Top travel tips for your next road trippin' adventure

Thinking about going on a road trip? Here are some tips

Save the airfare and hop in the car instead for an American road trip experience you won't soon forget. Plan a route that allows you to take in the beauty of the country from the driver's or passenger's seat. While the journey may take a bit longer, that's all part of the adventure, making the drive as well as the destination rewarding and fulfilling.

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Taking a road trip has many perks that are far more desirable than waiting in baggage check or sitting for hours cramped into a seat designed to fit a (small) 9-year-old. Sure, you won't get the free bag of mini pretzels, but in your car, you can tote along whatever goodies you like.

Some additional road trip pros from Trip Savvy? "You are in charge. You control your departure time, arrival time, itinerary and stops along the way. You don't have to pay attention to train schedules or airline routes as you plan your trip. If you see something interesting on the side of the road, you can stop and take a look." You can't say the same for air travel, unless you literally want to be on "cloud 9."

Audley Travel adds, "You can enjoy greater comfort and privacy. Don't be in a hurry to cover those miles. Instead, set off as early as you can each day, as this will enable you to make regular stops along the route to take photos. You can visit those little-known or out-of-the-way places that might be nearby."

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Time in the car with family or friends also allows for connecting and bonding. As per Odyssey, "Spending quality time with the people that are important to you, or even getting to know a new person in the car, is an amazing experience. Having a group in a car with various music tastes, political opinions, life experience, and so on allows for deep conversations and the passage of knowledge. Because you're trapped together for so long, you search for ways to kill time. Meaningful conversation is an excellent choice for this."

So, a road trip sounds fun, right? But before you put the pedal to the metal, consider a recent report put out by the personal finance website, WalletHub – 2018's Best & Worst States to Drive In. According to their write-up, "The U.S. has 11 out of the world's 25 worst cities for traffic." Congestion and bumper-to-bumper traffic does not a pleasant road trip make.

And traffic is not the only road trip trip up to worry about. There's road quality, gas prices, weather, and more to factor into account. Thankfully, WalletHub reviewed all 50 states across 23 key indicators of a "positive commute" to rank the states from best to worst for driving. When planning your road trip, the drive may be more delightful if you map your course through WalletHub's picks for the best states for driving. Their top 3 are:

1.Texas
2.Kansas
3.Nebraska

The worst 3 states to drive in are Hawaii, Washington, and Maryland.

There is plenty to do in the big ole state of Texas and making your way towards them will be a breeze, being the state clocked in at #1.

While California ranked all the way down at an overall #47, it's the state with the fewest days of precipitation. So, if you are willing to deal with traffic congestion and car theft, at least you'll have those sunny skies as an upside. And if your car breaks down, California has the most auto repair shops per capita. Just pray you don't have engine trouble in Alaska where the fewest auto-repair shops per capita are found. Alaska came in at an unimpressive #45 on the ranking.

Got gas? For your car, that is. The cheapest gas is on sale in Missouri, which was ranked #28. But you'll pay a pretty penny in the worst state of all to drive in – Hawaii. There you'll shell out a hefty $3.301 per gallon.

For the full 50-state ranking and more insight into WalletHub's report, see the full details.

No matter where you choose to go, always drive safely. You may not rack up those frequent flyer miles, but you will gain a new appreciation for our beautiful country as you turn the key and hit the open road.

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Three Things to Consider When Planning Your Vacation

There are plenty of things to consider when planning your vacation. Make sure you have all your bases covered by the time you buy your plane ticket!

Going on vacation is wonderful after months of stress and work. There's just one last hurdle before hopping on that plane: planning.

There can be an overwhelming number of things to consider when planning your vacation (COVID-19 not least), but putting them in an itemized list helps. Here's a quick cheat-sheet for you to get a jump-start on that.

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Remember Your Budget

If you make a budget, which you definitely should, stick to it. Don't spend more than what you can afford when you start vacationing. Vacations are meant to be relaxing, so saddling yourself with debt will only dampen the fun of your trip. How much are you spending on living accommodations, food, activities, travel? How much are you setting aside in emergency funds in case something happens?

Plan for the Length of the Trip

Are you going out of town for a few months, or do you only have a week off? How much time you have can affect where you can go and how much you can enjoy it. If you only have a week and a half for a trip, then it's best not to go somewhere that's a 16-hour flight away. Half the trip is going to be spent on planes, and the other half will be spent being jet-lagged.

Trip length can also affect how you have to deal with your home while you're away. If you're away for long periods of time, do you need to hire people to cut your grass? Do you need to hire house sitters or babysitters? There are even things to know if you need to board your dog. Keep all these in mind for extended vacations.

Consider the Weather

You never want to ruin your vacation by heading somewhere beautiful in its offseason. Depending on the time of year, most activities could be canceled due to weather restrictions. Some places are ideal for winter trips, and other destinations are made to be enjoyed during the summer heat. Plan accordingly, and don't show up in a swimsuit when it's 50 degrees outside.

That rounds up the basics, but there are plenty more things to consider when planning your vacation. Give yourself wiggle room if any unique considerations pop up in your planning process.

There has never been a better time to learn a language than right now. While we can't really travel, we can still get ready to explore the world and other cultures through film, music, and food. But the key to all of this is language. It can be hard getting started on your own and so we found the perfect solution: Rosetta Stone.

We've been loving hunkering down and digging into Rosetta Stone, a language learning app with many different languages, the best lessons, and an affordable subscription. It's flexible and made to work for you, no matter what level you're starting at. Jump back into French without dusting off your highschool books or pick up Mandarin with a clean slate.

Thinking about Rosetta Stone for your language lessons? Here are the answers to your most pressing questions:

What languages do they offer?

With Rosetta Stone, you can choose from 25 different languages including Spanish, Arabic, and Japanese. When you get the Unlimited Languages subscription you gain access to all 25 and can switch between languages. While you may be intensely learning German, you can take a break and pick up some conversational Korean — all in one app.

What are the features?

What makes Rosetta Stone's lessons really work are the incredible learning features.

Phrasebook will teach you short, useful expressions that are sure to come in handy during your travels, letting you see the practical application of what you're learning. Seek & Speak brings the fun back into learning by having you do a scavenger hunt for everyday household items and taking photos of them to get the translated name. Even in an app, Rosetta Stone turns any environment into a classroom.

TruAccent is a speech engine within the program that provides instant feedback on your pronunciation so you know if you're on the right track. You'll grow more confident about speaking aloud and it's like having an accent coach in the room with you.

How long does it take every day?

Rosetta Stone's lessons are bite-sized, so all you need is 5 -10 minutes a day to sneak in some practice and work towards your language goals. Of course, you can do more if you want but there's no regimented schedule or pressure to speed ahead.

How does it compare to in-person classes?

With the Rosetta Stone app, your learning is within your control and designed to move at your pace. The app will tailor to your particular interests, strengths, and weaknesses! Plus, with the recent explosion of online classes, most people have fallen away from in-person instruction anyway.

Rosetta Stone brings you expert teaching, fun engaging lessons, and a multitude of language options all on-the-go. Take your classes whenever and wherever works best for you, conveniently on the app.

Is it suitable for all levels?

Absolutely. When you first start, the app allows you to choose a study plan based on your experience level. So, if you're a beginner you can start from scratch and those with some proficiency can advance to where they're comfortable.

How much does it cost?

The Unlimited Languages plan works out to be $7.99 a month and grants access to all 25 languages, cheaper than Netflix. You get an education at a great value and the best part is no ads while you learn!

We look forward to our Rosetta Stone lessons and highly recommend it to anyone eager to learn a new language or even brush up on an old one. This program makes learning fun, practical, convenient, and most importantly affordable.

Say bonjour, to the go-to language learning app and have the world right at your fingertips!

Update: The folks at Rosetta Stone are extending a special offer to our readers: Up to 45% off Rosetta Stone + Unlimited Language Access!

Like so many out there I haven't been traveling. With everything going on these days I've been staying home, which I love, but it does have me itching to travel. The international section of Netflix just isn't satisfying my travel bug like it used to (trust me, if it's been recommended I've watched it).

I was looking for another way I could travel without leaving home so I did the rounds of take-out food: Chinese, German, Italian, and Mexican. This was fun and tasty but a pricey way to explore the world.

A friend of mine suggested taking a prepping approach to travel and try Rosetta Stone: a language learning program that offers an annual plan with access to 24+ languages.

I've always wanted to learn a new language but have had trouble committing. I was a bit wary about starting Rosetta Stone but ultimately decided to give it a shot.

The Unlimited Languages plan works out to be $7.99 a month for 12 months (what a deal). While I was determined to learn Spanish in anticipation of my dream trip to Spain, this plan allows me to switch to any of the other 24+ languages.

I was excited to get started and use the app. I figured with all of the extra time I had until I could actually go on my trip, I'd aspire to be near fluent by the time it happened.

Jumping right in, I took a ton of lessons through their app and really binged the language. I loved the focus on conversational language, phrases, and vocabulary but after about a week I had burned myself out a bit.

I ended up pulling back and doing 10-minute lessons a day. This was manageable and easy to incorporate into my schedule whether it was by doing a lesson over my morning coffee or winding down right before bed. Learning in bite-sized amounts helped me digest the information and really process what I was being taught.

After a couple of weeks, I was getting really comfortable with Rosetta Stone and was actually enjoying the learning process… even though I wasn't a big fan of language when I was in school. What really set this experience apart for me was the Phrasebook and Seek & SpeakⓇ features.

Phrasebook teaches short, useful expressions that I know will come in handy on my trip. Seek & SpeakⓇ definitely brought the fun back into learning for me, as it has you do a scavenger hunt for everyday household items and take photos of them. Once you do this it gives you a translation of each item (I've never enjoyed looking for cucumbers in my fridge before).

Watching so many telenovelas I knew how important the accent is (in any language) but difficult without an in-person instructor. Rosetta Stone realizes that too and uses TruAccentⓇ. The speech engine within the program gave me instant feedback so I knew that my pronunciation was on the right track and it made me more comfortable speaking aloud.

Rosetta Stone turned out to be a great choice for me. Now I'm daydreaming about traveling and feel like when the time comes I'll be ready to. I'm so confident in my learning that I've branched out and have done some lessons in Italian and French! I'm thinking, after Spain… maybe Rome and Paris? My destinations list is endless now!

Honestly, with Rosetta Stone, I feel more inspired than ever to travel and all this inspiration is happening right in my home. I can't wait to take what I've learned on the road but until then the preparation is still incredibly fun and useful.

Update: The folks at Rosetta Stone are extending a special offer to our readers: Up to 45% off Rosetta Stone + Unlimited Language Access!