September 7, 2015

Traveling the Highway

Movies glamorized the phrase "road trip" into a spontaneous exciting adventure, but those who've traveled the highways on vacation mostly dread it. Regardless of the impending dread, more and more of us are hitting the road rather than the airways, like our parents and grandparents use to do, for affordability. The cost of flying is just too high for an entire family. Making traveling from point A to point B; from home to our desired destination and back stuck in a vehicle a necessary evil.
We don't utter an excited, "Road trip!" We envision "road weary." We just can't stand the idea of endless hours of highway, knowing at some hour everyone in the car will be miserable. Although planning ahead will help, no amount of games, books, music and scenery can thwart the inevitable fatigue and frustration. I know, from the countless trips we've taken from South Florida to North Florida (7-9hrs) or from South Florida to Upstate New York (more that 24hrs). I can't change the distance or the fatigue that comes with it, but as I have in the past I can recommend things that will make it a little easier.
I can't stress enough the value of good books on CD, if the whole family can agree on one or two. You can pick them up at your local library or stop at a Cracker Barrel Store and rent them. You can return it to any of their stores throughout the country when you're finished and you only pay around $3.50 per week. This tip has eased the distance for my family immeasurably. Trust me, time will fly. If you can't agree on a book, drivers take precedence. Children, depending on their ages, can use headphones with portable players.  Of course, it goes without saying to have games and snacks at the ready and to take those stretch your legs breaks. Don't try to "drive straight through." Yes, we've all done it at least once. Miserable is the only way to describe it and you end up passing out from exhaustion when you arrive.
When it comes to long trips, ideally I would recommend breaking your trip up and finding something exciting to check out along the way; a one or two day side adventure. However, with limited time a side trip is not always possible. If your goal is to get to point B as quickly as possible, iExit is for you.

My new favorite travel recommendation is the App, 'iExit'. Road travelers don't often plan their stops. We like to go as far as we can (especially that first day) before stopping for the night. That leads to searching for a place to crash for a few hours before moving forward. Obviously this is not the ideal time for trying to find affordable lodging or even sustenance; you're in brain fatigue. You can still search for hotels in the area ahead through various search engines and websites, but iExit had the foresight to make it a lot easier. Simply put, iExit tells you what's ahead when driving on the interstate. It's all about right off the road ahead and no further out. So you're not seeing what's six miles out or popular downtown, but rather what's right around the next few exits. iExit also claims their app, "contains over 2,500 nightly hotel deals with rates cheaper than you'll find anywhere online. Never overpay for a hotel off an exit again." I haven't tested this thoroughly, but I have found it to be true on the occasions I've used the app. The app also tells you what food, gas, banking, car repair, etc. are up ahead right around the exit. I love this app!

July 25, 2015

Beach Art - Therapy

Nothing is more soothing for the soul than time spent on a beach, but if you still can't seem to unwind, try being creative with what's right in front of you. From the simple to the sublime, creating beach art will relax you - guaranteed.