Road Trip Tips

“It’s better to have it and not need it, than need it have not have it.”

Words of wisdom I like to keep in mind every time I take a day trip in my car. Here are some things you should have for your next day trip:

© Curvabezier | Dreamstime.com - Cute Cars Driving On A Road Trip Photo

1 – Visit the ATM before you leave – Cash is still king in many small towns and roadside stops. My wife and I tried to attend a community fair on a trip 2 months ago. There was a cash only entrance fee and no available ATM’s. Many stores, gas stations and food outlets have minimum amounts for credit or debit card charges. A few bucks in your pocket will be very helpful in times like this.

2 – Get an E-ZPass for your car – I know some people feel they don’t travel enough or go through toll booths enough to justify an E-ZPass. They forget that convenience has a value and stress has a cost. I love being able to zoom by the toll booth in the E-ZPass lane! Without the E-ZPass, I would go crazy if I had to wait behind a long line of cars at each toll booth. To me, a less stressful vacation is worth the small cost for the E-ZPass.

3 – Join the American Automobile Association (AAA) – The benefits are enormous; travel information, travel discounts and travel insurance. They’ve even added identity theft monitoring as an option. The main reason to join … roadside assistance! I locked my keys in my car on one trip and had my car breakdown on another. In both cases, all I had to do was make one call.

4 – Store a small first aid kit in your car – There are many first aid kits available for car use. Buy one! “Better safe than sorry!”

5 – Buy bug spray (or check the expiration date) before you leave – You never know when you will need this. I’ve been attacked while pumping gas! Flying critters are always on the lookout. Don’t be their next victim! I always have a can or some wipes in my trunk during road trips.

6 – Give your car a quick checkup – Read my post on this, “AAA’s Easy Maintenance Checks for Motorists“.

7 – If you need a partner for the road trip – Read my post on this, “Find Travel Buddies“.

I hope this helps! Vacations are about building memories. These tips will help make them good memories. What tips would you add?

Thanks for reading the Maryland Travel Stories Blog!

Brent Jackson

Western Maryland Scenic Railroad Trip

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Western Maryland Scenic Railroad (WMSR) / Allegany County / The train runs between Cumberland, MD and Frostburg, MD. The ride starts at the station in downtown Cumberland, MD (13 Canal St / (301) 759-4400).

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WMSR on Wikipedia / WMSR website / Facebook / Twitter

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A 16 mile scenic ride through western Maryland mountains.

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With a layover in Frostburg, MD.

AAA’s Easy Maintenance Checks for Motorists

Travel Tips GraphicHere are 7 easy car maintenance checks for traveling motorists from AAA:

  1. Check Brake Fluid Level and Color
  2. Check Engine Air Filter
  3. Check Windshield Washer Fluid
  4. Check Windshield Wiper Blades
  5. Check Tire Pressure
  6. Check Tire Tread
  7. Check Battery

Read the article for more details.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Brent Jackson

Maryland Day Trip Books

© Thinglass | Dreamstime.com - Amazon Kindle Photo
© Thinglass | Dreamstime.com – Amazon Kindle Photo

There’s tons of information out there to help a tourist find places to go in Maryland. The state government has a tourism website. Most counties in the state have a website. There are magazines and blogs covering the subject. Social media and mobile apps are in the mix as well. A bevy of resources are available to help you plan your next day trip. There’s one more place I want to check … books! I did a search on Amazon.com for “Maryland Day Trips” and found 7 books I thought were interesting. I plan to order them all for my Kindle:

  1. Explorer’s Guide 50 Hikes in Maryland: Walks, Hikes & Backpa​cks from the Allegheny Plateau to the Atlantic Ocean (Third Edition) (Explorer’s 50 Hikes)
  2. Maryland Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Oth​er Offbeat Stuff (Curiosities Series)
  3. Explorer’s Guide Maryland (Fourth Edition) (Explorer’s Complete)
  4. Backroads & Byw​ays of Chesapeake Bay: Drives, Day Trips & Weeken​d Excursions
  5. Maryland and Delaware Off the Beaten Path®: A Guide To Unique Places (Off the Beaten Path Series)
  6. Explorer’s Guide Baltimore, Annapolis & Th​e Chesapeake Bay: A Great Destination (Explorer’s Great Destinations)
  7. Backroads & Byw​ays of Maryland: Drives, Day Trips & Weeken​d Excursions (Backroads & B​yways)

With phases like “offbeat stuff” and “unique places” … this should be fun!

Thanks for reading my blog!

Brent Jackson

Find Travel Buddies

My wife and I travel together and we love it! A great trip for us is a long drive with a good audio-book and scenic views. We’re over the moon if we have a couple interesting places to visit and a good meal at the destination. I work most weekends but I have a free weekend every 6 weeks. When I have a weekend off, we’re in the car going somewhere! It’s about spending quality time together and building memories!

I have a lot of single friends who rarely travel because, well … they’re single. If you’re actively dating, this may not be a problem. Dating and travel go great together in the advanced stages. If you’re not dating and you hate to travel along, then it’s pizza time in front of the TV.

Not married. Not dating. Find travel buddies! I thought I would test my theory that it’s easy to find and make new friends. New friends who like to travel. Meetup.com is a site you can use to find people with the same interests. I set the location to a zip code in Baltimore, MD and did a search for 25 miles in any direction. I used the search term “day trips”. 98 meetup groups came up! 98 groups of people who sometimes travel together. You can also try a search for “travel”, “weekend getaways” or “weekend adventure”.

Pick a group. Join. Make new friends … and start traveling!

Thanks for reading my blog!

Brent Jackson

Why I’m Writing a Blog: Braggables, Passion and Love!

I wrote this post for my other Blog, “Wheel Life Thinking”. It applies to this blog as well.

Wheel Life Thinking

© Blotty | Dreamstime.com - Word Blog With Globe Over White Photo © Blotty | Dreamstime.com – Word Blog With Globe Over White Photo

I’m a fan of Tom Peters. He’s a world-class speaker and business consultant.  He’s considered an authority on management and organization effectiveness.  He wrote an article in Fast Company Magazine called, “The Brand Called You“. There’s a quote in the article that explains the term ‘braggables.’

“One key to growing your power is to recognize the simple fact that we now live in a project world. Almost all work today is organized into bite-sized packets called projects. A project-based world is ideal for growing your brand: projects exist around deliverables, they create measurables, and they leave you with braggables.”

– Tom Peters

Even in the short time I’ve been blogging, I find I’m working on a series of small research projects to create my posts.  I’m learning new skills and gaining knowledge in new areas during the process…

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