By Stacey D. Wheeler
We just spent five days with Shane, Adele, and Amelia on vacation in Sanibel Island, Florida. Driving from Florida to Missouri takes two full days. Yesterday we drove from Sanibel Island to Kentucky near Fort Campbell, driving until late at night arriving around 1:00 a.m. We stayed at a Days Inn Motel. The woman at the reception desk told Tony we got the last available room they had, and we were thankful as we were ready to crash!
Now we’re back on the road again for our second day. We just stopped at a gas station called Five Star in Paducah, Kentucky. (If I were them, I would let other people give me a five star rating, but that is just me: Names matter) <3
Inside they were selling donuts: one for $1.99 or two for $3.00. Tony showed me his delicious apple fritter and told me I should get one, too, for a better deal. I told him we’re actually spending more money, so is it really a better value?! Right? Haha! The sale and the Tony “pitch” and the delicious looking glaze on the apple fritter convinced me it WAS a good value.
These might be THE BEST apple fritters we’ve ever had and were great with coffee!
We gave the donuts five stars!
We travel a lot for work and to spend time with family. We love to travel. I have a few travel hacks that might make life a bit easier when you’re on the road:
#1: When I know we will be stopping in a hotel for the night on the way TO vacation or on the way home, I pack a small bag with our overnight clothes and stuff for that one night so we don’t have to pull out our big suitcases. It’s super nice when it’s midnight and you can grab one bag, your pillow, and your purse and go into the hotel and go to s.l.e.e.p.
#2: I carry our soap in the box it comes in. This helps to avoid the soap mess in a plastic soap container and makes it easier to just throw it back in the box for the next time until it’s gone and you throw it away. Keep the box from getting wet, throw it in your toiletries bag, and you’re good until you need it the next time.
#3: I can’t sing the praises of my electric toothbrush enough! I love it! It has a great travel case that fits perfectly in my toiletries bag. It makes my mouth feel clean and fresh when we’ve been on the road for a long time and I’m feeling a little grungy. At my last dentist appointment I didn’t have any cavities, and I hadn’t been for a couple of years! I am giving credit to my electric toothbrush. I marked my toothbrush and my case with red fingernail polish so I can easily distinguish it from Tony’s. I will never go back to a regular toothbrush, if I can help it! My dental health will thank me. It’s a bit pricey to buy one, but the money saved on future dental bills and the joy of knowing I’m doing the best I can for my teeth more than makes up for the $80 I spent on it. I don’t remember the exact price. We bought two of them in a kit at the same time for about $160, I think. We bought them at Sam’s Club.
#4: Get a AAA card! We almost always save money on hotels having a triple A card. Last night it saved us $12! You can also use it if you run out of gas, need a jump start, or lock your key in the car. If you travel a lot and don’t have one, you should definitely get one! If you have college-aged students, it’s nice to give them one and know if they ever get stranded they have someone they can call if you’re not able to help them yourself. We just renewed ours. I think it was $130. It doesn’t cost that much to join, though, because they will make you a great deal. We have already saved more money than that using it on hotel discounts for this year, and the year is only half over.
#5. This last year, we started a new rule to switch drivers every 2 to 3 hours so nobody gets driver burn out. When it is natural to make a stop for food or gas or if someone gets really tired, we switch. We make a mental note of the time someone starts to drive and the 2 to 3 hour window that driver will switch and we stick to it pretty closely. This way everyone knows they will drive and get a break. Works amazing for us and allows that one person who normally bears the brunt of the most driving to get a break!
I am already missing little Miss Amelia calling me Gigi, holding my hand everywhere we go, and playing with her. She is SO fun and sweet! I’m thankful we can travel so I get to be with her and the rest of my family, too! <3