Well, I hope you are having a safe and relaxing holiday season!
I just returned from a lovely ski vacation up in Canada where we managed to avoid major mishaps. We did, however, help someone else in trouble.
Taking the long way home after skiing we came across a young couple whose station wagon was stuck in a snowbank. We dug the car out with our gloved hands and my dad was practical enough to grab his ski and use that as a shovel!
After we did most of the digging, another passerby in his truck stopped and offered his tow rope and horsepower. A few minutes later, the station wagon was out of the snowbank and we were back on our way.
I learned a couple of things from this experience:
Your tire tread is VERY important (the station wagon’s tires were practically bare). Like Amy from AAA mentioned in her interview, your car might be the safest car on the road but it’s your tires that KEEP YOU ON THE ROAD. So use snow tires for winter and check your tire pressure before heading out on the road.
Stay on the main road if you don’t think your car is prepared for certain conditions.
Ask your mechanic or car dealer where you should attach a tow rope (in the front and the back) in case you need to be towed. Nobody wants to deal with a broken axle!
ALWAYS carry a car emergency kit and add items for winter (shovels, tow rope, extra warm clothing…).
Have roadside tips or a story to share? Post them in the comments below or head to our Stories section!
Travel is a completely different thing if you’re moving…either abroad or domestically.
I’ve done the move abroad twice and returned home twice. I’ve learned not to take toiletries (you can usually find what you need when you arrive). Instead I bring clothes and mementos – things that make your new home feel like home.
It’s hard to make choices on what to bring but remember your family can always send you care packages of the things you might miss (peanut butter, photos, stuffed animals…I asked my mom to record an hour or two of my favorite radio station).
A few other tips:
Check the baggage limit for all the legs of your journey. One airline might allow 70 pounds while the next might only allow 35 pounds.
Paying for excess baggage can get REALLY expensive so ship things by air or sea mail instead. If you do decide to ship things, send things you won’t really need immediately (i.e. winter items if it’s summer) since it might take a few months for them to arrive. Bring extra cash to the airport just in case there’s excess baggage charges.
One trick to check the weight of your luggage before you head to the airport: If you have a scale, weigh yourself. Then (if you can – don’t hurt yourself!) pick up your bag and weigh yourself again. Subtract your original weight from that number and you should have a very rough estimate of the weight of your bag.
Don’t bring books! They’re really heavy and take up a lot of space.
Label your luggage with the address of your destination not your previous address (otherwise your luggage will be rerouted if lost!).
Recently I spoke with Amyee, a spokeswoman from AAA, the organization infamous for its roadside assistance.
Amyee stressed that AAA doesn’t just help stranded motorists – they also help their motorcyclists and RV-ers members in the event of a roadside emergency.
In fact, RVing is all the rage amongst celebrities. Just last week, Amyee spotted Tommy Lee near South Beach in his RV. So should his RV break down, AAA could be right there to help him get his Winnebago up and running. Lucky her!
Well, since the rest of us don’t always have smooth-sailing trips like rich celebrities, here are a few tips from Amyee for your next trip:
You can head to aaamaps.com to plan out the details of your trip: mileage, rest stops, points of interests, recommended hotels, restaurants and so on. It’s free (some features are for members only).
Complete a full car check-up before heading out on the road. This includes your car’s: brakes, tire pressure, appropriate tire traction (important for winter!), windshield wipers, fluids, lights and heater.
Bring your cell phone, charger, important numbers and a car emergency kit, along with your other belongings.
As you might have heard, we’re gearing up for our latest addition to the site…Travel!
I recently got back from a trip to San Francisco, or “The City,” as it’s proudly called by the locals. Thankfully, I really love to travel and I think I might be one of the few misguided souls in this world who actually loves airports (people-watching!).
But despite my secret crush on airplane pretzels and in-flight magazine crossword puzzles, I have a travel pet peeve: airport security. It always takes SO long!
So if you’re like me and hate waiting in line, I’ve put together a handy little guide to get you through security just that extra bit faster…