A Cozy Christmas Eve at Your Home Away From Home

“I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams” If you’re staying out of town this Christmas, we’ve got just the thing you need to have a cozy Christmas Eve, no matter where you are – hot chocolate!

We’re not talking about that powdery mix where you just add hot water, but real, thick, steaming, hot chocolate – it’s easier to make than you probably think. It can be made in one pot, or in a pinch, it can be made in the microwave. So this Christmas Eve, if you’re staying at one of our InTown Suites locations, put on some Holiday tunes and whip up this delightful decadent drink.

Christmas Eve Hot Chocolate

1 liter of whole milk
1 chocolate bar (see step 1 for details)
Pinch of salt (optional)

1. Pick out your favorite chocolate bar, avoiding those that have fillings, nut or candies added to them, you want to pick a pure chocolate bar. For a sweeter drink, choose a milk chocolate bar. For an intense chocolate drink, pick a dark chocolate bar

2. Finely chop the chocolate bar

3. Pour the milk into a pot, and warm it until it just starts to want to simmer

4.  Add in the chopped chocolate, and the salt if using

5. Stir continuously, until the chocolate is fully melted and the mixture is nice and hot (without bringing it to a boil)

6. Carefully pour into cups or mugs

If you want to stop there, you’ll have a perfectly delicious cup of hot chocolate. If you want to take it to the next level (it is Christmas Eve after all) here are ten easy additions to jazz it up.

10. Add a big dollop of whipped cream on top9.  Add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg
8. Make it a Mexican hot chocolate by adding in a dash of cayenne pepper
7.  Make it adult only with a splash of Baileys
6. Use a peppermint stick as a stir-stick for a mint chocolate flavor
5. Like Terry’s chocolate oranges? Add in a little orange peel or orange extract
4. Add a spoonful of dolce de leche for a carmel-y delight
3, Stir in a tablespoon of malted milk for a hot malted milkshake
2. Fill your mug with half coffee, half hot chocolate for the ultimate mocha
1. Stir in a teaspoon of melted peanut butter, it tastes like a melted peanut butter cup

From all of us at InTown Suites, we wish you a safe and Merry Christmas!




10 Perfect Gifts for the Frequent Traveler

It can be incredibly difficult to come up with the perfect Christmas gift for everyone on your list.  To help you out, we’ve come up with our top ten gift ideas for the frequent travelers and road warriors in your life. They will love receiving a practical yet thoughtful present that they can use on the road.

In no particular order, here are our ten favorites:

10. A Tempur-Pedic Sleep Mask

Tempur-Pedic uses the same space age technology that has made their mattresses famous, to make the best sleep mask around. The mask molds to the wearer’s face to completely block out any light. And unlike the usual sleep masks, these won’t leave any tell-tale lines on their face. It’s a must for a good night’s sleep when traveling.

9. iTunes Giftcard

If you’re unsure of exactly what to get a person, it’s hard to go wrong with an iTunes giftcard. They can redeem it for music to listen to while traveling, order books, or download some of the best travel apps that they’ve had their eye on.

8. Emergency Car Kit

While not the most seemingly exciting of gifts, an emergency car kit could be a real live saver, especially for winter travelers. Made to store in the trunks of vehicles, these emergency kits usually contain a first aid kit, flashlight, foil blanket, jumper cables, batteries, dried food and more.

7. A Snack Box Subscription

There are so many temptations, along with a lack of healthy options when traveling, that it can be hard to eat right. Consider signing up your friend or loved one for a healthy snack box service. Each month, companies like Naturebox send out a box of assorted and rotating healthy snack options. Your gift recipient can then bring these snacks on the road with them.

6. Noise Cancelling Headphones

Noise-cancelling headphones are a god send to anyone stuck in noisy spaces. Not only is the sound quality fantastic, but the headphones to an amazing job of cancelling out all the other noise around you. We especially love them for drowning out the humming noise of airplane engines.

5. Travel Beauty Bag

If the person you’re buying for is a frequent flier, make them a travel beauty bag that they carry on the place. Pick up a clear plastic quart sized bag and fill it with sample sizes (of no more than 3oz.) of your favorite beauty and toiletry products, including shampoo, body wash and moisturizer.

4. Travel Notebooks

Frequent travelers love to jot down their thoughts in Moleskine and Field Notes travel journals. The journals are slim so travel well even when packing light. Your gift recipient can use them to take notes on the places they’ve been, restaurants they’ve eaten at, they can even use it to keep track of expenses.

3. Microfiber Towels

On the road, Microfiber towels work so much better than regular towels. They are very light weight, taking up very little space in luggage, yet they do an amazing job of soaking up moisture, getting you dry faster. The towels themselves also dry faster than normal towels, so they won’t dampen the rest of the luggage.

2. Massage Gift Certificates

Being out on the road for weeks on end can be stressful. Give your gift recipient something to look forward to, when they return home – a relaxing massage. It will help sooth their travel weary body.

1. Coffee Press

With the bodum travel press, it’s quick and easy to have a delicious cup of coffee, no matter where you are. With this french press system, all you need are the beans and hot water. The coffee is brewed right in the travel mug. The press also works great for tea lovers to.

What are your favorite travel gifts to give and receive?



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