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January 2009

January 30, 2009

Tips for Traveling Abroad

Passport Traveling abroad requires a lot of preparation, but in the end it’s all worth it when you get a few days to kick back, relax and experience a completely new culture. However, although many places offer a safe, carefree place for travel it’s always best to travel to another country with a few simple precautions.

  • Try to learn a few key words in the native language
  • Buy train ticket/rail passes online
  • Call your credit card company to inform them of your trip ahead of time
  • Grab your hotel’s information so you can find your way back every day
  • Keep a copy of your passport on you, but leave your original in a safe place
  • Don’t show cash and never leave belongings unattended

January 29, 2009

The World's Quirkiest Hotels

When chain hotels have got you singing the travel boredom blues, consider opting for something a bit more exciting — like a quirky hotel to make your trip even more memorable. Here is a list of quirky, bizarre and just plain strange properties that give "Have a nice stay" a whole new meaning.

Quebec-winter-pic1 1. Have an Ice Stay:
Ice Hotel - Quebec, Canada

a breathtaking hotel made of ice, features an ice chapel, theme suites, an ice bar and an art gallery — with ice sculptures, of course. Activities include cross-country skiing, ice fishing, archery, snowmobiling, snow tubing and even dogsled driving. As one TripAdvisor traveler described, "It's like sleeping in a 5-star igloo." The "icetablishment" is only open from January to April; just don't forget your parka and long johns.

2. Jail House Rock:
Malmaison Oxford Castle, England, U.K.
Everything about the Malmaison Oxford Castle is authentic enough to make you feel as if you are in the confines of an actual prison, but with better company. Can a jail hotel be romantic? The first U.K. prison to be converted into a hotel, you can rest assured the property was renovated to ensure for more comfortable accommodations.

Click here to view the complete list of world’s most bizarre hotels.

January 28, 2009

5 Ways to Show Your Car Some Love


Your car doesn’t want flowers, or balloons, or even candy as a token of your love — it just wants a little love in the form of an oil change, tune-up and basic service. Be romantic this spring, and treat your car to regular care with the following preventive maintenance steps.

5 Steps to Loving Your Car:

1. Change the oil and filter every 3,000 miles or three months.
2. Check the tire pressure at least monthly, including the spare.
3. Schedule a tune-up annually to optimize your car’s erformance.
4. Have the alignment checked at least annually.
5. Inspect the windshield wipers and lights on the car.

To read more about these tips and caring for your car read RTM's full article: 5 Tips to Caring for Your Car.

Tips for Traveling by Air

Less airport stress If you're traveling by air, there are a few tips that will make your trip less stressful and more enjoyable. Here are the key things to remember:

1. Trip Preparation
- You'll need your paper ticket, e-ticket confirmation, airlines itinerary or boarding pass to get through the security checkpoint.

- Bring proper photo identification — a valid photo driver's license, active passport or employee ID from a county, state or federal agency. Passengers traveling internationally must carry a passport.

- Pack any sharp objects, such as scissors (with blades longer than four inches) and knives, in your checked baggage. Visit for a detailed list of items prohibited in aircraft cabins.

2. Airport Check-In

Make sure to allow the following amount of time before your flight is scheduled to depart from the gate:

- Domestic flights: Check bags at least 2 hours prior; be at the gate at least one hour prior. Aircraft doors close 5 minutes prior.

- International flights: Check bags at least three hours prior; make sure to be at the gate at least an hour and a half prior. Aircraft doors close 5 minutes prior.

More tips on making your flight stress free

January 27, 2009

Winter Car Maintenance Can Result in Serious Poison Exposures

Poison_sign Cold weather car maintenance often requires the use of many products that can, unfortunately, have fatal consequences if ingested. Windshield cleaner fluid and antifreeze both contain substances that can be deadly if ingested in any way. 

American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) warns that windshield cleaner fluids typically contain methanol, which is extremely toxic if ingested, consequences can include blindness or death if even small amounts are digested.

Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, a toxic liquid with a sweet taste. Following ingestion, the symptoms of ethylene glycol poisoning start with intoxication and vomiting and may end in kidney failure if treatment is not sought. The sweet taste of antifreeze increases the likelihood of large ingestions by young children and even pets, so even the smallest of spills should be cleaned up immediately. The AAPCC suggests the following precaution:

·    Keep potential poisons in their original containers.

·    DO NOT use food containers such as cups or bottles to store chemical products.

·    Keep all chemical products in a locked cupboard.

·    Never cover up or remove labels. Keep all safety information.

·    Make sure that child-resistant closures are working properly.

(Source: AAPCC)

Tips to Make the Most of Your Spa Visit

Hyatt Spa Advice As stress builds, there is no better medication than a trip to the spa. Whether you are a first time visitor or a spa connoisseur it’s important to take in all that a spa can offer for the mind, body and soul. Here are a few tips from Spa Hyatt to help make the most of your spa visit;

  • Make spa appointments in advance to ensure availability of treatments and therapist preferences.
  • Ask questions before your visit to put yourself at ease. When scheduling your appointment don't be afraid to ask anything.
  • Arrive at least 15 minutes early to your appointment to allow time to check in and change. Late arrivals normally do not receive an extension of time.
  • It's okay not to talk during the treatment if you don't want to; the therapist will take their cue from you.
  • Wear what makes you feel comfortable; although the majority of people completely undress for a treatment, it isn't necessary. Spas won't compromise modesty.

More tips on spa etiquette.

Drive Out Heart Disease With Jiffy Lube


The facts are really startling. 

·         Nearly 2,400 Americans die of cardiovascular disease  each day- an average of one death ever 37 seconds.

·         Heart disease is the number one killer of adults.

·         Despite more women dying of heart disease than the next five causes of death combined, only 21 percent of women view heart disease as their greatest health threat.


In efforts to bring light to the issue of heart disease, Jiffy Lube has collaborated with the American Heart Association and its Go Red for Women campaign to raise money for the fight against heart disease. Jiffy Lube’s Maintenance Partners for Life campaign emphasizes the importance of maintaining a healthy heart and a healthy vehicle through basic preventive maintenance practices. Last year, Jiffy Lube raised over $1 million for the cause.

This year’s goal is to raise $1.5 million, and from January 28 through March 16 you can support the cause by making a $3 donation at one of more than 1,700 participating Jiffy Lube service centers across the country. In appreciation for the donation, you will receive a Jiffy Lube Maintenance Partners for Life savings book with heart-healthy recipes and $100 in savings from Jiffy Lube and other AHA supporters.

Read more about Jiffy Lube’s mission to support women’s heart health.

January 26, 2009

What To Do After an Accident

What to do after accident The fact is, the more time that drivers spend behind the wheel and the more drivers on the streets, the more likely it is that you will be involved in a car accident. Thus, it is vital that people know what to do — and not to do — if involved in an auto accident.

Stay Put
Do not leave. If you leave the scene of an accident — whether or not it was your fault — you may face criminal prosecution. Even if the accident is minor, you must exchange information with the other driver, also it’s wise to move the vehicles to the side of the road for your safety.

When to dial 911
If there appears to be over $500 in damage to any vehicle or if anyone feels any pain, call the local police or Highway Patrol immediately. It's also good to file a police report to clear up.

Feel the Pain?
If you are seriously injured, do not move. Stay in your car and wait for help. Most people, even if they feel pain, often refuse medical attention at the scene of an accident. any potential discrepancies, just in case there's a lawsuit later on.

More Information on How to Handle a Collision.

Winter Tire Tips

Bridgestone-Lead-Free-Wheels Waiting for Groundhog Day before deciding on winter tires for the family vehicle? Well think again, timing is everything in cold weather driving, and if you haven’t done so yet it’s time to get the ball rolling because it’s going to be a long winter.

Dunlop offers the following winter tire tips:

  • Install four winter tires. Do not mix tires with different tread patterns, internal constructions, speed ratings and sizes.
  • Select tires rated for severe snow conditions. Tires that meet this standard now carry both an M+S marking and a mountain/snowflake pictograph on their sidewalls.
  • As a tire wears, snow traction is reduced. Tires that are worn close to the treadwear indicators have reduced traction and should not be used on snow-covered roads or in severe snow conditions.

Click here for more on winter tire buying.

January 23, 2009

How to Handle a Deer Crash

Deer-crash It’s early morning and you’re beginning the long commute to work. You’re going the speed limit (or maybe just a bit over) and suddenly a deer appears in the middle of the road. Your heart jumps into your throat. What do you do?

If a crash with a deer is unavoidable, the Michigan Deer Crash Coalition (the experts in these matters) recommends the following steps:

  • Don’t swerve!
  • Brake firmly.
  • Hold on to the steering wheel.
  • Come to a controlled stop.
  • Pull well off the road, turn on emergency flashers and be cautious of passing traffic.
  • Do not attempt to remove a deer from the roadway unless you are convinced it is dead. An injured deer’s sharp hooves can easily hurt you.

More tips on how to handle a crash with a deer.