Berlin Md – Top 100 Coolest Small Towns

Road Trip to BerlinBudget Travel Magazine posted it’s Top 100 Coolest Small Towns in America this month. It’s a list of a decade’s worth of winners in the annual Coolest Small Towns contest! Berlin is the only Maryland town to make the list!

Berlin is a town in Worcester County, Maryland (United States) with population around 4,000. The town is close to Ocean City, Md and Assateague Island so there’s a wide area of things to see and do. It also has an active tourism calendar and good social media channels to keep up-to-date.

Main Street Berlin gets good reviews on TripAdvisor. The town even has a short video on the Main Street website with a list of things to do. Main Street Berlin is part of Maryland’s Main Streets Program.

Need one more reason to visit Berlin, you may have already seen the Town of Berlin and didn’t know it. Parts of the movie Runaway Bride (1999), starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts were filmed there. [Thanks Wikipedia!]

Congratulations to Berlin … Maryland’s coolest small town!

Thank you for reading the Maryland Travel Stories Blog!

Planning Family Vacations (The Labor of Love Podcast)

Labor of Love PodcastI listen to a fantastic episode of The Labor of Love Podcast! It covers the ups and downs of planning family vacations. Episode 18 – “Family Vacations”. The description is:

Wait, aren’t we supposed to be relaxing? Lori talks to travel expert Wendy Perrin and writer David Valdes Greenwood about how to survive — and even have fun! — on your family vacation.

Get great ideas to keep the stress down before, during and after your next trip. Go listen to this podcast right now!

What’s a podcast? / Real Simple Magazine / Panoply Podcasts

Thanks for reading the Maryland Travel Stories Blog!

Restaurants and the Bathroom Test

I wrote this post for my Wheel Life Thinking Blog in July 2014. It applies to traveling. While exploring, I’ll be taking the bathroom test when I visit restaurants.

Wheel Life Thinking

RestaurantI eat in restaurants often. I like trying new restaurants, especially when brunch is served. I never worried about sanitation in the kitchen or if my server washed their hands. I just enjoyed the food.

TV shows change all that. Try watching shows like Restaurant: Impossible on the Food Network,  Hotel Impossible on the Travel Channel or Bar Rescue on Spike TV. I was shocked at all the unsanitary hotels, bars and restaurants out there. I always knew there are unsanitary places but seeing it on TV brings it to life. How can you tell when you walk into one of these places?

I got up to use the bathroom on one of my restaurant visits. It was really bad. The floors were dirty, the paper-towels had run out and the soap was empty. It hit me, if I can’t wash my hands, my server can’t wash…

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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