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10 Must-Do Things to Prepare for an Awesome Road Trip

10 Must-Do Things to Prepare for an Awesome Road Trip

Road trips are fun. You get to explore new places, meet new people, try new things, and maybe even do a little soul searching.

This is the perfect time to plan a road trip, what with the summer coming up. However, preparation is the key to a fun, hassle-free road trip. If you do your prep work right, you can be as spontaneous as you want to be once you’re on the road.

Here are some things you should remember before venturing out on an adventure of a lifetime.

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Don’t cut too far into your budget, you might have an emergency

Always have something extra for a rainy day, and this isn’t about bringing an umbrella! Although…But we digress, even if you are on a strict budget, you always, always need to have some money on hand in cash. Many unexpected things can happen while you’re on your road trip. Your car might break down, you might need to stay an extra night, and so on. You should also bring a credit card in case your cash is not going to cut it. Make sure the card will be honored wherever you’re going.

Important tip: If you are going to buy souvenirs or be taking a stroll in a busy marketplace, keep your wallet in a safe place, and have small amounts of cash in your breast pocket to discourage pickpockets. A belt bag might be a good idea, but keep it in front of you instead of fashionably slung over your butt.

Rent a campervan/travel vehicle for a long trip with your friends

You might think to save money by bringing your own car, but if you’re bringing friends along, you will soon chafe at the close confines. Divvy up the cost to rent a campervan if you want to be comfortable in your travels. In Australia, you can even hire a motorhome on campervanfinder online for lengthy trips. You can offset the cost by not having to pay for accommodation.

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Bring some toys and kits when you are bringing kids on your trip

Going on a road trip with small children is a challenge for many parents. They get tetchy and cranky, and they always want to know if you’re there yet. You can keep them entertained by bringing along their favorite toys and some board games. Bring along inexpensive bubble tubes, they’re good for hours of fun for the whole family.

You should also have a kit for cleaning their Sippy cups when running water is not an option (denture tablets) and a well-stocked first aid kit for those cuts and scratches. Have a couple of carabiners and a bungee cord handy so you can keep a leash your active five-year-old when you’re in crowded places.

Be friendly to your fellow travelers, to the locals, and well, to everybody

Leave your sense of entitlement back home. Carrying around an attitude can land you in trouble when you’re outside your territory. Be friendly to everyone you meet—within reason, of course—as you may need to be in their good graces at some point. Observe how the locals act and follow their lead. Be unfailingly polite, and keep your opinions to yourself. You never know what might offend the people you meet.

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Bring key accessories with you

Since you’re on a road trip, travelling light is not as applicable as when you travel by air. You can afford to bring essential accessories such as a tote bag, sun block, water bottles, universal adapter, flashlights, batteries, portable steam iron, laptop, and a portable gas stove. Have a good supply of handy wipes and toilet paper, and don’t forget an ample supply of any prescription medications.

Be sure to bring all essentials

Make sure to bring necessary items. Arrange for the appropriate insurance and make sure you have all your travel documents in a waterproof bag. Have a duplicate in the glove compartment. Choose wrinkle-free clothes carefully, and make sure you can mix and match them. Depending on where you are going, bring just two sets of footwear, sandals being one of them. Have enough blankets and travel pillows for everyone, and make sure you bring your chargers.

Prepare your body and mind before going on a trip

Be sure to have plenty of rest so that you are at peak physical condition. A road trip is fun, but it is also tiring. You don’t want to set off with a compromised immune system and get sick, which can ruin the whole thing. Have a complete physical check up prior to a long road trip, and get the green light from your doctor, especially if you have a medical condition. If you plan on engaging in rigorous activities such as surfing, tone your body several weeks before your trip.

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If you are travelling by plane, be on time at the airport, and bring your tickets with you

This might sound obvious, but if you have to travel by plane to get to the start point of your road trip, make sure you don’t miss your flight. Pack your bags the night before and give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport. Don’t forget your tickets!

Look for an affordable but pleasant hotel, and you should know its reputation

Book your accommodation for each of your planned stops in advance to get the best deals. You will have the opportunity to check online reviews so you avoid doing the funky chicken with the cockroaches. If you rent a caravan or motorhome, it would be a good idea to find likely campsites. You can save a bundle if you can spend a couple of nights under the stars!

Have fun, and leave your problems behind

Plan your trip carefully to make the most of what is available along your route. However, don’t be too obsessive about following a schedule. You might have missed something in the planning stage, so allow enough time for unexpected detours if you find something interesting along the way. Allow yourself the freedom to relax, forget all your worries, and just have fun.

Conclusion

A road trip is fun because it is rife with possibilities. However, that doesn’t mean you should leave everything to chance. Expect the best, but be ready for the worst. That way, it will be a road trip to remember for all the right reasons.

Featured photo credit: Sem Vandekerckhove via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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