Tips For Planning a Road Trip

Road trips are a true American pastime. Grab someone you enjoy spending a LOT of time with and hop in the car. With just a little planning, you can have fun and still be spontaneous.

First thing to shop for is a current road atlas. Of course a GPS is good to have, but keep the maps as a backup. You can use Google Maps to plan your route and have a couple alternate routes in mind.

Go shopping for snacks and drinks for the car. Save some food money by eating a complimentary breakfast at your hotel. Plan to stop at a quick, fast-food place for lunch. Save your food money for a nice dinner spot at your destination later that night.

Fill your iPod with good driving music. Look for a few radio phone applications that are available. Also try some books-on-cd for a change of pace from the radio. Make sure your cellphone has internet access. Bring a pre-paid phone card as backup for those remote areas with no cell service.

Estimate gas charges and plan daily food allowance and spending money. If you are on a tight budget, it’s important to keep your daily expenses organized and set aside, so you don’t run out of money before the trip is over. And keep a credit card free for any emergency car repairs. Get an oil change and other necessary maintenance on the car before leaving. Roadside assistance membership is important too. Make sure your spare tire is in good condition. And don’t wait till the last minute to fill up on gas. Keep an eye on your meter and for any road signs that say “last gas station for 30 miles”.

Loosely plan your hotel and sight-seeing stops. Research some good tourist spots that are off the beaten path. Depending on traffic, tourist stops and other factors, you may change your hotel locations as the trip progresses. Check with your Facebook network for great tourist stops or even a place to stay. Seems like we have such a widespread network of friends nowadays. You never know if a friend has a friend with a guest room in the town you are passing through.

Be flexible on your trip. Sometimes the best road trip stops are unplanned, like seeing a sign on the side of the highway for the coolest place ever! Go with the flow.

Budget Travel Tips to Save You Money

Saving money while traveling does not mean you have to scrimp on your vacation. You can enjoy the sights and sounds as well as the traveler who paid full price. And unlike the traveler who paid full-price for his/her vacation, you will have the benefit of knowing that you have money left over to plan your next money saving trip!

1. Rent an automobile: sometimes the cost of renting a car can be cheaper than taking the airport shuttle. If driving on your next vacation, you can save money by renting a car that has better fuel economy than the one you own – not to mention the wear-and-tear that you save on your own vehicle

2. Book your own reservations: One of the ways I have saved money for traveling is by booking my own hotel, air, and car reservations. Visit the all-inclusive websites (Travelocity, Orbitz, etc.); when you see a price that is appealing, go to the individual airline, hotel, or car rental website to book the reservation yourself. Become a frequent traveler and you may save even more! See about booking your own entertainment venues online as well – museums, theme parks, historical sights, etc.

3. Eat meals in your room: you can save money while traveling by eating breakfast or lunch in your room or at the local park or beach. Go by the local grocer and pack a great lunch and, weather permitting, have a picnic! This is not only a great way to save money while traveling but can be an opportunity to get outdoors with the family or a romantic interlude for couples

4. Travel during the off-season: in many cases, travel locations have a peak season (most expensive) and an off-season. If you have a flexible schedule, consider traveling during a non-peak season; this one budget travel tip can save you $100’s.

These are just a few tips to help you save money on your next vacation. Saving money while traveling is half the fun when planning my trips. I have found that budget travel affords me the same benefits as those who pay full price, and I do not sacrifice any enjoyment. Challenge yourself and see how much money you can save while traveling on your next vacation!

How Can I Stick to My Diet? 10 Top Tips to Help You Succeed

Starting a diet is somewhat easy but sticking to it is the difficult part. As a general rule find a diet that suits you and your lifestyle. Psychology plays a major part in any diet plan so follow our top ten tips and you are sure to succeed.

Dieting Tip 1. Why Do You Want To Diet?

Identify why you want to diet. We each have our reasons for dieting which are often as individual as we are. Using index write a reason for dieting on each card Whenever you feel you want to break your diet taking a glance at these cards will surely help you to stay on track.

Dieting Tip 2. Thought Control

Identify thoughts that give you permission to eat and prepare responses. These negative thoughts that sabotage your diet always precede spontaneous eating. By learning to counteract them and recognising what triggers these thoughts will help you to stick to your diet plan.

Dieting Tip 3. Identify Hunger

Real hunger is usually felt in the stomach. It is easy to mistake hunger for thirst. As a general rule if your lips are dry it will be the latters In order to correctly identify whether or not you are hungry you need to feel real hunger. Simply skip a meal or go several hours without food and you will be able to recognise the difference.

Dieting Tip 4. Emotional Eating

Break the link between emotions and eating Eating is a physiological need; Emotions are related to psychology.. Any emotion, especially unfavourable emotions will still be there when you have finished your food binge. Working out a coping strategy and accepting that the emotion you feel isn’t hunger is an effective mechanism for destroying this negative link.

Dieting Tip 5. Maximise Your Eating Experience

Make the most of your eating experience.Eating slowly ultimately leaves you feeling fuller. Always sit down to eat as you will be far more comfortable and less inclined to rush. Make your calorific intake count by choosing meals that you enjoy and therefore wish to savour. Dining out needn’t be a problem. All restaurants offer suitable alternatives that wont interfere with your diet plan.

Dieting Tip 6. Prepare Meal Plans

By planning your meals in advance you reduce the risk of breaking your diet. Make a list of what you will each and on which day. Tick each meal off as you go along, that way you will have a record of what you intend to consume. Any deviations should also be listed against the relevant date. This way it may be easier to isolate scheduled meals that leave you feeling hungry or discontented.

Dieting Tip 7. Resistance Training

Every time you break your diet you are reinforcing the self believe that it is OK to do so. STOP… Break this bad habit and ultimate impediment to a slimmer you. Recognise the strength of this reinforcement and use it to build up your resistance in a positive way.

Dieting Tip 8. Thought Control

Dieters are constantly aware of the inner battle that precedes an unscheduled eat. This battle causes tension which can be eliminated by giving in and breaking your diet. Try compiling a list of alternative methods of alleviating this tension, such as going for a walk, telephone call etc.

Dieting Tip 9. Triggers

Be honest with yourself. Think about what triggers a deviation from your diet plan and employ avoidance techniques. If this is not possible then your reasons for dieting index cards will act as a reliable back-up.

Dieting Tip 10. Absolution

If you do break your diet then don’t wait until the following day to resume it. START… Right now and get right back on track. Beating yourself up will only serve to de-motivate.