Two different things to do in New York State

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New York is the city so good they named it twice so we thought we’d come up with two things that are off the agenda for most tourists from outside the city itself – and that are located in the State of New York.

Saratoga Race Course

First off – how about a trip to the world famous Saratoga Race Course? They’ve been racing horses here for almost 170 years now. It even made an appearance in the “You’re so vain” song by Carly Simon.

There are several top-grade races held here each year on the flat and over the jumps and it’s a great day out with a difference if you’re visiting New York itself and/or New York State. The racecourse though is around 200 miles due north of the Big Apple at Saratoga Springs – so get on the bus or train and study the racing form en-route and you’ll have a fighting chance of winning a few dollars with any luck.

Storm King Art Center

Alternatively, how about the Storm King Art Center, just less than half way en-route to Saratoga due north of the city? This is an enormous sculpture garden featuring 130 massive sculptured works of modern art from some of the 20th Century’s best-known artists and covering around 300 hectares (a little more than a square mile).

It’s well worth a visit for art lovers – and the rest of us Philistines will surely find it moving, which great art like this is designed to be.

It’s set within the beautiful undulating hills of the Hudson valley and has the Schunnemunk Mountain Mountainville Conservancy to form a dramatic backdrop. This place is very special – yet completely overlooked by most visiting tourists.

It’s perfectly possible to take in both these attractions in one day’s trip from New York City – and to be back in time for bed; a wonderful day out with a real difference.

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Important Items to Pack Wherever You Are Going

Packing is getting a little more difficult due to all the restrictions. Most domestic flights charge you if you check in a bag, carry on space is limited and you can only bring so many ounces of liquid in your backpack. Travelers have gotten smart since they have to narrow down what are important things to pack, what are some things that can be left behind and what items can you just buy at your destination. However, there are some essentials that should be packed in any luggage or carry on, not only in case of emergency but it could help make your travel day a lot more comfortable.

Five Important Things to Always Pack

1. Over the counter medication

Have allergies? Prone to headaches or get nauseous? Over the counter medicine can help ease your travel day loads. Flying with a headache is one of the most unpleasant things and taking an Advil or Tylenol can help erase that pain. Get plane sick? A Drammamine or anti nausea pill will prevent you from chugging ginger ale and using that dreaded brown bag in front of your seat.

2. Entertainment

Nothing passes time slower than having nothing to do on a plane ride. Some flights have a movie, tv or radio but that can get pretty boring when it’s not something you want to watch or listen to. Bring your own entertainment whether it’s a book, magazine, iPod, Kindle or laptop. Do what you want to do and that will let time pass a bit quicker. With friends, cards or a small board game always helps.

3. Snacks

This is especially important if you’re on a tight travel itinerary and don’t have to time to get something to eat on a layover. Snacks can save your stomach and your wallet too. It’s expensive to buy food on the plane and usually they’re not the best eats either. Try to bring something from home instead of buying it at the airport. 

4. An extra jacket

It gets super cold on the plane, even when you turn off your own personal AC. If you don’t need it to keep you warm, you can also use it as a pillow.

5. Face Wipes

On a longer travel day, it’s nice to have something to freshen up. A face wipe can quickly make you feel better, more awake and more refreshed. You can also use them to wipe your hands and get rid of that grimy feeling you get after you’ve been on a plane for many hours at a time.

Some extras:

  1. toothbrush
  2. ear plugs
  3. scarf
  4. travel pillow
  5. deodorant

What are some of your travel must haves? Share them in the comments below!

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Preparing to Travel With Your Pet

Pet owners, we all hate leaving our furry friends behind. It’s heartbreaking to send them off to doggy camp and it can be difficult to find a trusty neighbor or friend who will take care of them as much as you do while you are gone. Luckily there are several hotels and more pet cafes to accommodate your furry friend and flying with your pet can be done without too much of a hassle. To make sure your pet has a smooth journey just like us and to calm their nerves, there are several things you can do as a responsible pet owner to get them used to being in a car or on a plane.

Tips For Traveling With Your Pet

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1. Introduce them to a crate or kennel early on

If your pet has never been in a crate or kennel before, you need to crate train them to an extent so that they will feel comfortable being in one for a few hours. Some dogs can get fairly nervous about being in a crate so teaching them that it is a safe place will ease their nerves while they are on the flight. If you don’t know how, you can ask your veterinarian for recommendations for dog behaviorists or dog training classes to get you started.

2. Reassure and soothe your pet before the flight

Let your furry friend know that everything is going to be OK. Animals are fairly intuitive and can sense fear, excitement and other emotions. If you keep yourself calm right before the moment of separation and reassure them, then they won’t leave mirroring your anxiety or nervousness. Set an example for your pet since they most likely look to you as the leader to let them know that it’s going to be OK.

3. Take your pet for test drives

See how your pet does on long drives first before your trip. This will let them get used to being in a car for awhile and being on the road. Start with short trips and then increase the time so that they will get used to the movements, the new scenery and instead of being scared or frightened of the new surroundings, they’ll be more at ease and well behaved if they know what to expect.

4. Talk to your airline

Make sure you get all the necessary paperwork done in the correct amount of time if you are traveling overseas. Pets require vaccinations and certified check ups and paperwork from a veterinarian before you can take your pet with you to a new country. See what the airline’s policy is for small pets as some will let you take the animal into the cabin as long as it is within the size restrictions. Find out what steps you will need to take once you get to the airport so you aren’t stressing out about where to leave your pet, where to check in or how to get through security. If you know what to expect and stay calm, so will your pet.

5. Bring appropriate care items for your pet

If you know your pet gets nervous or finicky in the crate or during long traveling days, you should talk to your veterinarian about options to keep your pet calm. They might offer a slight sedative to keep the animal calm if they deem it necessary. Remember to bring snacks with you and water so that once you get off the flight or stop during the drive, you’ll refresh your pet and keep them happy. A hungry, thirsty or pet that’s been holding in their  pee for a long period of time is more prone to being hard to manage and accidents.

 

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Tips for Traveling with Friends

We all love hanging out with our friends and spending time with them but have you ever traveled with your friends before? It gives you great insight into what someone’s living habits are, their different way of thinking and perspective and also you learn more about how they are as a person. People handle situations differently. Some people are problem solvers, some are more passive, some are more active leaders and even though you can get along great with a friend, you might find your ways of looking at something or figuring something out may differ greatly.

Traveling is one of those things where when you do it with a friend or a significant other, you learn more and more about not only them but yourself and your own standards. Traveling with friends is great, who doesn’t want to be enjoying their exciting journey with someone who they’re close to? Conflict and different priorities sometime can get in the way of a fun trip to a not so fun trip.

Here are some tips to traveling with your friend so they stay your friend on the flight home!

Tips for Smooth Travels with Friends

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1. Discuss before hand 

You want to go to the local aquarium but your friend doesn’t. Or she wants to stay at a hostel and you don’t. Discuss before your trip about what you want to do during your trip. Have an idea of what sorts of activities you’re both interested in so you’re not fighting over them during your trip and wasting time. If you’re limited on time or going on a short trip, decide what activities are ones you both want to do the most and prioritize.

2. Compromise

Like number one, discuss what you want to do but compromise. Sometimes you might have to sacrifice one thing for another to make it a trip where both of you get to do what you want to do. Or perhaps if you’re OK with not doing them together, talk about that as well. If it’s something that you’ve been absolutely dying to do, consider joining a tour group so you will meet some new people to enjoy with. 

3. Meet new people on the road

Don’t isolate yourself! It’s easier to meet new people on the road when you’re traveling with friends since there are no feelings of jealousy as opposed to traveling as a couple. It makes it more fun to meet other people on the road if you’re with a close friend. Just don’t be insensitive and run off with your new friends and leave your other one behind!

4. Look out for one another

Security is in numbers. Especially for women, make sure that you stick together on nights out at the bar or club and don’t lose track of each other. Always look out for your friends, you’d want them to do the same for you right? Text and call each other to let each other know so you’re not spending your night running around looking for your pals.

5. Take each other’s advice

If something doesn’t feel right or if you’re not sure about something, voice it to your friends. Let them know you’re not comfortable participating in an activity or going somewhere. Don’t let peer pressure take you in, you don’t have to go way out of your comfort zone to “be cool” If they are your real friends, they will respect you and figure something out with you so that everyone is happy.

Have any more tips? Share them in the comments below!

 

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