really bad days once in a while. And on those bad days, here are a few places to consider escaping to around the Los Angeles region to rejuvenate your mind and body:

Suiho-En The Japanese Garden, Van Nuys
http://www.thejapanesegarden.com

Yoga Circle Downtown
http://yogacircledowntown.com

Larchmont Sanctuary Spa, Downtown
http://www.larchmontsanctuary.com

The Last Bookstore, Downtown
http://lastbookstorela.com

Tanner’s Coffee Co., Culver City
http://tannerscoffeecompany.com

Eaton Canyon Nature Reserve, Pasadena
http://www.ecnca.org

When you're searching for LAX rental cars to get you to your relaxing destination in Southern California, be sure to contact Sakura Rent A Car, conveniently located at LAX International Airport. We have all the modern rental cars, from economy to passenger vans, equipped with modern features you want at a competitive rate. We make your car renting experience as stress-free as possible.
#SakuraRentACar #Blog #Travel #LAX #TravelTips #LosAngeles #SoCal #DiscoverLA #LosAngelesTourism

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Love Songs for the Road

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Love Songs for the Road
Whether it makes your heart flutter or ache, a good love song can strike just the right chord when it comes to your romantic situation. Since it’s Valentine’s Day today (hopefully that didn’t come as a surprise to any of you), we at Sakura Rent A Car at LAX took the opportunity to compile a list of love songs you should download for the road. Whether you’re stuck in Los Angeles I-5 traffic or you’re on one great epic road trip, any of these songs will help lighten the mood and entice you to sing along. If you really want to wear your heart on your sleeve this Valentine's Day, do it with lyrics. Start with these modern songs to help you build your playlist...

All Of Me - John Legend
Love Don't Die - The Fray
Unconditionally - Katy Perry
Love Somebody - Maroon 5
Say Something - A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera
To Be Loved - Michael Bublé
Who You Love - John Mayer & Katy Perry
Stay - Rihanna & Mikky Ekko
True Love - Pink
Mirrors - Justin Timberlake
Red - Taylor Swift
When I Was Your Man - Bruno Mars

All of our LAX rental cars are modern and maintained so you can plug in your phones and playlists and sing along to your favorite tunes while visiting our Southern California region. Every good trip deserves good music to get you where you need to go.

And by the way, for the music buffs in your life, check out some of the area record stores for the real vinyl gems. Permanent Records on Sunset Boulevard is a cozy record store with all the greats from yesterday. It’s got a hip vibe with a cool staff and you’re sure to impress someone you love by taking them there. The Record Parlor on Selma Ave and Touch Vinyl on Sawtelle Blvd are very similar venues, offering the best in vinyl records, vintage sound systems, posters, even live music on occasion. And these shops tend to staff people who love music, know a lot about music, and love to talk about music, so go have yourself a ball getting reacquainted with vinyl records.
#SakuraRentACar #Blog #Travel #LAX #TravelTips #LosAngeles #SoCal #LoveSongs #RoadTrip

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Treat your Valentine to Something Special

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Treat your Valentine to Someth...
On Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, there is a special bakery called Duff's Cakemix and it’s a one-of-a-kind DIY cake decorating experience, perfect for a unique date night and equally perfect for a family fun night. This is why we at Sakura Rent A Car at LAX highly recommend Duff's for a special Valentine’s Day treat for your loved ones. It shows creativity, planning, fun and most of all, it shows you put some real heart into planning for a special event. The gift of experiences are often the most memorable, so try Duff's Cakemix this Valentine’s Day. And if they’re too busy, offer an IOU date for another day, which might be preferable since it could be a pretty popular place on Cupid’s holiday. If you don’t have time to decorate, the bakery generally offers to-go Valentine cupcakes you can pick up in your LAX rental car and take home.

Of course, you can also do-it-yourself at home too. We’ve got an easy recipe for a fun cake that takes merely minutes to prepare, and it’ll be adored by anyone who eats it. When you cut into this confection, the cake is a pink and white marbled color, which looks like you did some major work even though it’s really not that hard to get the effect. Sprinkles on top add just the right touch; Cupid himself would be impressed with your thoughtful treat…

Cupid’s Cake

1 box angel food cake mix
Red food coloring
2 containers fluffy white frosting
Optional: red, pink or white sprinkles, heart-shaped sprinkles

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Spoon 2 cups batter into a medium bowl, and tint pink with 2 drops red food coloring. Spoon 1/3 of white batter into an ungreased angel food cake pan. Drop 3 large spoonfuls of pink batter onto the white. Cover with another 1/3 of white batter, then drop remaining spoonfuls of pink batter on top. Spoon remaining 1/3 of white batter into pan, then give a swirl through the batter with a spoon to marble the white and pink together. Bake and cool as directed on package. Transfer to a serving plate.

In bowl, combine frosting and tint light pink with a few drops of red food coloring. Frost cake using a small spatula, swirling frosting on cake with the tip of the spatula. Add sprinkles if desired.
#SakuraRentACar #Blog #Travel #LAX #TravelTips #LosAngeles #SoCal #ValentinesDay

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Clever Ways to Make Valentine's Day Special

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Clever Ways to Make Valentin...
In Los Angeles, you have no limits to the date nights you can take your sweetheart on this Valentine’s Day. You can take her on a hike, you can take him to get a nice steak or sushi, you can take your kids to pick out cake pops at a bakery. You can visit a museum, you can go see a concert, you can head over to the coast and picnic on the sand. The sky is the limit when it comes to your choices, and the sky over LAX is usually quite nice if you’re looking to celebrate outside. Now, if you’re looking for unique ideas that are really inexpensive but meaningful, we have some ideas for you there too…

Deliver breakfast in bed. Who doesn’t love breakfast in bed? It’s a refreshing change from getting all made up and going out at night. Plus, if you hit downtown L.A. or anywhere nearby, be prepared to make a reservation, or wait in line, or be denied entry altogether. How nice does staying in bed sound now?

On the contrary to breakfast, go out to dinner – in your living room. Set up a cheese and chocolate fondue happy hour or dinner somewhere cozy where you can stack pillows on the floor and enjoy a cozy, romantic dinner, again without all the fuss of driving, parking, valet, lines, etc.

Write a poem for your loved one. And if you aren’t the rhyming or poetic type; a letter expressing your feelings will be equally as charming. In a world of rushed communication, how nice would it be to get a hand-written (even typed) letter of appreciation and love from someone special?

Grab your sweetie for a slow dance to a playlist of songs you downloaded on your device. Slip a note into his/her hand with a coupon for a couple’s dance class. Be sure to follow thru and sign up for one in your town!

Make a basket for movie night in. Literally, go get a basket, buy some popcorn, candy, maybe a pair of fun beverages, and a classic movie your partner would appreciate. Leave it somewhere to be found with a note that says, “The award for best boyfriend goes to…”

Of course, if you’re more traditional and you want to go out on the town, particularly if you’re flying into town, pick up your LAX rental car from Sakura Rent A Car, and let us get your in a vehicle that is sure to impress your Valentine.
#SakuraRentACar #Blog #Travel #LAX #TravelTips #LosAngeles #SoCal #ValentinesDay

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How to Spend the Day in Sherman Oaks, California

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Brunch at Blu Jam Cafe Photo... Brunch at Blu Jam Cafe
Photo Credit: blujamcafe.com
At Sakura Rent A Car at LAX, our clients are often traveling all over the Los Angeles region, so we like to give tips about different pockets of the area, places such as Sherman Oaks, California. Today we’ll feature this great little city over the hill from L.A. where new school suburbia meets a healthy dose of old school old town. You’ll find a lot of great shopping and dining and entertainment throughout.

Where to Shop: Westfield Fashion Square is the mecca of shopping stores, from women’s and men’s clothing to kids' toys to electronics to household décor and much more. You’ll get a lot of the premium stores such as Banana Republic, Bath & Body Works, Brookstone, Disney Store, GNC, Gymboree, Papyrus, Soma, Sunglass Hut, Swarovski, Vans, Williams-Sonoma and sooo much more. That’s just a tiny sampling, really. Whether you’re shopping for a gift or for yourself, this place should do the trick. And when you get tired and hungry there’s plenty of food court options to offer sustenance.

Where to Rejuvenate: The Sherman Oaks Galleria is another notable place to shop, but more so, you can come here for an experience. Arclight Cinemas is within the Galleria and you can go watch your favorite movie but also enjoy your favorite beer, or grab a fresh snack at the café. While you’re there, visit the Burke Williams Spa for a world-class European spa experience that will refresh and rejuvenate your mind and body. Or visit Sugar & Co a full-service nail salon offering luxurious spa-style treatments. If you need lunch somewhere in there, try the Salad Farm where you can find over 40 varieties of salads, soups, panini sandwiches, quesadillas and more freshly-made delights.

Where to Play: Now if you need to move a little bit, here are a couple places in Sherman Oaks you can have a little active fun. First, Ultrazone Laser Tag is fun for kids and adults alike, as long as you can handle a darkened room experience with some neon light flair. You’ll fee like you’ve entered another world once inside playing with friends. Second place is Castle Park where you can perfect your game of mini golf. Not into put-put? Then try the arcade games and the batting cages.

Where to Eat: Gyu-Kaku Japanses BBQ is a unique dining experience where you can be your own chef. The concept is similar to fondu-style eating, except you’re cooking your food on a grill in the center of your table instead of dipping it in a pot. You’ve got to try it just to say you’ve tried it, but also because the food is delicious. Looking to dine out for breakfast? Don’t go anywhere else but Blu Jam Café where you will discover why it was awarded the best breakfast place in L.A. two years in a row. Get in your LAX rental car and drive to that signature Crunchy French Toast with Vanilla Bean Sauce to start your day on a high note.
#SakuraRentACar #Blog #Travel #LAX #TravelTips #LosAngeles #SoCal #ShermanOaks #RentalCar

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The Hidden Gem that is Culver City

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Sony Pictures Studios Tour Pho... Sony Pictures Studios Tour
Photo Credit: sonypicturesstudiotours.com
The Los Angeles area has so many spots that are worth a visit, and Culver City is definitely a place that has several hidden gem destinations. Let Sakura Rent A Car get you in your perfect rental vehicle so you can see what awaits you in Culver City…

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

From the entrance, hike a mile to the scenic overlook where you can get a panoramic view of Los Angeles, the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding mountains. Along the hike you can spot seasonal flowers and bird viewing. You can picnic with family or friends along the way. Parking is $6/day or $2 per hour and the visitor center hours are open till sunset. No pets unfortunately, but you’ll still enjoy the view.

The Culver Hotel

It’s a world-class boutique hotel with charm and history, and maybe ghosts too. Or so they say. We’ll leave that last part up to you, but it’s definitely worth a nightcap amid live jazz while relaxing in vintage armchairs. And that’s just in the lobby. Head past that to the Velvet Lounge which is “reminiscent of a 1920’s ‘Speakeasy’ with a twist of Parisian boudoir.” Culver City's historic Culver Hotel was once the part-time residence Clark Gable and Joan Crawford to Greta Garbo and Buster Keaton. Since its renovation was completed in 2013, it’s now considered the jewel of downtown Culver City.

Ramen Yamadaya

The fancy ramen food phase is only getting stronger with time. People everywhere delight in a big bowl of piping hot ramen with delicious broth from a restaurant that does it proper justice. Ramen Yamadaya in Culver City is no exception, and they specialize in the Tonkotsu broth ramen noodle, which is cooked with pork bones for more than 20 hours to produce a rich and tasty flavor. Just think. Your delicious bowl of ramen has been in the making for a whole day – now if that doesn’t prove to you the food is good, we don’t know what will. Just go, slurp and enjoy.

Sony Pictures Studios Tour

You can’t drive your LAX rental car to Culver City and not experience the Sony Pictures Studios Tour, the home to iconic films like “The Wizard of Oz,” “Men in Black” and “Spider-Man.” Maybe game shows are your thing. Visit “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” on the tour too. And who knows what else might be filming at the moment, Sony is obviously a busy production studio. Take the 2-hour guided walking tour for $45 and it will be money well spent for a memorable experience you could only get in Los Angeles.

Wheel House Cheese

Calling all cheese lovers! If you’re in Culver City and you have a thing for fromage, drop everything and head to Wheel House Cheese, where they specialize in imported artisan cheeses from around the world, as well as beer and wine and other charcuterie delights. Of course you can order off the menu, highly recommended. You can also order to-go platters perfect for a picnic or outdoor concert or at-home event. If you want to go all out, have them cater your next gathering of cheesemongers and impress the heck out of your friends and family.
#SakuraRentACar #Blog #Travel #LAX #TravelTips #LosAngeles #SoCal #CulverCity

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3 Itineraries for a Southern California Vacation

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Santa Monica Photo Credit: pix... Santa Monica
Photo Credit: pixabay.com
Do you ever need a little inspiration before planning a family vacation? If so, Sakura Rent A Car is here to help. First, we recommend you start your trip from LAX because generally that’s where you’ll get your best deal and the most flight options when flying down to Southern California. Then, you pick up your LAX rental car with us, and we have you out the door and on the road to your destination in no time. Check out a few of our week-long itinerary ideas that are great for family-friendly travel or adult-only travel. No matter what, you’ll have a lot to see from the mountains to the ocean…

Itinerary #1 Pacific Coast Highway: From LAX, make your way down the scenic Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) and hit every beach town, every beach event, every food stand and shop along the way. Make the Santa Monica Pier your starting point after you pick up your car. Ride the Ferris wheel. Spend the day there, then head to Long Beach to stay the night. Visit the Queen Mary ship while you’re there. After Long Beach, head to Oceanside where you pit stop to stay for a night or two and visit Legoland California for a theme park adventure. Make San Diego your final pit stop and hit the beach at Mission Beach, Pacific Beach or Coronado Beach for a day of sun, sand and surf. Zoom back up I-5 to catch your flight out of LAX.

Itinerary #2 Ocean to Mountains: From LAX, head to Palm Springs, or for a more affordable rate, stay in Palm Desert. Rent a house with multiple families for much more room, a pool and cheaper nightly rates. In Palm Springs, you can shop, spa, golf, eat, swim and do it all again because you’ll be staring at the gorgeous desert hills while doing so. Visit Joshua Tree National Park to experience the beauty of a hike in the desert. From Palm Springs, loop down to Carlsbad and get your theme park fix in with Legoland. To wrap up your vacation loop, make Huntington Beach your final destination so you can get a little beach time in. From there it’s a direct shot back to LAX.

Itinerary #3 Theme Park Extravaganza: From LAX, head to Anaheim and visit the mecca of theme parks: Disneyland and Disneyland California. Take at least two days to get it all in. Make a straight shot all the way down to San Diego for a SeaWorld adventure, a San Diego Zoo trip, and possibly squeeze in a trip to one of the excellent beaches previously mentioned. Not that you’re tired enough by now, but head back up to Carlsbad or Oceanside and cap off your trip with, you guessed it, Legoland. You’ll sleep like a baby on your return flight out of LAX.
#SakuraRentACar #Blog #Travel #LAX #TravelTips #LosAngeles #SoCal #Itinerary #ThemeParks

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Best Hikes in the Los Angeles Region

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The Wisdom Tree. Photo Credit... The Wisdom Tree.
Photo Credit: laweekly.com
If your New Year’s resolution involves fitness or exercise, we have plenty of opportunities for you to succeed in Los Angeles. We have practically the perfect weather for year-round outdoor activities, which makes it easy to have an active stay while you’re in town visiting. Of course, you still have to put in the effort and drive to your destination (the hardest part!) but getting the motivation to get out the door is half the battle. We at Sakura Rent A Car recommend some fabulous area hikes to inspire and motivate an active start to 2017. If you drive your LAX rental car to any of the following parks, you won’t regret the experience…

Griffith Park and Observatory

The park has a great trail system where you’ll get stunning views of the Hollywood sign, Downtown LA, and even Santa Monica. It is pretty clean and well maintained, but the parking situation, or lack thereof, is something to be aware of. It’s a fairly popular destination with park, trails and observatory, so it’s likely you’ll run into lots of other people while hiking – if being alone on the trail is a concern.

Runyon Canyon

Here’s another one where you might spend some time looking for parking because of its popularity but the views will be worth it. Great sights over Los Angeles, Hollywood, all the way out to Catalina Island. Take a deep breath and take it all in. The trails are not too difficult and you can bring your dog off leash. Good options for shorter hikes.

Franklin Canyon Park

Experience the tender moments of nature in Franklin Canyon Park with multiple ponds to explore. Feel like you’re really getting away from it all. Take a gentle loop around a pond with a gradual hill to climb and say hi to the ducks, turtles and frogs. The city doesn’t like you to feed the animals, so bring bread or lettuce at your own risk.

Wisdom Tree Trail

It’s one of the most beautiful views of the valley and Los Angeles, the Wisdom Tree. The hike is about a mile long, maybe less on a clearly marked path. It does have steep inclines, so good walking shoes with comfortable soles is a must. Once you get to the end, you’ll view a cool-looking canyon, like a mini Grand Canyon. And you’ll find a very distinct tree, what they call the Wisdom Tree, at the end of your journey.

Topanga State Park

This park has it all, the longer hikes, the mountain biking trails, the bird watching, the ocean scenery, amazing spots for solitude or photography. Whether you want to view the water, the mountains or the city, you’ve come to the right place. This is a big park with several entrances, some with parking and facilities and some without. Visit Topanga if you’re looking to be inspired, create art, or simply get out and get active.
#SakuraRentACar #Blog #Travel #LAX #TravelTips #LosAngeles #SoCal #LATrails

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Great Travel Apps for 2017

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Great Travel Apps for 2017
If you have a Gmail account, planning and mapping out your next trip has never been easier with Google Trips. They’ve put Google Maps to work on this one, because the Trips app acts like a guidebook for whichever city you’re in, telling you how to get from point A to point B with ease.

If you prefer the romantic notion of getting lost in paradise during your next trip and would rather not map everything out – well, we get it. But you still need to know your flight schedule in order to get there, and be able to check for status updates. Flight Stats is a real-time flight status tracker. Real time is real convenient, plus users can plug in their flight info to get gate info and find out about delays.

Duolingo is not the best way to immerse yourself in a new language, and it probably won’t make you fluent, but it’s a great way to brush up or learn the basics before you fly international. Its interesting model keeps you engaged as you unlock new levels of advancement, almost like playing a game.

For the serious international traveler, you might consider downloading the XE Currency app if you’re frequently converting currency. The app has every world currency dialed in and it can function offline, recognizing the last updated rates which is great if you’re stuck without an internet connection.

People rarely travel alone, and often in packs, so what could be better than a travel app that splits the cost of the adventure? That’s exactly what the Splittr app does. You enter expenses as you go, and give info on who paid for what, and let Splittr do the math on who owes what in the end, even converting the currency if needed. Genius!

Once you’re in your city of choice, the Time Out app will help you find something to do. This app covers everything from restaurants to nightclubs to events and attractions. You can even book your concert tickets or make a restaurant reservation directly thru the app once you find what you’re looking for.

If you happen to be traveling to LAX International Airport, let Sakura Rent A Car help you find the vehicle best suited for your needs. We can also make great suggestions when it comes to finding food, entertainment and lodging, so please let us help you plan your next trip to Southern California. Call 1-800-222-7333 to make your LAX rental car reservation today.
#SakuraRentACar #Blog #Travel #LAX #TravelTips #LosAngeles #SoCal #TravelApps

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Clever Space-Saving Tips for Packing

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Clever Space-Saving Tips for ...
To fold or not to fold? That is the question. And the answer is no. Don’t fold your clothes if you want to save space in your suitcase. Try rolling them instead and you’ll be impressed by how much more space you have in your bag. Since most of our Sakura Rent A Car customers travel thru LAX, we thought it might be helpful to give some handy packing tips that could save you room in your luggage, so let’s check out a few more...

If you have to pack an extra pair of shoes or two, don’t waste valuable hollow space. That’s where you can pack pairs of socks, or other fragile items, or items that won’t burst open. You’ll be surprised at how much you can fit in there. Since we’re on the topic of shoes, place the dirty soles of your shoes inside a shower cap so you don’t have to worry about it coming in contact with your clothing.

Don’t spend your vacation or business trip looking for your accessories. Use a pill case to keep track of small pieces of jewelry. String necklace chains thru straws to prevent them from tangling.

Wrap items that have the potential to spill inside Cling plastic wrap. If you’ve got any loose shampoos or even powdered makeup, things that could make a big mess you should protect in advance and seal them with plastic wrap.

If you have clothes that wrinkle easily, lay them flat inside a dry-cleaning bag and then fold as usual. The plastic will help prevent any wrinkles and creases. Also, place a few dryer sheets among your clothes to keep them smelling fresh.

Pants can usually be worn more than once, so the general rule of thumb is to pack three tops for every pair of pants. Also, wear your bulkiest outfits on the plane, so you have the appropriate layers with you, but not taking up space in your case. If you’re not self-conscious about who you might run into, you can also plan to wear the same outfit on both travel days.

Whether you’re coming to Los Angeles for a quick trip or a long one, let us help you get into the LAX rental car you’ll need for your travel. Our customer service at Sakura is top notch and we’re ready to help you book your reservation today.
#SakuraRentalCar #Blog #LosAngeles #SpaceSavers #LAX #DiscoverLA #PackingTips #SoCal

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