5 Tips For Planning The Great American Road Trip

5 Tips For Planning The Great American Road Trip

Collaboration with Amanda Green


The great American road trip is almost a tradition in a country that initiated the era of the automobile. It’s almost considered a rite of passage: an archetypal search for freedom and identity, and it has often been memorialized in books and movies rife with nostalgia and misadventure.

The idea of a road trip is appealing because it’s somewhat democratic. It’s simple. It’s fair. And it can lead anywhere. A map, a road-worthy vehicle, and a Jack Kerouac-like appetite for adventure are all that’s necessary.

If you’re planning on a road trip in 2017, here are 5 tips to consider:

  1. Make sure you have the right paperwork.

The last thing you want to do before you set out is forget to update your driver’s license, license plate stickers, and insurance. When it comes to insurance, you have to research things like liability insurance, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage. It goes without saying that the better the coverage, the easier it will be to handle any accidents or mishaps on your trip, and with cheap online car insurance, it shouldn’t be difficult to get an excellent insurance policy, even if you fall under the category of a higher risk driver.

  1. Get a vehicle checkup.

Schedule any necessary service for oil changes and tune-ups.

Here are some other things that you should check up on your vehicle:

  • ·  Make sure it has good wiper blades and sufficient fluid levels.
  • ·  Make sure it has a strong battery charge and clean terminals.
  • ·  Make sure it has tires in good conditions. Notice if it has enough tread, if there are any tears, and if there are any bulges on the side wall. Make sure you have the right tire pressure.
  • ·  Make sure it has brake pads that are not worn or need to be replaced.
  • ·  Make sure it is not overloaded when you pack. Check your vehicle’s load capacity to pack smart.
  1. Estimate your time.

Before you start thinking about your route, estimate how much time you have for the trip. This will tell you how far you can go and how to pace your trip.

  1. Figure out your budget.

Get a good idea of how much you are willing to spend. You don’t want to run out of money in the middle of nowhere because you didn’t have time to balance your checkbook.

  1. Get the necessary equipment.

Think about the equipment you will need. Do you need a GPS, a smartphone, travel guides, satellite radio, tents, sleeping bags, and an emergency medical kit? Make a list of all the things that you’ll need to take with you.

  1. Plan out your route.

By planning out your route, you won’t spend most of your time traveling through cities when you would rather be on a country route or much time in deserts when you would rather be driving through forests.

Here are some ideas for your itinerary:

  • 1. Get guides for classic US routes. For instance, the New England fall foliage tour; the nostalgic, old Route 66; the labyrinthine California Highways.
  • 2. While planning on taking a trip to favorite sights, be sure to leave some options for unexpected detours. This will allow you to have a general sense of direction while also give you the freedom to wing it.
  • 3. If you have no idea where you want to go, then you could simply follow data-genius Randy Olson’s ultimate road trip. According to an article in Washington Post, “At the urging of Tracy Staedter from Discovery News, Olson set out to find the quickest driving route that would stop at a national natural landmark, national historic site, national park or national monument in all of the lower 48 states. He also included Washington, D.C. and added another stop in California to get to a total of 50 stops.” The article has detailed maps.

Popular Places

With so many favorite places and roadside curiosities people across this vast country, you would need a thick guidebook to even start.

With that in mind, here are some idea starters:

  • ·  Go to the Grand Canyon, a geological phenomena that took over a million years to create.
  • ·  Visit Yellowstone, the first national park. Opened in 1872, it spans 2 million acres.
  • ·  Drive along California’s Pacific Highway 1, a 135 mile stretch between San Luis Obispo and Monterey. At Monterey, you can drive an additional two hours north to see the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, a 75-year-old feat of engineering.
  • ·  Visit Walt Disney World. Located in Orlando, Florida, your children can enjoy the Magic Kingdom,
  • ·  Explore Cinderella’s Castle, and watch the animatronic wax model of Abe Lincoln in the Hall of Presidents.
  • ·  Go to Times Square, which stretches between Manhattan’s 42nd and 47th street. This piece of Broadway will fascinate you.
  • ·  Baker, California, has the world’s tallest thermometer.
  • ·  Collinsville, Illinois, has the world’s largest bottle of ketchup. The 170 ft tall water tower was built by the W.E. Caldwell Company in 1949 for the G.S. Suppinger catsup bottling plant.

A road trip can be a blast or a disaster. By taking the time for planning ahead, you’ll have fun rather than wishing you had stayed at home.

The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Shopping On A Budget

The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Shopping On A Budget

Shopping for friends and family at this busy time of year gets a pretty bad reputation, but it doesn’t have to be as stressful as you might be envisioning. If you budget well, plan in advance, and make sure there’s a nice glass of wine at home waiting for you when you get back from the shops, Christmas shopping can be simple – and even fun!

Christmas Shopping for Kids

Remember that young children don’t need presents that come in a box (in fact, the box just delays them getting to the good stuff!). There’s nothing wrong with checking out second hand toys and clothing from car boot sales or local ‘nearly new’ sales in your area. Even small marks shouldn’t put you off from buying something that otherwise looks really lovely – with a decent laundry detergents like Persil, complaints about stains will be easy to resolve. Just make sure you give all clothing a good wash.

You might be surprised at the bargains you’ll find when you do a bit of digging at local sales. Many savvy shoppers like to purchase just one or two top Christmas toys for kids, and then add in a few cheaper items to bulk out the present pile. For youngsters, Christmas is less about gifts, and more about having things to open. Just remember that if something’s in the sales because it’s high-quality but has got a bit grubby in a stockroom, it’s worth picking up – with any good laundry detergent, from supermarket own brand to something like Persil, complaints won’t be an issue.

Food & Drink

If you’re looking to feed the family on a budget this Christmas, planning is key. It’s best to start keeping an eye on the deals from around late October to early November. Many shops will have deals on cases of wines which bring the price per bottle way down, and ‘buy one get one free’ offers on food are well worth looking into. If you have an old freezer stored away in your garage, clean it up and get it plugged in – this will be an ideal place to store Christmas dinner meats and vegetables, ready for the big day.

Relax, Take it Easy

Do you collect vouchers and then become so flustered during your shopping that you forget to use them? Don’t lose out on a bargain because you’re overwhelmed by the throngs of people or the length of your shopping list. Take it easy. You can help to reduce shopping stress by visiting stores early in the day (or later in the evening, if the shop is open into the night) when they tend to be a little less busy. And if you do find yourself fighting your way through the crowds, take a few minutes for yourself! Find a nice café, take your coat off, sit down, and just relax until you’re ready and raring to go again.

Have Fun!

With these handy planning tips — and with a little help from a good-quality detergent like Persil — complaints about Christmas shopping will be a thing of the past! Shopping at this time of year doesn’t have to be stressful –  it can actually be quite fun, and shopping on a budget is actually much easier than you may think. Have fun this Christmas!

Great Online Free Slots UK

Great Online Free Slots UK




If you are a fan of slot machines you will know that they can be great fun. You probably play in your local pub, or perhaps at the casino or in the betting shop, and the chances are you win every now and again. However, have you actually done the research needed to understand which are the best machines to play, the ones that give you the best chance of success? Many players have not, and yet it can lead to greater success if you spend just a few minutes searching for the right game. This is why we recommend you play online slot machines, as they offer convenience that cannot be matched.

What are online slot machines? Quite simply, they are replicas of the machines you will find in the casino, but available online, all the time. There are many different games to choose from, and many websites offering online free slots in the UK, so why not check them out? You will be able to play at any time of the day of night, every day of the week, from anywhere with an internet connection; in your break at work, in a café, or in your home, and from any device from a PC to a smartphone. Does that sound like a lot of fun?

What You Need to Know

When we talk about free slots we are not lying; there really is free money to be had, and free plays to be enjoyed. With so many providers offering free slot machine games, you can try many of them using a demo function. This works as per normal, except you don’t lose any money. When you come to play for real you will find that you know the game inside out, and that you stand a better chance of winning.

Another area of research you need to pay attention to is the RTP percentage that will be listed with every game. This is the Return to Player chance, and the higher it is, the more chance you have of winning money. Also, look for the introductory offers; these can be in the form of matching your deposit 100% – in other words, they give you free money to play with to an equal value.

Enjoying your Gambling

With free online slots you should always remember that they are there to enjoy; don’t let your gambling get out of control, and always stay within your limits. Playing online gives you the opportunity to really enjoy your gambling and to win money, all from the comfort of your own home. Why not check out the websites now for all the information you could possibly need on the online slot machine craze, and enjoy your games on these cold winter days from the comfort of your home.

A Beautiful Home on a Budget

A Beautiful Home on a Budget

Collaboration with Poppy J.

For many, their home is forever changed with the arrival of children, and priorities swiftly swivel away from purchasing the latest must-have designs, towards trying to keep the home moderately presentable on a budget. It can be extremely difficult to come to terms with the fact that your once pristine palace now resembles a giant crumb-filled toy box, but there are ways you can regain control of your home without having to empty the entire contents of your wallet.

DIY Magic

Once you have accepted you can no longer splurge on every piece of furniture you fancy, you can delve into the magical world of “make-you-own” creativity. The internet is swarming with fantastic decorating tips and tutorials, explaining how you can create amazing accessories for your home, from snazzy vases, to beautifully elegant curtains. You could even make your own chandeliers simply by using plastic spoons, yes plastic spoons! If you want to attempt something a bit bigger, why not give building your own coffee table a go, using wine crates and a lick of varnish

Search the Sales

There are some household items that could prove a little ambition to make, even for the most experienced DIYers, and the sensible thing to do is but furniture that is going to last for several years. Be savvy and scour the online sales for bargain purchases such as cut-price sofas and beds. If your bed and mattress hasn’t been changed in a long time it is worth taking a peek at online retailers such as Bedstar, who regularly have sales. Check their stock for stylish, yet hard-wearing bed frames that can withstand being bounced on by children and pets.

Out With the Old…

Budgeting isn’t just about spending less, and if you can bear to part with existing household items, you could actually be sitting on a goldmine, which can be used to spruce up your home in a child-friendly way. Your threadbare sofa could actually fetch you a few quid on local buy and sell sites, and if you have items such as exercise equipment or still boxed kitchen appliances, admitting you are never going to use them could result in you putting some much-needed pounds in your bank.

Swap Skills

One of the best things about the internet is that we now have the ability to be in contact with all different kinds of people from all over the world in mere seconds. We are also able to contact local people who have talents that could help you revamp your home. I’m not talking about professional decorators and painters who will charge you for jobs done in your home, but people who are willing to trade their particular skill in return for another. There are many sites that advertise this scheme and so if you are a whizz in the kitchen, fluent in a foreign language, or are a talented musician, you could offer to teach another person these skills in return for them sprucing up your home. Take a look at The Guardian’s top ten list of swapping sites and benefit from the skills of others.

Choosing the Best Glasses for Your Face

Choosing the Best Glasses for Your Face



There are many things to take into consideration when selecting your ideal pair of glasses. Not every style is flattering on every person.  Here’s a list of things to take into consideration when choosing a pair of glasses as well as style suggestions.

  1. You need to take into consideration the shape of your face.

The shape of the frames you should select should be in contrast to the shape of your face.

People with round faces, for example, should wear frames that are narrow, angular and rectangle shaped in order to elongate their faces and thin them out.  Whereas people with oval shaped faces look best when they wear frames that are as wide as or wider than the broadest part of their face.

  1. The size of your frames should be in scale with the size of your face.
  2. You should select a style that highlights your best features (For example a green-eyed person should choose green frames).
  3. You should take your coloring and complexion into consideration when selecting the color of your frames.

People have either cool (blue-based) or warm (yellow- based) coloring, so they should therefore, choose frames that match their coloration. The main features that determine one’s coloration are your skin tone, eye and hair color.  If you are a cool complexion then your best bet would be to choose frames that are silver, gray, plum, pink or black. While warm complexions look best in frames that are khaki, gold, off-white, peach or red.

  1. Consider your lifestyle.

If you are really active and involved a lot of outdoors activities, you should consider the durability of the frames they choose. If you’re a gamer, there are even glasses that help enhance your gaming experience. And since there are so many different types of glasses that are designed to accommodate multiple lifestyles you should have no trouble finding one that matches yours.

Now that you know how to choose the best glasses for your face, be sure to pick up your perfect pair today at Zenni Optical.

Simple Ways to Improve and Maintain Your Oral and Dental Health

Simple Ways to Improve and Maintain Your Oral and Dental Health



When you think about improving your oral and dental health, your initial and only thought is likely to be brushing your teeth regularly. And while regular brushing is a great place to start, it’s just that, the start.

A Fresh Start

Despite the importance of your mouth and teeth, oral and dental hygiene isn’t given the attention it needs. Over time, this leads to bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay. To remove these issues and give your mouth a fresh start, make an appointment for a professional teeth cleaning service in Los Angeles to bring your hygiene and smile back to a healthy and clean state.

The Right Tools for the Job

You wouldn’t try to use a hammer to drill a hole with a screw. And while you certainly don’t want to think of drills and teeth, the same rule applies. Start with a soft bristled brush which has been designed to be gentle on your gums. Given you have just had a professional clean, there’s no need to get a heavy brush and scratch away your enamel. Match this with toothpaste that includes active ingredients, just not cleaning pastes.

Not Finished Yet

Your dental health regime doesn’t stop at just brushing. While you are with your dental professional receiving your clean, ask about dental floss and the right technique to use it for your teeth and maintain the routine. You should be flossing your teeth thoroughly at least once a day, with twice a day being the recommendation to prevent the buildup of remaining food which can quickly, and we mean quickly, lead to gingivitis.

Time to Quit

There are numerous health and fitness reasons to give up smoking, and you can add your dental health to the list. Not only does smoking cause dark staining to your teeth, but it also damages your gums and can cause them to recede at a much faster rate than they would genetically. Additionally, smoking works against your cleaning efforts to remove any gum disease you may be battling.

The average morning and evening dental hygiene routine only takes around two to three minutes, and the benefits are great. Speak with your dentist about any individual dental concerns you have and take the time to maintain your oral and dental health to prevent additional future health problems.

How to Create a Postcard from Travel Photos

How to Create a Postcard from Travel Photos

Sponsored Post

Nothing quite expresses a sentiment like a postcard – and a personalized one at that. If you are travelling and would like to let your friends or family know that they’ve been in your thoughts then why not create your very own postcard out of your travel photos.

To create a postcard all you really need are travel photos as well as a good card design software to help you out. For the latter you could opt to use Movavi Photo Editor seeing as it has all the features you need and is easy to use to boot.

Finding the Right Photo

The first thing that you should do is find the right photo – and that is largely going to depend on the reason for the postcard. If you simply want to send a memento of your travels to a friend or family member then a photo depicting a highlight of place that you’re visiting would do well. On the other hand if it’s a special occasion then you might want to use a ‘selfie’ that allows you to express the sentiment that you’re conveying.

Remember that you’re going to want to include a message with the photo that you choose – so be sure that you pick one that has space for it somewhere.

Creating the Postcard

To create the postcard itself all you need to do is load the photo into Movavi Photo Editor and use the software to add the elements that you want included. Among the many features that you will want to use include those that will:

  • Add text and customize its appearance to include the message that you want to send.
  • Include special texture effects such as ‘Hearts’, ‘Stars’, ‘Night Lights’ and so on.
  • Apply artistic filters to alter the appearance of the photo.
  • Enhance the quality of the photo and fix any issues with it.
  • Remove unnecessary elements from the photo.
  • Delete and replace the background of the photo.

Between these features, you should be able to transform your travel photo into something creative, unique, and special. That’s really all that you need to do to make your own card – and once you’re done you can print it out and write the address on the other side when you post it. Odds are your friends and family will be thrilled to receive a personalized postcard that is so unique in the mail.

Why You Should Consider Purchasing Sheesham Furniture

Why You Should Consider Purchasing Sheesham Furniture

If you are looking for a different hardwood type of timber when you are purchasing wooden furniture, you should consider Sheesham timber products.  The wood scientifically known as Dalbergia Sissoo has the easier to pronounce name of Sheesham and the most famous use of this type of wood is in furniture production.  In fact, it is thought to be the most useful form of timber in the whole of India.

The wood is found in lots of places throughout the sub-Himalayan area, including everywhere from Assam to Indus.  As well as being found in various Indian regions including West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.  The timber and Sheesham furniture are available in large quantities particularly from the Punjab and Uttar Pradesh regions.

What Makes Sheesham Timber So Distinctive?

Sheesham timber is typified by its golden brown to deep brown colouring, with very striking dark streaks that give it a very visually stunning appearance.  It has quite a coarse but balanced texture and is very hard.  As it has a naturally strong resistance to rot and decay it is one of the most popular woods for engraving and carving in India.

What Other Reasons Make Sheesham Timber So Good For Furniture Production?

As Sheesham timber does not split or warp and seasons extremely well it is perfect for cabinet and other types of furniture manufacturing.  It is also one of the timbers in the world that is least susceptible to problematic and destructive dry-wood termites and is thus has greater durability than alternatives.  Further to this, the wood reacts well to polishing and finishes with a nice smooth furnish and resists cutting and sawing but is great for turnery.

Why Choose Sheesham Furniture?

Because of the nature of the timber, Sheesham furniture by default will have a very unique colouring because of the timber’s very well defined grain, which can be finished to improve the look and quality with hand waxing.  Often, Sheesham furniture incorporates hand-forged wrought iron work, often referred to as Jali ironwork.

Interestingly, as it is such a versatile and sturdy type of wood when Sheesham timber is not being used to make exquisite furniture, it is used to make a wide range of different things including sports goods, tool handles, engraved pieces, carved pieces, ornamental turnery, musical instruments, charcoal for cooking and heating and aircraft and marine-grade plywood.

If you are looking for wooden furniture that will stand the test of time and use, due to a close grain and hard structure.  For wooden furniture that will also look smart and sophisticated and add a natural touch to your home; then you should consider Sheesham timber-built pieces of furniture.  If you are also worried about your furniture looking too much like other people’s furniture who have the same or similar wood-built pieces, then you needn’t worry as due to the individual characteristics and markings found in the wood, every piece of furniture made from Sheesham timber is always going to look a little or lot different than other pieces.

Tips For Choosing Bathroom Tiles For A Small Bathroom

Tips For Choosing Bathroom Tiles For A Small Bathroom

As everyone has different needs, wants and tastes; when it comes to choosing the best bathroom tiles for your home, it is quite a subjective matter.  Something that looks perfect to one person, may look hellish to another person.  Although the colours and designs you choose will be your own, there are still some basic pieces of advice you can follow to make sure you choose tiles, such as those available from PlumbTile.com, wisely.

In the following article we will discuss tiling a bathroom and what to consider when doing so.

The Size Of Tiles You Should Choose

One of the best things about shopping for bathroom tiling is that there is such a wide variety of styles and sizes available.  It is important to bear in mind that just because a certain style or design looks beautiful on paper, it doesn’t mean it will on the walls or floor of your bathroom.  You also need to consider the size of the bathroom as not all types of tiles will look good in every bathroom.  Before you hire anyone or lay any tiles you need to take a sample and really give thought to how your bathroom will look when it’s finished.

The majority of interior design professionals will recommend that you avoid using larger sized tiles in a smaller bathroom, as it can make the room look and feel small.  When the truth is that you can have just as many problems when you opt for smaller sized tiles.  As smaller tiles will mean more grout lines and a grid-like look, it can make you feel boxed in, in a small bathroom.  It is best to find a happy medium between large and small tiles.

Can You Make Your Small Bathroom Look Bigger Using Tiles?

The short answer is yes, but it really depends on the the style of tile you choose.  A well-known industry tip is that you can make a room look bigger by decorating it with lighter colours.  So consider using lighter shades and colours such as creams and whites.  Even if you mix up the colours and have dark with some light, like white and black tiles, you need to ensure that at least 50% of  them are light.

The Number Of Tiles You Need

Before you go out or log online to buy bathroom tiles you should figure out how many tiles you will actually need to complete the room.  There are various tile calculators online that make finding the information very easy.  These take the measurements and dimensions of your bathroom to calculate the correct number.  If you don’t fancy doing it that way, you could take your bathroom’s dimensions along to your nearest tile retailer.  Regardless of how you measure for the number, always add 10% to that number to buy enough tiles to cover pattern matching, waste, cuttings and breakages.

What Do Beer and Wine Labels Say About You?


The beer or wine label you choose to go with says a lot about your personality. It will send a message to the other party goers about what kind of a person you are. This infographic by Label Value goes over the different types of personality types associated with each alcoholic beverage.