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By:    On: 2010-08-06

  Traveling Tips 101

I am encouraged to make the most out of your summer  vacations. Here are a few tips to maximize the pocketbook, so  that there is still plenty of financial resources to come home to.  Time is certainly valuable so these tips are time savers as well as  money savers!

Do you find that the outdoors provides inspiration and a clear head? Showing the ability to accomplish things that was once a mind block after an invigorating hike, adventure, splashing around the rapids in a kayak, mountain climbing, camping or whatever your pleasure? Productivity is truly the key to one’s soul and the cornerstone to any business and personal to-do lists. And as such the outdoors provides a sense of unity among yourself and nature. Vacations are not just a way to free the mind, but the ability to be around friends and travel to the most fun filled destinations. Just make every moment count! 

1. Know your location and pack accordingly. Research the area for services like food, gas, and medical. Buy gas at less expensive stations before you set out on the road, fill up once during if needed, and then on the return trip. Reset odometer after first fill up, before hitting the road, it will calculate the the distance driven so recheck that figure once your get home for a roundtrip estimation. As a frequent traveler I know anything can happen on vacations, where the mishaps often result in a funny story later. Most especially in the outdoor terrain, accidents are prevalent due to lack of preparedness or knowledge and modern conveniences are lacking.
So if the area you are staying around isn’t rural, then the above suggestions should be no problem
if weather or injury becomes an issue. This saves time and frustration later, so do your best to “be prepared”. 

2. If there are not reviews on a particular location or campground ask around. As RoadCEO becomes larger and more well known user reviews will be essential, so please remember to re-visit the site and do just that. In the meantime, the leading travel websites where you would purchase airfare, usually has reviews for any type of lodging, attractions, ratings, and the good/bad of it.

The worst thing, is to be somewhere you don’t like on vacation and suffer through it because you did not do your homework beforehand. Use discretion with reviews as one reviewer may think negatively of a property because of an isolated situation or because of some petty issue that overall should not bring down the rating of the property. Likewise, a positive review can equally be subjective.

3. Remember, travel off-season is better for most “can’t deal with crowds” people for National and State parks. The most popular destinations may come at a lower price, but depending on the location, is it worth the extra people, noise, and congestion? Watch out for postings on Facebook and Twitter as any type of news travel related is valuable to making your vacation a successful. Social Networking resources are extremely valued and people will talk on those sites with any sort of comments. Value and use the resources at hand. on Facebook and on Twitter…. Tweet your comments..
Sign-ups are encouraged to maximize the user involvement in RoadCEO.

4. Always have cash available, not too much where you’ll be kicking yourself if it gets lost or stolen but enough that if you need cash, it is available. ATM's are too expensive and not available everywhere in the mountain ranges or off-roading. Credit cards are not nature’s friend!
5. Have you ever considered using AAA membership which offers great travel discounts and other membership rewards?
By the same token, consider discount memberships from KOA, Good Sam's, Passport America, Happy Camper, Camp Club USA, Escapees, and/or Club Yogi among others not listed here. The AAA as well as most visitor centers offer free maps, and guide books to the state or region you are traveling complete with descriptions on the history of the area to the estimated weather for that time of year. 

These resources are invaluable as the savings, especially for multiple people, as its too good to pass up. Renee and I took our friends to Big Bear and with lodging, food, souvenirs, and attractions we saved over $200 from what we originally budgeted. Discounts are offered as part of the memberships which save money on campgrounds, and on entry fees to selected “must see” areas. 
6. Invest laptop car inverter as it is a nifty, and durable way to charge anything from cell phones, digital cameras, mp3 players, laptops,IPod's, etc.  all from your cigarette lighter. The cool gadget should have at least two plugs, if not four especially if there multiple electronics intended to be used simultaneously. Be aware, check your voltage on your laptop or netbook prior to purchasing this. The inverter must be the same voltage or higher for it to support each other and not fry your hard drive. The recommended manufactures are Kensington, Kingston, and Targus, all found at one of the following merchants, TargetWal-Mart, and Fry’s Electronics
7. The variety of coupon websites are available to anyone at the click of a search engine and a mouse. With little effort, you can print your favorite restaurant coupons by location, amusement park or zoo discount coupons, grab the last minute munchies for the road coupons, and the most invaluable coupon to this traveler in the heat of the summer discounts for water. You are laughing at me now, how the most invaluable coupon out of the whole list is water. But, it is true. I prefer bottled water which is also convenient for in the car, carrying in my purse when sightseeing, and keeps me hydrated throughout the day. The water prices sometimes are $6 and up for a 24-pack so yes, coupons have proven to definitely be a money-saver!  
8. If you like visiting the National Parks be aware of free entry fee days. It is a promotion among the 391 United States parks to encourage visitors to travel and experience the sights. These free days, are offered several times a year in different seasons. The best up to date information is located on:
9. Rand McNally is the leading industry map company for road trip itineraries, planning, and maps. Keep your travel plans to a few hours away from home for short get-aways. The way it saves time and resources especially in weekend traffic on the roads and at the sightseeing attractions.
If you are venturing out a little further, invest in the Rand McNally map which comes in paper fold out or laminated fold out. I prefer the laminated as it is more durable and smaller so the passenger can navigate, and the driver can drive. The computer printed maps really serve such a small region of where the trip is. Rand McNally is the recommended source here and it sets your travel objective in the right direction.  

For more travel tips, and information on successes and failures of your travel do’s and don’ts, stay aware, and be prepared. Future articles will follow but voicing your experiences are more valuable as helps others relate to real time situations and educates others on what gear to buy, what activities to do, weather conditions, and so on. Your feedback is valued, look forward to seeing you on Facebook and Twitter. Until then, RoadCEO hopes you enjoy and have very safe travels!  





























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