Category: Travel and Vacations

9 Awesome Things to Do in Downtown San Diego

downtown san diegoPlanning to visit San Diego?

If you’re worried you’ll only find sunny beaches and the usual high rise of skyscrapers, think again. Home to over 1.4 million people and 34.9 million annual visitors, there’s a lot to see and do in the city.

It’s home to historical architecture dating back to the Spanish conquest. The weather down there is the most comfortable you’ll experience in the whole country too.

Don’t waste your time and money wandering around with no direction. To help you craft the perfect itinerary, here are 9 awesome things to do in downtown San Diego.

The Spanish Village

Visiting the Spanish Village is among the best things to do in downtown San Diego. You’ll find it in Balboa Park, right between the Natural History Museum and the Zoo. It’s home to the works of over 200 artists and 37 studios and galleries.

It started back in 1935. Back then it was an artist colony and haven for the California Pacific International Exposition. Since then the US military used it during World War II and afterward went back into the hands of native artists.

USS Midway Museum

This aircraft carrier has the honor of being the longest-serving ship of its kind in history, serving the US Navy for over 50 years. When it first launched in 1945, it was also the largest ship in the world.

The ship has gone through a long history of war until its decommissioning in 1992. It is now a permanent resident of downtown San Diego.

Visitors can go on self-guided tours through the living quarters, flight control towers, the flight control deck, and more. The ship is popular enough that it made its way into popular shows like The Bachelor and American Idol.

Little Italy

If you want a luxury vacation then you have to go to Italy. If you want a similar experience while exploring other things to do in downtown San Diego, you can do so in Little Italy.

Little Italy was once an Italian neighborhood and fishing village. This is the best place to eat because of the numerous Italian restaurants and it’s also home to several art galleries.

San Diego Zoo

YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim and his companion Yakov Lapitsky filmed the media site’s first video here. It’s also the zoo where the animals from the Madagascar films came from before they went on their wild adventures.

The zoo is popular for being one of the first establishments of its kind to feature cage-less and open-air exhibits. This emulates the natural habitat the animals came from.

If you’re looking for a Giant Panda, this is the zoo to go to. This zoo is one of the few places where they managed to breed and maintain healthy members of the species.

The Gaslamp Quarter

This is right in the center of downtown San Diego and is a historical site that goes on for 16 and a half blocks. If you’re looking for fun nightlife activities and metropolitan hot spots, this is where you need to go first.

It is home to 94 historic buildings. Many of these originated during the Victorian Era and are still open to this day. These historic sites now find new functions as restaurants, art galleries, and boutique shops.

People looking for San Diego homes for sale often do so because they want to live close to this particular corner. San Diego can be one fun place to relocate to and the Gaslamp Quarter is a great example why.

Balboa Park

You can’t say you tried all the things to do in downtown San Diego until you explored every nook and cranny of Balboa Park.

This massive place covers 1,200 acres of land and is home to 15 attractions and popular venues, 16 museums, and 17 gardens. Of the numerous museums, the highlights include the Museum of Photographic Arts, the San Diego Museum of Man, and the San Diego Air & Space Museum.

Some of the places included here, such as the zoo and Spanish Village, are within the park’s perimeter.

California Candle Gallery

A rare and unique store, the California Candle Gallery can craft fresh and colorful candles right before your eyes.

The company uses a special, patented process that helps them cut through several layers of colored candle wax. This lets them cut and mold candles into any image.

If you’re looking for a great souvenir, then this is the shop to look for. You can find it in the heart of the next highlight, Seaport Village.

Seaport Village

Are you looking for live music and fine dining with a grand view of the Pacific Ocean?

With over 14 acres of top-of-the-line establishments, the Seaport Village is the place to go for fine dining and a weekend of shopping. You’ll also get to walk down the waterfront boardwalk and visit a hand-painted carousel dating from 1895.

This is also the recommended spot to visit for romantic dinners and relaxing evenings. If the Gaslamp Quarter is too noisy for your tastes, this can be the best alternative for a soothing vacation.

Whale Watching

Do you want to enjoy the different things to do in downtown San Diego but also aim to stay thrifty during your travels? One affordable but nevertheless enjoyable experience is to go whale watching.

This activity lets you and others ride out to the open ocean for three and a half hours. The trip alone is enough to let you relax and enjoy the coastline view.

During the excursion, you may catch a close-up view of sea lions, dolphins, and the majestic grey whales. They often appear during the winter season, which is when they migrate from Alaska down to Baja California.

Stay Thrifty Enjoying the Things to Do in Downtown San Diego

Looking for something a little more casual, perhaps? Do you want to find the best camping grounds or do you need tips to save money while exploring San Diego?

We can help you with all those details and more. Our goal is to help you enjoy life while staying thrifty.

Have further questions about the main tourist spots in San Diego? Looking for other thrifty tips and tricks? Feel free to contact us now and we’ll do our best to answer any and all your inquiries.

7 Dude Ranch Vacations for the Budget Conscious Family

adobestock 127332427For most of us, vacations with our family are limited. It’s often difficult to find both the time and the money to organize a well deserved ‘break from it all.’ So, when we go away, we want to get it right.

However, with the average vacation costing $4,580, it’s understandable why you’d want to shop around to find a more affordable holiday.

With that in mind, a dude ranch vacation is ideal. It’s the perfect place to enjoy some uninterrupted family time – and isn’t as expensive as you might think.

Let’s dive into seven dude ranch vacations that are perfect if you want a fabulous vacation on a budget.

Dude Ranch Vacations – Where to Begin?

If you’ve done some research on dude ranch vacations, you’ll know that prices vary massively.

However, you have to understand lots of ranches offer all-inclusive holidays. Whereas, others expect you to pay extra for all the additional activities.

So, don’t be fooled into thinking you’re getting a great deal. Always check precisely what the total price includes.

You should also consider your ranches location. Some are pretty remote. This means you’ll have to spend more money both getting there and traveling around during your stay.

Finally, it’s imperative to find a ranch that offers either a discount or a package for families. This is usually a good indicator that the venue is set up for the kind of vacation you want, without breaking the bank.

With that in mind, here are a few of our specific recommendations.

1. Sundance Trail Ranch, Colorado

This dude ranch is both family-friendly and pet-friendly. Ideally situated, it’s only a two-hour drive from Denver.

During your stay, guests can try their hand at; horseback riding, hiking, rock climbing, and whitewater rafting.

Plus, it’s situated close to the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains. So, it’s perfect for nature lovers.

This accommodations ideal if you’re traveling with extended family or friends. It can sleep as many as 24 guests and has wheelchair access.

Most importantly, visitors won’t go hungry. Traditionally Western homemade meals are prepared and served to guests. These dishes always go down a treat!

2. Marble Mountain Ranch, California

The Klamath National Forest surrounds this gorgeous ranch, so there’s plenty of opportunities for guests to explore.

Beautifully situated, the breathtaking Trinity Alps and Russian Wilderness Areas are close by and are definitely worth a visit!

The nice thing about this ranch is that they offer the ‘saddle-paddle’ vacation package. This allows visitors to give both horseback riding a go, alongside; whitewater rafting, fishing, and shooting.

So, rest assured there won’t be any chance of getting bored!

3. New Haven Working Cattle and Guest Ranch, Wyoming

This is a genuine cattle ranch, ran by family – perfect if you’re hoping to have an authentic Western experience.

Located on the outskirts of the Black Hills of Wyoming and near the Devils Tower National Monument, there’s plenty of scenery to take in.

This accommodation can sleep a maximum of 8 travelers.

Vistors have the opportunity to participate in various activities including; moving cattle from pasture to pasture, round-ups, checking reservoirs, etc.

Plus, guest bedrooms are beautifully rustic and have their own bathroom.

4. Southern Cross Guest Ranch, Georgia

This family-owned ranch is also a horse farm – home to more than 200 horses!

This ranch is just one hours drive from Atlanta, and unlike other ranches, experienced riders are permitted to ride their horses unguided. You don’t have to beĀ Noel Fehily to enjoy your ride here.

Plus, the foods said to be amazing – what’s not to love about that?

5. Rowse’s 1+1 Ranch, Nebraska

This is another working ranch, so it’s perfect if you want a taste of genuine Western culture.

Guests have the opportunity to participate in plenty of ranch activities including riding and cattle work.

By cattle work we mean; cattle drives, roundups, brandings, and roping.

6. Sugar and Spice Ranch, Texas

Unlike the other ranches, this one provides specific vacations for mothers and daughters.

Moms pay from $100 per night ($50 non-rider) and daughters $50. This is the perfect place for some mother-daughter bonding if you’re both horse-lovers or just up for trying something new.

You’ll be given your ‘own’ own horse and get to; feed, groom, tack up, clean the tack, and bath him/her- it really is the full horsey package!

The above rates include meals, riding, activities, lodging, tax and evening entertainment.

7. Sweet Grass Ranch, Montana

Finally, we come to the last of our dude ranch vacations.

This is another family-owned working cattle ranch, and it’s absolutely gorgeous.

This accommodation’s situated in the beautiful Crazy Mountains, so it’s perfect if you want to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of daily life and admire natures bounty.

There’s plenty of opportunities for guests to try their hand at riding. With thousands of acres of mountain country, meadows, and plains to explore, you’ll be spoiled for a choice of scenery.

The riding experience is ‘unstructured’ and tailored to what you’re interested in doing. This helps you get the most out of your ranch vacation.

The hosts offer various packages, starting from $225 a night. The all-inclusive riding package allows you to go on all-day rides either moving cattle or to explore the serene alpine lakes.

However, non-riding packages begin at $180 per night. If riding isn’t your thing, don’t worry there’s still plenty to do. Hiking, fishing, row-boating, and golf are all favorite pastimes.

Kids can stay for as little as $160 (including horseback riding and other horse activities). Your little ones are bound to enjoy the ranch’s natural water slide, and the quality time spent around the evening campfire.

Are You Interested in Other Ways to Save Money?

If you’ve enjoyed this piece on affordable dude ranch vacations, we’re sure you’ll love our other content.

We understand family life gets expensive. So our blogs committed to providing information on living a high-quality lifestyle for less.

We cover everything from thrifty DIY hacks to cooking on a budget we’re sure we’ll have a post on something you’re hoping to save money on.

If you have any questions or would like to reach out to us, please feel free to fill out our contact form. One of our friendly team members will get in touch as soon as they can.

5 Disney World Tips For Kids

disney world tipsAre you about to make your kid’s dreams come true with a trip to Disney World?

Disney World is a place your child will always remember. It is deemed the “most magical place on earth”, and we know you want your child’s trip to be memorable.

Since Disney World is such a big place, it can be difficult to sift through it all and pick the best attractions and restaurants to go to.

This article will give you valuable Disney World tips so you’re family will have the vacation of a lifetime.

1) Dress Your Cutie Up

Disney is a place for dreaming, dancing, and dress up!

Ask your child which princess, prince, or character they want to be for the day. Buy them the costume on Amazon and let them parade around in it all day.

They’ll feel so special posing for pictures in front of Cinderella’s castle while dressed like Cinderella.

Looking for Disney lanyards to keep your hotel key on? Try custom lanyards for you and your family.

2) Go to Epcot

Epcot is one of the 4 theme parks at Walt Disney World and it is as much educational as it is fun.

In this day and age, society is becoming more and more globalized. As technology increases our ability to communicate and travel, we have access to the whole world.

Epcot is a great place for your child to learn about other cultures. Epcot also has amazing food, fun rides, and adult beverages to make your day that much better.

3) Take Animal Lovers to Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom is another one of the four Disney World theme parks.

Animal Kingdom is home to more than 1,700 animals from 250 species. Your child can see and interact with animals they would never normally get to experience all while having fun at Disney.

4) Check For Special Magic Hours

If you’re staying at a Disney Resort, you can take advantage of Disney’s extra “Magic Hours”.

Resort guests can get access to one of the theme parks either an hour early or an hour late. This could save you a lot of time waiting for the best rides.

Be sure to head directly to Space Mountain during your extra magic hour. This way, the line won’t be long and you’ll get to enjoy a more open park.

5) Take Tons of Pictures

Your kids are only little once. Everyone says it goes by in a blink of an eye and it’s true.

Don’t get so stressed out planning the day that you forget to take pictures of your children enjoying the magic. Take candid pictures of their reactions when they see their favorite Disney characters. There’s nothing like capturing your child’s joy on film.

Enjoy These Disney World Tips

Before you head to the land of Mickey Mouse, take these Disney World tips into account.

Bringing your furry friend? Disney has a doggy daycare that you can keep him in while you enjoy the park.

If you enjoyed this article, have questions, or want to contact me for any reason, please do so here.

8 Great Ways to Save Money Camping This Year

save money camping

Camping is a great budget-friendly activity for people of all ages. But if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s easy for a supposedly inexpensive trip to turn into a major expense.

That’s why we’re breaking down what you need to know to keep your next camping trip affordable. Keep reading to learn 8 great ways to save money camping this year!

1. Research Camp Sites

One of the most expensive parts of any camping trip is renting a site for the night. But a little research can make it one of the easiest ways to save money camping.

While fancy private campgrounds can run as much as a hundred dollars or more a night, there are also plenty of cheap sites available, if you know where to look. In fact, in some areas, you may even be lucky enough to find a free campsite.

To save money on your campsite, start by considering what type of site you need.

For instance, many campgrounds charge extra for sites that offer electricity and water and sewage hookups. If you’re staying in a tent, you won’t need the hookups, unless you need to bring an electric fan or heater.

Choosing a primitive site without these amenities will likely land you a cheaper rate.

You can also save money camping by looking for campgrounds in national or state parks. They may not be as fancy as some private campgrounds. But staying in a park is a great way to get even closer to nature, and to save a few bucks on your nightly stay!

2. Simplify Your Meals

Another great way to save money camping is by simplifying your meals.

While it can be tempting to try out the latest recipe you find online, consider all of the things you’ll need to whip up that complicated recipe while camping.

Besides just ingredients, you’ll also need stoves, pans, utensils, cooking spray, and more.

If you don’t have a lot of experience with camp cooking, it can be easy to get overwhelmed.

Choosing simple meals, like hot dogs roasted over a fire or foil dinners, will not only save you money and stress but is also a fun camping activity.

Don’t just limit yourself to camping recipes. Simple recipes that you would make at home, like these chicken sliders, work great for camp cooking too!

3. Shop Around for Gear

Camping gear can be expensive.

From tents and stoves to sleeping bags, lanterns, and more, the costs add up quickly.

To save money camping, it’s essential to shop around before you buy.

If you’re starting from scratch, with no gear, start by finding the right basics. While name brand gear may offer additional features, there are plenty of areas that you can save money on.

For instance, a cheap flashlight and matches will work just as well as an expensive lantern and a fancy lighter.

You could also save money camping by looking into renting gear or borrowing it from friends rather than buying. If you’re camping for the first time, this is a great way to try it out before you start investing in your own gear.

When it comes to buying gear, an important tip to help you save money is to research each item before you buy.

Reading online reviews and doing your research to learn more before you buy will help ensure that you’re choosing gear that won’t give you trouble or wear out right away.

4. Invite Your Friends

Going camping on your own can be a liberating experience. But it can also be expensive.

Going it alone means buying all of your own gear and paying for a campsite, food, and gas on your own.

Inviting along some friends and splitting the costs is a great way to save money on your next trip.

5. Try a Few Camping Hacks

A quick internet search will reveal countless counting hacks.

Some of these help keep you safe, such as hacks for identifying poisonous plants or avoiding attracting bear and other wildlife. Other hacks help keep you comfortable and happy, like using foam tiles on the floor of your tent.

But other hacks are great for saving money camping.

For instance, a light stick dropped in a gallon of water can be a great alternative to a lantern. A straw cut into sections, filled with toothpaste, and sealed off is much cheaper than buying travel-sized toothpaste tubes.

6. Repurpose Throw-Away Items

To avoid paying for expensive camping gear, look for ways repurpose items that you would normally throw away instead.

A plastic coffee container makes a great waterproof can for storing toilet paper while camping. Empty tick-tack containers are an easy way to bring along spices without paying for small bottles.

You can even use dryer lint to start fires, rather than store-bought starters!

7. Skip the Tech

Outdoors stores offer all kinds of tech that they promise will improve your next camping trip.

But you don’t need GPS watches, action cameras, or other devices to enjoy your trip. In fact, skipping out on this gear is a great way to avoid distractions while camping, leaving you to enjoy nature, your friends, and an escape from the hustle and bustle.

8. Go Natural

If critters and crawlers aren’t your favorite things, you likely drop a lot of money keeping them away each time you go camping.

But there are plenty of natural alternatives that are both effective and inexpensive.

A small bit of sage added to your campfire is a great way to keep mosquitoes away. A bar of Irish Spring soap in your tent will keep mice and other small rodents away.

Save Money Camping With These Simple Tips

Camping trips don’t have to break the bank.

Use these simple tips to help you save money on your next camping trip.

Are you still struggling to pay for all of the trips you’re dreaming of? Check out this guide to learn about some part-time jobs that can allow you to earn extra income in your free-time!

3 Amazing Luxury Getaways

luxury getaways

Now that the holiday season is over, you probably need a vacation from your vacation.

So, where can you go that’s far away from prying in-laws, screaming kids, and the town where you grew up in?

No matter what kind of destination you’re looking for or experience you’re interested in having, this list of some of our favorite luxury getaways will have you ready to hit the ground running in 2018.

Here’s to a healthier, happier, and more well-traveled you.

1. The Chiva-Som International Resort/Spa In Thailand

Did 2017 really do a number on your body? Have you noticed a few new wrinkles forming? Do you just feel like your alignment is completely out of whack?

If so, then book your stay at the iconic Chiva-Som resort in beautiful Thailand.

If you really want to reboot, then we suggest traveling for one of their many wellness retreats. You’ll get personalized wellness, physical, and even skin consultations. You can also take part in one (or more) of the eight daily fitness classes.

You’ll also get an incredible daily spa treatment, including a scalp massage, body polish, and the signature Chiva-Som massage. If you really want to take it to the next level, book your stay when a visiting consultant is on the grounds.

The resort frequently hires experts in facial relaxation, hypnotherapy, reflexology, and more to come and teach on the grounds.

Even better?

Don’t worry about dressing up. Guests usually walk around and explore in special pajamas and bathrobes designed by the resort.

2. The Marulivo Resort In Italy

Next up on our list of the best in luxury getaways?

The hidden gem that is the Marulivo Resort in the tiny village of Pisciotta, Italy. If you want to stay in stunning, specially-designed apartments that combine Italian comfort with the ultimate in luxury, then this is the place for you.

Think cozy stone fireplaces, balconies overlooking the sea, and enormous bathtubs that allow you to truly relax and take in the UNESCO World Heritage site surrounding the resort.

You’ll even be able to relax on a stone terrace and take in evening cocktails, the olive trees, and stunning sunsets.

Talk about romantic.

Especially if you want to experience the ultimate in Italian cuisine, you simply must book your stay here. In addition to stunning gastronomy and homemade bread with everything, you can also take Italian cooking classes, so you’ll be able to bring the knowledge back home with you.

What else is there to do at the resort?

Explore the ancient Paestum Temple, the Palinuro Cape and caves, or even take a ferry to Capri or tour the coast in a sailboat.

If you’re more the artistic type, the resort even offers local pottery classes.

Want to bring your furry friend along for the ride? Good news — the hotel is pet-friendly.

3. The Constance Moofushi In Maldives

Last on our list of luxury getaways?

The absolutely jaw-dropping, total escape that is the Constance Moofushi in Maldives. Think bright blue water, shining sun, your own seaside (we mean that the Indian Ocean is literally three feet away) private home, and more.

You’ll dine nightly on freshly-caught seafood, take sunset cruises, and even have the chance to swim with the dolphins. You’ll also be able to explore under the sea in private diving tours.

If you’re a fan of gold, there is a course available for you to play. In terms of spa treatments, it goes without saying that this resort offers some of the best in the world.

You’ll step into a stone and rose hot natural spring, enjoy rejuvenating facials, and experience the top massages. But you don’t have to worry about missing the scenery. You can be pampered on your porch, overlooking the Indian Ocean.

If that’s not luxury, we don’t know what is.

What Should You Bring?

Now that you have a few destinations in mind, it’s time to start packing for these luxury getaways.

So, what are a few things you need to take care of before you go?

First, if you’re traveling abroad, get to know the local currency. While it might be convenient to switch out your dollars at your destination’s airport, the commissions and exchange rates won’t be on your side. Always stash some cash before you go.

Additionally, make sure that you protect your phone from the elements, whether sand or snow. Invest in a Custom Envy phone case to ensure your data is always protected. Traveling at the last second? Don’t sweat it — they offer rush delivery for those spontaneous trips.

Finally, we suggest picking up this “Airplane Mode” travel kit to make sure you’re in tip-top shade when you arrive. It has an eye mask, emery board, wrinkle remover, and much more so you’ll land looking your best.

What Are Your Favorite Destinations For Luxury Getaways?

Thanks to this post, you have more than a few ideas about possible destinations for the most unforgettable luxury getaways.

Is there a special place you think we forgot to add? Where are your favorite places to travel when you want to be pampered and unwind? Let us know in the comments below!

Looking to vacation like your favorite celebrity?

Take your Instagram (and your luxury getaways) to the next level by checking out our website and blog. We’re sharing the latest scoops on must-have travel items, exotic destinations, and what you should wear to turn every head on the beach.

The only New Year’s resolution you really need to be happy?

Forget that ten pounds. Instead, make the time to travel, meet with locals, sample international cuisine, and definitely to meet that cute foreign hottie.

The Top Texas Destinations to Fulfill Your Taste Buds

No one makes ’em bigger–or better–than Texas! And that goes double for the Lone Star state’s delicious cuisine. When traveling through or camping in the large state, there are a number of Texas destinations you’ll want to stop by to sample everything it has to offer.

Such notable Texas destinations for great food range from the urban cities to the rural southeast part of the state.

Central Texas

Central Texas is the home of the “Texas Trinity”: ribs, sausage, and brisket. Ribs come in either full-size spare ribs (which come from pork) or big beef ribs. Texas sausage is usually made of beef, but sometimes you’ll find it made of pork.

The Texas Trinity formed way back in the 19th century when Czech and German immigrants made their way to the center of the state. Both Czech and German cultures are noted for their love of meat, so it’s only natural that their mingling would lead to new meat creations.

Specifically, the Texas Trinity is the result of the two cultures finding new ways to preserve and recycle leftover meat. Some immigrants smoked it inside enclosed brick smokers while others ground it up to produce new sausage.

East Texas

Hot links, an east Texas delicacy, came to be in 1897 in Pittsburg, TX. That year, butcher Charlie Hasselbach sought a way to efficiently recycle scrap pieces of meat such as cheeks and tongue. He ended up grinding them into a paste which he then molded into raw hot links.

The original hot links took a hit of water and binder as well as some spice to mask any “outdated” flavor. Today, Texas hot links are made with fresh meat and sold at a myriad of different restaurants, stands, and food trucks.

In addition to hot links, you’ll find a great deal of Cajun food in east Texas (specifically southeast Texas). That area of the state’s close proximity to Louisiana has caused it to adopt some of the Pelican state’s cuisine.

The most noteworthy Louisiana-Texas crossover food is crawfish. Crawfish is a staple at mud festivals and other popular Texas events.

The Gulf Area

Without a doubt, the most popular food found along the Gulf coast in Texas is oysters.

While not as popular as east or west coast oysters, a true Texan appreciates oysters from the Gulf. They’re best eaten in-season when they’re plumper and sweeter.

South Texas

Much like southeast Texas has adopted some of its neighbor Louisiana’s delicacies, Mexico has influenced its neighbor south Texas’s cuisine.

Mexican staples such as tacos, fajitas, and the like first became popular in the Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio. Their popularity has since spread north to Austin and beyond, though, so you don’t need to learn how to make migas or any other ingredient to enjoy them!

Other Texas Destinations For Delicious Food

Texas is a huge state, and the number of amazing delicacies that it offers is endless. If you know of any other great Texas destinations for excellent cuisine, feel free to comment below or shoot me a line!

5 Essential Tips for Safe Travels with Your Family

Road trips with your family are a great opportunity to bond and make memories on the way to a getaway.

They can also be stressful, heavy on the wallet, and potentially dangerous.

But you’re a great parent, so you want to ensure safe travels on your road trip.

I’ve put together 5 essential tips to ease your mind and enjoy your next big road trip with your loved ones.

1. Stock Your Emergency Road Kit

If you don’t have a basic emergency road kit, you need to get one.

You should have jumper cables, a small battery charger, spare tire, and a small plastic gas can. Make sure you have your bases covered.

You should also consider a small first aid kit with bandages, antiseptic wipes, and aspirin. Being able to treat small cuts or deal with minor aches will keep your moving.

I also consider my travel mug as part of my emergency road kit. One less stop for coffee keeps my trips on schedule.

2. Visit Your Mechanic

Make sure your inspections are up to date to provide safe travels.

You’ll want your mechanic to check tire pressure, brake pads, and all of your fluids before you hit the road. Looking for a mechanic in a strange place can be costly and can disrupt your trip.

If you’re planning far enough ahead and don’t feel confident about your vehicle, this could be the perfect opportunity to lease a new or used car.

Plenty of vehicles made in the last ten years have all the safety options, charging ports, and storage options you need for a road trip. If you’re trying to decide whether to buy new or used, there’s a great breakdown of pros-and-cons here!

3. Start Hands-Free and Stick to It

I recommend keeping maps in your car since you never know when you’ll be in a low service area.

I wouldn’t recommend using them as your main navigation tool, though. Before you leave, set your smartphone or GPS to your destination and leave it alone. You need your hands on the wheel at all times.

If you have voice activation options, set them up in advance of your trip rather than figuring them out on the road. You can keep your music going and skip tracks without looking away from the highway.

4. Need Medication? Bring Extra

If members of your family need medication, pick up your prescriptions in advance.

Get a pill organizer to ensure you have what you need for each day of your trip. If you need to keep medications cool, try a lunchbox with an ice-pack for an efficient solution.

5. Power Up

Does your family use lots of electronic devices on a road trip?

To make sure you can focus on safe travels and keep your eyes on the road, charge your devices the night before.

Depending on the length of your trip, consider portable chargers, extra cables, or even a power strip. The last thing you want to be doing is digging around for a cable when you’re on the highway.

Safe Travels

Family road trips are some of the most fun memories I have of my childhood.

They’re also some of the best memories I have with my kids. Planning ahead can ensure that you can keep your mind on your trip and have the best time.