6 Must Haves For Travel This Summer

Summer means there is a lot of fun activities planned for you and your loved ones. Some of the plans include traveling together to visit relatives that may live out of state. You can either choose to fly there but it’s much cheaper to drive. If you’ve never accomplished a road trip before, there are a few needed items to make sure you bring along before you get to your destination. These essentials are put in place to make your trip more enjoyable and easier on you and your family.
  1. Snacks - I’m sure many of us have heard the famous phrase “I’m hungry” coming from the backseat of the car at least 5 minutes from pulling away from the house. To ensure that everyone feels full and satisfied, pack a variety of snacks everyone will enjoy. I’ll have various cut up fruits and vegetables in small baggies for the kids to pick up and open themselves as well as easy snacks such as fruit snacks, crackers and a few small sweets. To make sure that the snacks last a while, each kid is able to have one thing every hour or so. Of course we do stop for lunch to stretch our legs and keep our hunger to a minimum but as soon as we are back in the car, the “ I’m hungry “ seems to last a little longer than we’d like it too.
  2. Drinks - The same goes for drinks. I make sure that there is also a large variety of drinks for the kids and the rest of the family to enjoy. I keep it simple by bringing small water bottles, empty cups for them to fill what they need and easy to use juice boxes. My rule of thumb is to have everyone use the bathroom before they get into the car so it’s not an extra stop along the way the second we pull away from the gas station.
  3. Entertainment - If you have younger children, entertainment isn’t as necessary as when you have older ones. For younger kids, easy things such as a Tablet or a small DVD player to enjoy watching a few movies is a treat! As they get older, bring a few pads of paper, markers and coloring books for them to enjoy. There are also audio books the kids can listen to if they are prone to motion sickness and want to enjoy reading their favorite book but can’t stand reading in the car. Playing games such as “The License Plate” game where everyone has to find a license plate from a different state can be fun for everyone as well.
Image: Wellstar Medical Group

  1. Insurance Cards - Without the comforts of home, it can be miserable if someone comes down for a cold and you need to see a doctor. Having your insurance cards handy and accessible is extremely encouraged when you are traveling. Once, we needed to see an ENT for our son who had an awful ear infection. We found Wellstar Medical Group, ENT who were located in Roswell area in Georgia. They took amazing care of our little boy the second we walked in. From the friendly staff who greeted us and asked us questions to ensure he would get the proper care, to the doctor and nurses who explained, guided and was able to give us the correct medication and relief that our son needed, this was truly the place we needed to be at while traveling. Not only do they specialize in ear, nose and throat but they have a variety of services such as helping you with hearing aids, swallow studies, balancing, facial surgeries, head and neck injuries and more. Every doctor comes highly recommended including Dr. Camberly Coe. Dr. Coe graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Disorders as well as her Master of Communication Disorders Degree in Audiology. Ms. Co provides comprehensive diagnostic adult and pediatric audiological evaluation including otoacoustic emissions and play audiometry. She is a member of the American Speech-Language-hearing Association as well as the American Academy of Audiology. She’s one of an amazing team of doctors who are not only comforting to have help you through some difficult moments in your life, but also listen, care and encourage you to feeling like yourself again, even when you’re not in the comfort of your own hometown.
  2. Chargers - There is nothing worse than forgetting your cell phone or tablet charger. Make sure that these are packed where you are able to get them quickly if items begin to have a low battery life. Believe me, those are meltdowns you don’t want to have!
  3. Trash Bags - For everyday messes with eating and drinking, having a small trash bag in your car is life changing. Make sure everyone is able to put their items in the trash bag and when you stop at your next rest stop or gas station, simply throw everything away easily and efficiently! It keeps your car clean too!
Of course there are many other essentials to help you have a successful road trip but I believe that these 6 items are critical for you and your family. Roads trips can be such a fun and memorable experience for everyone so make sure you are open minded, keep everyone as healthy and entertained as you possibly can and enjoy the quality time that you all need together.


5 Reasons you should disconnect from social media while travelling

To make your travelling experience a good one, disconnecting from social media is an essential factor.

Below are five reasons why you should disconnect from social media while travelling -

1)    Social Media can distract you and stop you from living the experience -

Saw a beautiful bird?
Click its photo before it flies away.
Post the photo on your Instagram account with a series of hashtags.
Read and reply to hundreds of comments telling you that it's a beautiful click.

Pretty cool!
But did you see that bird with your real eyes (and not through the lens of your phone/camera) even for a minimum of 5 seconds?
Probably not!

Due to our addiction to social media, we don't live that moment. We don't experience the beauty of different things around us. We click, edit and share the experience with others, without actually living it.

Thus, it would be better to disconnect from social media while travelling. Live and soak in all the experience you gain while travelling. Enjoy the moment fully without involving technology in it.

2) Disconnecting from social media can help you in making new real-life friends -

One of the primary benefits of travelling is meeting new people. Some of these people eventually end up becoming your friends for life.

But if you are engaged in various social media accounts, chances of your making new friends are very less.

Stop using social media while travelling. Instead, talk to real people travelling along with you. Or talk to the locals. You will end up learning a lot more through real-life conversations.

3) Disconnecting from social media can help you in developing new hobbies -

There must be a tiny number of those who still write down their travelling experience, instead of blogging about it or sharing it on social media.

If you disconnect from social media while travelling, you can develop new hobbies like writing down about your various journeys in a journal, sketching the beautiful landscapes you witness while travelling or just sitting quietly and experiencing the natural beauty around you!

4) Social Media detox while travelling can bring you closer to your friends and family members -

Is not social media meant for bringing us closer to our friends?

See, instead of telling your friends about your travel experiences through your social media posts, pick up your phone, dial your best friend’s number and tell him/her about your current location, what you are doing, what all places you plan to visit etc.

Even a short talk of a few minutes would be more engaging and real than 20 social media posts.

5) Appreciate the people and things around you -

When you are regularly checking our social media accounts, you are unable to pay attention to things happening around you.

If you disconnect from social media while travelling, you would be able to pay more attention to the things around you.

This would make your travel experience more enriching.

No wonder, social media has its benefits. But social media detox while travelling is a good thought to ponder on. If you are a regular traveller, then do try a no social media trip soon!

Tips for Traveling with an Autistic Teen

While traveling with children can be a daunting experience, traveling with a child who has autism can bring about a whole new set of challenges. Teens on the spectrum thrive on structure and set schedules, so a vacation will require extra effort on your part to prepare your teen for this vacation. Today I’m sharing some traveling tips for traveling with a teen who’s on the autism spectrum to help make the process go as smooth as possible for everyone.
Call Places Ahead of Time
If at all possible, call all places that you’ll be visiting ahead of time. This includes hotels, airports and restaurants. Discuss any needs as well as possible accommodations that will ensure your teen with autism is able to cope in each setting during your travel.  Many places are more aware of autism and very accommodating to amend to the needs of your teenager when traveling. Calling ahead allows you to feel more confident traveling with a teen on the spectrum.
Pack Necessities and Distractions
When traveling with teen on the autism spectrum, you’ll have to be extra prepared with the items you pack. Be sure that all necessities for your teen have been packed ahead of time so that you don’t miss anything that he or she will need in order to feel comfortable while on vacation. In addition packing the necessities for your autistic teenager, you’ll need to bring along some distractions such as a portable DVD player or tablet to help deter any loud noises or frequent movements that may put your teen into a meltdown.
Practice Vacation Scenarios
Autism teens do well when they’re prepared for what’s going to happen during travel. While you cannot prepare your teen for everything that may occur, you can practice some vacation scenarios. Talk to your teen about what will happen during the vacation, give him or her a vacation itinerary so that they’re well-prepared with what to expect. Role-playing different scenarios can bring much comfort to your autistic teen and ease any anxiety they may have about traveling.
Bring Proper Identification
Many parents who travel with their special needs teenager who’s on the autism spectrum will have extra identification. This can be a bracelet or t-shirt that signifies your teen is special needs so that if any meltdowns or unexpected events occur, everyone will be able to know that your teen is autistic. This will help those who are traveling or vacationing in the same place as you to handle your teenager appropriate if something goes wrong.


St. Patrick's Day in Savannah

Savannah, Georgia might not be the first place you think of when you think of St. Patrick’s Day, but maybe it should be….after Ireland of course. Savannah goes all out for the holiday with a number of events taking place all across the city. Here are a few of the ways you can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah, Georgia.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The highlight of all the festival is the Paddy’s Day Parade which lasts for a foot aching four hours! It’s one of the longest St. Patrick’s Day Parades in the world. If you’re going to be attending make sure you get there early and bring some seats. 300,000 people attend the parade and your feet will thank you when you’re sitting down instead of standing for the whole parade. 

River Street and City Market Festivities

After the parade is finished River Street and City Market become the centerpiece of Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. There you’ll find food courts, vendors, live music, and dancing until midnight. Your Savannah Paddy’s Day experience isn’t complete without heading to these two areas.

Forsyth Park

For St. Patrick’s Day the fountains in Savannah run green and it all begins in Forsyth Park. There the parade’s Grand Marshal pours green dye into the fountain in a special ceremony that marks the start of all the fountains in Savannah being turned green. The green dye usually sticks around for a few days so even if you miss the event it’s worth seeing.

Top O’ The Mornin’ Run

Just one of several morning runs that are taking place on St. Patrick’s Day across Savannah. Many of them are charity events raising money for a variety of causes. They’re a great way to start off the celebrations.

Irish Heritage Dance

If Irish dancing is your thing (think Riverdance) then you won’t want to miss the Irish Heritage Dance at the Shriner’s Temple. See the best Irish dancers of all ages from the area perform at this unique event.

Celtic Cross Ceremony

The Irish community gathers at the Celtic Cross in Emmet Park where bagpipes play and various people speak about the past, present, and future. This long-standing tradition is their way of honoring the traditions of Ireland and a quite popular one at that.

Jasper Green Ceremony

The day before Paddy’s Day the Irish community gather in Madison Square for the annual Sergeant William Jasper Memorial Ceremony held to honor not only Jasper but all members of the military past and present. Jasper was a soldier in the Revolutionary War whose parents came from Ireland to the colonies.

St. Patrick’s Day Fire Ball

Savannah’s Firefighters hold the St. Patrick’s Fire Ball at Savannah Station. The ball has an open bar, hors d'oeuvres, dancing to live music, and a silent auction. This event may not be for everyone, but it also isn’t every day you get to rub shoulders with the firefighters of Savannah as well as those from around the world who attend the event.

There are almost too many choices for what to do on St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah. No matter what it is you end up deciding to do remember that it is Paddy’s Day not Patty’s Day. Have a great Paddy’s Day weekend wherever you end up!

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