Tag Archive | "Podcast"

Travel Western Michigan Better

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TBP 0014: Western Michigan Offers Respite for City Dwellers

Posted on 31 August 2013 by Leslie Lello

Travel Western Michigan Better

South Haven, Western Michigan

As I gazed at the sunset over Lake Michigan, I marveled at how different the atmosphere was compared to when I stood at the waters from the opposite side, in Chicago. More nature. Cleaner. Peaceful. Quiet. Desolate in early spring.

These are the characteristics I yearned for during my road trips when I was living in Chicago, but the choices were never as obvious as when I lived in other major cities in the United States.

I found a piece of heaven in Western Michigan that soothed the anxiety and pressure I was constantly experiencing in Chicago.

In today’s podcast I will be talking about my weekend trip (well, mid-week trip) to Michigan to get away from Chicago. I felt much better after this excursion and think it is very important for city dwellers to get into the country and “get the city off of them” once in a while.

TBP 0014 is a shortie so it’s good if you want to squeeze a podcast in while you are driving around running errands this is a good one to pick. 🙂

Happy Travels!

PS: I brought my dog on this trip and as long as you can find a hotel that is pet friendly (I stayed in South Haven, but I understand Holland is even more dog friendly), this should be a good choice for your animal companion. He LOVED playing catch on the beach and it was completely empty so we could really spread out!

Links:
South Haven, Michigan
The Beachtowns of Michigan
Douglas, Michigan
Holland, Michigan
Pet Friendly Things To Do in Holland, Michigan

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Win Amazon Raffle www.TravelBetterPodcasts.com

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Announcing the Winner of the $25 Amazon Gift Card Raffle!

Posted on 21 August 2013 by Leslie Lello

Win Amazon Raffle www.TravelBetterPodcasts.com

Whew! That was a busy and exciting launch!

I want to thank everyone for helping to get the word out about the site by participating in the Giveaway and sharing with friends!

The raffle closed at 11:59pm EST on August 20th and a winner has been drawn.

The winner of the raffle is Mary Ann Stroud!

Congratulations Mary!

Obviously, I did the raffle because I wanted to create some buzz about my website launch and the podcast, but my overarching goal is to help people ‘travel better’ and to provide them with travel tips and vacation ideas.

This seemed to be the easiest way to find people who would be into the kind if information I provide. Win-Win, ya know!

So now that we’re all here, I would love to discover what destinations or travel questions you have. If I don’t have the answer from my own experience and knowledge, I am networked with enough people that it will allow me to interview the perfect expert related to your question.

Please message me using the contact form, or leave a comment below!

What destination do you want to hear about the most? What do you want to know about that destination? Why do you want to go there?

Again, thanks again for participating in the contest.

Happy Travels!

Leslie

PS: If you didn’t win this time, be sure to keep in touch with this site, the Facebook page, Twitter, Newsletter and the Travel Better Podcasts on iTunes or MyCast because launching my site with a giveaway was really fun, so I intend to do it again (not the launch part… the giveaway part!). 😉

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NOT the Best Way To Pack a Suitcase or Car

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TBP 0011 The Best Way To Pack a Suitcase (Part 1): Cars and Road Trips

Posted on 10 August 2013 by Leslie Lello

Not The Best Way To Pack a Suitcase or CarIf you Google “Best Way To Pack a Suitcase“, you will most likely come up with a number of sites presenting lists of what you should and should not pack and strategies to pack as much as possible within the least amount of space or to go as minimal as possible.

This is great, but customization is important.  I change the way I pack each time I travel.  I find that posts about the best way to pack a suitcase never differentiate between going to Europe by air or going to the Minnesota State Fair by car.

Road trips offer a lot of flexibility in packing, even if the car is crowded.

So to be clear, this is not a podcast about packing minimally, this is a podcast about going on a long road trip and wanting to be as comfortable as possible. In my mind, the best way to pack a suitcase cannot be separated with the best way to pack a car. This is obviously based on my own preferences (like the desire for awesome coffee in the middle of nowhere), but can be substituted for your preferences. Some of the things I mention are for safety and others are to save you time and money.

The Best Way To Pack a Suitcase (Part 1) – Podcast Clarifications:

I mention in the podcast that you should have a specific bag for travel information. You will probably bring some books and information with you, as well as pick information up along the way.  It’s best to keep this information in one specific bag. That way you know where to look when you are making travel decisions.  My passenger is also my navigator, so we leave the “information bag” in the backseat and the navigator starts to do research as we are approaching a town we intend to stop in for the night.

During the part of the podcast about bringing the diet food, I meant to say drug stores are where you can find Smart For Life Cookies, not grocery stores.  But really, I’m not sure if they are in grocery stores or drug stores. Best bet is buy them online. The “glorified candy bars” I referred to in the podcast are in grocery stores and are the protein bars that often have a lot of protein, but also a lot of junk.

Side note about the Vapur bottles. Don’t get the ones with the plastic cap. I lost the plastic cap and didn’t want to drink out of the bottle because I had placed my bag on the floor with the bottle attached and the mouthpiece most likely touched the ground. The bottle I linked to is the new kind and has a mouth piece cover that is attached to the bottle.

 

THINGS I LIKE FOR A ROAD TRIP:

 Reusable travel Mug
Tuna and can Opener (or whatever ready food that is nutritious)
Miso Soup
Diet Food (Smart for Life cookies, Ideal Protein)
Podcasts!
Reusable water bottles (Squishy water bottles)
Triple outlet converter (for the older hotels – used this a lot in Italy) or hostels
Tent (and yoga mat)
plastic utensils
pocket knife
two checks
ziplock bags
himilayan salt – good for headaches and sometimes weakness is due to lack of minerals
Aeropress
Tea bags

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Win Amazon Raffle www.TravelBetterPodcasts.com

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Tell people About Travel Better Podcasts and Enter to Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Posted on 08 August 2013 by Leslie Lello

amazon25This site is officially launching in two weeks, but if you are following the RSS feed, you are getting a sneak peak at all of the great content!

You are also getting the chance to help spread the word about Travel Better Podcasts and the upcoming launch!

Like the Travel Better Podcasts page on Facebook, and that will enter you in a raffle to win a $25 Amazon gift card! You can even get more chances by following us on Twitter and tweeting about the raffle to your friends!

Thank you so much for helping to spread the word about the raffle!

Click Here to Go to Facebook Entry Page

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TBP 0010: Better Pet Travel

Posted on 03 August 2013 by Leslie Lello

pet_travel_better

I didn’t even think about pet travel when I got my first dog, but after my first trip through the desert from Flagstaff, Arizona to Venice, California, I realized that traveling with a pet takes more thought than just throwing Fido in the back seat and giving him a potty break half way to your destination.

If you don’t have a pet, some of the things I say in this podcast might relate to traveling with kids.  I don’t have kids, but I’m sure the same amount of preparation goes into baby humans as it does for baby animals.

Some of the topics I cover in the TBP0010 “Better Pet Travel” include: preparation and packing, lodging, visiting friends, driving, flying, restaurants, play and relaxation.

Three important things that I didn’t mention in my pet travel podcast:

1. Some states have seat-belt laws for dogs.  In New Jersey, if you don’t have your dog in a restraining harness when he or she is riding in the car, you could get a ticket. Plus, you always should have your dog restrained anyway because it is dangerous for both of you to not have your pet secured in some way.  I was driving 30 miles per hour with my dog, Buddha, when I first got him and he was not in a restraint.  I had to stop short and he bumped into the dashboard somewhat hard.  He’s had harder hits running into other dogs at dog parks, but it was enough to catch my attention and from that day on he was in a harness that attaches to the seat-belt of my car.

2. Regarding hotel stays with your dog: a lot of places require you to crate your dog if he or she is left alone in the room. Some don’t even allow you to leave the dog or cat alone in the room.  A crate comes in handy when leaving the animal, but is a huge pain in the butt to lug  into the hotel and takes up a lot of room in a vehicle.  I used a crate when my dog was a puppy, but as he got older I knew I could trust him if I stepped out for a short while, like going to the breakfast bar in the hotel.  I never bring a crate with me now, but I can’t recommend that to people with dogs that can be rambunctious indoors.

3. Always clean up after your dog – both inside and out.  If your dog shreds toys like mine does, pick up a majority of the fuzzes before you leave the hotel.  And always pick up your dog droppings – they attract rodents if you do not and nobody likes to walk their dog in the middle of a minefield filled with poopbombs.

Haha… I actually use the term “pet peeve” in this podcast.

Pet Travel Links:

Bring Fido: http://www.bringfido.com/

Trips With Pets: http://www.tripswithpets.com/

Go Pet Friendly: http://www.gopetfriendly.com/

Travel Pets: http://www.travelpets.com/

Luv My Pet for Affordable Pet Vaccinations (which are often required if you decide to board your pet in a kennel rather than take him or her with you): http://www.luvmypet.com/

Happy Travels!

Leslie
www.facebook.com/travelbetterpodcasts

PS: Did you enjoy this podcast and blog post about pet travel or know of someone that would enjoy it? If so, please share it with others! Thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Redwood Forest, Garberville to Eureka, CA - Avenue of Giants

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TBP 0007: The Redwood Forest’s Sacred Peace and Beauty

Posted on 13 July 2013 by Leslie Lello

This week I was talking with a friend who travels a lot but has never been to the Redwood Forest in Northern California.

I had so much fun telling him what he he MUST do there, that I decided that would be a great Better Traveling show!

10-06-07 Garberville to Eureka, CA - Avenue of Giants - 13

 

The redwood forest is tied with Sedona for my favorite place on earth, so I had a lot of fun making this podcast!

I have presented the information as a road trip from Southern California or San Francisco, but you can rent a car from Southern Oregon and go the opposite direction.

10-06-07 Garberville to Eureka, CA - Avenue of Giants - 16
(Side Note: There are redwoods near San Francisco but those are not the ones that we are going to talk about today.)

REDWOOD FOREST LINKS:

http://avenueofthegiants.net/: Avenue of Giants is where the southern redwoods are of Humboldt County. It is essentially Rt 101, which leads to the biggies on the coast, which are my favorite,  but you could spend ages exploring the Avenue of Giants just in itself.

Going to Shelter Cove is not part of the Avenue of Giants, but still beautiful. I stayed in a Best Western in Garberville and then moved on to Eureka and Crescent City for the next couple evenings. It took me a full day to get to Eureka and then another full day to get to Crescent City.

Garberville can be pricy in terms of hotels.  If you are into camping, there are some good ones in the Avenue.

http://avenueofthegiants.net/Zoom/map.htm

Eureka is the other end of the Avenue of Giants.  You will arrive to Eureka before you get to Crescent City.  They have good restaurants and hotels. They also have a great natural foods co-op, cute shopping, and a few historical landmarks.

YOU MAY WANT TO STOP THERE IF IT IS GETTING DARK SO THAT YOU DON’T MISS ANYTHING AWESOME AS YOU DRIVE IN THE DARK. The next leg of the trip is also beautiful and along the water… It’s very beautiful and you miss all that beauty at night because it is very dark.
10-06-08 Trees Of Mystery, Redwood Forest, CA - 01
http://www.treesofmystery.net/ looks like a tourist trap which it is but it’s worth the stop. Take a gondola through the forest with several trees highlighted on the way to the gondola and a beautiful look out at the top of the mountain. You can hike down if you like.

Between Trees of Mystery and Crescent city there are a lot of little turn offs to go explore and lookout points along the coast.

One of my favorite spots is the REDWOOD HOSTEL which is closed for renovations right now. Across from the Redwood Hostel is a parking lot which a beautiful spot to watch a sunset over the water.

http://www.redwoods.info/showrecord.asp?id=4583  This is a link to an article about “10 must see trees”, but once you are in the area you will see so many amazing and huge trees that, to me, it didn’t matter whether I got to see every one on this list. Trees of Mystery had a lot of big ones.

10-06-06 Drive Thru Tree, Redwood Forest, CA - 16
http://www.redwoods.info/showrecord.asp?id=2464&source=Favorites
The drive through trees were ok, and this is the link that tells you about it. I did it my third time there, with my mom, but we also needed to have lunch and it was a good place to picnic. Not terribly expensive. Small cars only. There are a few of drive through (“Drive-thru”) trees. We did Chandler Tree.

REDWOOD FOREST TRAILS:
http://www.redwoods.info/showrecord.asp?id=3637
Trails. Many are accessible only by dirt road and if there are heavy rains these roads get washed away. These roads are narrow, but worth going if you can deal with being inches from the side of a road that drops off rather severely and slides around because of mud.

Lady Bird Johnson Trail
http://www.redwoods.info/showrecord.asp?id=3637

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park is dirt road accessible with many trails leading off the sides. My favorite area in the redwoods.

Boyscout trail is one of my favorites 5 miles. Go with a friend.

Stout grove is about a half mile . Brought my mom there and she loved it.

10-06-07 Garberville to Eureka, CA - Avenue of Giants - 30

RULES for Visiting the Redwood Forest:

  • Every time you walk on the ground it can disturb the root system so walk gently and do not tread anywhere that has been blocked off
  • Don’t climb down trees because there is a whole fertile ecosystem on ever inch of down tree that serves the rest of the community
  • Obviously  no litter and don’t take anything or cut anything
  • Always hike with other people.

 

Save the Redwoods League:

www.savetheredwoods.org/
http://rcci.savetheredwoods.org/ This page discusses the effect of climate change on the redwood forest.

 

Happy Travels!

Leslie

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arizona Travel

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TBP 0002: Arizona Tourism – My 11 Travel Tips

Posted on 08 June 2013 by Leslie Lello

Leslie Lello www.firewalkproductions.com

I promised last week that I would create a podcast about Arizona tourism and travel, so here it is!

This podcast is ideal for individuals who have not yet visited Arizona because it is an overview.

I lived there for two years and visited there for years before moving to that great state, and I still go back any chance I can.

I hope that these “insider tips” from someone who lived there can help you navigate the Arizona Tourism terrain better.

I might go more specific with my information in the future, but this should be a helpful overview.

Arizona Tourism: 11 “Insider” Tips to help you with your first trip to Arizona.

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Welcome and thanks for visiting!

My name is Leslie and I am the owner, publisher and media creator of Travel Better Podcasts.

A few years ago I started traveling... (Click Here For More)


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