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Cheap Road Trip Adventures

We’re getting towards the end of January and that means we have one more cold month of winter ahead of us. While winter is nice, it’s hard to enjoy waking up to 15 degree weather and icy windshields when you know that a quick road trip can land you smack dab in the middle of paradise. If you find yourself getting cabin fever sometime in the next few weeks, maybe a road trip is the answer you’re looking for.

 

“Life is about accepting the challenges along the way, choosing to keep moving forward, and savoring the journey.”
—Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

 

Road trips are all about spontaneity, adventure, discovery, roughing it, being creative, and enjoying all the quirks of life that come your way. But if you’re not afraid of the occasional wrong turn, eating PB&J for a week, or trying buffalo jerky from an out-of-the-way hunting lodge, a road trip could be just the adventure you are looking for.

Road trips can be one of the cheapest forms of vacationing. Rather than booking expensive hotels, eating at nice restaurants for every meal, and paying entrance fees to every theme park, attraction, and tourist hot-spot, road trips are about finding all the fun, free stuff. Of course, there will be expenses, the most notable gas. But between you and your friends (and phone apps that help you find the cheapest stations around), you should be able to handle the costs. Outside of that you may have to pay for a few nights at a motel or hostel and of course some food. But aside from that, you won’t have to pull your wallet out for much else.

HOW to Enjoy the Journey

road trip fun

1. Stock up before you go

Before you take off, stock up on your favorite foods, snacks, and music. Try to bring food that doesn’t need refrigeration and that can be enjoyed for days. PB&J works wonderfully. So do crackers, chips, popcorn, dried fruit, and trail mix. But make sure not to miss out on local cuisine as you drive through town. Many out-of-the-way cafes, restaurants, and bed and breakfasts offer great quality food for decent prices. This is your chance to sample some of the best food America has to offer. See what edible jewels you can find along the way.

2. Stock up on coupons

When you’re on the road it’s hard to not spend money on fast food. There are plenty of foods you can pack to save on road trip food costs, but if you do need to eat out a couple times, use coupons! Restaurants and fast food places often have apps that include points and discounts that you can use to get a meal without paying full price.

3. Enjoy what is around you

There are a lot of beautiful, exciting places out in Mother Nature that are there for you to enjoy at no cost. Relax at the beach, wander through a canyon, play hide-and-seek in a small forest, or explore the streets of out-of-the-way towns. Especially during the summertime, many cities and towns throw festivals, open street markets, celebrate holidays, and hold cultural events. These usually offer free concerts, dances, cheap specialty foods, and a lot of good times. These are fun, unique, exciting opportunities to experience the diversity that exists in your own backdoor. Have fun, make new friends and enjoy a cheap, quality entertainment!

4. Talk to the locals

Another good tip is to ask locals what to check out. Rather than chasing after the typical tourist sites or falling for the places with the biggest advertisements, ask locals where the best food is, what locals like to do for fun, or where to go to see the best sunsets.

5. Save by camping

Motels, inns, and hotels can be extremely expensive, and honestly, the more affordable options can be sketchy and gross. Skip it all together! Just go camping instead. Camping is better than cheap motel options because you can accumulate your own camping set up and sleep in comfort during your travels. You can always use a personal loan to take advantages of sales and help you purchase quality camping gear.

 
Follow these tips and you’ll be able to enjoy a adventurous and cheap road trip whether it’s this winter or any time of year!

(Travel Safety) The 11 Part Guide to Safe Travel

travel safety

Traveling can be our greatest joy and our greatest pain. But some of the hassles can actually be our own fault by making common travel mistakes.

There are a lot of things to prepare for when you’re going to go away for a while. You have lots of travel plans going on and you’re excited to see new places, have unique experiences, and get some much-deserved relaxation time.

But traveling can be dangerous too, which is why you want to educate yourself on how to travel safely and about your travel destination and route. As you learn about your vacation spot you can be sure to avoid as much trouble as possible.

Part One:

What to Do with Your Money

Be smart about the cash you carry. Don’t be flashy with your money. Don’t attract unwanted attention to yourself by flashing your cash around too much. It’s also a good idea not to carry too much cash on you at one time in case you do lose your wallet or get pickpocketed.

You should also learn about your card options in order to get the best travel credit card for emergency scenarios and traveling. Different cards will have different insurances for if your wallet gets stolen or easier freeze features so you can stop your card from getting used as soon as you realize it’s gone.

It’s always a good idea to get a wallet set-up specifically for traveling. You can get something light and portable that can easily hide in a hidden pocket on your coat, or you can get a special wallet that hides in your shoe or a belt.

Money isn’t the only valuable thing you need to take care of though. Keep your identification documents in a separate place so that they are not taken if you are pickpocketed.

Part Two:

Prepaid Phone Card

You want to have a way to make a phone call in case of an emergency.

This will come in handy if you get lost, don’t have service, lose your phone, get your phone stolen, or your phone dies or breaks.

One way to be prepared in case of a phone emergency is to carry around a prepaid phone card at all times. With a prepaid phone card, you can make emergency calls even if your cell phone is stolen.

You can easily get a prepaid phone card at a Check City Location before you head out on vacation.

Part Three:

Keep Someone Posted

Whether you’re traveling in a group or all by yourself, you should always keep someone back home posted on your status. Plan scheduled check-in times to keep in contact with someone so your whereabouts and wellbeing are kept track of in case anything should happen to you.

Make sure this designated person has keys to your house in case an emergency happens in your home while you’re away and someone needs to get in. Give them the address of your hotel so they can get ahold of you in case of emergencies as well.

Part Four:

Stranger Danger

Be careful about the friends you make while you’re traveling. Vacation can be a great time to meet new and interesting people and even make new friends. But you should still be responsible when interacting with people you don’t know.

Use common sense and make sure you remain in control of every situation you find yourself in. For instance, don’t get into the car of a stranger because that takes away all your control in that scenario. Instead, meet at a designated, public location where you can socialize in safety.

Part Five:

Beware of WiFi Scams

When you’re traveling in unfamiliar places there is also going to be unfamiliar wifi. Think twice before you accept those free, guest wifi connections. They can be a trap for scammers to get into your device and get access to your personal information.

Instead, you can bring your own portable router or you can use unlimited data on your plan instead of connecting to unsecured wifi.

Part Six:

Keep Track of Your Stuff

Losing your stuff while traveling can be a real tragedy. There are some precautions you can take to help keep track of all your valuables.

Use products from tile so you can essentially put a GPS on anything important.

You can also set up a GPS tracking system for your phone. There are GPS apps you can use to help you find your phone in case you lose it.

Travel insurance is another safety net you can set up before traveling. It will help cover the costs if you lose things or get things stolen while you’re traveling.

Part Seven:

Protect Your Home

When you’re traveling, you leave your home alone for a period of time. This can be a danger since it makes your home more vulnerable to burglars while you’re absent.

Make your home less vulnerable while you’re away by not posting too much about how you’re leaving on social media. Instead, you can wait until you get home to post all about your trip.

You could also have someone house-sit your home. You can hire someone you know to just live at your house while you’re gone, bring in the mail, and deter anyone looking for an easy mark.

But if you can’t get someone to stay at your house while you’re away, then you can set up your own home security system. This can alert your phone when someone breaks into your house. You can even install cameras in your home so you can check in on your place from your phone as well.

Part Eight:

Learn the Language

If you’re going to a foreign country you might not know the language. This can jeopardize your safety as well as cause a lot of extra hassle and stress for you. But you can learn the language!

Duolingo is a great place to go when you need to learn some language basics.

You can also buy a pocket dictionary to carry around with you. Many dictionaries will even have sections with key phrases you might need to use the most.

Part Nine:

Learn Some Geography

Do some research about where you’re going. If you learn some of the geography beforehand, then you might be less likely to get lost once you’re there.

There might also be places or parts of town you should avoid. You can look up the crime rates for the area you’re visiting to learn what places are safe and which ones are less safe.

Part Ten:

Be Prepared for Emergencies

A lot can happen when you’re out of your element.

There are a few things you can do to prepare for potential emergencies. You can memorize important phone numbers. You can also write down important phone numbers on a notecard to keep with you at all times.

Keep a hard-copy map on your person in case your phone dies.

Bring a portable charger pack with you so you can charge your phone on the go.

Have enough money on you at all times for a bus fare to get back to your hotel. Try hiding your bus fare on your person somewhere so it’s less likely to get taken if you get mugged, that way you’ll still be able to easily get home.

Part Eleven:

Know the Scams

Tourists can be especially vulnerable to scams. You don’t know the area, you aren’t familiar with the local businesses, and scammers can take advantage of that.

Different locations will also have their own common scams. Take a moment to look up the kinds of ploys and scams you should be aware of.


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