Tuesday, December 5, 2017

5 Great Travel Apps

It seems like almost everyone has a smart phone. We use them for all kinds of things from social media to maps to even travel. You can pretty much find an app for everything. There are more apps being developed every day. Apps are great to use while you are traveling, as long as you don’t use them as you are driving. It’s great to have someone be the navigator to help you get to your destination safely. Apps are a huge timesaver too because if you use a map app, you can have it tell you where to drive without pulling out the map or asking for directions. Here are five great travel apps to have on any road trip you go on. 

Free Wi-Fi Finder is a traveler’s best friend. You have your precious data plan and you tend to use it more when you are traveling. A lot of people don’t want to cart their computers around. It might be tricky to know where to find free Wi-Fi so with this app it will show you where to go, if you have to upload photos to social media or do some unexpected work. 

Weather+Free is a great app to have when you are on a road trip. You can just check the weather along your drive to see if you need to worry about heavy rain or even snow in the mountains. It will also help you pack for your destination too. Especially when the weather can be unpredictable. It will also tell you about humidity, wind speed, and local time. 

Trip-it is an app that helps you plan your whole trip. You no longer have to meet with a travel agent to make all your arrangements. You don’t have to write out your trip information you can just have it all in one easy app. You won’t lose your confirmation or lists because they are all on your smart phone.

Postagram is a really cool app that makes it impossible not to send a postcard to your loved ones. You just snap the picture on your smart phone and send the postcard for free. If you want to send an actual postcard, it’s just $0.99 and postage is included. No more spending hours and time looking for the perfect generalized “Wish you were here” postcard. It’s personalized and fun!

GasBuddy will help you not only find gas stations, but will also help you find the cheapest gas. Gas can be very expensive at certain gas stations and you want to be able to save your money for fun stuff.  It will also tell you how far away a gas station is, because sometimes the exit signs take you on an adventure to a gas station that isn’t right off the highway. You don’t want run out of gas and end up having to push your car to a gas station. 

I hope these apps help make your trip a little easier wherever you may end up! 

Tips to soothe a baby while driving

Traveling with your infant can be nerve wracking if you have been in the car for a long time. As parents we want to reach out and comfort our babies when they are upset. It can be heartbreaking to see your baby so upset. It can be difficult when you are driving and need to focus on the road. 

Bring toys that play soothing music or have lights. There are so many different types in all price ranges. 

Turn on music, lullabies or classical music is great. Bring a sound machine and turn it on in the car. They work wonders just stay alert. 

If you have other children enlist them to help. Have your older child play or entertain your baby. Ask them to make faces or play peek-a-boo. They can also make sure your baby has their pacifier or even give the baby a bottle.  Remind them to stay seated with their seat belts or car seats fastened. 

Sing to your baby. Sing lullabies. Sing whatever comes to your mind. Make up songs if you want. Use your baby's name in the song for a personal touch. 

Just talk. Depending on the age of your infant they may not understand that you are still there. Even if they can't see you. Reassure your child by saying their name and just saying I love you. 

Get a baby mirror that attaches to the seat. They can see themselves and that can definitely be entertaining.  

If your baby is really upset you may have to pull off and see what's going on. Remember to do this at an exit in a parking lot. Pulling off the side of the road is only for real emergencies and can be dangerous. 

Chances are your baby is just tired or wants to be at your destination too. Remain calm and drive safely. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Getting your car ready for Winter

When you are traveling this winter to spend festive times with family and friends you need to know how to stay safe. Sometimes we get so excited to see our family, especially if it is someone we haven’t seen in a while. Throw in excited kids and it can be chaos. Your kids will probably be jazzed to see what their grandparents or aunts and uncles got them. They may be bouncing around the car. If you have a baby, you may deal with crying or fussiness. Driving in the winter can become a challenge. You need to take some steps to make sure you arrive safely to your destination. 

Make sure you get an oil change, request the right oil for your used car and the weather. You can look at your manual or ask for recommendations at the shop.

Inspect your tires. Check the tread and make sure it isn’t worn and free from bubbles or leaks. Check your tire pressure. Do not rely on your car to monitor it. A few minutes using a good old fashioned tire gauge can help. 

If you want to use snow tires get them put on ASAP. Don’t wait until the weather turns, it will cause delays and a long wait at the tire shop. 

Change your windshield wiper blades if it has been a while, check and make sure you have plenty of fluid. Not being able to see can be really dangerous. 

Have a car safety kit that you can access full of food, water, flashlights, blankets and tools. Jumper cables are also important. Cat litter is great for traction if you get stuck.

Check your heat and make sure it is working well. If it isn’t working right, don’t put it off. I know car repairs are annoying but you really need to stay warm. Make sure your antifreeze levels are right. 

Fix any window issues. Sometimes your windows can come off track and bring the elements inside the car. Driving in the winter with snow coming in is not fun at all. 

Have a plan in case you get stranded, who will you call, do you have road side assistance? 

Make sure you have gas, if your gas runs too low, your gas lines can freeze or your car may have trouble starting. 

I hope these tips help you prepare your car for this winter.