Make the Most of It – Tips for Starting out On The Road

Being on the road can be very taxing and sometimes isolating but there are many ways to make the most out of your time.  It just takes a little effort and knowhow. This is another post that is focused on new MRA employees.

Yelp: There are all kinds of services you are going to need between visits home.  Yelp is a great resource for finding anything from a hair dresser to a dry-cleaner. You can see rankings, reviews, and get an idea for how their services are prices against others.  I use this site for everything but especially restaurants.  There are ways to use filters and preferences when looking for food that will give you just the right place.  You can choose price, atmosphere, food type, and many others. I love that they also have a category of take-out and delivery.  I know there are other apps out there for those two specific categories but I still use Yelp first (at least right now).

Blogs: Obviously I am a true believer that blogs are a great way to find information, I write a few myself.  A quick google or WordPress search can lead you to someone who is local or has traveled to your destination with the inside scoop.

Other Social Media: Some find that Twitter is a great place to find info, others like looking for Facebook Pages, I use all of these are others like FourSquare.  It’s all what you like to look at.

Travel Apps: There are so many apps to add to your phone that do one or many different functions for travel and making it easier.  I encourage you to try a few, decide what you prefer later.  I can’t live without Google Maps, The Weather Channel, Honors, eBates, Target (tells you the closest store, map programs often send you to a closed location like on near our office), Starbucks, USPS and all other shipping apps, Yelp and Uber.

Staying Fit: Everyone, EVERYONE gains weight their first year on the road.  This is a huge lifestyle change, even for drivers who are coming from OtR.  You will eat all your meals are a restaurant and work odd schedules.  Finding a routine is difficult.  I encourage you to look into an activity tracker app (Fitbit or MyFitnessPal, ext).  Hotels will not consistently have exercise equipment or good equipment.  Josh and I have had great success from committing to exercise programs like Insanity or T25.  Neither of these require extra equipment, just your time.  The last thing you are going to want to do is drag anything else into a hotel at night.  I’m happy to let you try either if you reach out to me.

Staying Connected: Download and use Facebook on your MRA issued smartphone.  There are lots of other apps and sites to stay connected to your family and friends but nothing like Facebook.  A bad day or a lonely one can get much better by connecting to friends.  You will be surprised as you use it how often you “forgot” someone lived in a town you are visiting.  I share a weekly post about where we will be.

Staying Entertained: There are lots of ways to fill your time with fun activities instead of vegging on the hotel bed all night.

Overdrive: This is an online lending program sponsored by your local library.  You check out books just like at the library but they are electronic.  I read an insane amount and listen to audiobooks checked out from the library.  All you need is a library card and the account is really easy to set up.  Your taxes already pay for this service so use it.

Netflix: Stream videos right to your MRA issues laptop or tablet.  Most hotel’s wifi is strong enough these days to stream.

Amazon Prime: This is a two-part program I encourage you to purchase.  For $100 a year you get access to a huge library of TV and movies along with free two-day shipping.  That last part will save your life out here.  There are just so many times you don’t have time of a way to get something you need and prime shipped to a hotel is just the ticket to stay happy.  I often use it for items that I need for the tour.  This annual fee is not reimbursable from MRA but can be included in your taxes.

 

These are just a few of the options you have, try things see what you like.

 

***This is part of a series of posts called “Travel Tuesday“, each covering topics unique to our lifestyle***

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