Driving the Eastern Seaboard

Driving across the USA is a very rewarding experience, but the country is so vast that it’s often a good idea to enjoy a trip in smaller sections so you can enjoy things more and take your time to see everything.

Driving up or down the Eastern Seaboard is one of these exhilarating experiences. You can see all the different cities and states that made up the original thirteen colonies as well as possibly some parts of Canada. The Eastern Seaboard are the states that go up the Atlantic coast of North America.

When you’re driving up the Eastern Seaboard there are many cities, but the following is just a short list of all the exciting places you can see.

The South and the Gulf

A trip up the Eastern Seaboard of the USA could possibly begin in Florida with a couple of weeks relaxation on the beach. Florida has some of the most beautiful beaches in the whole world. Miami is a very large city with a population of about 400,000 people. Nearby Pensacola Beach is one of the most famous in the world and the perfect place to spend a week or two before your road trip.

The Deep South and the Civil War

Traveling up the Eastern Seaboard would be incomplete without visiting some of the cities that were heavily involved in the Civil War and going to some of the world famous museums about the history of the area. Cities with such a strong history are Charlotte, Charleston, Norfolk, Raleigh, Richmond, Savannah and Jacksonville. In all of these cities you can find plenty of historical buildings in Civil War style as well as old farms and plantations.

The Intellect of the USA

Also in this area are some of the best universities in the world. Many of the Ivy League Colleges are located on the Eastern Seaboard, such as Harvard, Princeton, MIT and Colombia.

The Founding Fathers

Boston, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh also have a lot of history that dates back to the War of Independence. Washington D. C. is the home of the United States government and is good for a few days at least by itself. There is so much to see in the capital, including all the memorials and special government buildings such as the White House, the Pentagon and Congress. Guided tours are available for all places and it’s worth listening carefully to learn all the history.

New York

New York is an old city as well, being the landing place of most of America’s diverse immigrant background population. Irish, Jewish, Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese and many more nationalities have walked the streets of New York together for centuries.

New York has several parts that should be seen on different days. There is the isle of Manhattan where all the world’s greatest shopping centers and shows are. Then there is Central Park and the Statue of Liberty as well as the outlying areas such as Queens and the Bronx.

Packing Tip: Road Trip With Friends

We got this question from a Travelista who is going on a super fun road trip this summer with two of her friends. She wanted to know how she and her fashionable (read: overpacking!) friends could pack better and with only one weekend bag each. They also would have access to a laundry facility. Luckily, I had just experienced this with some friends and have some great tips to share.

1) Sharing means caring. Bring pieces that you can all share and that go together (if you have similar style and are similar in size) – it’ll triple your own trip wardrobe! Make sure your colors are coordinated, too. The beauty of that is that you will each look different and have your own flair with every piece! Plus, it gets your creative juices flowing. Shoes take up the most room, so if you have the same size, expand your shoe choices by sharing them, too.

For example, I shared a light boho blouse with my friend Jenn – and no one was the wiser! We wore it differently and for different occasions, so with one piece, we expanded our outfit choices in a snap. It almost made a complete round when our friend Eva considered wearing it over a very light black romper and letting it hang off the shoulder.

2) Keep it simple. Wear pieces that are interesting enough in detail but have simple silhouettes. That way you can layer them together or just add accessories (hat, scarf, funky sandals, etc.). A cool off-the-shoulder top in a square shape could go with jeans, shorts or a skirt or over a tank dress. Shorts with a subtle but fun pattern make your outfit more interesting but look different with different tops (plus you can dress them up or down).

3) Double (or triple) up. I have a fabulous scarf from Urban Outfitters that I use as a shawl at night, a scarf on the plane, a sash around a maxi dress, and a sarong on the beach (you might be able to get away wearing it as a skirt, too!). It’s a wide scarf (probably about two feet in width but looong enough to wrap around my waist, neck, etc.). I also have a tube skirt from American Apparel that can act as a skirt, tube top, or tube dress for night or day. You can layer a cool button down or oversized tee over it for day or dress it up with your scarf at night.

4) Accessorize! A hat changes an outfit in a second as does a scarf and the rightjewelry. Don’t forget your bathing suit and that you can actually wear it underneath your clothes like tanks (if you are going somewhere with a beach and it’s okay to expose the top a little).

A fedora is the perfect piece to add polish to any casual beach outfit.

5) Plan your pieces. Bring at least one skirt, one sundress or tankdress, one pair of shorts, and one pair of pants (including leggings, jeans, super-light summer pants or cropped pants). You will be wearing one of those at any given moment, so it’s not much. Top-wise, I would recommend a cool button down, a cardigan or light jacket of some sort that goes with everything, two comfy/funky tees, a tank, and a blousy top that can dress up shorts or loosely go over a tank dress. For feet – low-wedge sandals (dress up or down), casual flat sandals, and Toms slip-ons.

6) Bring only one of everything. Share hairdryers, flat irons, shampoo, etc. I always find that at the end of the day, these are things I pack last and don’t have room for!

Cheap Hotel Reservation – Enjoy Incredible Online Hotel Deals by Booking Online

Astronomical hotel costs are often a headache for many budget travelers who may want to reduce hotel spending so that they can concentrate their expenditure on other more important aspects of their trip. So is there a guaranteed way to enjoy hotel savings? Yes there certainly is. Cheap hotel reservation is now a possibility with the advent of the Internet, which will help you snag your ideal hotel for a much lower rate than if you had booked over the phone.

Information about hotels in your chosen destination is widely available online, meaning that we now hold the power to book hotels at low rates that might not have previously existed. This can be attributed to the ubiquity of cheap hotel discounts on the Internet that allow us to save on our hotel bookings like never before. Thus, budgeting for our entire trip is now much less of a headache, especially since less spending on our hotels is virtually guaranteed though online booking.

Making an Internet hotel booking has never been more attractive, with a mind-boggling range of accommodation in your chosen locale or district available for booking, including hotels which you may not be able to afford previously. Hotel aggregator websites are thus a hotbed of information regarding these various hotels’ specific locations, amenities, services and most of all, the kinds of discounted deals you can get to enjoy.

Before comparing the rates between hotels, you might want to first take a look at the section of the website marked “deals”, where you can find the latest limited time promotions, deals and offers for various hotels, including any last minute promotions. These promotions are especially common when hotels are unable to fill up their rooms during a less busy travel season.

By taking advantage of such heavily discounted rates, you might even manage to book a luxury hotel at a rate that is closer to that of mid-ranged hotels. Hence, the best value for your hotels can be easily achieved by booking online, as you will often be able to snag hotels with excellent offerings at relatively low rates.

When you book your accommodation online, peace of mind is a given as you would have settled your hotel arrangements and costs in advance, especially if you are assured instant confirmation of your booking. By taking care of this part of your travel planning, you can now turn your attention to budgeting for the remaining expenses for your trip.

However, do make sure that you are really getting your money’s worth in your hotel booking by taking into account possible hidden costs such as parking fees, Internet costs and even additional room taxes which may result in higher than expected hotel expenditure. You should keep these costs at the back of your mind when deciding if an online hotel deal is really worth it.

Placing a cheap hotel reservation is now a reality, thanks to the efficiency of the Internet which allows travelers to save time and money when making hotel bookings online. They can also rest assured that their credit card information is safe, as hotel booking websites make use of secure transaction gateways which is safer than revealing such information over the phone. Moreover, travelers are better informed when making their hotel booking decisions and choosing the best hotel deals to go for.

Holiday Gift Buying Tips

With the holiday just around the corner, it’s now time to think about buying gifts for mom. Most often we always buy gifts that we purchase each year for our moms. Sooner or later the appeal of these gifts wear off, make it a point to choose a different set of gifts this year. Try shopping for holiday gifts online this time.

Instead of giving the same old gifts to your mother you should try to inject new energy and fresh vibes into the gifts you buy this holiday season. Below you will find a few fresh holiday gift ideas. Remember, these ideas are just guidelines so feel free to improvise whenever necessary to fit the needs of the mother in your life or your budget.

Idea no. 1: If you are buying your wife or mother a gift, buy them gold jewelry this holiday season. Jewelry is something that women always need, and stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Idea no. 2: When buying mother’s jewelry always make sure that you purchase from an online jewelry store that only sells jewelry for moms. These stores usually have jewelry that they know that moms really love.

Idea no. 3: When choosing a special gift for mom, make it a diamond gold ring this year. Diamonds are a woman’s all time favorite as women love gold rings with diamonds.

Idea no. 4: Clothes and shoes are something everybody gives and everybody gets, if you want to make a difference this year, buy your mom a gold pendant. A good pendant along with a gold chain is a stellar gift.

Idea no. 5: The simplest gifts for mom can even be a bouquet of roses. Women love flowers and specially roses. This is the cheapest yet most effective gift that you can give your mom.

Idea no. 6: If your mother doesn’t like jewelry with a lot of flash then remember to purchase a holiday gift that is simple. A simple gold ring with your mom’s name engraved will stay on her hand forever.

Buying gifts for the holiday season is not easy, especially if you are buying gifts for a person so close as your own mother. Gifts for mom need to be simple, and communicate the feeling of love for her. Moms want to be loved and your gifts should only be used as a means of showing your love for her and making her feel loved.

5 Tips To Help You De-Stress For The Holidays

Let’s face it. We all live pretty stressful lives.

With deadlines to meet; presentations to create; exams to study for; raising kids; caring for aging parents; the leaking roof or broken dishwasher that need to be repaired; the mortgage or rent that is due next week; and then there’s the technology that keeps changing faster than the speed of learning, providing us with the opportunity to constantly be on call, many of us are at the point where all it takes is one more stressor for us to collapse into a ball of emotion, or worse.

I have had the great good fortune to work with first and second year University and College students for the past twenty years and this time of the year is always the worst for stress levels for both students and faculty. Even friends and family who do not work around students are beginning to show classic symptoms of stress as the holiday’s approach – moodiness, anxiety, worry, feeling overwhelmed, fatigue, eating too much or losing their appetite. The scary thing is that the person under stress often does not even realize they are experiencing these symptoms or the extent to which they are being affected by stress.

So, before preparations for the holidays begins in earnest and stress levels begin to creep ever upward, here are 5 tips that I would like to share that can help you lower your stress levels and increase your ability to enjoy the holiday season:

1) Practice mindfulness: we often move through our days performing tasks and activities while being distracted by other things. We drive while reliving conversations or planning some future event; we have conversations with coworkers while trying to think through a solution to a work-related problem; we listen to our children tell us about their day while we are mentally going over our to-do list.

Mindfulness is the act of being present, in the moment. Of focusing on what you are currently doing without being distracted by other thoughts. For someone under stress, mindfulness involves being aware of not only the situation you are in, but of how you are reacting to that situation. Are you experiencing stress reactions of fight, flight or freeze? If yes, then how bad are these reactions? By noticing your reactions as they are happening, you can consciously choose to alleviate the stress that you are beginning to feel so the stress doesn’t continue to build.

2) Self Care: anyone who has traveled on an airplane has heard the steward’s speech about applying the oxygen mask to yourself first and then to your children – basically you are being instructed to take care of yourself first before you take care of others. The same instruction holds true in real life. If you do not have the energy to take care of yourself, you will not be able to take care of anything or anyone else.

Self care is more than treating yourself to an occasional mani-peni or trip to the local spa. Self Care involves eating right, getting a bit of exercise every day, spending time on activities or hobbies that bring you joy.

Practicing Self Care can involve setting a weekly date with yourself to spend an hour a week doing exactly what you want to do – learn to swim, learn to paint, wander through nature, photograph beautiful local architecture, read, listen to music… the choice is yours as long as the activity excites you and is something you look forward to doing every week. Practice mindfulness during this hour, focus on what you are doing and how you are feeling while you are doing it – and on nothing else.

3) Identify how you want to feel and find ways to accomplish this: Identify your core desired feelings, tap into these core desired feelings and find ways and activities that honour them. Our core desired feelings are keys to understanding our true self. When we deny our core desired feelings, we are acting at odds with our true self and this can leave us feeling disconnected, frustrated, restless, stressed.

Identify how you like to feel – do you like to feel adventurous, creative, inspired, challenged, needed, etc – and then identify activities you can bring into your life right now to help you feel this way. Honouring your core desired feelings is a fun, effective way to begin to de-stress.

4) Delegate: A fourth way to begin to de-stress is to drop the need for everything to be done by you and only you. And while you are at it, you can also drop the need for everything to be perfect. If you are a solo-preneur, there are some magnificent virtual assistants who can provide you will all the support you need, without costing a small fortune. Eliminate the unnecessary, focus on what’s important, and delegate the rest.

5) Relax and have fun: Above all else, relax, have fun and be happy!! Take time to breathe, relax, and play. For most adults, play is something we stopped doing as part of the process of growing up. But play and fun can be awesome de-stressors. What did you enjoy doing for play when you were young – arts & crafts; riding a bicycle; video games; swimming; skating; reading; writing; drawing – whatever it was try it again. Or find a new activity that is playful and fun – kick through a pile of leaves, build a snowman, dance like no-one is looking, start that hobby you have always wanted to do. Tie play and fun to your core desired feelings and double the impact these activities can have on bringing joy to your life.

How do you relax and de-stress for the holidays, or anytime through the year?

Traveling Made Easy

Traveling these days certainly can be a hassle. Everything from long lines to airline delays can cause travelers unnecessary and unfortunate inconveniences. Prior to your travels, considers the following ten tips and you will have a greater chance of limiting the hassles of traveling.

1. Know what to pack – Take some time to review the Transportation Security Administration’s “Permitted and Prohibited Items” list. You can find the list on the Transportation Security Administration Website located at http://www.tsa.gov/public/interapp/editorial/editorial_1254.xml

2. Call the airport ahead of time to verify flight times – Don’t rely on the airlines to notify you of delays or flight changes. Travelers can contact their airline directly or their travel agent to ensure their flight is on-schedule.

3. Be prepared and schedule proper time for travel to the airport – Traveling can cause anxiety, which causes travelers to forget necessary travel items. Consider all-inclusive travel kits to avoid forgetting the essential personal items.

4. Secure a seat assignment prior to check in – This will prevent unnecessary problems during over-booked flights.

5. Secure your valuables – Traveling continues to be one the top times that people fall victim to crime. Travelers should limit the amount of cash they carry and use credit or debit cards when possible. Credit and debit cards offer a higher level of protection than carrying cash.

6. Check the destination on your luggage tag – Ask the ticket agent or curb assistant to double check the tag on your luggage. This can prevent your luggage going somewhere other than where you will be!

7. Research your destination point – Travelers should research their destination point prior to traveling. Being familiar with major highways, climate, customs, and points of interest will help traveler avoid unnecessary situations.

8. Be aware of unclean hotel rooms – There have been rising complaints about unwelcome insects in hotel rooms, according to pest control businesses. Demand fresh sheets from hotel management or carry portable silk bed sheets. Additionally, inform hotel management if you find any insects or unwanted messes in your hotel room.

9. When traveling for business, compare the cost of renting a car to utilizing taxicabs or public transportation. Travelers may find it convenient to rent a car; however, rental car costs can sometimes include exuberant “extra” fees.

10. Remember your agenda – Traveling in new places can sometimes be distracting and take away from the purpose of the trip. While on business, make sure to write down the times and places of your business. This will help to ensure you are not late to business meetings.

Tips For Successful Day Hiking Trips

Hiking, backpacking, trails, hiking boots, outdoors, wildlife, flora, fauna, GPS, compass, water, snacks

Individuals, couples, and families can take day hiking trips, a perfect opportunity to get away for quality time and fun but without spending a fortune. Taking a few precautions will ensure a fun and safe trip.

Although hiking for a week would be wonderful, with the current economy, there are a growing number of people who will head out and spend a full day doing nothing but hiking. In addition to being fun, hiking is great exercise and a wonderful way to clear the mind in the beautiful outdoors. When trying to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, day hiking trips are an ideal solution.

The following are helpful tips for a successful trip, getting the most from all day hiking trips.

Heading out Early

Start by heading out early. The earlier someone can start day hiking trips the more time there is to enjoy the outdoors. While it might seem early, if a person or persons can get on the trail at 4:00 am, they will benefit in a number of ways.

For one, there would be the chance to reach further trails, see wildlife that might not be out later in the day, have the opportunity to watch the rising of the sun, and avoid heavy crowds on popular trails. For high altitudes, leaving early would get the person to the summit by 11:00 am, allowing plenty of time to explore and enjoy the beautiful views before heading back down.

Keep it Simple

An important tip for day hiking trips is to keep backpacks light and simple. Because this is only a day trip, people need to carry only what is absolutely necessary to include food, clothing, flashlight, GPS or compass, water, and first-aid items. The light load will make hiking the trails easier, which allows people to venture out onto more difficult trails.

Keeping a Pace

Even though day hiking trips are for a single day, people need to find a good pace and then keep to it. This does not have to be high speed but just consistent. A common problem found with many beginner hikers is going fast and then having to rest often. Instead, the individual will enjoy the adventure far more by moving at a consistent pace and making fewer stops.

Food Items and Water

For day hiking trips, some food will need to be taken but this should be healthy, light, and food that increases energy. Great options include dried fruit, trail mix, health bars, and even a good, old-fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Of course, water is key for day hiking trips or any trips.

One option for people who want to climb high during day hiking trips but who do not want to carry an abundance of weight, they can take with them yellow flags and extra bottles. Then, as they make their way up the trail, they can place bottles along the trail with yellow flag markers. That way, when they come back down, they do not have the extra weight but still have ample water.

Tips For Planning A Great Senior Trip

Finishing high school is a very important achievement, and really a privilege – there are many areas of the world that the average person does not get the opportunity to go to high school.

If you’re like most high school seniors, you want to celebrate your success with an exciting trip. Good idea! Here are a few tips that will help you plan a senior trip to remember!

The first question to decide is where to go. If you’re going with your class, you’ll have to make a joint decision. If you’re going with your parents or friends, the decision might involve fewer parties, which is generally a good thing! If you’re going with a large group, ensure that you pick a destination that will make everyone happy.

The next decision to make is what accommodations you’ll stay at once you get to your destination. This can be very difficult, especially from a distance, but travel agents and travel websites can be a great help here. Be sure that you choose a place that is not only nice and offers the amenities that you want, but is also safe. Safety should be a very important consideration when choosing accommodations.

Food you can often work out day by day once you arrive at your destination, but activities and entertainment you’ll want to do some research on ahead of time. Contact the local chamber of commerce, a knowledgeable travel agent, or someone who has been to the area. Decide what attractions you’d like to visit, then find out what you need to do/have etc to enjoy these attractions. For example, if you want to go jet skiing while you are in Cancun, ensure that you have proper clothes!

Also, you should seriously consider taking a responsible adult with you on your senior trip, especially if you are going overseas. Their wisdom and experience could help you stay safe and have fun!

Internet – The Smart Way of Getting the Cheapest Fares

Airplanes have brought the distant exotic holiday destinations closer to all of us. Today you can reach even the farthest places in just a few hours. So, whether it’s a trip to beautiful Australia or a trip to Dubai, it is all ‘in-reach’. The credit for this goes to Engineering and Technology.

Another face of technology is ‘Internet’. Internet is being used extensively for many different purposes (e.g. online shopping, content research, entertainment etc) and booking air travel is one of them. Though the various conventional ways are in use too, internet is by and large the most popular route for booking air travel. Besides being convenient, internet is the place where you can get the cheapest airfares most of the times.

Let’s take a look at some smart tips that can help you get the cheapest air fares on the net:

1. Book Early: Most airlines offer some ‘hot deals’ on air fares. These are the deals that airlines use to promote/advertise their services too. Generally, the earlier you book your flight, cheaper are the airfares. So, plan well and book your flight 3-4 months in advance (or even earlier, if you can).

2. Good Research Can Make A Difference: Good research is the key to getting cheapest airfares on the net. There are a number of websites through which you can book your air travel online. Some websites are operated by online travel agents while there are others that are operated by airlines themselves. If you shop around, you will find that various travel websites offer different fares for the same dates, times and facilities. However, instead of searching for air fares at various websites, you can use one of the multi-site airfare search engines that automatically get results from various travel websites (including airline websites).

3. Participate In Online Auctions: There are several websites that sell air tickets and travel packages through the auction route. Sometimes you can get the cheapest airfares here. The only condition is that you should be super-flexible in terms of dates, times, airline preference etc. Mostly, you will not know about the airline, hotel name, car rental etc till you have actually won the auction and made the payment. But that is something that you have to bear in order to get the cheapest deals.

4. Book Travel Packages Instead Of Just The Flights: Since most airlines, car rentals and hotels have tie-ups with each other, they offer you a discount if you book everything together. This discount is reflected in the travel package deals that you book over the internet. However, you might like to take a sneaky look at hotel rates that are available through other websites or through phoning the hotel (remember most hotels will give you a discounted rate, if you ask for the ‘best price’). Moreover, booking travel packages is much more convenient too (especially if you are short of time). Some websites will even have the pictures of hotel rooms and details of the hotel amenities, so as to facilitate your decision making process.

5. Be Flexible: The cheapest airfare deals are generally available to those who are flexible on the travel dates, times, airlines etc. This is because airfares and travel package costs are based on the demand; and cheapest airfares are for flights that are the least in demand. Holidays and weekends are the busiest times for airlines; so, the airfares are higher for such days. Similarly, evening flights are costlier than the morning or noon flights. Most travel websites provide you cheaper options if you demonstrate flexibility.

These are the smart tips that can really help you in getting the cheapest airfares.

What Tourists Should Know Before Going To Puerto Vallarta

If you are in search of a location to vacation in, consider travelling to Puerto Vallarta. This city lies on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, and it is a favorite vacation destination for those who wish to unwind or indulge in a variety of adventures.

Getting there and around

Many visitors ride planes to go to the city. The Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport can be found at the north of the city center and many major US airlines conduct flights to and from the city. From there you can opt to use a taxi cab or hire private transport. Buses are also not hard to come by. Vallarta’s yachts, boats and water taxis can bring you to different gorgeous beaches.

Places to see

Vallarta is considered as one of Mexico’s most beautiful resort destinations. One of the most remarkable areas in the city is the Banderas Bay, which is one of the largest and deepest worldwide. Puerto Vallarta also has a growing number of cultural points of interest. The Museo del Cuale for instance has gorgeous pottery and clay figurines. No trip to the city is complete Jardines Botanicos de Vallarta. This facility houses numerous types of orchids and wild palms, and in there, you may find butterflies and hummingbirds flitting by from time to time. If you just want to rest, Vallarta has miles of sweeping golden sand beaches.

Things to do

The city provides a number of activities and excursions to keep you occupied and delighted. You can try whale and turtle watching, go on nature trips, visit the Sierra Madre, and experience many aquatic sports. If you’re up for it, the city is also offers canopy walks and zip lines. There are also many dining and shopping establishments to visit. Different options to rest are also readily accessible. Spas, for instance, are a fixture in many locations in the city.

Accommodation options

Accommodation facilities in Vallarta vary from well-known international hotel chains to more economical bed and breakfasts. For extended stays, you can also select from the city’s condominiums and apartment villas. Many of these accommodation facilities can be reserved on the internet.

The best time to visit

Peak season is December through April so count on seeing more expensive accommodation fees during that part of the year. The perfect time to go to Vallarta is between late June and October when hotel fees drop up to 40% and there are fewer people to compete with for various tourist services..

Accepted currency

Most establishments in the city accept US dollars as readily as they take the local Peso. Understand though that the exchange rates available at money changers are less favorable than what are available from the banks.