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Driving Tips

Make your trips safe. Establish good driving habits.

Position your seat for the maximum visibility and comfort. Move your seat to different positions during your driving time. Gripping the steering wheel correctly allows you to maneuver the car around any unseen obstacle. Keep away from other vehicles. Most drivers follow too close. Traveling at 65 mph there are only split seconds to make a decision. Always leave enough space to plan a way out of any traffic situations.

Following too close to big trucks can be dangerous too. Items can fall off pick-up trucks, or a ten wheeler can throw rubber off a tire. The rubber chunks (on the road) are called 'alligators' because they can jump up and bite your car, creating great damage, not to mention the dangerous swerving you perform to avoid them.

Remember too, that big trucks can't stop quickly, so give them plenty of room. Don't cut in front of big trucks and don't drive too close behind; where you can't see the road signs. Remember if you can't see the driver, the driver can't see you.

Little cars hide in your car's blind spot. Turn your head making sure there isn't a little car hiding beside you, and use your mirrors often. If your vehicle has a blind spot I suggest you purchase a large or wider rear view mirror. They clamp over the existing mirror. Also purchase small curved mirror that sticks on the side mirrors, like the truckers have. After all you are on the road now --- consider yourself a ''long distance driver".

Stay in your lane. Most accidents on the freeways involve cars that change lanes. You've noticed the driver who switches lanes, only to get one car ahead? Be safe - ask yourself, "do I really need to change lanes?"

Driving too slow creates problems too. Faster drivers have to change lanes to pass you, or they tend to get aggravated. Which reminds me, in large cities, where road rage is often a problem, don't look at the driver next to you, don't use any hand gestures, and don't wave. Sometimes a wave is mistaken for an obscene gesture.

Most of all be patient. One thing I do is visualize my trip. Plan for it to be smooth running and free of traffic congestions. Often, I've noticed, that the congestions are on the opposite side of the road, and I buzz right on to my destination. I give a little 'thanks' for the clear sailing. And if I do get stuck in a bit of traffic, I am relaxed about it. I'll plan better next time!

Hotel Safety

Never announce your room number to your traveling companion. Show them the key holder and ask them not to repeat it in public.

Do not open your hotel bedroom door when someone knocks. Peek through the eye hole making sure you know who it is. If you don't see anyone, don't open the door.

Don't mention (out load) that you are traveling alone. Tell the reservationist that you are, they'll providing more security.

Leave the TV on when you are not in the room. If there are others in the hall, say "be back in a minute," to your invisible room companion.

Ask the front desk for a room close to the stairway, elevator or on a secured floor. Follow safety rules and don't let anyone on a secured floor. Ask the bellman to accompany you to your room. Don't forget the tip. If the room is large, have him look around to be assured an intruder isn't lurking. Check all doors making sure the security latches are secure. Check doors leading outside and the passage doors between rooms, making sure they are locked tight.

Park your car under a street lamp or close to the hotel's front entrance.

At night, ask the bell man to walk you to your car. Enter the hotel through the front doors after dark. Remember when your children were small, and they swore you had eyes in the back of your head? Use those 'eyes' now!

Scout your surroundings before venturing out. If you are alone, don't leave your sleeping room door open when you go down the hall for ice. Lock the door and take your key. Use the services of the bellmen. They are trained to protect you.

Note the fire escapes. Learn the layout of your room and how to unlock the door in the dark. Count the room doors to the nearest exit. Travel with a flashlight and keep it close to your bed, along with your purse and door key. In the event of fire, take your key, purse and flash light only.

Jot down phone numbers of the hotel, your friend, or van service which is picking you up. Put several quarters and dimes in you pocket/wallet. You'll not have to open your purse and fumble for change. Men carry two money clips or a wallet and a money clip.

Lock your valuables in your suitcase when leaving your sleeping room. Place the 'do not disturb' sign on the door handle. The maid won't enter your room to turn your bed down and place a mint on your pillow; and you'll have the security of knowing no one has entered your room. Free standing, small motion sensor alarms are available at Radio Shack.

Don't lay personal or supply items on a bed spread. They can get lost in the large patterns, or when you turn back the cover they can be concealed.

When traveling abroad, wear only a simple gold or silver wedding ring. Remember in some countries, a ring is worth a month's or year's salary.

Planning is everything. Remember weight limits. Your car will get better mileage if it isn't loaded down with unnecessary weight. And you will feel better when you don't strain your body dragging around heavy boxes or luggage. Minimize the load and use several small boxes rather than one big heavy box. Use straps to carry boxes at your side, instead of in front of you. Protect your back. Mark boxes and bags as "heavy".

Fill your stapler with staples before packing, and carry just one extra staple sleeve. Choose your tools to be light weight and fit in a small pouch or box. Take along with a few pins, rubber band, and a couple of paper clips. Buy sample sizes of toiletries.

Think light weight. Pack a lightweight nylon bag in your traveling luggage. In case you make purchases, you can always tote or ship it.

Ship extra supplies directly to the hotel. Allow seven business days for delivery by UPS. Allowing extra shipping times means your merchandise will be there. You won't be stressed because the box didn't arrive in time for the show. You can check with the hotel (before leaving) to see that the package arrived. And if the package didn't arrive you can call the shipper or make other plans.

Making money by cutting cost is one way, and there are other ways too. One, by not spending money on trivial things that don't lead to making a good profit or clutter your display table.

Think of the time you can save by dying your hair at a hotel. Your home production time is not taken away. Use hotel time to do your nails, pamper yourself, and rest. Working until the wee hours of the morning isn't healthy. You'll drag along unnecessary materials, which add weight to your vehicle or luggage. Finish your work before you leave.

Use extra time to get a haircut, manicure or a pedicure. Some hotels even offer massages, get one, you'll feel so much better. Go to a movie!

Make the weekends fun. You've worked hard between shows, now it is a time to relax. Allow enough driving time so you will arrive relaxed and can enjoy your weekend.

Take your laptop computer, catch up on correspondence. Use this captive time to promote yourself.

Make a travel check list. Keep a master copy in your computer or files. Print a copy prior to packing. Carefully check the list. I think this procedure is excellent, as several artists have forgotten their merchandise or props.

Safe Traveling,

Valerie Rogers


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