A roadtrip across America has become a classic part of the American Dream, whether in RV’s, hatchbacks, or convertibles, we are captivated by the idea of riding towards the sunset, elbow on car door, cigarette in hand, country music blasting on the car stereo. With good reason too, America is vast and diverse, making road the best way to experience it. Before you put keys in the ignition and ride off towards the sunset, consider these tips, they will make your trip unforgettable!
Prepare a realistic budget
Plan roadtrip with expenses in mind. The last thing you want is having to worry about money when you are riding down scenic valleys. Estimate the distances you will be cover and use online calculators to figure mileage and possible gas costs. Factor in food expenses, accommodation and entrance fees to attractions along the way. Keep a separate budget for unexpected events that require money such as accidents, delays and itinerary changes.
Vehicle checkup & Insurance
The major part of a road trip is driving. It would be such a disappointment to start your journey only for the vehicle to break down halfway through. Have your car checked and serviced before you hit the road. The servicing should include an oil change, safety checks on brakes, lights, battery, windshield wipers and tiers. Consider packing a travel emergency kit with a first aid kit, jumper ropes, blankets, lighting, snacks and water.
Its advisable to negotiate your car insurance to include roadside cover. You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with no one to call when your car breaks down. Plan roadtrip with security in mind.
List places to visit
There is no shortage of places to tour in the US. However, you cannot see all the places in one trip. Take the time to plan your itinerary. List attractions along the road you wish to see. Research interesting places that exist along your route both tourist and local attractions. Ensure your course deviates once in a while from the interstates. There is a lot to be experienced in the interior including local cuisine, culture, customs and ways of life. Set a realistic itinerary – you want to drive with breaks. The point of a road trip is to experience different ways of life across America.
Plan overnight stays
Depending on the length of your trip, you might require to make several stops on the way. While there is no shortage of motels and towns along the interstates, assume that a town listed on the map might not exist in the ground, sometimes its just a post office or a single gas station. Research possible overnight locations and call to confirm their existence and book before hand.
Plan roadtrip aware of rarity of good food on the road. Most of it is junk. Prepare a cooler with some food items before your trip. Include some healthy snacks, drinks and water. En route, its best to try out local restaurants that may serve healthy and delicious local cuisine.
Prepare for the unexpected
The unforeseen will happen. Life throws us curve balls all the time. Whether its bad weather, sudden illnesses, car breakdowns or even the occasional local event that you just can’t pass by. Factor this into your plan. Schedule downtime in your itinerary to deal with crises. Have a trip emergency fund to deal with such occurrences.
Enjoy your road trip
Road trips are a great way to experience the greater America. Planned well they can be a treasure trove of memories and experiences. Bottom line; leave the intestates, experience the hinterlands, take the time to immerse yourself in the local cultures of places you visit, eat local. Enjoy your trip!Read More
Traveling to a foreign country is one of the most exciting and beneficial experiences that an individual can have. Foreign travel expands one’s world view, exposes a person to new cultures, and creates colorful memories that will last a lifetime. These memories, however, may not always be good memories. An overseas theft can leave you stranded in a foreign country with no means to get home again. If you’ve saved up your credit card airline miles for an exciting overseas vacation, the last thing you want to experience is a vacation-derailing theft. Here are some ways on how to avoid theft overseas.
Wear a Money Belt
When traveling, always wear a money belt tucked beneath the waistband of your pants or shorts. Many people make the mistake of putting a wallet filled with credit cards and cash in a purse or back pocket. These are two of the easiest places for thieves to access. When money is worn across your abdomen, however, thieves are far less likely to gain access to your belongings.
Avoid Crowd Situations
It’s also important to avoid situations where crowds of people are present. Crowds are a breeding ground for pickpockets and overseas thieves. Because tourists often unwittingly stumble into pressing crowds, thieves are quite easily able to lift wallets, billfolds, and purses from the unsuspecting tourists. Keep space in between you and other people, and you will be far less likely to experience the theft of your personal belongings. If you do experience a theft, contact your financial institutions, banks, and credit card companies immediately.
Be Understated Tourists
One of the easiest ways to engineer a run-in with overseas thieves is to present yourself as a flashy and ignorant tourist. Thieves in foreign countries are always on the lookout for tourists who don’t take their vacations seriously. If you are loud and obnoxious while traveling, you will expose yourself to potential thieves who may view you as an easy target. Be professional and courteous while traveling, and try your best to blend in with the culture around you. You might be tempted to let loose and act crazy while traveling, but thats not how to avoid theft overseas. You do so by being understated and blending in seamlessly with your surroundings. Why risk your accumulated credit card airline miles on a moment of senseless frivolity?
There is no way to guarantee safety from thieves, but there are methods of reducing the likelihood of experiencing a theft. These simple tips can help keep you safe while you are traveling.Read More
Another two months and the year will have summarily come to an end! Its certainly a time for reflection on whether you have accomplished your beginning of year resolutions and goals and determine what you need to do to ensure you accomplish the remaining ones.
It has been a busy week on all fronts, traveling, learning tonnes at Fincon13, and meeting amazing bloggers. There is a lot that goes into blogging, and while writing is the main thing, it doesn’t even begin to cover the blogging spectrum.
You will also have to deal with promotion, social media engagement, seo and marketing for your blog. It can get overwhelming fast unless you set up systems earlier on on how to deal with the deluge of work.
Being a Blogger
One thing though, its fun being a blogger. You learn a lot, meet and engage with amazing people from diverse backgrounds and perform your share of “changing the world” for the better. At day’s end, you are happy you have touched, educated or entertained your readers and impacted their lives significantly.
Lessons on Blogging
A key lesson I’ll be taking from Fincon13: Give, Give, Give without expectation of ever getting back. Promote others, share their content, feature them on your blog, collaborate with them and share your tricks. You won’t get a thing in return in the short run, but in the long run, you will have earned credibility, respect, and that open doors to far bigger opportunities.
Heres the weekly roundup of some awesome bloggers I enjoyed reading this week.
Boy wearing sunglasses – Smiling Faces Travel Photos.
Smiles of China – Nomadic Samuel.
The Ultimate Thai Combo Meal – Migrationology.
Hitchhiking America – The Expert Vagabond.
Couch rebounding in Amsterdam on regular Gay Street – Waegook Tom.
Baby essentials i wouldn’t buy on the cheap – Modest Money
Have an awesome weekend everyone!Read More
Many people have credit cards that provide them with free airline miles for each dollar spent with the credit card. This is an incredibly valuable benefit, and customers can travel to a variety of exotic destinations and vacation spots by exchanging their airline miles for a free ticket. While many people focus solely on choosing their desired destination when they decide to redeem accumulated airline miles, it’s also important to focus on the perfect airline to use when getting to your chosen destination.
Choose the Perfect Airline
There are hundreds of different airlines and subsidiary airlines operating throughout the world, and each airline has its own list of pros and cons. If you are having trouble choosing the perfect airline for your next trip, answering these questions may help guide you through the decision process. Choosing the perfect airline will dramatically reduce the stress you experience on vacation, so you can focus instead on enjoying yourself.
How Many People Are in Your Party?
First, it may be helpful to consider the number of people with whom you will be traveling. Some airlines work better for individuals traveling alone. If you are traveling by yourself, you may be able to afford an upgrade to business class seating or first-class seating. These seats are more comfortable and the service is much better. If you are travel with friends, you might want to reserve several rows of seats so that you can all travel together. There are some airlines that cater more toward families, so be aware of what groups your airline is best able to serve.
How Long is Your Flight?
The length of your flight can also influence your airline selection. If your flight is short and domestic, you might be able to cut some costs by eliminating luxurious additions that simply won’t be necessary on a brief flight. If, however, you plan on crossing an ocean or traveling to the other side of the world, you’ll want to invest in a little added comfort to make the flight more bearable.
Will You Have Checked Baggage?
Estimating the amount of baggage you’ll be bringing on the flight can also help you choose the right airline. Some airlines charge exorbitant fees for checking an extra bag, and this may eliminate a particular airline as a valid option for your travels.
Spending some time evaluating different airlines before you make a purchase will ensure that you use your accumulated airline miles effectively and conservatively.Read More
While credit cards can be a great way to prepare for emergencies and spread out the cost of big purchases over a longer period of time, excessive debt can be a real problem for consumers with credit cards. These credit card tips will help you avoid excessive debt.
Create a Budget
The easiest way to avoid getting overwhelmed by excessive debt is to create a strict budget and stick to it at all times. If you cannot afford to purchase a large item and incorporate monthly credit card payments into your budget, then you should not purchase the item. A budget is a guidebook to financial security. With a budget, you can see precisely where your money is going, and you can avoid accumulating too much debt.
Never Use Credit Cards to Pay Recurring Bills
One thing to avoid with credit cards is using a credit card to pay recurring bills. If you use a credit card one month to pay a monthly bill such as your electric bill, gas bill, or rent payment, you’ll have to pay that same monthly payment next month in addition to a minimum credit card payment. The credit card tip here; credit cards should be reserved for special monthly purchases that fit within your budget.
Make More than the Minimum Payment
If you can, try to make more than the minimum payment each month on your credit card. Paying more than the minimum will chip away at your credit card debt and help you pay off the credit card more quickly. Even a few extra dollars each month can go a long way in reducing total debt. It will also significantly reduce the chances of surcharges such as late payment fees and penalties.
Save for as Much as Possible
While it’s tempting to use a credit card to purchase items right away, you should try to save for them as much as possible. If you plan on purchasing new appliances, new electronic equipment, or even a new car, saving for the total cost is preferable to racking up excessive credit card debt.
Credit Card Tips #5 – Avoid Late Payments
One simple way to avoid excessive amounts of debt is simply to make payments on time. Late payments add late charges to your account balance, and these charges are added to the principal amount of your debt. This means that late fees will accrue interest just like the regular amount charged to your credit card. If at all possible, make payments on time. You can set up recurring debit payments or direct bank account withdrawals to ensure that you never miss a payment.
Credit cards are only dangerous when used irresponsibly. With these credit card tips you can steer clear or any major credit card debt, and instead enjoy the benefits.Read More