Road Trip Tips: Bring Back Good Memories From Your Next Trip!

“It’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.”

Words of wisdom I like to keep in mind every time I take a day trip in my car. Here are some things you should have for your next day trip:

© Curvabezier | Dreamstime.com - Cute Cars Driving On A Road Trip Photo

1 – Visit the ATM before you leave – Cash is still king in many small towns and roadside stops. My wife and I tried to attend a community fair on a trip 2 months ago. There was a cash-only entrance fee and no available ATM’s. Many stores, gas stations, and food outlets have minimum amounts for credit or debit card charges. A few bucks in your pocket will be very helpful in times like this.

2 – Get an E-ZPass for your car – I know some people feel they don’t travel enough or go through toll booths enough to justify an E-ZPass. They forget that convenience has a value and stress has a cost. I love being able to zoom by the toll booth in the E-ZPass lane! Without the E-ZPass, I would go crazy if I had to wait behind a long line of cars at each toll booth. To me, a less stressful vacation is worth the small cost for the E-ZPass. Note: Here’s a list of other toll collection services.

3 – Join the American Automobile Association (AAA) – The benefits are enormous; travel information, travel discounts and travel insurance. They’ve even added identity theft monitoring as an option. The main reason to join … roadside assistance! I locked my keys in my car on one trip and had my car break down on another. In both cases, all I had to do was make one call.

4 – Store a small first aid kit in your car – There are many first aid kits available for car use. Buy one! “Better safe than sorry!”

5 – If it’s warm, buy bug spray (or check the expiration date) before you leave – You never know when you will need this. I’ve been attacked while pumping gas! Flying critters are always on the lookout. Don’t be their next victim! I always have a can or some wipes in my trunk during road trips.

6 – Give your car a quick checkup – Here are 7 easy car maintenance checks for traveling motorists from AAA:

  • Check Brake Fluid Level and Color
  • Check Engine Air Filter
  • Check Windshield Washer Fluid
  • Check Windshield Wiper Blades
  • Check Tire Pressure
  • Check Tire Tread
  • Check Battery

7 – If you need a partner for the road trip – Read my post on this, “Find Travel Buddies.”

I hope this helps! Vacations are about building memories. These tips will help make them good memories. What tips would you add?

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Find Travel Buddies

silhouette photography of group of people jumping during golden time
Photo by Belle Co on Pexels.com

My wife and I travel together and, we love it! An excellent trip for us is a long drive with a good audio-book and scenic views. We’re over the moon if we have a couple interesting of places to visit and a good meal at the destination. I maintain a list of places to go. When ever we have a weekend with no commitments, we’re in the car going somewhere! It’s about spending quality time together and building memories!

I have a lot of single friends who rarely travel because, well … they’re single. If you’re actively dating, this may not be a problem. Dating and travel go great together in the advanced stages. If you’re not dating and you hate to travel along, then it’s pizza time in front of the TV.

Not married. Not dating. Find travel buddies! I thought I would test my theory that it’s easy to find and make new friends. New friends who like to travel. Meetup.com is a site you can use to find people with the same interests. I set the location to a zip code in Fairfax County, VA and did a search for 25 miles in any direction. I used the search term “day trips.” 249 meetup groups came up! That’s 249 groups of people who sometimes travel together. You can also try a search for “travel,” “weekend getaways” or “weekend adventure.”

Pick a group. Join. Make new friends … and start traveling!

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How is Your Wheel of Life?

wheel-life-thinking-chartA seminar I attended introduced me to the concept of a “Wheel of Life.” I LOVED IT!

What is the “Wheel of Life“? In short, it’s life balance. It’s all the areas of your life that contribute to your happiness and well-being. The theory is simple. You have contentment when these areas are in balance or going well. You have sleepless nights, headaches and misery when the wheel is out of balance.

So what makes up the wheel? There are several systems out there. Zig Ziglar’s wheel has the following parts:

  1. Career
  2. Financial
  3. Spiritual
  4. Physical
  5. Intellectual
  6. Family

I found another wheel by Brendon Baker. From the website, “The Start of Happiness,” he has these parts on his wheel:

  1. Physical Environment
  2. Business / Career
  3. Finances
  4. Health
  5. Family and Friends
  6. Romance
  7. Personal Growth
  8. Fun and Recreation

I’ll show one more example. An example that’s a little different. On the website, “Mind Tools,“ the wheel has this set of parts:

  1. Partner
  2. Mother/Father
  3. Manager
  4. Colleague
  5. Team Member
  6. Sports Player
  7. Community Leader
  8. Friend
  9. Career/Work
  10. Health

As I said, there are a lot of systems out there and a lot of wheels. I love the concept of life balance and the constant battle to keep it in balance. I’m adding this concept to my blog. Most people fail at the balance thing. I figure the more information I have, the better my chances at contentment. Why not share as I do the research?

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31D2BBC – Day 3 – Promote Your Blog

rose gold iphone on top of white envelope
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31D2BBC = 31 Days to a Better Blog Challenge. I explain the challenge in my post, “31 Days to Build a Better Blog from ProBlogger.” The third day of the podcast challenge is “Promote Your Blog.”

This episode is 21 minutes of ideas on promoting a blog. Sharing posts on social media I already have covered. Three of the ideas stand out for me:

  1. Guest posting on other blogs
  2. Interview someone
  3. Comment on other blogs

Ok fellow bloggers. Who’s looking for a guest post?

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The Traits of a Real Man

dreamstime-personal-trainer-at-the-gymI listened to an old episode of The DoubleX Gabfest Podcast (now called “The Waves”, 09/18/2014). One of the topics was a discussion on an article in BuzzFeed. The article was “28 Ways to Spot a Real Man.” This got me thinking … What are the standards for a ‘real man’?

Urban Dictionary has several definitions for the phase a real man. The closest I would agree with is, “A Real Man The thing that makes a man a man, is courage. Not just the courage to fight, but the courage to fight for what is right. A real man has the strength to admit to, who and what he is. A real man doesn’t run from his feelings. A real man isn’t afraid to love.

 

I did a simple Google search for “real man” and found a bunch of articles on the subject:

  1. Traits of A Real Man (AskMen.com)
  2. The 20 Defining Traits Of The Real Modern Man (Elite Daily)
  3. 10 Ways to Know You’re Dating a Real Man (Huffington Post)
  4. 4 Qualities That Make A Real Man (MindBodyGreen.com)
  5. 20 Characteristics of a Real Man (Chadhowsefitness.com)

My favorites traits from all the articles include:

  • “He knows how to show his son that it’s OK to be different.” (28 Ways to Spot a Real Man)
  • “A guy who knows his way around the kitchen. (28 Ways to Spot a Real Man) – I would add … “or can afford an excellent restaurant.”
  • “A real man knows that doing good is its own reward.” (28 Ways to Spot a Real Man)
  • “And isn’t afraid to admit when he is wrong.” (28 Ways to Spot a Real Man)
  • “A real man knows how to be a good winner…but an even better runner-up.” (28 Ways to Spot a Real Man)
  • “A real man knows how important it is to make a girl feel like a princess.” (28 Ways to Spot a Real Man)
  • “A real man is a good father…” (28 Ways to Spot a Real Man) – This goes with the saying, “Anyone Can Be A Father But It Takes A Real Man To Be A Dad.”
  • “A real man looks out for others…” (28 Ways to Spot a Real Man)
  • “…and always keeps his word.” (28 Ways to Spot a Real Man) – Another way to put it … “A Real Man’s Word Is His Bond” (Traits of A Real Man)
  • “A Real Man Can Defend Himself” (Traits of A Real Man) – Another way to put it … “A man doesn’t need to be able to fight or to protect himself and his family physically. But it helps. He does however need to be willing to do whatever it takes to keep his family safe and happy.” (20 Characteristics of a Real Man)
  • “A Real Man Keeps His House In Order” (Traits of A Real Man)
  • “A Real Man Takes Care Of His Appearance” (Traits of A Real Man)
  • “A Real Man Doesn’t Gossip” (Traits of A Real Man) – Another way to put it … “When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that four of his fingers are pointing at himself.” ~ Louis Nizer (20 Characteristics of a Real Man)
  • “Real men are passionate about something — and it’s not just weed or their new Nikes.” (The 20 Defining Traits Of The Real Modern Man) – Another way to put it … “Men have a cause.” (4 Qualities That Make A Real Man)
  • “Real men don’t need to make fun of other guys to boost their own self-confidence, but they can definitely make fun of themselves.” (The 20 Defining Traits Of The Real Modern Man)
  • “Real men have goals; they might seem lofty or completely absurd, but they’re working toward something, and that’s what matters.” (The 20 Defining Traits Of The Real Modern Man)
  • Men take action. (The 20 Defining Traits Of The Real Modern Man)
  • A man treats women with respect. If you don’t respect women, you’re not a man. Period. (20 Characteristics of a Real Man)
  • A man can laugh at himself. (20 Characteristics of a Real Man)
  • A man has fears, but he isn’t ruled by them. (20 Characteristics of a Real Man)
  • A man learns from his mistakes. Although he might take a few cracks at it. (20 Characteristics of a Real Man)

Well, that’s my list from the articles above. What would you add or remove?

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It’s Not the Kite, It’s the Air

I love the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams! I can’t help dancing every time I hear it! I like it so much, I bought the song for my iPod and the video for my iPad. Once, the song came over the intercom while I was eating dinner with three friends in a restaurant. All four of us started dancing in our chairs. The song just makes you, well … happy.

I watched an interview with Pharrell Williams on CBS Sunday Morning. During the interview, Pharrell said something I’ve been thinking about a lot. He was asked, “Are you afraid if you give yourself too much credit, it would all go away?”

Pharrell’s answer, “For sure. You see people spin out of control like that all the time. I mean, those are the most tragic stories, the most gifted people who start to believe it’s really all them. It’s not all you. It can’t be all you. Just like you need air to fly a kite, it’s not the kite. It’s the air.”

What a perfect?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? metaphor … “It’s not the kite, it’s the air.” Ego check. Happiness and success are rarely achieved alone. Each is produced with the help, support, and patience of the people around you. You should thank them for it from time to time.

I’m posting this the day after the Thanksgiving holiday in the US. A good time for anyone to look at their life and assess. As I look at my life. Let me tell my wife, family, and friends … THANK YOU!!! … for your help, support and bountiful patience! If I’m a kite … they’re the air. Thank you to my readers as well. If this blog is a kite, you’re the air!

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