6 Reasons to Hire a Designated Driver

If you have holiday parties, celebrations with friends and family, and, of course, that New Year’s Eve bash planned this year, read on for six reasons to hire a designated driver when you go out on the town. Shuttle Express is Seattle’s best choice, with a vehicle and service to match your event. Shuttle Express drives so you don’t have to!


Reason #1: Celebrate safely, with no worries about driving impaired.

This is the number one reason to celebrate responsibly and leave the driving to someone else. According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, driving drunk or high is the most common factor in deadly and serious traffic accidents in Washington state. Don’t take a chance – stay safe and stay out of the driver’s seat.


Reason #2: Hiring a service is affordable.

Compared with the cost of a conviction for driving under the influence, professional transportation is a bargain. A DUI is expensive: legal fines, attorney fees, lost wages and dramatically higher insurance rates, for example. Consider sharing the cost of a professional service among your group to keep costs low.


Reason #3: Everyone can relax and have fun.

When you hire a professional Seattle town car or coach service, everyone can join the party and no one’s left out. You could convince one of your friends to drive, but that plan can easily fail if they back out or decide to imbibe mid-party. With a professional service like Shuttle Express, everyone can celebrate with an adult beverage or two without risking a DUI or an accident.


Reason #4: Your group is traveling together!

With a guest-friendly option like Shuttle Express that offers door-to-door service, you and your friends can all travel together instead of taking separate vehicles. Arrange for one pick up or several, whatever works for your group and keeps everyone safe. And, choose the vehicle size that fits the number of guests in your group and the event – we’ve got town cars, SUVs, luxury vans, mini coaches and coach buses. Bonus: start the party when you get on board!

Reason #5: Someone else is dealing with traffic.

Hiring a professional transportation service means you aren’t worrying about traffic – instead, you’re relaxing with your friends because Shuttle Express is driving.


Reason #6: Parking is not your problem.

Nothing ruins an evening faster than circling the block searching for a parking spot, finding one six blocks away, and hoofing it (in the rain) to the event or party. Hire a driver and skip that problem – Shuttle Express drops you off and picks you up at the door.


Why is Shuttle Express better than a taxi or other car-for-hire options?

Shuttle Express is safe, reliable, and affordable. Our chauffeurs are hand-picked and drug-tested, background checked, and professionally trained for your safety and peace of mind. Yes, we know each one of our chauffeurs! And, we are fully-insured and comply with all laws and regulations. No cutting corners or skirting the rules.

Make your night out or celebration completely stress-free — leave the driving to us.

  • Choose the right vehicle for your group – town car, SUV, limo, luxury van, mini coach or coach bus. We have it all!
  • Book and track your car service on our new APP, quickly and easily.
  • Relax we get you to your event or party and back home again, safely and worry-free.

Let Shuttle Express take care of the driving, traffic, and parking hassles so you can enjoy your celebration. Reach us at sales@shuttleexpress.net or call 425-981-7096.


Gorgeous Christmas Light Displays Near Seattle

Millions of holiday lights are now twinkling throughout Puget Sound, lighting up neighborhoods and locations from north to south each night! If you’re searching for a Christmas light display near you, here’s a run-down of a few of the most popular ones to enjoy this month. If you have a group going together and you’d rather not drive, call Shuttle Express – we’ll take your party, large or small, out for the night to enjoy the show. So, sit back with your hot chocolate and let us drive!

  • Winterfest – Seattle Center, Seattle
    Nov. 24 – Jan. 1
    Check website for specific events and times
  • Garden d’Lights – Bellevue Botanical Garden, Bellevue
    Nov. 25 – Dec. 31, 4:30 – 9:00 pm
  • Holiday with Lights – Wild Waves Theme & Water Park, Federal Way
    Select days, Dec. 3 – 31
  • Ivar’s Clam Lights – Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park, Renton
    Dec. 1 – Jan. 1, 5 – 9 p.m.
    Free admittance and free parking.
  • Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Park, Spanaway
    Nov. 23 – Jan. 1, 5:30 – 9 p.m.
    Check site for admission fees
  • Zoolights – Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, Tacoma
    Nov. 24 – Jan 1, 5 – 9 p.m.
  • The Lights of Christmas – Warm Beach Park, Stanwood, WA
    Dec 3, 7-10, 14-17, 19-23, 26-30, 2017; 5 – 10:00 pm


Shuttle Express drives you to the airport or anywhere with our private hourly service, even Christmas light displays! Shuttle Express is best known for our popular airport van service, but we have it all—town cars, limos, coaches, and private luxury vans and shuttles.

Our professional, friendly chauffeurs arrive on time and deliver you safely to your destination—no stress, no hassle, no problem. So, if you need airport or hourly service, relax and let Shuttle Express handle the traffic and parking! Book now at shuttleexpress.com or call 425-981-7096 to talk with our friendly agents.

8 Useful (Affordable!) Gifts for Travelers

Looking for the perfect gift for the traveler in your life that won’t break the bank? Because Shuttle Express likes making things easier for our guests, we did the searching for you and rounded up a list of useful, yet affordable, gifts that would delight any globe trotter. 

Airbnb Gift Card

Gift your traveling loved one with an Airbnb gift card, available in amounts from $25 on up. It can simply be emailed to the lucky recipient, so it’s perfect when you need a last-minute item, plus it’s easy to add to an Airbnb account and never expires. Winner!

Travel Cord Roll

Here’s a practical, yet inexpensive gift anyone would like – organize device chargers, headphones, and plugins in this stylish travel roll, $20.

Travel Pillow/Infinity Scarf

Check out this clever two-in-one gift! Keep warm in a stylish infinity scarf, but when you’re feeling sleepy on the plane, bust out the travel pillow hidden inside. Unzip a pocket in the scarf, inflate the pillow, and nap in comfort, $40.

Try the World 

If your traveler enjoys international cuisine, consider this subscription service that features a curated selection of gourmet foods every month from around the globe. Boxes start at $19 per month and include specialty ingredients, snacks and beverages. You’ll be the hero all year long.

Logitech Keys-to-Go

Make your traveler’s life just a little easier with this portable keyboard. It’s super light, easy to pack, and features a FabricSkin cover that protects the keys from spills and crud. About $70, this keyboard is Bluetooth compatible with a rechargeable, three-month battery.

Collapsible Water Bottle

Perfect for traveling light, this silicone water bottle only takes up space when you’re using it. When empty, it collapses into an inch-high cylinder small enough to fit in your pocket. BPA and odor-free, it’s just under $20. 

Tie Travel Case

Here’s an option for someone who needs those ties looking good upon arrival: a slim, compact tie case. This one keeps up to six ties rumple-free and in one place, plus has a compartment for accessories, under $20.

Leather Passport Cover

For under $30, give your traveler a monogrammed leather passport cover. These are available from numerous retailers, but here’s one from Pottery Barn to get the idea. 

Need transportation this holiday season?

Take Shuttle Express! We’re Seattle’s safe, trusted choice for private and shared luxury transportation, from black cars and vans to buses and coaches, and our professionally-trained chauffeurs go the extra mile, delivering outstanding service every time.  So if you’re celebrating with a night on the town this holiday season, make it extra special with chauffeured service by Shuttle Express! It’s a gift you and your guests will appreciate.

Book car service on our new app, book online, or call us at 425-981-7000 to talk with a friendly service representative. We look forward to serving you!

5 Crazy Things to Pack for a Cruise

Packing Advice from Professional Cruisers

Packing for a cruise may seem overwhelming, especially if you’re a newbie embarking on your first voyage. To help, we’ve compiled a short list of five useful items to toss (neatly) in your cruise trunk. These random household items may sound unconventional, but cruisers who have sailed before you advise packing duct tape, straws, a power strip, shoe organizer, and air freshener. Here’s why:

Duct Tape

Duct tape saves the day in many situations, even cruising. Make sure your cruise line is okay with duct tape, though, which may leave an adhesive residue. Check your information or call the cruise line. Here are just a few of its many uses on the ship, according to the experts over at Cruise Critic:

  • Repair broken flip flops
  • Use in place of expensive towel clips when securing your beach towel on a chair poolside
  • Tame a clingy, annoying cabin shower curtain by taping it in place on the wall

Drinking Straws

Drinking straws offer a simple solution to keeping necklaces tidy and knot-free. Thread your necklaces through and then clasp them. Cut them to size, if needed.

Shoe Organizer

An over-the door hanging shoe organizer is a great way to store toiletries and keep the little stuff you need all in one place. Get a clear one so you can easily see what you’ve got.

Power Strip

An extra power strip is a good idea since cabins are typically light on outlets, especially on older ships. But check with your cruise line. Usually, power-surge protected strips are a no-no, and the allowable strips should only have one or two outlets. Perhaps bring two.

Air Freshener

Air freshener could be the best suggestion of all—think of your tiny cabin bathroom without ventilation. It’s a probability, so be prepared with your own freshener to keep your space pleasant.

Need Cruise Transportation?

Start and end your cruise vacation with comfortable, convenient private or shared transportation to/from the piers with Shuttle Express. As Seattle’s local airport and private transportation experts, our professional, friendly team has been at the wheel for nearly 30 years, keeping our guests safe, on time, and stress-free.

We pick you up at your destination, get you to the ship on time, and even handle your luggage. Choose from black car, private or shared van, or coach service. Then sit back and relax, our experienced team will take care of you.

Book online at shuttleexpress.com or email us at sales@shuttleexpress.net for information and a rate quote

Happy sailing!

Seattle Cruising 101

Seattle’s port is a global favorite for Alaska and Pacific Northwest cruises thanks to a spectacular location with easy access to outdoor fun, shopping, and cultural experiences. And, it’s well worth adding a few days before or after your cruise to explore this friendly port and sneak in a little extra fun. Read on for need-to-know info.

Pier Pressure

With more than a million cruise passengers expected to flow through Seattle’s two piers this year, expect heavy congestion before and after your cruise. Here are tips to help you navigate the crowded waters.

  • Getting on your ship: Cruise terminals can be hectic and stressful during the first few hours of boarding, with the busiest time from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. It depends when your ship leaves so don’t wait too long, but boarding after the rush may be easiest.
  • Getting off your ship: Disembark as early as you can and plan for extra time to get through the check-out process. Make sure you book your airport or hotel transportation ahead of time and pack some patience, since thousands of other cruisers will be headed home, too.

Good to Know

  • Pack your first day essentials (medications, swim suit, change of clothes) in your carry on, since you probably won’t get your checked luggage from the cruise line until evening.
  • Even though recreational marijuana is legal in Washington State, it’s illegal to take it out of the state or on your cruise ship. Leave it at home.
  • Since most of the Seattle cruises stop in Canada, travel with your passport or US passport card; some passengers from outside the US may need a Canadian Visa. Avoid getting denied back on the ship and check with your cruise line for requirements.

Extend Your Stay

Adding a day or three before or after your cruise not only eases the stress of arriving or departing on sailing day (think delayed flights, horrendous traffic, and bad weather), but it also gives you time to explore Seattle.

  • Hotels: If booking a hotel in the downtown core is beyond your budget, stay outside the city. Southside hotels are a great option. Two of our favorites, Hilton Garden Inn Renton and Crowne Plaza Sea-Tac, offer convenient packages including Shuttle Express private transportation to/from the piers.
  • Attractions: Numerous must-see attractions are found in Seattle such as Pike Place Market and the Space Needle, but if you venture past the city limits, you’ll find dozens more such as the Future of Flight, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, and whale watching in the San Juan Islands. Check out Visit Seattle’s site for helpful information.
  • Shopping: From bargains to high fashion, the Seattle shopping scene has something for everyone. See TripAdvisor for a terrific overview with plenty of links to explore before you hit the shops.

Reliable Transportation

Start and end your cruise vacation with comfortable, convenient private or shared transportation to/from the piers with Shuttle Express. As Seattle’s local airport and private transportation experts, our professional, friendly team has been at the wheel for nearly 30 years, keeping our guests safe, on time, and stress-free. Choose from black car, private or shared van, or coach service, and our experienced, caring team will make it happen. Book online at shuttleexpress.com or connect with us at sales@shuttleexpress.net.

Family Fun and Fireworks around Seattle

Summer is officially here, which means firecrackers, food, and festivities are mere days away. This July is no exception! The region is packed with events to choose from, including 4th of July celebrations, beer and wine events, endless kid fun, and yummy food. Check out our short list of summer festivities compiled to help you decide just how much fun you can handle in the next few weeks.

1. Float your boat with the 40th Annual Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival—enjoy free boat rides, live music, kids’ activities, not to mention the many food and beer vendors. Admission is free, so bring the whole family from July 2nd to the 4th! Find out more here: http://cwb.org/events/festival/

2. Gear up for a night of fireworks—camp out all day at a family favorite or check out a new city:

  • Bellevue – Downtown Park 10:05 p.m.
  • Edmonds – Civic Stadium 10 p.m.
  • Everett – Port Gardner Bay 10:20 p.m.
  • Federal Way – Celebration Park 10:15 p.m.
  • Kent – Lake Meridian Park 10 p.m.
  • Kirkland – Marina Park 10:15 p.m.
  • Lakewood – Joint Base Lewis-McChord 10 p.m.
  • Newcastle – Lake Boren Park 10 p.m.
  • Renton – Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park 10 p.m.
  • SeaTac – Angle Lake Park 10 p.m.
  • Seattle – Gas Works Park 10:20 p.m.
  • Tacoma – Ruston Way 10:10 p.m.

3. Pedal to the metal! Join the 15-mile Seattle Night Ride from Peddler Brewing through Myrtle Edwards Park. Enjoy games, beer, and food trucks. Register here: https://www.cascade.org/rides-major-rides/seattle-night-ride

4. Woodland Park Zoo’s annual concert series Zoo Tunes is back, sounding better than ever! Choose from many outstanding artists throughout the summer, including artists Jeff Beck, UB40, Ziggy Marley, and Pink Martini. Buy your tickets now: http://zoo.org/zootunes#.V3VHEqI3kgs

5. Love the thrill of competitive dragon boat racing? Bring the family out to the 13th Annual Seattle Dragon Boat Festival on July 30th where each 40-foot boat is colorfully decorated and ready to rumble on South Lake Union. The festival features racing, live music, kids’ activities, and food. Find out more here: http://seattledragonboatfestival.net/at-the-festival/

–Compiled by Kimberly Kong, Sales and Marketing Coordinator

Dad-friendly Fun Around Puget Sound

Show dad some appreciation this Sunday—whether your dad is a car guy, festival guy, beer guy, or outdoorsy guy, we’ve got you covered with ideas to make this Father’s Day memorable.

  • Check out the 2016 Washington Brewers Festival, from June 17th to the 19th: taste more than 450 Washington-brewed craft beers, do the 5k fun run, listen to live music, and enjoy the weather in Marymoor Park. Learn more at washingtonbeer.com.
  • Take Pop over to the Bell Harbor Marina to admire more than 50 classic yachts (many were built prior to World War II!). Admission is free.
  • Stop by the Ballard Locks on June 18th to enjoy a free outdoor concert—bring the whole family to listen to music and watch the boats, barges, and sailboats sailing along the locks.
  • Bring the family to the hip Fremont Solstice Fair—free admission! Enjoy the dog parade, listen to live music, and check out more than 300 vendors. The Fremont Solstice Parade beings on Saturday–attend and be one of the 100,000 guests in this beloved neighborhood fair. Get the details at fremontfair.org.
  • Cruise on over to the quaint town of Burien to check out some sweet rides at the Father’s Day Car Show—the Wild Strawberry Festival is right across the street where you can enjoy the carnival rides, games, and delicious festival food for the family.
  • Get down with some awesome dance moves with dad at Seattle’s EMP—from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for only $10.00 per ticket!  Take in the museum, get schooled with break-dancing lessons, and enjoy groovy arts and crafts. Visit empmuseum.org/ for more details.
  • Renton some wheels and explore the beautiful Tacoma area of Point Ruston—picnic at Point Defiance Park, take a picture of Mt. Rainier, visit the Japanese and rose gardens, and take in the scenic views that Tacoma has to offer. For more information, visit wheelfunrentals.com/Locations/Tacoma-1.
  • Can’t get enough of the shiny chrome and leather aroma of classic cars? Visit LeMay-America’s Car Museum for the Father’s Day Hoods Up event. Explore this four-story museum with classic cars, trucks and motorcycles to fulfill your inner teenager with the whole family.

-Kimberly Kong, Sales and Marketing Coordinator

9 Sweet Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day near Seattle

Are you searching for the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your sweetie or your family? Here’s a roundup of romantic and fun ways to spend Valentine’s Day this year. Remember, if you need transportation such as private town car service in Seattle, let us know – we’ll do the driving!

Family Events:

Father-Daughter Snow Ball

Fathers, want to create more special memories with your daughter? Put on your dancing shoes and head over to the Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center. The Father-Daughter Snow Ball event features a frozen-like atmosphere with music, arts and crafts, dancing, and refreshments.

Family Basketball Show

Enjoy a night out watching the Harlem Globetrotters as they celebrate their 90th tour. Check their website for locations, times, and tickets.

Woodland Park Zoo

Explore the zoo during Woodland Park Zoo’s Valentine’s Day Enrichment, Sat. Feb 13, from 10 am to 3 pm. Feed the animals with heart-shaped treats and learn fun facts from zoo staff.

Scavenger Love Hunt

Want to stay in with the kids? Brainstorm an exciting scavenger hunt with the kids to create some great memories.


Special Date Night Events:

Pacific Northwest Ballet

Before dinner, take your date to a performance of the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “Romeo and Juliette.”

Valentine’s Day Cruise

Charm your loved one with a Valentine’s Day Brunch or Dinner Cruise with Waterways Cruises & Events. Choose a cruise on Lake Union and Lake Washington and enjoy cocktails and delicious food.

Wine & Chocolate

Bring your date to Enumclaw, located about an hour south of Seattle, and “celebrate the finer things in life” at the Wine & Chocolate Festival. Indulge in more than 80 unique Washington State wines and a dozen of the region’s top chocolatiers’ treats. You will also learn how to pair your favorite wine with delectable chocolates.

Paint Nite Seattle

Get artistic with your significant other: sign up for a vast variety of different types of art you can paint on canvas. Use code “retailmenot” to get discounted rates.

Stay In Candle Light Dinner

Create a fun menu and spend time in the kitchen, have dinner, and watch a movie. Sometimes there’s nothing better than spending time alone at home!

-Allyson Eli, Sales and Marketing


15 Best Travel Tip Tweets

Check out some of our favorite travel tip tweets that will help make your travels stress-free, fun, and memorable. And don’t forget, if you’re flying out of Sea-Tac Airport, the best advice is to leave your car in your garage and book safe, reliable shared van or private black car service with Shuttle Express. We’ll get you to Sea-Tac and back.

  1. Make a list of the items you’ve packed in case your luggage gets lost, then you’ll know exactly what to report missing. #traveltips
  2. Bring lots of light clothes you can layer—pile them on or peel them off. Bonus: they’ll wash and dry quickly! #traveltips
  3. Finding it hard to sleep on your plane ride? Wear your neck pillow under your chin, especially if your head tends to tilt forward. #traveltips #travel
  4. The “Do Not Disturb Sign” can make your hotel room seem occupied, which is especially handy if you leave expensive items inside. – #traveltips
  5. Protect your shoes and clothes when traveling: put your shoes in a shower cap to keep your suitcase clean. #traveltips
  6. Prone to getting lost while traveling? Input your hotel’s phone number in your phone in case you need directional help while being adventurous! #traveltips
  7. If you’re unsure about the weather when traveling, bring a large scarf–it can keep you cool and warm. #traveltips
  8. If you’re out and about and your mobile device needs charging but you aren’t near an outlet, make sure you carry a portable charger. They’re compact but powerful. #traveltips
  9. Your hotel concierge can be your BFF when traveling–it’s a great way to stay local and get all the ins and outs of the city. #traveltips
  10. When calling your hotel’s front desk for extra blankets or toiletries, call in the morning to beat the bedtime rush. #traveltips
  11. Give your kids a disposable camera so they can capture the world through their eyes. #traveltips
  12. Pack an extra outfit in your carry-on, because you never know what to expect when traveling. #traveltips
  13. Staying for a short time? Make it worth the trip by staying in a centralized area of the city. #traveltips
  14. New city, new adventures! Save time by creating your itinerary ahead of time so you can map out your route in your GPS. #traveltips
  15. Save even more when traveling–search for any online coupons while souvenir shopping. #traveltips #travel #TravelTuesday

Follow us on Twitter for more travel-related tidbits and info. Happy travels from Shuttle Express!

-Kimberly Kong, Sales and Marketing

7 Tips for an Affordable, Fun Cruise

Booking a cruise for the first time can be a bit daunting with the many details and choices to consider. And finding an affordable option takes some savvy and research, but with these tips you will be on your way to a memorable cruise vacation, and still have some green in your wallet!

1. Book at the Last Minute

If your schedule is flexible, you can score amazing deals on last-minute cruises. Tip: for the cruise you’re interested in, find out how close to the departure date a traveler can cancel their reservation without a penalty, usually two to three months before departure. This the perfect time to call and check for deals, or cabin upgrades if you’ve already booked.

2. Pick the Right Time to Go

Finding a plum deal on a cruise may be easier during certain times of the year.  Mid-September offers some of the very best rates since the summer has wound down and the kids are back in school. The period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is another time to save some money, when most people are preparing for and celebrating the holidays at home.

3. Pay the Extra for a Balcony

When choosing your room, spring for the most your budget can handle. Your options are usually:

  • Inside, with no windows
  • Outside, with window/porthole view
  • Balcony, which is a room with a balcony on the outside of the ship
  • Suite, which is a larger cabin often with separate living and sleeping areas

You will appreciate the extra space and awesome view you get from a balcony room or suite, especially if you have kids, want to dine in, or just want to enjoy fresh air and some extra space.

4. Pack Light

Make sure to pack smart—which means light! Ships usually don’t offer much space for extra stuff, so make the most of a few key outfits that do triple duty. All ships offer laundry service, too, so you can launder outfits as needed. Ask about the “formal” evenings and how strict the dress code is so you can plan accordingly. If you prefer not to attend the formal events, you can get room service or Lido dining those evenings and skip packing the tux and gown.

5. Get There the Night Before

Arrive the night before your cruise and enjoy an extra evening on vacation. You’ll skip the stress of trying to get to your port city the day of sailing―we’re talking about delayed flights, unforeseen traffic, and weather delays that have caused many cruisers to miss the boat! So, plan to arrive at your port city early and check out the town, enjoy dinner, sightseeing, and prepare for your cruise without worry.

6. Check in After 2 p.m.

Cruisers are often anxious to get on board as early as possible, which means the cruise terminal can be hectic and stressful during the first few hours of boarding, usually from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. if your ship sets sail at 4 p.m. or later. If you board early, you may not even be allowed into your cabin until later in the afternoon, which means you’ll be waiting around with all your stuff. Instead, avoid the hassle and check in after 2 p.m. You’ll walk on stress-free, and head straight to your cabin.

7. Skip Port Calls?

Port calls sound inviting, exciting, can’t-miss, right? But when you ask those who have done port calls before you, they tell a different tale. Often times, you hardly see or enjoy the place you’re visiting, despite paying a high price for the excursion. Many cruisers suggest staying onboard your ship since most facilities are still open, and you’ll have them to yourself―it’s your ship for the day!


Check out these resources to make your cruise experience stress-free and enjoyable:

Cruise and Sea-Tac Airport transportation

Pre- and Post-Cruise Packages from Seattle Southside

Seattle’s Cruise Terminal Info