Sunday, October 28, 2012

Road Trip Tips From The Getaway Girl®

Someone once told me that road trips are like childbirth.  Done right, they can one of the best things you will ever do.  Done wrong, and you are trapped in your own personal hell screaming “Whose idea was this?”

Before You Leave
Get Your Car Serviced & Cleaned Before You Depart
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Be sure and get your vehicle thoroughly serviced before you depart (and have it cleaned while it’s there too). Ask them the check your air pressure in all five tires (that’s right...the spare too), oil, wiper blades, belt and hose connections, tire pressure, turn signals, horn and headlights and make sure all of your fluids are full. 

Bring a Basic Repair Kit
Have a repair kit on hand for fixes you might be able to take care of yourself. At the very least, bring a few different sizes of regular and Phillips-head screwdrivers, jumper cables, vice grips, a tire iron, bottled water, fire extinguisher, first-aid kit, reflectors/flares and a roll of duct tape.

Join a Travel Club
If you're not already a member of a travel club, join one before you leave. There's always AAA, which has affiliates almost everywhere, the Better World Club or an auto club offered by your car's manufacturer.

Create and Map Out Your Itinerary
Determine how many days you have for travel and where you want to go, but don't simply plot out the fastest route from point A to point B. While major highways and interstates quickly whiz you from city to city, county roads afford the best sights and out-of-the-way attractions. Don't set an overly ambitious agenda.  Plan on a maximum of 5-6 hours per day behind the wheel.  Finally, take along a current paper map, in addition to any online directions or GPS systems. Each is a good backup to the other, as none is foolproof.

Skip the Junk Food
Roadside convenience stores are notorious for lousy food. If pork rinds and a Slurpee aren't your idea of a great road trip lunch, bring a cooler on your adventure. In the morning, fill it with ice and drop by a decent supermarket. The ice should keep things cool until the next morning, when you can refresh it. Then, when the munchies hit, at least you won't be insulting your body with food products whose ingredients were developed in a secret lab in New Jersey.

Dress Comfortably & Wear Easy On/Off Shoes
Since you will be sitting for a long period of time, comfort should be your top priority. Wear soft, roomy pieces in breathable fabric. Cotton blends and jersey are great options. Avoid items like jeans (the heavy denim may be uncomfortable and will take forever to dry if something is spilled on it) and light-colored clothing that will show dirt and stains easily.  Be prepared for weather changes by dressing in layers, but skip bulky items that will cause you to overheat in the car. Have a sweater and rain gear (such a light windbreaker) handy in case of inclement weather.  Comfortable slip on/off shoes will make stops easier.

During The Trip
Pay Attention to Gauges — and Watch the Road
The gauges on your vehicle aren't there just to make the dash look pretty. They're there for a reason: Eventually, something will go wrong — and the gauges might tip you off before it's too late.
And when your eyes aren't on the gauges, they should be on the road, not on the screen of your smartphone. Over the last decade, driver distraction has become one of the leading causes of accidents. Relax, listen to some music, enjoy the scenery, and save the cellphone calls for your next stop!

Don’t Be Afraid To Take Breaks
Whether it is for bathroom breaks, meals or sightseeing, make sure you take the time to stop and take a break from driving.  This is also a good time to stretch your muscles to prevent cramps.  When you stop, be sure to walk around and do some stretching exercises.  This will keep your blood flowing and keep you loose.

Stay Hydrated
As always, be sure to drink plenty of fluids, especially water.  Often people don’t want to drink too much so they don’t have to stop for the bathroom.  But staying hydrated will help keep you awake and alert.

Take Turns Driving
Don’t leave the driving (or the navigating) to the same person. There are health hazards in driving as it places stress on your mind and body with road rage, eye fatigue and night blindness, and road fatigue.  So, it is best to take turns; making sure each person has time to contribute to the trip in various ways. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Girls Getaway to....Exotic Driving

If only I could drive at 109 MPH every day with no traffic in my would be so much easier!  So when I was asked to come test drive a $260,000 Ferrari at the Richard Petty Driving Experience in Orlando, I responded 'yes' immediately.

When you combine some of the world’s finest automobiles with a new track layout designed for drivers to experience the awe-inspiring acceleration, speed and handling of these high performance driving machines, you have “Exotic Driving Experience.”

Best known as owner and operator of Richard Petty Driving Experience, the worldwide leader in the stock car drive and ride business, Petty Holdings has applied its expertise in delivering safe, accessible, exciting automotive entertainment to develop an experience allowing anyone with a driver’s license the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a “supercar” – a rare class of automobiles.

Exotic Driving Experience features supercars by Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi, and Porsche. Driving Experiences start at $169 for six laps around the circuit. Thrill Rides with a professional driver behind the wheel are available for $99.

Petty Holdings also constructed an interior road course-style section at Walt Disney World Speedway, specifically for Exotic Driving Experience, featuring a series of quick, challenging right and left-hand turns. Complete with barriers, fencing and rumble strips, this section replaces the frontstretch of the oval when the supercars are on track and, together with the backstretch, comprises another one-mile layout which has been named The Exotics Course at Walt Disney World® Speedway.  The layout allows drivers to experience rapid acceleration to high speeds on the backstretch of the oval and, when they come into the interior section, feel the incredible braking and handling characteristics of these exotic cars.

For Girls Getaways, entertainment, corporate outings, team building events or gifts, Exotic Driving Experience provides a unique, unforgettable thrill!  They also offer 'Ride Alongs' for Kids.  Videos and professional photos are taken, so you can show off your speed demon skills once you get home.  Reservations can be made at or by calling 855-822-0149.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Haunted Hotels for Halloween

If you like things that go bump in the night, famous haunted hotels dot the landscape across the United States and the world with ghostly stories to share. The halls of many historic hotels are rumored to host to more than just paying customers. Whether you believe or not, one thing is certain - these friendly hauntings are sure to make for an unforgettable visit you'll remember for years.  The Getaway Girl, Casey Wohl, shares some of the spookiest haunted hotels for your next ‘ghostly’ visit.

Estes Park, CO

The Stanley Hotel is one of the most haunted hotels in the nation. The property is a ghostly "hot spot." In addition to serving as the inspiration for Stephen King's "The Shining" during his stay in room 217 (one of the most spiritually active rooms), the property was also featured in several "Ghost Hunters" episodes. The Stanley even has its own on-staff paranormal investigator to monitor residual energy and serve as a concierge for the property's permanent guests.

F.O. Stanley, one of the brothers who invented the Stanley Steamer, moved to Estes Park in 1903 where he built the grand Stanley Hotel. It was the inspiration for Stephen King's novel, "The Shining." Of course there are ghosts and you have a choice of several ghost tours! The tours and restaurant are open to the public. The hotel is a popular location for weddings so on weekends you may see one or more going on.

To celebrate the Halloween season and The Stanley's Stephen King roots, guests can indulge in the Shining Ball & Murder Mystery package, which includes: two murder mystery dinner tickets, two Shining Ball tickets and accommodations in the haunted hotel. Additionally, property's on-staff paranormal investigator offers a five-hour ghost hunt sessions where guests can learn how to use authentic ghost hunting tools and test their new skills in some of the property's most haunted locations inaccessible to the general public.

Galveston, TX
Galveston is known as a top destination for haunted travel, being the place of the deadliest natural disaster in United States history: The Great Storm of 1900. The island has many sites that are considered haunted, and offers ghost tours at a variety of cemeteries, historic mansions, downtown and on Galveston's harbor. Galveston is also home to Texas' only year-round haunted house, Haunted Mayfield Manor, which is housed in a historic building that served as a morgue after the Great Storm.
The beautiful 101-year-old Hotel Galvez in Galveston, TX on the Gulf of Mexico is said to be haunted by a ghost bride. The legend is that in the mid-1950s a woman, Audra, hung herself in the hotel after hearing that her mariner fiancé had been killed by a great storm at sea. However, that was only half the tragedy. A few days after her death, Audra's mariner appeared at the hotel looking forward to a marriage that would never be.

 The hotel has documented numerous accounts from guests and staff that have experienced ghost encounters in room 501 - where Audra stayed - as well as various other parts of the hotel. Staff has reported seeing the ghost of a young girl bouncing a ball in the lower level of the hotel. Housekeeping staff has also reported feeling the presence of a man in the corner of the hotel’s laundry room. While this activity was reported in the lower level of the hotel, staff and guests have also experienced odd occurrences in the restaurant and lobby, such as candles blowing out on their own and dishes moving or breaking. Guests and staff have also reported hearing breathing sounds in the ladies’ bathroom near the Music Hall and children’s laughter in the salon bathroom.
Following Hurricane Ike, which struck Galveston in September 2008, several members of the hotel staff who stayed at the hotel as their homes were being repaired reported seeing a woman dressed in an old-fashioned maid’s uniform and a man walk through a guest room and disappear.

In September 2009, Discovery Channel’s Ghost Lab featured Hotel Galvez while investigating a correlation between weather and the paranormal. The hotel was also included in an episode on the Travel Channel’s Ghost Stories called the “Ghost of Sister Katherine.”  The hotel offers ghost tours during the month of October.   Other places for public Ghost Tours in Galveston include Bishop’s Place at Night (historic mansion) and Old City Cemetery.


Littlecote House Hotel is located in the Royal county of Berkshire and is set on 113 acres of grounds and gardens with lots of luxurious features. It also boasts the title of England's third most haunted building, making it one of the spookiest hotels in the country.

  The hotel dates back to Tudor times and was also once a Roman settlement, so it's no surprise that there are numerous ghosts resident at the hotel. One common sighting is of a black dog on the Jerusalem staircase. When guests or members of staff reach down to pet the dog, their hand goes straight through. Mother Barnes, who was a 16th century midwife associated with the site, is referred to in lots of the ghost stories associated with Littlecote House.

  One woman saw a shadowy figure walking across the lawn towards Mother Barnes, and found herself floating in mid-air throughout the experience - but this was many, many years after Mother Barnes' time. There is also one bedroom at the hotel that is particularly haunted, and during a séance held there, a woman was seen rocking a baby in a corner and dark shapes were seen moving around the room. Individuals in the room also felt extremely cold, although no drop in temperature was recorded on their equipment.

  Many guests see spectres at Littlecote House and the hotel also offers a ghost tour for you to get up close and personal with them - if you dare.  This hotel is ideally located for visiting some of Britain's most popular tourist destinations, such as Stonehenge, Newbury races, Ascot races, the city of Bath and Windsor castle.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Getaway Girl® Foundation on TV

Do you have some "baggage" you'd like to leave at home?  The Getaway Girl® Casey Wohl has created a new non-profit Foundation called The Getaway Girl® Foundation that empowers women through travel.

The Foundation is officially launched and on TV! To watch the TV segment from the nationally-syndicated Daytime TV Show, click here.

Our mission is to 'empower women of all ages, cultures and diversity through travel and related opportunities to transform their perspective, self-confidence and quality of life.'

To read inspiring stories, find out how to nominate someone or how you can help, visit The Getaway Girl® Foundation online at

Monday, October 8, 2012

6th Annual "12 Days til Christmas" Getaway Giveaway

With the holiday season approaching, women’s stress levels start to rise.  It’s easy to get wrapped up in the holiday craze, but the Girls Getaway Guide has a way to give back to women everywhere and help remind them how important it is to spend quality time with their gal pals.

The Getaway Girl® Casey Wohl has launched her Sixth Annual “12 Days ‘til Christmas” holiday promotion.  In an effort to help beat the holiday madness, The Getaway Girl® will host a countdown to the big day.  Women everywhere can visit the Girls Getaway Guide online at to sign up for $14,000 in fabulous travel vacations, which are sure to provide welcome holiday cheer during this stressful time of year. 

The promotion has officially started with an open online entry form, and prizes will be given away Dec. 3-18.  On each of the days leading up to Christmas, a terrific Girls Getaway Guide vacation prize will be awarded to a lucky winner.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Crossing Paths With Blessed Lotus

As we travel on this journey called life, it is funny how your path will cross with someone from your past and you know that it was fate that brought you back together.

As Rollins College alum, I receive the regular E-newsletter they send out.  Sometimes I read them and sometimes I don't.  I was happy I read a recent issue that featured a fellow Class of 1996 alum De Anne Wingate.  I knew of De Anne while I was at Rollins as we had mutual friends, but I never knew her.  But it wasn't just the familiarity of her name or the fact that we graduated the same year that caught my was her story, her journey and her newly-created Foundation that compelled me to track her down and email her.

After wanting something more out of life than what the corporate world was offering, De Anne started traveling.  She returned from India in March 2012, with a desire to help children living in slums around the world receive the best education possible. The seed was planted for her non-profit, Rippled Purpose.  Each time De Anne wore the beautiful tunics from India, someone in America would ask her where they could find one. An idea was born!  Import the tunics from India and use the profits from each tunic to fund Rippled Purpose.  A portion of the tunics are handmade and embroidered by a group of Indian women who are being taught English, how to read, write and basic finance skills.

Blessed Lotus is a retail company that sells tunics and pashminas to generate profits, which are used to fund the nonprofit Rippled Purpose.

After several emails and an exciting phone call, De Anne was nice enough to send me a fabulous tunic.  We plan on working together to help others through our Foundations.

If you are looking for holiday gifts, please visit Blessed Lotus and consider ordering one of their lovely tunics or pashminas.  The proceeds will be more than profits.  They will help create self-sufficiency for women and children in need. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Getaway Girl® is Going Further

In its recent issue, Orange Appeal Magazine listed The Getaway Girl® Casey Wohl as a Woman to Watch.

To find out why and about The Getaway Girl's® newest endeavor, click here.

Orange Appeal was launched in 2008 to serve the growing market of educated, active women in the Central Florida area. From day one the focus has been on them! Each issue is filled with women to watch representing a diverse range, from the area’s top business leaders to industrious entrepreneurs as well as key players in the nonprofit arena.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Getaway Girl® Gives Recs for Orlando Nightlife

For the first time, Visit Orlando invites you on audio tours through America's vacation capital and offers you exciting stories and helpful advice along the way. The elaborate audio productions include original sounds and interviews recorded on location and can be played directly on your computer or download it onto your iPod or mp3 player to listen while jogging, cooking, driving or on your next flight to Orlando! 

For the 'Nightlife in Orlando' podcast, The Getaway Girl® Casey Wohl offers her recommendations.  From ultra-hip bars and high-energy dance clubs to laid-back pubs and multi-venue entertainment complexes, Orlando offers several distinct areas to live it up once the sun goes down.  To listen, click here.