Top 23 Travel Tips For Taking A Summer Road Trip

Planning a summer road trip this year? Do movies like RV and Family Vacation not scare you from the adventures that could await you on your cross country trek? Before you go, make sure you check off these top 23 travel tips.

  • Look at maps and plan your route. There are many great online maps that do a HYBRID map view showing real streets and routes with satalite images. Knowing the location, and how it looks, by viewing it from space is both cool and very helpful, so you won’t get lost.
  • Research the roads you’ll take. You’ll especially want to know if you’ll be traveling through areas of major road construction. The maps mentioned above are a little dated. Some new roads and maps will not have current, realtime data, bring physical maps, like ones you could buy from AAA along.
  • Make estimates of travel times along the route, so you’ll have an idea when you’ll be at certain points on your trip. This will help you to plan rest and meal stops. It will also help you plan to avoid traveling through a major city or area of road construction during rush hour.
  • Get the car checked, especially the filters, belts, fluid levels and have the oil changed. Don’t wait until the last minute, it may take time to get an appointment and parts may need to be ordered. You also want some time to drive around town and make sure that whatever they fixed stays fixed. If you vehicle is ‘mission critical’ and could die at any moment, DON’T take it with you, borrow a friends car instead.
  • Check the condition of your wiper blades, both front and back windows.
  • Check the operation of your turn signals, brake lights as well as the high and low beams. Bring some extra fuses along.
  • Examine the tread on your tires. Consider mountain driving in winter conditinos on snowy peaks. Make sure you have chains or 4×4 traction for icey roads, out of season. Or try a different route.
  • Make sure your car is prepared for the weather it will encounter on your trip. You might need more antifreeze or need to recharged air-conditioning when you go through the desert.
  • Today, many cars have fancy wheels instead of hubcaps. These wheels usually have a lock to prevent them from being stolen. If you have a car with wheel locks, make sure you know where the key is stored (often with the jack). Otherwise, a flat tire will become a major problem since you won’t be able to get the wheel off the car.
  • Get your car cleaned. You’ll feel better in a clean car.
  • Pack an emergency kit in your car. Include motion sickness medication if anyone in your group suffers from it. Remove any items from the car that you won’t need on your trip. Bring some blankets.
  • Prepare some on road entertainment for your trip. Include games and CDs of music and/or audio books. Portable DVD players are really inexpensive and help pass the time in dead spots where where is nothing new to see.
  • Check your plates, registration and insurance information to make sure they are all valid. Be sure to place your insurance company’s emergency contact number in your car.
  • Check with all the drivers in your party to make sure their driver’s licenses haven’t expired.
  • Check your insurance for expiration dates and coverage for your automobile.
  • Arrange for someone to start your other car, if you leave one home, during very cold or very hot weather.
  • Fill the car with gas before you pack the car so all the fumes won’t bother your passengers. Check the fluid levels and tire pressure, your tire pressure will affect the ride and gas mileage you get on your trip.
  • Pack the car inside the garage, with the door down, so people driving by won’t find out you’re leaving.

Overall, enjoy the road trip. It’s not going to be as crazy as Clark W Grizwold’s family vacation experiences, and if it is, make sure you video it and put it up on You Tube!

Family Christmas Holiday – 5 Top Tips

If you are looking for a family Christmas Holiday here are 5 top tips for something a little different and exciting this year.

1. Since Christmas is traditionally a time for Children you might like to hear about this very special Christmas Holiday in Lapland. Up inside the Arctic circle is Lapland the home of Santa Claus. What better way to see in Christmas than to visit Santa, his Elves and his Reindeer at home before he sets off on his big day. Each child will get to see Santa,and receive a present. There are also sleigh rides (pulled by reindeer of course), husky rides,Snowmobiles, a lovely Christmas Gala Dinner, Christmas Carols and cosy log fires. So a truly wonderful family Christmas Holiday.

2. The next is a very unusual family Christmas Holiday. It is at the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden which is 200km inside the Arctic Circle. This is a truly unique Hotel. Every year it is newly built from the crystal clear ice provided by the fast flowing Torne River. Each year it has a new design and newly designed suites. You spend one night in the Ice Hotel suitably prepared with a nice warm bed and the other nights in a cosy and warm Swedish Hotel. There is every winter outdoor activity available or you can just sit quietly by the fire and read a good book or play games.

3. For a totally different Christmas our next destination is Australia. Sydney to be precise. If you are tired of the cold and snow try “Down Under” for a summery Christmas. The weather will be great but you will have all the usual Christmas fun. Christmas Trees, Carols, turkey dinner and of course Santa Claus. Sydney has a number of free events over the Christmas Season these include choirs, entertainers, slide shows, concerts and of course the fabulous fireworks display on New Years Eve.

4. How about a cruise for Christmas. This is a great one for Mom because after getting the family on board she can relax and let the party begin. This is a great opportunity for the adults to relax during the day while the kids are entertained then in the evening the fun of dressing up for the Gala dinners for each night of the Christmas period. Delicious food, great entertainment for all ages and a wonderfully relaxed Christmas for Mom.

5. Finally one of my favourite Christmas holidays. Christmas in New England. When you think of Christmas in New England you think of snow, skaters on a frozen pond, white churches with slim spires, twinkling lights on Christmas trees and pretty colonial homes with large holly wreaths on the front door. They are the images from a million Christmas cards.There are many beautiful Hotels and B & B’s all ready to provide you with a wonderful Christmas. Many of these buildings are beautiful old colonial homes. There is so much to see and do in New England. You and the kids could be busy from dawn till dusk. There is every conceivable winter activity and being on holiday you have the time to enjoy them together. Whether it is a simple toboggan ride down the nearest hillside or a day skiing it will be great just to enjoy it as a family.

So make the most of your family Christmas Holiday this year plan an exciting Christmas Vacation. From the cold of the Arctic circle to the warmth of an Australian Christmas there is sure to be something to please everyone.

Frugal Travel Tips For Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech can be a bargain for savvy tourists. The two must see’s in Marrakech, Djemaa el-Fna and the Souks, are free. Frugal even if you can’t resist making purchases.

The landmark I use to orientate myself is the tower of the Koutoubia Mosque. The tallest in the city, it can be seen from anywhere near the Medina, the old city.

The Food Stalls At Djemaa el-Fna

From the tower of the Koutoubia Mosque, the Djemaa el-Fna is only a couple steps north.

During the day, this square is filled with dancing monkeys, orange juice carts (2 Dirham – approximately $0.54 U.S. – for a glass of orange juice – note: a common “trick” on tourists is to charge extra if you wish no ice, remember this is a hot country with little portable refrigeration, ice is at a premium to the plentiful oranges), and other entertainers.

But the real action starts at sundown. The food carts come out and so do the bargains. The posted prices are usually for the locals, expect to be charged a higher price if you don’t speak the language, especially if you don’t want to haggle. Still you can get a bowl of the famed chick pea based harira soup for 2.5 Dirham (approximately $0.69 U.S.). The round loaf of bread commonly eaten with this soup can be purchased for 1 Dirham ($0.27 U.S.).

The Souks

The Souks are a maze of little shops situated right beside the Djemaa el-Fna. These stalls can be confusing and enterprising locals will insist that paid guides are needed. Unless you’re looking for a specific stall, they’re not. If you get “lost”, simply walk in one direction until you exit.

The Souks are one of the best places to get souvenirs including fabrics, leather shoes, and tajines (the cone like clay dishes used to prepare local cuisine). For spices, the grocery stores are a better bargain. For best deals, haggle. It’s expected by shop keepers.

The Menara

You may be tempted to visit the Menara, another free site. We saved the taxi fare and trekked out there by foot. We were disappointed. It consisted mainily of a giant pool of stagnant water with one small shell of a building. The building charges an admission fee.

Unless you have a burning desire to see olive groves or a common teenage hang out site or have too much time on your hands, spend your energy exploring other more interesting areas of the city.

Marrakech is a wonderful, fascinating city filled with exotic sights and smells and tastes. And with proper planning, it doesn’t have to break your travel budget.

Outdoor Holiday Lighting Tips

Outdoor holiday lighting is truly exciting. Getting those holiday lights on your outdoor property can really help you get deeper into the Christmas spirit. Installing and using outdoor lights however are far different than with indoor ones. Here are some important tips to take note of to keep your holiday lighting installation and use both safe and enjoyable.

* Never use plain staples or nails for installing your decorative lights. These could cut through the wire and cause fraying. This in turn could endanger you and your property. As much as possible, settle for plastic clips that you can easily use on eaves, gutters and railings. If you really must use staples, make sure that they are the insulated type and that you do not cut through the wire.

* Never use indoor lights outdoors. Use only holiday lights that are specifically meant to be used for the outdoors. You should also strictly stick to manufacturer instructions on how to use your Christmas lights.

* Carefully check your outdoor holiday lighting even if newly bought. You shouldn’t just keep an eye out for busted bulbs. You should also check for frayed wires, exposed wires or broken connecting sockets.

* All lighting sockets should be wrapped with electrical tape. This will ensure that there is no gap in between connections. The electrical tape can also ensure that water cannot get into the connecting points.

* You cannot just connect as many lights as you want. You also have to be careful with using limited extension wires for too many lights. You could cause a circuit overload that could lead to power failure. Light makers usually have safety guidelines on the number of lights that can be connected.

* Be careful with power lines. A tree you are decorating, your ladder or even your body could come in contact with a power line. You could seriously injure yourself and damage your property.

* Do not leave outdoor holiday lighting unattended. Only have them on if you are at home and awake. Make sure they are turned off before you leave home or before you retire for the night.

* Don’t keep the lights attached way after the holidays. You may have had a hard time installing them all over the house. This may make you feel like wanting to enjoy your lights a little more. It isn’t safe though to leave them out for long. The natural elements could gradually damage your lights and make them a hazard.

* Don’t leave light cords and extension cords lying around loosely. People could trip on them. Small animals could also get entangled and choke. Keep the cords neatly to the sides and tie up any extra cord lines.

* You can enjoy your outdoor holiday lighting better if you do not have a big electric bill to pay. Lower your costs by using energy efficient lighting. Use LED bulbs. Aside from being energy efficient, they are also quite sturdy.

Keep your outdoor holiday lighting experience fun. Make sure you get the right kind of lights and materials. Make sure too that safety is always your top priority.

15 Best Travel Tips When You Are on the Way

There is nothing like exploring and discovering new places. However, there are some habits that can be developed to reduce travel challenges. Here we list a few of the more obvious ones.

1. Get up early. Have a decent breakfast and arrive at attractions before the crowds to get best views and great photographs. Then have a rest, if you are tired.

2. Smile and say “hello”. there is nothing that is infectious as a smile. Use it to interact with local people and fellow travelers.

3. Observe and meet local people. See what they do – the movement, colour, smells and sights. They all have a story to tell and usually love to tell it. Listen to them and learn.

4. Take great photos. They will help you remember and do not take much space.

5. Be Patient at all times Don’t worry about the things you cannot control. Most exotic places do not have perfect public transport and five-star service. Take it as it comes because tomorrow is another day of new experiences.

6. Hide some Cash. You never know when you need a little extra. Not all ATMs are loaded when you go there. Remember Murphy;s Law.

7. Pack eye mask and ear plugs. To help you sleep in the many light and noisy hotels that you will find.

8. Pack a hat, scarf and sunglasses. Protect yourself from the elements. Take a small umbrella or waterproof coat with hood, if going to a rainy location.

9. Back up everything regularly. Use free Wi-Fi and secure could storage or hard drives to save files, so that nothing is lost.

10. Don’t give up: Sometimes the trains and buses are not running. Don’t give up. Something will happen tomorrow.

11. Keep an open mind. The best way to learn new things. Avoid being judgmental, you may not have the complete story.

12. Treat yourself well: Eat good wholesome food. Drink safe water and avoid “home-made” drinks.

13. Have a good laugh. Don’t take the travel too seriously. Laugh those embarrassing situations away and make new friends with a hearty laugh.

14. Get lost and don’t be afraid. Learn about new places by getting lost and finding your way out. Take a card from your hotel just in case and watch out for odd situations that can turn nasty.

15. Stay in touch with your family and friends: They are interested in your pursuits and can celebrate your journey in their own way.

In summary, do the things you like to do when you travel. Have fun and meet new people. There can be no end to it!

Planning Senior Citizens Trips – The Benefits of Bus Tours

Are you retired, or planning to retire? Would you like to see the world without the hassle of preparing for a vacation?. Planning your future senior citizens trips can be hassle free if you decide to consider bus tours Read on to see how much easier it is to join a bus tour instead of planning your vacation from scratch.

The Problem With Vacations

The main problem with vacations is the preparation you have to do beforehand. All that effort put into booking flights, finding hotels, creating an itinerary, finding travel insurance providers, etc. can really take its toll, which is ironic when you remember you’re a senior trying to relax!

That’s why bus tours and group tours for seniors are gaining popularity as a hassle-free alternative to the traditional way of vacationing, particularly those planning their senior citizens trips in retirement or semi-retirement. All you need to do is find the tour package that suits your expectations, pay the price, and then follow the travel agency’s instructions!

The Advantages Of Bus Tours

The main advantage of bus tours is the fact that it’s stress-free and hassle-free on your part — the travel agencies have done all the work for you! All you have to do is to choose the package, pay up, be there in time for the bus, and then start taking photos!

Another advantage of bus tours is the cost. When you plan a vacation the traditional way, almost every move costs money. When you book your flights — money. When you make hotel reservations — money. When you take cabs to the six tourist spots you plan to see today — money!

But when it comes to bus tours, you pay a single fee for the whole package, which can last several days. What’s more, seniors bus tours often come at a discount, making the whole vacation even more affordable and enjoyable for you! Just sign the dotted line, and off you go.

How To Prepare For A Bus Tour

The first step in preparing for a bus tour vacation is choosing your destination. What part of the world would you want to see? What town or country has been on your “must-visit” list for the past few decades? Now’s the time to take your pick without having to think about work when you get back!

Next, find suitable travel agencies that have tour packages in your chosen destination(s). Choose the travel agency with the package that fits your budget and schedule perfectly. You can also check if the travel agency offers travel insurance — very important if you REALLY want to enjoy yourself!

And finally, start packing! Bus tour packages can last several days, so make sure to pack enough clothes, medicine, and toiletries for the entire trip. Take a backpack if your back is strong enough, but if you don’t mind having only one free hand most of the time, take a lighter travel case on wheels.

Don’t Believe The Bad Hype!

Most younger vacationers dismiss bus tours as “boring” and “predictable,” but they don’t enjoy the sophistication that only age can bring. As seniors, we tend to enjoy a more relaxed, more cultured pace. So leave the stress to the young ones and take that vacation you’ve been waiting for all these years!

10 Tips For Great Road Trips

These ten tips will make your road trip more of a breeze than a whirlwind. From car care to what to pack, we’ve thought of everything, so you don’t have to.

1. Have car in good repair. While you can make the most of a car breaking down, and still enjoy yourself, a great road trip is easier to have without being stranded, towed, or spending money on costly repairs.

2. Know the route. There is something to be said about hopping in the car and just driving in whatever direction sounds fun, but for a great road trip, planning helps immensely. That way you get gas when you need to, have places to stop for food, rest, and fuel. Being lost when you are trying to get somewhere is never fun, so plan some activities, and print out directions for how you are going to get from Point A to Point B.

3. Seating arrangements. How you sit in the car is going to make a difference in how enjoyable the road trip is. No one has fun if someone in the car is puking. The car smells, it is gross, and it stalls the trip. So, putting people who are prone to car sickness near a window, putting kids that need help near someone that can help, and separating those that tend to argue or fight can make a trip so much more fun!

4. Movies. Pack a movie player and movies for all ages. Just do not forget to pack some headphones so that those unable to watch the movie do not have to hear it. Having a DVD player in the car can make a world of difference in how well kids handle road trips.

5. Music. Put together a fun playlist or mixed CD for the road. Having a continuous set of tunes that are fun, upbeat, and will make the trip go by faster is a great idea. It always pays off to have some music ready for the road.

6. Audio Books. Nothing makes a drive go by faster than being immersed in a good book. Of course because it is hard to read and drive at the same time, not to mention it can make you sick, or be difficult without daylight, an audio book you can load on your iPod, or put in your car CD player is a great idea. Find an audio book that is the approximate length of time as your trip, that way as you end your book, you also end your destination.

7. Snacks. It is not a road trip without some delicious snacks and treats. While you will likely still stop for food, having pretzels, wheat thins, licorice, beef jerky, apple slices, cheese, yogurts, chips, candy, etc. in the car to snack on when the urge hits, can make it a much more comfortable and satisfying ride.

8. Stops. If you are on a road trip with kids, it is important to give them a break from the car. So, stop every three or four hours for about thirty minutes. It will make the trip far more enjoyable, and ironically, make it go faster. Stop at a McDonald’s and let them eat and play in the indoor play area for a while. Stop at a rest stop and let them run around for a few minutes, or take them shopping. A little break from the car can make it much more pleasant to be in it.

9. Temperature control. Keeping the car comfortable will make the ride better. So, make sure your AC works, and make sure that those who do not like it cool bring along a light jacket.

10. Sight seeing. Make the journey part of the fun. Stop along the way at various monuments, tourist spots, beaches, or whatever else you find. Taking time to stop and see the sights on the way to the site, can be really rewarding and fun!

Deep Sea Fishing Tips

Fishing in the deep sea is an amazing experience that once tried you will never forget. Here are some tips that will help you to enjoy your trip even more.

1. Watch what the sea and its wildlife are telling you

If you see birds, such as gulls, hovering over an area of water, pay attention. There is a strong likelihood that there are smaller fish that are used by fishermen for bait in the immediate area. This shows that there will be larger fish under the surface of the water. Driftwood is another sign of larger fish in the area. Follow these simple indications and you will be landing fish in no time.

2. Watch out for snooks hiding places

If you are on the lookout for snooks on your fishing trip, remember to look underneath ledges as they are a favorite hiding place for them. Snooks are very similar in their habits to bass.

3. Use crabs during a full moon

Crabs tend to shed their skins during the full moon. So when fishing during a full moon, try using soft crab imitations for your bait. This will entice stripers out of their hiding places to look for the crabs.

4. Find dolphins when fishing for tuna

If you are fishing for tuna, particularly yellowfin, the best way to spot them is to look for dolphins. Tuna school with them, so if you see dolphins you can bet that tuna won’t be far away. Just be sure to be careful that you don’t land a dolphin by accident since they are a protected species and must be treated with respect.

5. Burn, don’t cut

If you find that you can’t cut your line, try burning through it instead. You will find it is much easier to do and avoid being cut if your scissors slip.

6. Fish near a reef.

If you haven’t tried it before, fish near a reef. You will be surprised at the number of large fish that are feeding on smaller fish that live on a reef.

7. Raise your chances with a Circle Hook

If you would like to raise your hook up quota, opt for a circle hook. They will increase your catches due to their make up. And you will find removing the hook easier as it will not stick in the fish gut.

8. Find your sea legs

If you find that you are suffering from sea sickness try watching the horizon. It may sound silly but try to stay on deck if you can. Staying downwind of fumes is also advisable as they can make you feel worse.

9. Anchor trouble

If you discover that you cannot raise your anchor after dropping, use a float attached to it. By noting when the tide turns you should be able to free the anchor and set sail once again.

10. Find the fish in order to fish successfully

If you thought that you should be catching your live bait first and then moving away from the reef to catch more fish, think again. If you stay near the live bait, you increase your chances of catching the larger fish that are feeding on them.

Five Important Senior Travel Tips

Often when we near retirement, seniors have big dreams of all the places they want to visit. However, as we get older, traveling often isn’t quite the delight we hoped it would be. Although it can be great fun traveling to new places and meeting new people, the logistics of traveling can be challenging for many seniors.

This is especially true if you are traveling alone. However, with some advance planning, you can make your next trip much more pleasant and enjoyable. Here are some travel tips that I follow myself, to make sure my trips are as enjoyable as possible.

First, consider your particular health conditions. If you need to take medication daily and you are traveling internationally, it is important to make sure that you always carry medications and copies of your medication list with you at all times. Never check your medications in airline baggage, as you may be facing a life threatening situation if your baggage gets lost.

Second, plan well in advance. Although spontaneity is great for many things in life, as we age, making well thought out travel plans is very important. This is especially true for those who face mobility challenges. For example, if you have trouble standing in lines for a long time or climbing stairs, then you will want to avoid situations that requires this. Ask the questions you need to ask before you leave on your trip.

Third, make back up plans as well. Even the best plans can backfire, and having a contingency plan for when things do not go as planned is important as well. Although the idea of making not one, but two (and maybe even three) travel itineraries may seem overwhelming, if things go wrong you will be very happy you made the effort.

Four, travel as lightly as possible. You do not need the added difficulty of lugging heavy bags around. There are some wonderful new luggage models that have very useful features such as wheels and multiple handles. Don’t go with the cheapest you can find either, as you want your luggage to be durable and last.

Finally, always think about safety. Seniors are often the target of pickpockets and thieves. Consider investing in a money belt, and maybe even carry a decoy purse or wallet with only a little money in it in case you get robbed.

With proper thought and preparation, you will find that your journeys are much more comfortable, safe and enjoyable!

Travel Tips – Packing Your Suitcase without Stress

The thrill of planning a trip will often light you up and consume all of your time. You look through guidebooks, talk to friends about their experiences, and research your itinerary on the internet. Still all this planning and research will not make the task of packing any less daunting.

Who hasn’t stood at the foot of their bed with empty suitcases spread on top, the

night before a big trip, filled with anxiety because you still haven’t packed?!?! You

try and try to think about exactly what you should be packed, throwing things in

and then taking them out. And you wonder, why didn’t any of the guidebooks give

you any advice on packing?

Well, hopefully this guide will help you, so that you can confidently pack and enjoy

the moments leading up to your trip, rather than being stressed over the contents

of your bag.

Luggage – I recommend taking one carry-on and one checked suitcase.

Shorter trips may allow for a carry-on only, but I would never take more than one

checked bag no matter how long you are traveling. Remember, when you get to

your destination, you will need to carry your luggage and you don’t know how far

you’ll be lugging it. While we’re talking about lugging your luggage… I would

recommend selecting a suitcase or pack that had wheels, but that you can also hand

carry. There are many varieties of large backpacks with wheels. The reasoning is

that if your wheels break off (a common occurrence along cobblestone streets), you

will still be able to carry your pack.

Shoes – Bring a pair of sneakers (or boots) for outdoor activities such as

hiking, and a dressier pair of closed-toe shoes for museums, dinner’s out, or other

city activities. If you are traveling to a hot locale, then also bring a pair of sandals

that can go from beach to dinner. Resist the urge to bring 10 pairs of shoes!!! As

someone who loves shoes, I always want to pack a wide variety… but we must avoid

packing too many shoes! They take up space, are heavy, and are an unnecessary


Shorts – When traveling to a hot climate, shorts are often considered a

requirement. Still, remember that in many cultures shorts are not considered

acceptable. For example, many museums and churches such as the Vatican will not

allow you to enter if you are wearing shorts (or have exposed shoulders for that

matter). Bring only a pair or two of shorts, and make sure that you have other light

weight options for hot weather.

Basics – Bring enough socks and underwear to last for every day of the

trip (up to two weeks) so that you will not need to do laundry. For longer trips,

understand that you will likely need to do laundry on the road if you do not want to

bring ridiculous amounts of luggage. As far as shirts, pants, skirts, and the rest…

Bring clothes that could be worn during the day or at night, and as a general rule

bring half as many items as you have days. Wearing items twice should be no

problem, and you will significantly lighten your load.

Rolling – To avoid wrinkles and use your precious packing area to the

max, fold your clothes in half (in the long direction), then roll as smoothly and

tightly as possible. When you arrive at your destination, your clothes will unroll

wrinkle-free. Stuff socks and underwear into your shoes and carefully place the

shoes on top of the rows or rolled clothes.

Toiletries – Bring all of your toiletries in travel size containers. Full size

shampoo bottles add unneeded weight to your pack. After selecting your toiletries,

place all items into zip-lock bags. If a bottle bursts during travel, you will be much

relieved to have the protection. If you are bringing make-up, keep it to the bare

necessities, avoid bringing extras like eyelash curlers. Any prescription medication

should be accompanied by the actual prescription and if possible, a note from your

physician. Keep the medication, as well as your toothbrush and toothpaste in your

carry-on, just in case your luggage is lost.

If you follow these basic packing rules, you will find that the process of packing and

carrying your luggage will be much easier. Additionally, you will be able to enjoy

your travels much easier knowing that you have brought what you need, but can still

carry the load.

Enjoy your trip (and your packing!)!