SkillsTravel

I am the type of person who likes to be prepared for every situation. That includes making sure that my car is prepared for every situation as well. There are a lot of helpful items that can be kept in a plastic bin in your trunk or the glove compartment just in case you need them. They can also be removed if you need the space. Mileage varies on which items you want to keep in your own car, but here are a few ideas:

1. Jumper Cables
Use these if your battery dies. A good Samaritan can help with the rest.

2. Tire Repair Tools
A tire gauge will let you know the pressure in your tires. Other tools include a jack, a tire iron, and a spare tire. Failing that, you can use a tire inflater or sealer that might get you to a gas station.

3. Duct Tape
It can fix all kinds of things.

4. Your Car Manual
I know that no one wants to read the manual but if you have a specific question you could find the answer in there.

5. Flashlight
You can use your phone for this. However, if you need a light for an extended period of time, you can drain your battery. Keep an actual flashlight around, just in case.

6. Road Flare
Safety first when it’s dark out or you need to grab people’s attention!

7. Small Fire Extinguisher
You may never need it but it could be life-saving if you do.

8. Your Insurance and Vehicle Information

9. Bluetooth Device
Handsfree phone calls are the safest way to go.

10. Phone Charger
You never know when you might need it.

11. Cleaning Products
I would recommend plastic bags, tissues and/or paper towels for any kind of mess that you encounter. If you’re really into cleaning, you can include a hand-held vacuum or an air freshener.

12. Non-Perishable Food
I recommend a bottle of water and a food item that doesn’t need to be heated or prepared like jerky or granola bar. You can keep this in a collapsible cooler if you’re on a road-trip. This will come in handy if you’re stuck somewhere.

13. Anything that can protect you and your car from the elements
A spare umbrella or jacket will help when you are outside of the car. I would also recommend a towel or a change of clothes to avoid ruining the interior of your car in different kinds of weather.

14. Blanket
A blanket can cost around $5 and will be helpful if someone in your passenger seat wants to take a nap or if you need to get warm.

15. Extra Money
You may have money in your wallet at all times. If not, keep some spare change or a small amount of money in your car. You might need money if you run into an unexpected tollbooth or you need to tip a tow truck driver.

16. Small First Aid Kit
You can go to the hospital for the big stuff. This is just for small injuries and won’t take up much room.

17. Sunglasses
These will protect your eyes and help you drive better.

In the end, what you keep in your car is your business. It comes down to what suits your needs. For example, if your share a car maybe you don’t have a say about what goes in. Let this be a starting point for you to drive more safely. It can also be a great list to prepare for the road trip of your dreams! Happy driving!

Image: Pexels

Travel

There are a few more weeks in summer to go on a trip! If you opt for a road trip, you will have a lot of fun. Before you go, though, there are a few must-have items to bring so that you can cruise peacefully. Here are eight important items you won’t want to forget:

1. Gas/ Food/ Emergency Money

I know this is an obvious one, but it is still worth mentioning. You don’t want to get stranded before you get anywhere.

2. Food

When you’re on a long stretch of road, who knows when you’ll see food again. It’s always good to have some snacks on hand so you don’t get too hungry. Or worse: grumpy in a car full of people because you’re hungry. Bringing a cooler can be helpful for snacks when you absolutely need them.

3. Games and Toys

If you are traveling with kids, games and toys are a must. However, they’re also great for adults. Playing a trivia game or a guessing game can help pass the time and keep others engaged.

4. Good Music

Be it an awesome playlist, CDs, or the radio, music can keep a long road trip feel a lot shorter. You can share your favorite music with those closest to you. You might just love hearing something new.

5. Something To Sleep With

Road trips are long. If you are not driving, you are welcome to rest. Comfortable clothes are good since you will be sitting for hours, so you may as well wear pajamas or sweatpants. Add a pillow, a blanket, and a sleep mask to block out the light so you can get some much needed rest.

6. A Cellphone

I know this is a necessity for a lot of people. Cellphones have many great uses. You can use it as a GPS, for games, music, a camera and most importantly, to contact people! Remember to keep it charged in case you get stranded and really need it. Having a car cellphone charger on hand is never a bad idea.

7. Maps

If you lose signal or run out of battery and have no electronic GPS, you could end up really lost. Maps still exist for a reason. Use them.

8. First Aid Kit

Many first aid kits come travel-sized these days. They are cheap and useful if the situation arises.

I hope these tips make the ride enjoyable for everyone! Have fun!

Image: weheartit

EducationSkills

Growing up means independence. However, there is also new responsibility. An easy way to simplify your life? Create a budget. It sounds boring, but honestly it requires almost no maintenance and very little time to actually do. Here’s a simple way of creating a budget:

Find Out How Much Money Is Coming In

This is the easiest thing to do. Total up your paychecks, or if you are receiving money from your family, total up how much they are giving you. It is worth knowing how much you have saved in case of an emergency.

Total Your Old Bills

This one is a little less fun. Go through your old bills. Look back every month or every three months at everything you have spent money on. You will notice trends and and can figure out the average or the most you spent in the span of a few months. This way you can determined how much money you need to save every month.

Think of Upcoming Expenses

If you have tuition or a trip coming up, that will use up a chunk of the money you are making. You don’t want to spend what you don’t have. Plan for the future so you do not overspend and get blindsided.

Find How You Can Save

If you are spending more than you are bringing in, you will be out of money before you know it. The bonus of looking at your old bills is to see if you are spending too much money, and if you are then you can cut back. It’s always good to see where you’re money is going. If you don’t like what you see, you can change how you spend. Also, you can figure out a percentage of your money to save for later.

Set A Goal For Your Money

Now that you know how much money you have and how much money you are spending, you know how much money you have left. This could be spent on going out to dinner or for a more ambitious goal like buying a car or going on a trip. Plus, it never hurts to have an amount set aside in case of an emergency. 

This will keep you out of trouble with overspending and ending up in debt. More importantly, you will know how much you can spend having fun. Once you have a budget, you don’t have to worry about it and you just adjust with the big changes in your life.

Image: Sumall

CultureExploreTravel

 TRAVEL SERIES

Traveling comes in all forms. Whether you are taking a one-week road trip or flying across an ocean to reach your destination, visiting new places is an integral part of learning about yourself and others. Seeing how different people live, work, and experience life helps break down the barriers between us and reveals that perhaps we are not all as different as we might have thought.

This travel series will cover a wide range of topics about how to travel, where to travel to, etc. Tune in next week for traveling on a budget. Let’s get going!

STAYING SAFE

 1. Be aware of your surroundings. This does not mean you should be paranoid, but rather be aware of who is around you and be conscientious of anything that seems unusual or strange.

 2. Watch your pockets. The smallest details will make the biggest difference. For instance, it is always a good idea to keep valuables such as your wallet, keys, phone, and identification (passport, drivers license) in a hard-to-reach pocket. This is to prevent pick-pocketing or accidentally allowing a precious item to drop from your bag without realizing it.

 3. Tell someone where you are going. It is always a good idea to inform a close friend or family member of your travel plans. If something unexpected happens it is essential that somebody knows where you are and has a way to reach you in the case of an emergency. If you are traveling alone this is a crucial part of your planning, and is beneficial for you and also the people who care about you. If you are traveling with other people, this is still a good idea and highly recommended.

 4.  Keep extra cash hidden on you. It is always a smart idea to keep about twenty dollars of whichever currency you need on you at all times for those “just in case” moments. Tuck the bill(s) into a small pocket of your jacket or bag. Perhaps you get lost in a city and it becomes dark out – if you feel unsafe or have no idea how to get back to where you are staying, having that spare cash will likely enable you to grab a taxi and get home safely.

 5. Decide on a meeting spot. If you are traveling with others, consider choosing a central meeting spot where you can go if someone loses the group or visits somewhere on their own. A good meeting point is one that is well-known by locals so you can ask for directions and is also typically busy during both the day and night in case a member of the group is waiting by him or herself.

 6. Have information. This step will take you about 10-15 minutes, but it is well worth the hassle. Go through your itinerary and write down or type in all phone numbers of hotels and friends you are staying with, addresses of your accommodations, and emergency numbers of whoever city you are traveling to. Having this information might help you enjoy yourself because you can concentrate on having fun rather than trying to remember where you need to go at the end of the day! Also consider writing down all flight, train, or car reservation information ahead of time and print any tickets you will need. Store these in a safe and secure spot in your luggage.

In order to travel as stress-free as possible, it is essential that you plan. Like most situations, planning is the key to success. Spending 30 minutes going over these safety tips and collecting important information will save you hours of stress, confusion, and anxiety during your adventure!

Check out Travel Series Part II: Traveling on a Budget and Travel Series Part III: Choosing the Destination!