Spring Traveling is Here

Spring has sprung and travelling season is officially upon us! It isn’t a coincidence that April is Car Care Month either. It is so important to make sure your vehicle is in top condition before you venture out on a long road trip. Winters can be hard on vehicles; the inevitable road grit, the wear and tear on rubber hoses and even the wear and tear on the battery. All of these things make April the perfect month to do a little preventative maintenance and inspect your vehicle’s components.

One of the best things about a road trip is to enjoy the ride; roll down those windows, crank up the tunes and enjoy the open road. The last thing you want to do is get out on the highway and break down. This can usually be avoided by doing just a few preventative maintenance checks before you get going. Our website has a more complete list of what maintenance is recommended however we thought we would give you a quick overview on what needs to be done before hitting the open road.

  • Check and adjust your tire pressure and don’t forget about the spare, if it isn’t properly inflated, it could make a bad situation worse
  • Check your tread on the tires, the last thing you want to do is have a blowout
  • Check your vehicle’s fluids … oil, brake, transmission and coolant
  • Have your oil changed before you leave; long trips can put additional stress on your motor.
  • Check your oil and air filters and replace as needed, they will ensure your engine runs at peak performance
  • Inspect your battery for any loose connections and make sure it is clean, tight and corrosion free.
  • Do a quick check to make sure all your lights and blinkers are working and replace any dead bulbs or fuses.
  • Stock your vehicle with an emergency kit. At the very least a spare tire, flashlight, medical kit, and an up to date map.

It might seem simple but a car wash will ensure you can see everything clearly.
We love to travel as much as you do and know that getting to your destination safe and sound is the goal. Don’t gamble with your safety, if you aren’t comfortable checking your vehicle out, take it in to an auto repair shop and they can run it through a complete safety checklist and make any necessary repairs to prevent you from having to deal with a break down on the way to your destination. Happy travelling!

Jet Lag Travel Tips

Jet lag occurs when one’s internal biological clock doesn’t match the local clock. In other words, my body thinks it’s time to get up or have dinner or go to sleep for the night, and while I can feel that sensation, it’s another time of day locally, and I’m supposed to be doing something else. Of course, the airplane is the culprit because it picked me up in one time zone and dropped me in another, and my body didn’t have sufficient time to adjust.

Basically, beating jet lag comes down to establishing new sleeping and eating patterns. Yes, we can talk about biorhythms or other more technical medical considerations, but in the end, my body needs to adapt, and there are things I can do to help with that. Below are my approaches.

Be Well Rested Before Trip: Like pulling an all-nighter in college, if I start relaxed and well slept during the prior couple/several nights, or better yet, the prior week or two, then I’m likely to get through it more easily. Of course, being young would also help a lot, but even today, if I’ve had a smooth, restful period before I leave, the jet lag disappears much more quickly. So, without making a huge deal out of it, I try to think about and prepare for the upcoming trip early and not grind myself too much right before I leave (which usually means working to finish my packing and pre-trip “to do” list early and certainly means skipping any wild, night-before send-off parties).

Set Watch to Destination: As I board the plane, I set my watch and cell phone to the current time of my destination, and while flying, I try to eat and sleep as if I’ve already arrived on that time zone. This helps me to start changing my body clock, including re-setting my mind, which is the key to combating jet lag. Of course, depending on when the plane leaves and arrives, and the number of time zones I cross, this may not work perfectly, but being conscious of and starting the change sooner is almost certainly the right choice.

Drink Lots of Water and Avoid/Limit Stimulants: Most people know that the pressurized air inside an airplane’s cabin causes dehydration and that stimulants, such as alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and even excess sugar, make dehydration worse. Similarly, many people know that stimulants cause a body to consume energy (which is why people can lose weight by smoking or taking caffeine diet pills). In the jet lag world, stated in a simple, non-medical way, dehydration and stimulants run the body down, prolong the time for the body clock to adjust, and thus aggravate the jet lag. If this explanation isn’t convincing by itself, then take it from someone with extensive personal experience – every time I’ve tried to ignore, dodge, or deny this reality, it’s always been to my detriment. So now, with my hard-earned wisdom, I might have a drink or two (at most), and I always ask the steward(ess) for a large bottle of water to keep by my seat and sip frequently (no matter what).

Stretch and Move Around in Flight: From time to time, I get up and walk around the plane or stretch myself out in the seat.