Category Archives: Road Trips and Sight Seeing

Traveling Safely After the Holidays

Many people drive to visit friends and family around the holidays. The trip there is filled with excitement and anticipation, but the trip home may be a little more stressful. Contending with cranky kids, restless pets, heaps of presents, and tight schedules can make for a tense environment inside of the car. When you compound that with winter weather, increased traffic, and other frazzled drivers, the situation on the road can be a delicate one.

You can have a more comfortable trip home, and avoid delays and accidents, if you simply commit to traveling safely. The way you travel affects things both inside and outside of the car. On your trip home this holiday season, make sure you follow these common sense tips.

Regulate Your Speed

When you are eager to get home it can be difficult not to race down the road. But for the safety of your passengers, and out of courtesy to other drivers, watch your speed. Due to holiday shoppers and travelers, traffic is significantly heavier in the days after Christmas. Maintaining the speed limit, or even driving below it, can help you react to unforeseen difficulties on the road. Avoiding speeding can also help you to save gas.

Don’t Gamble with Winter Weather

Some people travel from warm climates to colder climates to celebrate Christmas. If you are unused to driving in snow, sleet, hail, or winter fog, do not try to hone your skills in the days after Christmas. If necessary, postpone your trip back until the weather clears. If you must travel, try to plan a route that avoids small roads and steep inclines. And if you have to travel through the worst of it, go slowly, and pull off the road whenever you need too.

Stay Calm

As we mentioned before, the trip home can be stressful. If you are thinking about crying kids, holiday bills, or the job you have to begrudgingly return to, you cannot focus completely on the road. It is scientifically proven that stress compromises your ability to drive. Be sure to stay calm, alert, and focused on what matters most; the road.

Stop Strategically

Thieves often prey on holiday travelers whose cars are filled with gifts. When you stop, make sure that you go to a reputable looking gas station that is properly illuminated. Give yourself options by stopping often so that you do not have to settle for the first gas available. Park your vehicle in a visible location, and keep the doors locked when you exit. Also, be sure to stop whenever you feel fatigued, stressed out, or urgent for a bathroom.

With some patience and planning, you can make it home after the holidays with your sanity in tact. You have probably seen how many crazy drivers there are on the road after Christmas. Don’t be one yourself. Drive smart, and make it easier on everyone.

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How do Expats Celebrate Thanksgiving?

The Thanksgiving holiday is primarily celebrated in America and Canada. But there are scores of Americans living abroad for work, school or pleasure. As much fun as it is to experience a new culture, it is hard for expats to give up all the traditions they left behind, and Thanksgiving is no exception.

Luckily, there’s no reason that Americans living abroad can’t observe, celebrate and enjoy the holiday from anywhere in the world. People who live outside of America rely on celebrations like Thanksgiving to remind them of friends and family back home. Here are a few ways that expats make the day special



It may or may not be possible to get Thanksgiving staples depending on where the expat lives. In some places, it’s easy to find frozen turkeys and potatoes to create an authentic feast. In other places, however, the local culture has never seen a turkey, let alone a can of cranberry sauce.

In instances where the menu is a challenge, expats often prepare a feast of local cuisine. In the same way that Thanksgiving in America is a time to enjoy eating a little too much delicious food, there is the opportunity to feast on something almost anywhere in the world. And since Thanksgiving is not a holiday in most places, restaurants are open and happy to feed a hungry crowd. Expats in particularly remote areas might indulge in one favorite food as a way to mark the holiday.


Much like Thanksgiving itself, football is largely an American phenomenon. In larger foreign cities it may be possible to watch American football on satellite TV, but this often means staying up until odd hours. Die-hard fans make the effort, but most expats find some other way to enjoy the sport.

In places where there is a large American population, or a group of eager locals, games of touch football are organized just like they are in backyards across America. In some other cases they play soccer or basketball, or fall back on video game football to remind them of home.

Friends and Family

Many expats use Thanksgiving abroad as a way to introduce American traditions to new friends and bond over a great meal. Groups of Americans often organize some sort of Thanksgiving celebration and then invite along their new friends to join in the fun. Most will tell you that the company and camaraderie is more important than the food or festivities.

Thanksgiving is also a great time to call home by phone or video chat. When multiple generations gather together under one roof to celebrate Thanksgiving, it gives the expat a chance to chat with them all and experience the warmth of family. For those that are open-minded and a little flexible, Thanksgiving abroad can be a truly special occasion.

If you know someone who is living outside of the country, consider sending them a care package for the holiday. Pack it full of their favorite nonperishable foods, include a handwritten letter, and maybe even a picture. Simple gestures like these mean a lot to the person receiving the package.


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