6 Tips to a Successful Road Trip

6 Tips to a Successful Road Trip (1)

Embarking on a road trip of any kind is an exciting idea in theory- be it a fun family holiday, a weekend getaway for two, or an impromptu automobile adventure- but the laid-back vacation expectation can quickly become a greater source of stress than relaxation, especially since we can’t all take naps in the backseat when the scenery loses its novelty. So how do you prepare to deal with the unprepared? Here are six tips for how to handle all the bumps in the road you might encounter.

Try not to plan your stops.

Though you should of course have loose route to your ultimate destination in mind, be careful not to schedule your drive too rigidly. If you head into the trip with as few specific plans as possible, you’ll optimize the chance of being pleasantly surprised by a stop you wouldn’t have otherwise made. Not to mention, the kids can’t exactly whine a chorus of ‘are we there yet?’ if nobody knows exactly where the next “there” is, can they?

Make detours.

When you pass those billboards, homemade signs and mysterious exits along the road which boast the quirkiest, most obscure wares and forms of entertainment, don’t hesitate to check them out. Many of these paths may provide hidden gems, new favourite pit stops, and the inevitable excitement of even the most mundane unknown. The most at stake is an unplanned bout of fun- or a funny tale to tell if these spontaneous ventures turn out to be as weird as they sometimes sound.

Clean your car before leaving.

Nobody wants to do it, but tidying up all the haphazard wrappers and coffee cups, and even vacuuming the entire interior is the way to go. Road trips mean an even more rapid accumulation of the mess your car would usually rack up over the course of a month, so best not to begin with a foundation from last week. To keep the small space bearable during the trip –

Take advantage of gas stations and rest stops.

They will give you a garbage can to keep the clutter manageable, a toilet for after all those bottles of water are emptied and ready to be tossed, and an enticing array of snacks and treats for the next leg of the journey. The most ordinary of places can always fuel the adventure, even if topping up on gas seems somewhat less than exciting.

Opt for local restaurants instead of fast food chains.

When you pass through towns and cities, try to stop off for lunch there rather than rolling up to a drive-through window again. Ask one of the locals where the best spots to grab a bite are and try out something new. Dining in town will also give you an opportunity to hear about the sorts of things to do there you may not have planned for. Find some good eats on unfamiliar streets.

When something doesn’t go as planned, make it part of the plan!

No trip ever goes perfectly according to plan, and that’s often the fun of getting away. It’s exceedingly easy to allow even minor inconveniences to get in the way of enjoying the vacation. The best way to let go of these stressors is to accept them and take a positive spin on them. After all, some of the most interesting stories and fondest memories find their roots in the happy accidents of the journey, so sit back, enjoy the ride, and remember: you’re in no hurry.

Read More

5 DIY Bug Repellents

There is nothing more aggravating (or itchy) as a bug bite.  Camping and bugs seem to go hand in hand but they shouldn’t make your holiday uncomfortable.  All over the web there are hints, tips, tricks, and DIY’s on how to repel these little creeps.  Here are 10 helpful Do-It-Yourself bug repellents that won’t cost you a bundle!


1) Adding a Sage Bundle to your camp fire will help ward off the pesky bugs and make the air smell good.




image -

2) In a spray bottle , mix 15 drops of lavender oil, 4 tablespoons of vanilla extract and 1/2 cup of lemon juice.  Fill the remainder of the bottle with water and shake well.  Spritz your self with this fragrant mixture and bye by buggies.

3) Speaking of oils, dab one of the following essential oils on your ankles, elbows,shoulders, knees etc. or combine a few drops in some water for a spritz:

Citronella Oil

Eucalyptus Oil

Citrus Essential

Lavender Essential

image -

4) Dryer Sheets!  Yes dryer sheets!   Rub a dryer sheet all over to keep mosquitoes away.

5)Avon sells a great product called Skin So Soft.  If you hate smelling like bug spray then try this little doozy!

Whatever you try, avoid wearing dark colors, floral scents and know that those pesky bugs like dawn or dusk.

Read More

Camping Recipes

 From Riverside Rentals Blog Contributor RRutherford  (Click Titles for Recipe Pages)
Recently, my family and I went camping up to Ayton, Ontario. Some say that living in a 25 foot trailer doesn’t constitute as camping!  I say that if I cook more than one meal over the campfire, get eaten alive by black flies and mosquitoes and can see the stars through the trees at night, it is considered camping.  Prior to this week of rest and relaxation, I decided to prepare a menu to cut down on what was packed and to cut down on the guess work of what to eat besides hot dogs and hamburgers.  Here are some of the successful meals and the not so successful meals I found on the Internet and tried out camping.
1) Campfire Cinnamon Rolls 

I was very surprised at how delicious these actually were!  I did find I had a lot of leftover orange that didn’t get eaten, but I am sure I could have done something with it.  None the less, an amazing recipe.  Buy the Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls and some medium size oranges.  I found because of the smaller size of oranges I had, I had to cut each cinnamon roll in half.  Place the Cinnamon Roll dough into the orange halves, place on a tray and cover with tinfoil.  The orange peel not only keeps the dough from burning, but it adds a nice taste of orange to the Cinnamon Roll.  Delicious!!!!
These were easy enough to prepare, but I have to say, I wasn’t all that impressed with them. I think there are really two issues with these that if fixed they would be way better.  The first is the cooking.  The recipe calls for wrapping the filled cones with tinfoil. They are then to be cooked over the campfire until everything is mushy gooey inside.  I hung these from a curl in the tinfoil and held them over the flame.  The bottom of the cone burned through the tinfoil and upon opening, all of the marshmallow goo stuck to the tinfoil. Weren’t bad but weren’t great either.

There is only one word for these….FABULOUS!  The trick to making these successful for camping is to bake them at home and then ensuring they are one of the first meals you have when you head out to the great outdoors.  We used Swiss cheese, bacon and ham but you could really add anything.  You could put roast beef, Gouda, cheddar and bacon.  You name it you can make it.  If you are a die hard camper, you can always put them in the campfire and bake them for an hour before adding the yummy stuff.

These were a hit with the family. The combination of bacon and pancakes is soooooo yummy.  I found using the pre-cooked bacon worked best.  You could substitute the bacon for fruit or chocolate chips. I did find that my dippers of course looked NOTHING like the picture, but I blame my really rotten camping pan.

This is one of those really fun and easy meals.  The whole family quite enjoyed this one. Of course they thought I was insane when I suggested it, but they were thrilled when they got to eat their lunch out of a Doritos bag.

So this isn’t a food recipe but this was a great make ahead idea. Collect your dryer lint and toilet paper rolls.  Stuff the lint into the rolls then use them to start your campfires.

Find a print out Menu/Meal Planner here.
Read More