Sponsored by U-Haul & Bridgestone Tires
by Courtney Caldwell
Driving around town is an everyday occurrence for most of us. Errands, going to and from work, picking up kids at school or soccer, grocery shopping, visiting family and friends, a girls’ night out… you know your area like the back of your hand.
But, what about driving into territory beyond your borders? Do you have a fear of driving outside your comfort zone? Do you worry about getting lost or even worse, followed?
The number one reason women stick close to home is fear of the unknown, what to do, what not to do, how to keep yourself safe on the road in unknown territory, never ming where to begin in the planning process of a big road trip. Whether you’re planning an across-country or across-town move, the very first place to begin your journey is with your homework and advanced planning.
I’m about to embark on a 3200-mile cross-country journey, driving a 17' U-Haul truck, and yes, all by myself. When I tell people of the road trip, they look at me dazed and confused, and then after a short pause ask, ‘you’re driving alone?’ That one question in itself speaks volumes to how much education is needed for women, and many men, on how to plan a road trip with fun, not fear.
Doing your homework and pre-planning are essential in making your journey safe and sane… whether across town or across country. It doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 80, as long as you carefully plan out every detail of your trip's route, hotel stays, gas stops, navigation, and every detail of your trip, you'll arrive at your destination safely.
It is such an honor to have U-Haul as our ‘Women Traveling Alone’ road trip safety sponsor for a variety of reasons one of which is their connection and support to a young Shoshone Indian girl named Sacajawea, who served as an interpreter and guide on the famed Lewis & Clark Expedition in 1804. Her heroism in numerous life-saving contributions helped lead their two-year journey to a safe and successful conclusion.
Sacajawea, just a young teen at the time, not only provided guidance for hundreds of miles through the tough terrain of the northwest Rockies, then known as the Louisiana Purchase territory, she also demonstrated extraordinary courage and strength during numerous life-threatening events, often emerging as the hero who saving lives and supplies from devastating weather, potential enemy threats, and from capsized canoes. Sacajawea became known as the first woman to be included in a democratic vote on the all-male crew, sharing her knowledge and experience as to which route to take for most access to hunting for food and safe shelter in the wild.
In honor of Sacajawea, U-Haul has painted her mural on both sides of our moving truck to celebrate her accomplishments and help shed light on her exceptional contributions to the beginning of what shaped the U.S. today. Her story is one of bravery and the true meaning of persistence.
Her contributions were chronicled by Lewis & Clark in their personal diaries naming Sacajawea as the only person on the expedition who never complained or panicked when confronted with dangerous or devastating circumstances. Level-headed and fierce, she faced each event as it came, contributing significantly to a successful and safe outcome.
Sacajawea was married to a Frenchman twice her age, who had traded her for goods and supplies with a tribe who had kidnapped her at 12 (away from her Shoshone family and friends). While little is known about her husband’s contributions to the Lewis & Clark Expedition, Sacajawea’s accomplishments earned her a place in American history. Add to that, her journey included a pregnancy, childbirth in the wild, and then carrying her infant on her back during the expedition. The baby boy nicknamed Pompey, spent the first two years of his life living right along side his brave mother.
Sacajawea’s story is one of true courage and inspiration. It is with great pride that I have the opportunity to share her story as I traverse the U.S. in my 17’ U-Haul truck with her mural painted on each side, sharing her tale with everyone I meet along the way.
We'd also like to extend our deepest thanks and gratitude to long-time partner and sponsor, Bridgestone Tires, for their support of tire safety and helping people understand how to choose the right tires for their vehicle. As one of the leading tire companies in the world, Bridgestone is committed to not only helping women stay safe on the road but also to keeping our environment clean with their One Team One Planet message. Bridgestone Americas is dedicated to achieving a positive environmental impact in all of the communities it calls home. This commitment includes efforts such as developing tires with improved fuel economy, manufacturing products and providing services in an environmentally responsible way, and establishing wildlife habitat and education programs.
Reduce environmental footprint - Save gas: When driving long distances or larger vehicles it's important to remember that the faster you go the more gas you'll use. So keep in mind as you plan your route and how many miles you'll drive each day, also plan to stay within the speed limit and stay to the right on 2-or more lane roads to allow cars to pass on your left. By reducing your speed, starting and stopping slower, you'll not only achieve better gas mileage and save money, you'll also be reducing your environmental footprint. This issue is important to all of us but our sponsors, Bridgestone and U-Haul, are international companies contributing significantly to help this cause.
For more information to keep yourself safe on the road, click here.
Traveling with Your Pets - How to Keep Them Safe
Camping with Canines & Cats
6000 campgrounds pamper your pets
Hot Cars Cause Heat Stroke in Pets
Pets suffer same demise as kids
Gnawing at Numbers - Pet Travel Stats
America has more pets than people
B&B's Welcome Pets with Perks
Bed & Breakfast Bits for Bowser
Air Travel Tips for Cats & Dogs
Onboard or in the belly?
Transporting Your Vehicle
How to ship your car across country
Pet Travel Hotel Directory
Posh places to park your pooch
Pet Travel Insurance
Protect your pet on the road
Restraining Order for Pets
Protect pet from becoming projectile
Which Cars are Best for Pet Travel?
Choosing the right ride for Fido
Pet Petters Ploy for Stolen Purse
What to do if stolen when traveling?
Common Courtesy - Rules of the Road
8 Tips for common driving courtesy
For more information on Pet Travel Tips, click here.
It's a beautiful, summer day and luckily, you have the entire day to yourself. What to do? Why not turn your one-off holiday into a staycation by packing up and heading to a local state park you've never visited. Better yet, pack a picnic - a sustainable picnic, naturally - and plan for a day-long event.
If you're not a categorical picnicer, we'll help you out with some of the basics. To begin, you'll need a basket (like this cool, red option from ReUseIt) or big bag for toting all of your goodies, and a blanket big enough for however many people you'll invite (I dig this PVC-free blanket with carry strap). Yes, many parks have picnic tables, but I'm of the mindset that it's simply not a picnic if a blanket isn't involved. Once you have these two items, gather up some reusable or corn-based and biodegradable plates and utensils like those made by Trellis (most grocery stores now carry paper alternative options).
You won't want to make any stressful grocery store stops on the way, if you can avoid it, so use what you have in your home already to pack up a nutritious variety of foods and snacks. Some of the staples include: fresh fruit salad; raw, organic vegetables; crackers and cheese; and simple sandwiches.
Top it all of with a bottle of specialty organic juice or hey, why not indulge in a bottle of biodyamic wine if the day calls for relaxing? For dessert, bring along some healthy granola or all-natural cookies - finger foods are always appreciated outdoors!
Lastly, kick back and soak up some sun. A lazy day at the park truly is one of life's greatest pleasures and surely makes for an awesome staycation.
As summer approaches, thousands of people will plan vacations to Africa, with a majority of them hoping to see jaw-dropping creatures like lions, elephants, and gazelles in their natural habitat. However, an increase in tourism means that the welfare of these animals may actually be compromised.
To help ensure that you're planning a safe - and sustainable - safari, heed the following tips:
This summer, why not kick off the flip flops and lace up some hiking shoes? Here in the U.S., we've got 84 million acres of stunning national parks just waiting and ready for you to explore. Not only are our nation's pristine parks an idyllic ecotourism destination - they're the ultimate in inexpensive activities!
If you're not familiar with the most sought-out trails, that's okay. Take a day or two to find your own favorite nooks, crannies and cliffs to call your own. Or, if you're eager to see what everyone is talking about, try one of these hot spot trails that are known for their nationwide popularity:
Source: National Park Foundation
Locally-driven lifestyles are sweeping the nation and today, people want to know where their food comes from and that it’s sustainable. This summer, why not delve into fresh agricultural offerings with an experiential vacation? Across Colorado, travelers to get their hands dirty and enjoy the fruits of their labor on farm and ranch stays. Travelers can take part in organic cooking and butchery classes; cultivate crops; herd cattle or bison; and actually take part in the development of a farm or ranch.
The authentic experiences not only open the eyes of the everyday urban warrior, but fill the stomach! What better way to escape?
Fresh and Wyld Farmhouse (Paonia, Colo.)
Known for its commitment to locally- grown food, Fresh and Wyld maintains its own veggie gardens, chickens, goats, berry patch and heirloom apple trees to feed its guests. The Inn serves communal-style home-cooked meals and also offers organic cooking classes, butchery classes, farm school classes and heritage farm art workshops.
Mesa Winds Farm (Hotchkiss, Colo.)
A 36-acre farm, Mesa Winds produces USDA Certified Organic peaches, apples, grapes, raspberries, asparagus, vegetables and honey. Visitors sleep in rehabbed "picker cabins" and are welcomed to lend a hand with the farm work and dine on organic food fresh from the farm. Orchard camping opportunities are also available.
Smith Fork Ranch (North Fork Valley, Colo.)
A private luxury ranch Smith Fork Ranch offers fly fishing, horseback riding, hiking and a unique farm-to-table experience. The ranch has a garden farmstead that provides the majority of the vegetables and herbs for the ranch meals; they also raise free-range chickens that provide farm fresh eggs. The ranch also offers guided and unguided local farm and winery tours.
Zapata Ranch (Sun Luis Valley, Colo.)
A 103,000-acre authentic working cattle and bison guest ranch, Zapata borders the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Owned by the Nature Preserve, vacations at the Zapata Ranch revolve around learning through experience, about real ranch life and the great outdoors. Zapata prepares meals with their grass-fed bison and beef and locally grown produce.
(Source: Colorado Tourism Office)
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is an environmentally sensitive multi-sport lodge set on a 165-acre private preserve in the undeveloped Pacific Coast of Southern Costa Rica. The Lodge embraces conservation and harmony with the natural environment and caters to travelers interested in enjoying ecotourism, nature, adventure and sports. Tours and activities are conducted in the most safe and respectful manner possible.
Playa Nicuesa Lodge - Cabin
One of the many eco-friendly ways adventurers can experience Playa Nicuesa is through nocturnal and early morning adventures into Costa Rica's largest intact lowland tropical rainforest finds guests of all ages immersed in a symphony of screeches, cooing & croaks.
For the animal watcher and rain forest lover, Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge offers excursions in search of elusive Osa Peninsula-Golfo Dulce fauna, such as crocodiles, poison dart frogs, eyelash pit vipers, bats, kinkajous, mapaches, peccaries and more.