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Airline Travel Checklist

Whether you are a seasoned traveler or a first time flyer, a good checklist is always a good choice. I was taught that making lists are important when packing so you don’t forget something very important, so it’s good practice. Some may say that they travel all the time so they don’t need to make a list and that the person who always forgets something, always.  So you are planning some international travel or maybe just flying to the beach for a quick vacation, either way, this checklist should help.

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Whether you are a seasoned traveler or a first time flyer, a good checklist is always a good choice. I was taught that making lists are important when packing so you don’t forget something very important, so it’s good practice. Some may say that they travel all the time so they don’t need to make a list and that the person who always forgets something, always. It’s better to take a few minutes and make a simple packing list, keep it with your printed out itinerary and you should be good to go.  

So you are planning some international travel or maybe just flying to the beach for a quick vacation, either way, this checklist should help.

 

Before You Go

These are the most important things to do before you travel, trust me, we’ve been all over the map and made mistake so you don’t have to.

If you are traveling internationally make sure to check to see what the entry requirements are so you aren’t left filling out visa applications at the airport. I would check on these requirements at least a few months prior to your trip. Many countries have strict travel rules so you may have to file for a visa early. South Africa for example require travelers to have two completely clear pages in your passport to gain entry, that’s definitely something you need prior to flying.   A new passport takes up to three months so check ahead of time to save you some trouble.

Plan out your flight outfit in advance with security in mind. You don’t want something that isn’t easy to take off including shoes and clothing. Avoid heavy belts, big jewelry and lots of metal. I like slip-on shoes and workout gear so I’m comfortable and easy to pass through security.

Obviously buy your tickets in advance, make sure you pick a good seat and have your boarding pass printed out. The less stuff you have to do at the airport the better, it’s always so crazy there.

 

Carry on

Your carry on bag should contain everything you will need while at the airport, on the plane and some “Just in case” items. I like to keep all my entertainment items here and easily reached for in flight. Don’t forget to place any liquid items in the clear plastic bag for security checkpoints.

“Just in case’ items are important if your bag is lost. These are usually a change of clothing, including underwear. You don’t want to be stuck with just the clothing on your back, trust me. Also pack a jacket if the weather has any chance of being bad.

Pack all your valuables in your carry on bags. Don’t ever put any electronics or jewelry in your checked bags.

 

Checked baggage

Pack light people, let’s not get too crazy here. You don’t need to bring everything you own, which I see all the time. Plan out your trip by choosing multiple outfits that can be worn a few times. Layers are also important because they can be mixed and matched to create many outfits with only a few items of clothing.

Plan ahead your activities so you know if you need a bathing suit or snow gear, you get it. Pack all your toiletries and larger liquids like shampoo.

 

Paperwork

Do you have all your important documents like passport, ID, tickets, visa information etc…? Do you need a proof of vaccines document? Make sure, some countries require these upon entry. I keep a document with all these in it and it’s always on me. Rental car info, hotel reservations and other important confirmation numbers should be easily accessible.

 

Best of luck with your travel, but with this simple checklist, you won’t need any luck because you will be so prepared.

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Destinations

Travel East To West & Back On A Cross Country Train

Traveling in America can be expensive so what if I told you there is a route across the continental Unites States that only costs $213. Not on a plane but on a train!

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     Wanderlust takes us far away to foreign lands and different cultures but many haven’t even seen their home country. America is a huge parcel of land that it’s shocking how common it is for us to have never explored our own preverbal backyards.

We recommend getting out there to see what makes America so grand. Its people, land, and its majesty. Traveling across America can be expensive. Therefore, what if I told you there is a route across the continental Unites States that only costs just north of $200? Not on a plane but on a train! See our land and all it has to offer for only $200+!

Travel blogger Derek Low figured out the route and shared it with the world. He mapped out a path from San Francisco to New Your City on two trains.

His route takes you through 11 states, across 3,397 miles and so many unforgettable sights. Amtrak has some great deals so if this isn’t your desired destination, you should plan your own train adventure and see this beautiful country for yourself.

 

Details

     It’s a simple two-train path that can easily be recreated for a return trip. Amtrak offers these incredible 15-day rail passes that allow the rider to essentially take up to 8 separate rides.  The 15-day deal is more expensive ($429) than the straight route but it allows you more exploration time and freedom.

If you purchase Amtrak’s 15-day deal you can stop at cities along the route and explore at your own pace, as long as you finish the trip in 15 days. What a great way to see new cities without breaking the bank.

     Blogger Derek Low stopped at Salt Lake City, Denver, and Chicago on his way to New York. Can you imagine how expensive it would be if you tried to fly to all these different cities? Plus all the added stress that flying brings, geez, why does anyone fly. Oh, yea because it’s so fast.

If time isn’t an issue, traveling by trains are much less stressful and visually more appealing. Airports can be a real sore and most major city train stations are relics of our architectural past. Train stations hark back to a time when train travel was exciting and people treated it as such an inspiring event. Let’s make that magical feeling happen again and see just how special our country is. 

The Route

     From San Francisco, buy a ticket on the California Zephyr Line for as cheap as $130. This line takes you all the way to Chicago, through Salt Lake City, Denver, and Omaha. At times, this train travels alongside the historic route 66, the famed road from Chicago to Los Angeles.

The next route takes you from Chicago to New York City along the Lake Shore Limited for as cheap as $83. That’s a grand total of $213 for a cross-country trip, pretty sweet indeed.

For more adventures the train runs all the way to Boston, so your options are pretty limitless.

 

 


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Guides

Enjoying The Little Tastes Of Vintage Across America

There are still plenty of amazing vintage hotels still open for business around the country. 

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     There’s just something about the retro-age. It’s all about vintage and throwbacks and reboots. As annoying as it can be, some really cool vintage still exists out there. And what’s more vintage than cute, little roadside motels? Here are some of the coolest ones out there.

SANTA FE MOTEL AND INN – SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO

     The Santa Fe Motel and Inn epitomizes the energy and style of the Southwest. From the classic adobe-style architecture to the colorful and rustic interior of the lobby, this place is as New Mexico as it gets. And the awesome Santa Fe Plaza is just about a seven-minute walk away. They also offer a deliciously Southwest breakfast for their guests.

THE STARLUX – WILDWOOD, NEW JERSEY

     Enjoy a proper New Jersey experience at the StarLux motel as it is just two blocks from the beach and the awesome Wildwood Boardwalk. One of the biggest motels on this list, it has a whopping 45 rooms. Plus they really lean heavily on the vintage vibe with lava lamps in the rooms, fake palm trees by the pool, and actual real-life Airstream trailers for guests to stay in.

PALM SPRINGS RENDEZVOUS – PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA

     This adorable motel first opened in 1938 and was apparently the motel of choice for the one and only Marilyn Monroe when she visited Palm Springs. There are only ten rooms in the motel and they all have unique and awesome themes. Like the Rebel Without a Cause room, the Shake Rattle and Roll room, and Marilyn’s favorite, the Pretty in Pink room.

BLACK HAWK MOTEL – WISCONSIN DELLS, WISCONSIN

     This picture-perfect motel looks like it’s right out of a postcard. The best part about this vintage spot? Nearby attractions! There’s a popular tourist strip just a ten-minute walk away, and Noah’s Ark Waterpark and Kalahari Indoor Theme Park are a short drive away. The motel even provides free passes to all its guests!

THE MOTOR LODGE – PRESCOTT, ARIZONA

     This quaint little spot was built all the way back in 1910. It was originally just a small collection of summer cabins. It’s changed a lot over the years thanks to multiple owners, but now it’s considered an awesome boutique motel located right around the corner from Whiskey Row and historic downtown. Guests can also enjoy a complimentary glass of wine when they arrive, a homemade cookie when they leave, and plenty of bikes for borrowing.

RED CABOOSE MOTEL – RONKS, PENNSYLVANIA

     This place is an absolute must-see. Literally made from 19 25-ton train cabooses all the way back in 1969, motels doing get any more vintage than the Red Caboose Motel. Guests will literally stay in the cabooses, with some of them big enough to support a whole family, and one honeymoon caboose with a queen-sized bed and a romantic whirlpool bath. It also includes a petting zoo, a miniature train ride, and free movie nights in the barn.


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Guides

Are You Suffering From Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease?

If you suffer from restrictive airflow, you may be suffering from COPD.

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     Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, more commonly known as COPD, is a group of aggressive lung diseases that negatively affect airflow. In fact, COPD has become the 3rd leading cause of death in the US. Surprisingly, 48% of those suffering from the condition don’t even realize they have it. Those suffering from this chronic inflammatory lung disease have difficulty breathing, consistent coughs and wheezes, and excess mucus production. These symptoms are caused by heavy and long-term exposure to gas and particulate irritants – the most common being derived from cigarette smoke. Left untreated, individuals with COPD have greater risks of developing lung cancer, heart disease, and various related condition.

     COPD and its various forms may arise from several risk factors. Long-term smoking is a common entry-point into the body but second-hand smoke may also be a concern. Aside from the most obvious culprit, age, genetic imperfections, and exposure to fumes and irritants from the burning of chemical and substances in the home and workplace may also be to blame.

Causes

     COPD, at least in developed countries, is largely a result of tobacco smoke. However, in the developing world, the condition is a result of direct and indirect exposure to fumes and irritants from burning fuel. Fumes of burnt fuel may come by cooking or heating homes. These pollutants are more commonly seen in poorly vented enclosed spaces.

Again (& largely), COPD and its complications are self-induced due to extended cigarette smoking. That being said, there are several other factors that come into play during development (and subsequent worsening) of the condition. Furthermore, only 20-30% of long-term smokers may suffer from COPD, alluding to the fact that genetics may help in preventing or easing the condition as well.

Symptoms

     COPD symptoms typically worsen over time, especially if irritant inhalation continues or worsens, but won’t normally appear until recognizable lung damage has been established. Nonetheless, those suffering may experience one or several of the following:

  • Shortness of breath – particularly during sports and exercise
  • Wheezing
  • Chest constriction
  • The constant need to clear one’s throat in the morning of excessive nighttime mucus production
  • Blue tint of the lips and/or fingernail beds – also known as Cyanosis
  • Respiratory infections
  • Apathy
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Swollen legs/ankles/feet

Those dealing with COPD may also deal with the exacerbated episodes of symptoms – unexpected, short-term worsening of symptoms.

Concerns

     Starting in the most common area, patients with COPD will suffer greatly from even the most simple of respiratory infections. These infections are capable of increasing breathing difficulty and may cause additional damage to lung walls and tissues. Thankfully, an annual flu vaccination will largely rid yourself of the danger of these lesser-illnesses. However, threats only continue. Quitting the use of tobacco can help but COPD may increase the risk of heart attack, lung cancer, and pulmonary hypertension – high blood pressure in the lung arteries. Additionally, as an unexpected side effect, breathing difficulties may cause an inability to participate in once-enjoyed activities. This may lead to a feeling of helplessness, ultimately leading to a mild or severe form of depression.

Prevention

     Any attempt to quit smoking is beneficial, but the true secret is to quit as soon as possible. No matter the struggle, the overall quality of life will greatly improve upon removing the dangerous inhalation of smoke. If needed, partaking in a suitable cessation program to quit the drug altogether will be your best possible line of defense. Additionally, if you work in an occupational “danger zone,” discuss with your manager the possibility to minimize your chance of irritation.


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