Holiday Driving Tips – Avoiding Holiday Accidents

Holiday celebrations can be happy and exciting times for friends and family. Many people travel during the holiday season, looking forward to visiting with family and friends who live long distances away. Unfortunately, the holiday season has a high incidence of traffic accidents, turning a celebration into a tragedy if people are injured or killed. During the holiday season, all motorists should be aware of the increased traffic, and holiday travelers should follow proper safety precautions to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. Drivers should be mindful of these holiday travel tips to protect themselves, their passengers, and the occupants of other drivers.

  • Leave early. By allowing yourself plenty of time to reach your destination, you can drive at safer speeds, take adequate rest breaks, and keep your stress levels down. Without enough stops, drivers can become overly tired or distracted and cause an accident and a result.
  • Avoid peak travel dates if possible. The day before a holiday is usually the day most people travel. Sometimes you can avoid traffic conditions by traveling on the holiday itself or by planning your family celebrations on other days.
  • Before you leave, check the condition of your car, including your tire pressure, oil, and lights. Carry spare and emergency equipment with you. Always have a spare tire, jumper cables, a jack, and emergency equipment such as road flares and extra blankets in case of an accident.
  • Keep your passengers safe. Make sure everyone is buckled up properly with seat belts and child restraint or booster seats.
  • Plan out a route with alternatives. Get directions in advance, with alternative routes in mind in case of bad weather or traffic congestion. Expect traffic near large cities.
  • Inquire about weather conditions and construction on highways from friends and relatives. Listen to local radio stations for indications of adverse weather.
  • Hide any sort of gift or present during stops. Brightly colored packaging during the holidays invites thieves to break into your vehicle.
  • Keep distractions to a minimum. Provide children with plenty of their own distractions, and always pull off the road to use your cell phone.
  • Don’t drink and drive. Always have a designated driver if there will be drinking at your holiday celebration.

By following these safety precautions, you can make the holidays a little safer for everyone and avoid a tragic traffic accident. For more safe driving tips and information on car accident prevention, visit the website of Waukesha car accident lawyers Habush Habush & Rottier, S.C.

Holiday Travel Tips

If you’re going away for the holidays this year, you’re probably unhappily anticipating a hike in gas prices, long lines at airport security and delays all-around. According to the Bureau of Transportation, Thanksgiving and the winter holiday season are the busiest long-distance travel times in a given year. While travelers cannot avoid hefty waits at check-in and traffic on the highway, there are plenty of measures to take in order to alleviate any holiday season travel stress.

• Know when to travel: For local excursions, people tend to leave on Thursdays. If traveling over 100 miles away, Wednesday through Sunday are the most popular days.

• About 90% of Thanksgiving travel is through one’s vehicle.

• The Sunday and Monday after Thanksgiving are the busiest days to travel back home. If you book a flight or drive on Tuesday, you’ll avoid a lot of traffic.

• Weather delays don’t always depend on where you’re flying out of. If you live in Florida but are flying to New York, you may experience delays due to a snowstorm, for example.

• Allow ample time to check in at the airport and make it through security. More travelers means more time to wait as each individual is screened.

• Travel on Saturday as opposed to Sunday. Most people want to make it back for work without sacrificing any weekend time.

• The average age of Thanksgiving travelers is just under 34, as opposed to right above 36 for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, according to the BTS.

• Preview airport restrictions and laws implemented for safe air travel…you cannot avoid them and will save a world of time if you plan ahead.

• Book a trip off-season. For example, go to New England when the leaves aren’t changing…you’ll save on local bed and breakfasts, whose popularity heightens during the fall.

• Consider booking through an online travel agency. You can find new discounts and sales each day, as well as vacation packages unavailable elsewhere.

The best discount travel online can be found through sites such as Orbitz and Expedia, according to StarReviews. If you’re an avid planner, you’ll be able to customize your own trip homepage, complete with photos, video and comments through Orbitz’s TripHub.

If you’re like most travelers, saving money is important when going away during the holidays. When booking through Travelocity, you can save just by using a particular credit card. Before the cold weather arrives, consider booking travel online and taking advantages of discount flights and destination-stays.

Travel Packing Tips

Love to travel but hate to pack? Was that a resounding YES? Of course it was. Here are a few quick tips to make the packing process a little less daunting.

Plan ahead. Research the weather at your vacation destination for the dates of your travel. Ask your travel companion, if you have one, what they’re packing. Make a list of essential items.

Check please. You’ll feel very accomplished if you check off the items on your list as you get them out and place them on your bed. Be sure you’ve included clothing, toiletries, emergency sewing kit, medications, travel documents and other necessary travel accessories.

Paper or plastic? Keep your clothes from getting soiled by putting your shoes in plastic grocery bags. Traveling by air? Put toiletries in freezer bags and sandwich baggies. Cabin pressure can make shampoo explosive…yuck!

Look before you leap. Take a thoughtful look at your bed full of clothes and ask yourself a few questions. Do you really need all those outfits or could you do a little more mixing and matching? Will anyone care if you wear the same pajamas for a week? Are there free convenience items at your hotel?

Rock and roll. You will fit more in your suitcase and have fewer wrinkles if you roll your clothes instead of folding them (except for formal wear which you’ll want to put in a garment bag).

One layer at a time. Time to load up the suitcase. Put shoes in first. Fill in any gaps with underwear and socks. Add layers of rolled clothing so that you can fit as much as possible in one suitcase. Put bags of toiletries and other items between the layers. Pack tight. Books can be packed in the outer compartments to create a shell-like protection.

Be safe and savvy. Check with your airline carrier prior to packing for updates on carryon items. Do not, I repeat, do not put any valuables in your checked luggage. Pack as if King Kong will be tossing your luggage off the Empire State Building and then kicking it all the way to your destination.

Get it when you get there. If there are any items you’ve forgotten, you most likely can purchase them when you get there or maybe do without for the week.

Frugal Travel Tips For Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech can be a bargain for savvy tourists. The two must see’s in Marrakech, Djemaa el-Fna and the Souks, are free. Frugal even if you can’t resist making purchases.

The landmark I use to orientate myself is the tower of the Koutoubia Mosque. The tallest in the city, it can be seen from anywhere near the Medina, the old city.

The Food Stalls At Djemaa el-Fna

From the tower of the Koutoubia Mosque, the Djemaa el-Fna is only a couple steps north.

During the day, this square is filled with dancing monkeys, orange juice carts (2 Dirham – approximately $0.54 U.S. – for a glass of orange juice – note: a common “trick” on tourists is to charge extra if you wish no ice, remember this is a hot country with little portable refrigeration, ice is at a premium to the plentiful oranges), and other entertainers.

But the real action starts at sundown. The food carts come out and so do the bargains. The posted prices are usually for the locals, expect to be charged a higher price if you don’t speak the language, especially if you don’t want to haggle. Still you can get a bowl of the famed chick pea based harira soup for 2.5 Dirham (approximately $0.69 U.S.). The round loaf of bread commonly eaten with this soup can be purchased for 1 Dirham ($0.27 U.S.).

The Souks

The Souks are a maze of little shops situated right beside the Djemaa el-Fna. These stalls can be confusing and enterprising locals will insist that paid guides are needed. Unless you’re looking for a specific stall, they’re not. If you get “lost”, simply walk in one direction until you exit.

The Souks are one of the best places to get souvenirs including fabrics, leather shoes, and tajines (the cone like clay dishes used to prepare local cuisine). For spices, the grocery stores are a better bargain. For best deals, haggle. It’s expected by shop keepers.

The Menara

You may be tempted to visit the Menara, another free site. We saved the taxi fare and trekked out there by foot. We were disappointed. It consisted mainily of a giant pool of stagnant water with one small shell of a building. The building charges an admission fee.

Unless you have a burning desire to see olive groves or a common teenage hang out site or have too much time on your hands, spend your energy exploring other more interesting areas of the city.

Marrakech is a wonderful, fascinating city filled with exotic sights and smells and tastes. And with proper planning, it doesn’t have to break your travel budget.

Surfing Trips Can Be Challenging – Travel Tips for Protecting and Shipping a Wooden Surfboard

Traveling with a surfboard can be a hassle and expensive but most surfers want to surf those exotic waves on their own surfboard. Before you start your journey you will want to take time to make sure you know the extra costs and have all the logistics in place well in advance of your surfing mecca.

Some surfers choose to ship their surfboard in advance using a major shipper such a UPS or FedEx but this generally only works if the destination is a major surfing resort. The UPS Store will probably be more helpful than the UPS shipping office as far as packing the surfboard and shipping it for you. You should research whether or not to insure your surfboard and also make sure that surfboards are insurable since some specialty items are not covered by standard shipping insurance.

The other method for traveling with your surfboard is to take it as carry-on-luggage on the aircraft. With baggage fees going up higher and higher by the day you can expect to pay extra for checking a surfboard. United’s Airline’s Surfboard Shipping Policy. You should probably still have a backup plan even when checking your wooden surfboard at the airport as luggage because the airline could accidentally damage your surfboard or your surfboard could get lost on the way to your surfing destination. Airlines usually leave larger luggage behind if they have issues with space or weight on the airplane so your chances of having a lost surfboard are higher than having a lost bag even though you paid more to ship it. When you get to your destination you will still need to travel with you surfboard in a cab or rental car so be prepared an pack some bungy chords or twine and plan ahead.

If you ship your surfboard or take it on the airline you will need to obtain a good surfboard travel bag. More than a board sock is needed to properly protect your surfboard while traveling. A high quality bag can be obtained for a little over $100 and will save you time and money when considering the investment you have made into your surfboard and your surf trip.

Travel Tips – Packing Your Suitcase without Stress

The thrill of planning a trip will often light you up and consume all of your time. You look through guidebooks, talk to friends about their experiences, and research your itinerary on the internet. Still all this planning and research will not make the task of packing any less daunting.

Who hasn’t stood at the foot of their bed with empty suitcases spread on top, the

night before a big trip, filled with anxiety because you still haven’t packed?!?! You

try and try to think about exactly what you should be packed, throwing things in

and then taking them out. And you wonder, why didn’t any of the guidebooks give

you any advice on packing?

Well, hopefully this guide will help you, so that you can confidently pack and enjoy

the moments leading up to your trip, rather than being stressed over the contents

of your bag.

Luggage – I recommend taking one carry-on and one checked suitcase.

Shorter trips may allow for a carry-on only, but I would never take more than one

checked bag no matter how long you are traveling. Remember, when you get to

your destination, you will need to carry your luggage and you don’t know how far

you’ll be lugging it. While we’re talking about lugging your luggage… I would

recommend selecting a suitcase or pack that had wheels, but that you can also hand

carry. There are many varieties of large backpacks with wheels. The reasoning is

that if your wheels break off (a common occurrence along cobblestone streets), you

will still be able to carry your pack.

Shoes – Bring a pair of sneakers (or boots) for outdoor activities such as

hiking, and a dressier pair of closed-toe shoes for museums, dinner’s out, or other

city activities. If you are traveling to a hot locale, then also bring a pair of sandals

that can go from beach to dinner. Resist the urge to bring 10 pairs of shoes!!! As

someone who loves shoes, I always want to pack a wide variety… but we must avoid

packing too many shoes! They take up space, are heavy, and are an unnecessary

addition.

Shorts – When traveling to a hot climate, shorts are often considered a

requirement. Still, remember that in many cultures shorts are not considered

acceptable. For example, many museums and churches such as the Vatican will not

allow you to enter if you are wearing shorts (or have exposed shoulders for that

matter). Bring only a pair or two of shorts, and make sure that you have other light

weight options for hot weather.

Basics – Bring enough socks and underwear to last for every day of the

trip (up to two weeks) so that you will not need to do laundry. For longer trips,

understand that you will likely need to do laundry on the road if you do not want to

bring ridiculous amounts of luggage. As far as shirts, pants, skirts, and the rest…

Bring clothes that could be worn during the day or at night, and as a general rule

bring half as many items as you have days. Wearing items twice should be no

problem, and you will significantly lighten your load.

Rolling – To avoid wrinkles and use your precious packing area to the

max, fold your clothes in half (in the long direction), then roll as smoothly and

tightly as possible. When you arrive at your destination, your clothes will unroll

wrinkle-free. Stuff socks and underwear into your shoes and carefully place the

shoes on top of the rows or rolled clothes.

Toiletries – Bring all of your toiletries in travel size containers. Full size

shampoo bottles add unneeded weight to your pack. After selecting your toiletries,

place all items into zip-lock bags. If a bottle bursts during travel, you will be much

relieved to have the protection. If you are bringing make-up, keep it to the bare

necessities, avoid bringing extras like eyelash curlers. Any prescription medication

should be accompanied by the actual prescription and if possible, a note from your

physician. Keep the medication, as well as your toothbrush and toothpaste in your

carry-on, just in case your luggage is lost.

If you follow these basic packing rules, you will find that the process of packing and

carrying your luggage will be much easier. Additionally, you will be able to enjoy

your travels much easier knowing that you have brought what you need, but can still

carry the load.

Enjoy your trip (and your packing!)!

Tips for Buying Small Travel Bags

People who travel often develop a strong view on the type of travel bags that best suit their needs.Buying a new travel bags is easy. Here are some tips for buying the perfect small travel bag.

Generally there are two broad sizes of bags used by travelers – small luggage and larger suitcases.

Small luggage comes in many shapes

Business travel is often short-term. Hence the luggage design reflects the needs to carry papers, laptops and personal items needed for an overnight business trip.

For casual and outdoor trips select a backpack. Backpacks work for people who prefer to travel light. A small backpack should carry everything needed for the entire trip whether it is camping or any other type of short trip.

The design of carry-on luggage gives the best options for travelers on flights or bus tours. Airlines specify the maximum dimensions and in recent times, the staff confirm suitable bags at check-in. This specification allows the bags to fit in the overhead compartment of the plane or underneath your seat.

Totes and casual bags are for the person seeking for a travel bag that can carry a day’s outdoor needs. Most of these types of bag designers have fashion in their minds all the while attempting not to compromise the practicality of the item.

Garment bags and carriers are specialist bags for carrying dresses, suits or clothes on hangers.

Bags have accessories to improve their usefulness. Here are a few accessories that improve bags for traveling.

Locks are often attached to the bag. However, they can be added to the zippers or appropriate places, if required. Keyed locks and combination locks are available for most cases.

Luggage tags are essential.They help you find your bag when collecting from carousel and other places.

Many modern bags incorporate carts allowing easy wheeling, instead of carrying.

Other considerations.

Hardware. Ideal luggage should have straps, handles in different sides, and compartments to hold your clothes in place and to prevent wrinkles. Recessed handles generally last longer.

Bag fabric varies with polyester, leather, and nylon being the most common. Choose one with higher “denier” to assure durability. The higher the number the more durable the material. Fabric type determines the price of travel bags. Hard cases are also becoming popular.

If you can chose the zipper,choose large zippers because they usually outlast smaller ones.

A rigid bag frame is recommended to ensure the bag remains sturdy. Materials such as fiberglass, durable plastic, and aluminum provide luggage excellent frames

Small travel bags vary greatly in price. If you are a frequent traveller a more expensive travel bag will serve you well.

Home Is Where the Heart Is, Book a Serviced Apartment and Come Home

That’s how the old adage goes isn’t it?

And well, for us, it’s never been truer than in today’s amazingly fast-paced, multi-cultural, media savvy world.

Businesses tend to focus heavily on productivity and the balance sheet but in order to have staff who are ready and able to work, it’s so easy to overlook the vital importance of a stable home life. In relocation and business travel particularly temporary accommodation is often relegated down the list precisely because it is ‘temporary’ but this is exactly the time when it’s most essential. Still very few companies focus on the emotional fallout that can occur before, during and after the move.

The first month of a relocation can make or break the move. And we should know… we deal with the aftermath of many a poorly planned and executed relocation! To the person (or people) arriving, everything’s new – the country, the job, probably the language, possibly the company – and even the most seasoned relocatee can find the first couple of weeks pretty stressful.


“International mobility reinforces the link between a happy couple and contributes to the dislocation of already dysfunctional couples before departure.” Jean-Luc Cerdin, Professor of HR Management, ESSEC Business School of Paris

And again, leaning on our experience, we’ve noticed that it’s not always the big issues that are the major cause of stress. There doesn’t have to be a cataclysmic event… sometimes it’s just the smallest things that can make a difference and that’s where serviced apartments can really come into their own. They provide the individual and more importantly the family unit (on average about 80% of expatriate workers move with their spouses.), the calm, sheltered haven from which they can begin to order and adjust to their new life. Simple things that we take for granted, like being able to whip up your favourite meal from back home, not having to worry about expensive hotel restaurant prices, or the astronomical cost of raiding the mini-bar! It’s having the space for everyone who’s staying together to nestle in and find their own place without being on top of one another. These are the little things that money just can’t buy and that hotels (due to the way they’re set up) quite often aren’t able to provide.

And actually, the very same rules apply to business travel although in the harsh maelstrom of defined business objectives, target driven performance and an expectation of constantly high energy levels, this too can often be forgotten. Business travel may appear glamorous on the surface but (take it from me – I know) after the first couple of trips it starts to get very much less appealing. It significantly disturbs your routine and seems to take up an inordinately disproportionate amount of time and money. Serviced apartments may not all offer the 24 hour service levels of a hotel but what they do offer in spades, is space, privacy and that all important home from home environment.

So for instance, there’s no need for you to have to be up and dressed just to make breakfast in the hotel dining room when you can get in your own supplies, chill out, and make (very probably) a far healthier brekkie in your apartment’s kitchen. You don’t have to sit on the edge of your bed because there’s nowhere else to perch when you can flop out on your apartment’s sofa. You don’t have to remember to meet the hotel laundry times either because you can put your washing on in your apartment whenever you need to. So many benefits, really… I know!

Working in the serviced apartment industry I’ve always been amazed that more people aren’t aware of what they can provide. I’m also a big fan of posh hotels for those rare occasions that I get to go off on treaty holidays, but as an extremely seasoned business traveller myself I find the serviced apartments product absolutely invaluable. So hey, why not try a serviced apartment yourself on your next business trip or relocation and join the revolution that’s sweeping the industry

Book a serviced apartment and come home.

Five Important Senior Travel Tips

Often when we near retirement, seniors have big dreams of all the places they want to visit. However, as we get older, traveling often isn’t quite the delight we hoped it would be. Although it can be great fun traveling to new places and meeting new people, the logistics of traveling can be challenging for many seniors.

This is especially true if you are traveling alone. However, with some advance planning, you can make your next trip much more pleasant and enjoyable. Here are some travel tips that I follow myself, to make sure my trips are as enjoyable as possible.

First, consider your particular health conditions. If you need to take medication daily and you are traveling internationally, it is important to make sure that you always carry medications and copies of your medication list with you at all times. Never check your medications in airline baggage, as you may be facing a life threatening situation if your baggage gets lost.

Second, plan well in advance. Although spontaneity is great for many things in life, as we age, making well thought out travel plans is very important. This is especially true for those who face mobility challenges. For example, if you have trouble standing in lines for a long time or climbing stairs, then you will want to avoid situations that requires this. Ask the questions you need to ask before you leave on your trip.

Third, make back up plans as well. Even the best plans can backfire, and having a contingency plan for when things do not go as planned is important as well. Although the idea of making not one, but two (and maybe even three) travel itineraries may seem overwhelming, if things go wrong you will be very happy you made the effort.

Four, travel as lightly as possible. You do not need the added difficulty of lugging heavy bags around. There are some wonderful new luggage models that have very useful features such as wheels and multiple handles. Don’t go with the cheapest you can find either, as you want your luggage to be durable and last.

Finally, always think about safety. Seniors are often the target of pickpockets and thieves. Consider investing in a money belt, and maybe even carry a decoy purse or wallet with only a little money in it in case you get robbed.

With proper thought and preparation, you will find that your journeys are much more comfortable, safe and enjoyable!

Top 23 Travel Tips For Taking A Summer Road Trip

Planning a summer road trip this year? Do movies like RV and Family Vacation not scare you from the adventures that could await you on your cross country trek? Before you go, make sure you check off these top 23 travel tips.

  • Look at maps and plan your route. There are many great online maps that do a HYBRID map view showing real streets and routes with satalite images. Knowing the location, and how it looks, by viewing it from space is both cool and very helpful, so you won’t get lost.
  • Research the roads you’ll take. You’ll especially want to know if you’ll be traveling through areas of major road construction. The maps mentioned above are a little dated. Some new roads and maps will not have current, realtime data, bring physical maps, like ones you could buy from AAA along.
  • Make estimates of travel times along the route, so you’ll have an idea when you’ll be at certain points on your trip. This will help you to plan rest and meal stops. It will also help you plan to avoid traveling through a major city or area of road construction during rush hour.
  • Get the car checked, especially the filters, belts, fluid levels and have the oil changed. Don’t wait until the last minute, it may take time to get an appointment and parts may need to be ordered. You also want some time to drive around town and make sure that whatever they fixed stays fixed. If you vehicle is ‘mission critical’ and could die at any moment, DON’T take it with you, borrow a friends car instead.
  • Check the condition of your wiper blades, both front and back windows.
  • Check the operation of your turn signals, brake lights as well as the high and low beams. Bring some extra fuses along.
  • Examine the tread on your tires. Consider mountain driving in winter conditinos on snowy peaks. Make sure you have chains or 4×4 traction for icey roads, out of season. Or try a different route.
  • Make sure your car is prepared for the weather it will encounter on your trip. You might need more antifreeze or need to recharged air-conditioning when you go through the desert.
  • Today, many cars have fancy wheels instead of hubcaps. These wheels usually have a lock to prevent them from being stolen. If you have a car with wheel locks, make sure you know where the key is stored (often with the jack). Otherwise, a flat tire will become a major problem since you won’t be able to get the wheel off the car.
  • Get your car cleaned. You’ll feel better in a clean car.
  • Pack an emergency kit in your car. Include motion sickness medication if anyone in your group suffers from it. Remove any items from the car that you won’t need on your trip. Bring some blankets.
  • Prepare some on road entertainment for your trip. Include games and CDs of music and/or audio books. Portable DVD players are really inexpensive and help pass the time in dead spots where where is nothing new to see.
  • Check your plates, registration and insurance information to make sure they are all valid. Be sure to place your insurance company’s emergency contact number in your car.
  • Check with all the drivers in your party to make sure their driver’s licenses haven’t expired.
  • Check your insurance for expiration dates and coverage for your automobile.
  • Arrange for someone to start your other car, if you leave one home, during very cold or very hot weather.
  • Fill the car with gas before you pack the car so all the fumes won’t bother your passengers. Check the fluid levels and tire pressure, your tire pressure will affect the ride and gas mileage you get on your trip.
  • Pack the car inside the garage, with the door down, so people driving by won’t find out you’re leaving.

Overall, enjoy the road trip. It’s not going to be as crazy as Clark W Grizwold’s family vacation experiences, and if it is, make sure you video it and put it up on You Tube!