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Affiliate Disclosure: This is a professional review blog which gets compensated for the products recommended and reviewed by the companies who produce them and our affiliates. All of the products are tested thoroughly and high grades are received only by the best ones. We are independent bloggers and the recommendations and reviews are based on our own opinions.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Visit our new recommended shopping site TRAVELGADGETDEPOT.COM

Welcome to Travel Gadget Depot! It’s no secret we are travel addicts, AND we literally buy almost everything online. People ask us all the time where we bought our travel accessories! SO we thought we’d put together a website of our favorite travel gadgets!




What is a Gadget?????

Always make meaningful and healthy travel happen!!!



Monday, September 23, 2019

Visit a Hidden North Carolina Mountain Destination: The Apple Hill Alpaca Farm in Banner Elk

The name may be misleading, because the Apple Hill Farm has not been an apple farm in many years.  This hidden gem in Banner Elk, North Carolina is a great day to spend with your family learning about many animals and taking in some great views!


Every animal has a specific job, and many have a story as well! In addition to farm animals, Apple Hill Farm is also home to the largest selection of alpaca products in the High Country of North Carolina.



Apple Hill Farm, originally an apple orchard, was created by Lee Rankin after she was inspired by a personal connection with an alpaca at a Kentucky fair.  According to Lee, "That connection awakened my inner questioning of my life as I had known it. All I could express at the time was that whatever was next would involve alpacas."  Now she shares her vision and hopes to inspire others by making the farm open to the public since 2006.


The Emancipation Proclamation Comes Alive at Booker T. Washington National Monument in Hardy, Virginia

From slave cabin to the "Wizard of Tuskegee," learn about the incredible life of Booker T. Washington at the place of his birth in Hardy, Virginia.


Booker T. Washington famously said: "If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else."




LTD recently posted information about our visit to Poplar Forest, the private retreat of Thomas Jefferson.  Poplar Forest was a large tobacco farm near Lynchburg, Virginia.  However, less than 40 miles away and 37 years after Jefferson died, a small slave boy will be freed from another tobacco farm.  That small boy, Booker T. Washington, would go on to become perhaps the most influential black man in America during the late 1800s. He is often remembered today as being subservient, a sellout even, but most agree that he pursued racial equality with discretion.  However, there is more to his legacy, such as his role as a Presidential advisor, or as the first leader of one of the country's best historically black colleges.  To understand the significance of his achievements, it is important that you see the challenges he overcame and that begins at the place of his birth on a small tobacco plantation in modern-day Hardy, Virginia.  

Enjoy our live visit to the Booker T. Washington National Monument and to support our blog PLEASE subscribe to our YouTube Channel by clicking HERE!  Thank you so much!!



Explore the Most Private Retreat of Thomas Jefferson: Poplar Forest in Bedford, Virginia

Poplar Forest is a unique place to visit in Virginia for fans of Thomas Jefferson, American Architecture or Historic Preservation. The site is a retreat that Thomas Jefferson designed for himself near present-day Lynchburg, Virginia, in the early 1800s as a get-away from his busy life at Monticello. Get an intimate view of the home, its construction, the enslaved community and the man himself which is unlike any visit to Monticello.


Explore the Most Private Retreat of Thomas Jefferson: Poplar Forest in Bedford, Virginia


Ever since George Washington began using Mount Vernon as his escape from official duties, American presidents have enjoyed private retreats.  For Thomas Jefferson, that place was Poplar Forest.


Enjoy our Live Visit to Poplar Forest and PLEASE support our YouTube Channel by Subscribing HERE



Poplar Forest is one of only two homes Jefferson designed for his personal use. Jefferson inherited the Bedford County plantation in 1773 and work began on the home about 1806. When his presidency ended in 1809, he visited the retreat three or four times a year, often staying for several months at a time during planting seasons.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

A New United Airlines Deal Can Save You 10% on Flights — if You're the Right Age

Do you have a college student that will need to fly home over the holidays?  Check out United Airlines discount for the Gen-Z who are members of MileagePlus and use the app!


The airline will extend a 10% savings on tickets purchased on the United mobile app now through December 31.




To qualify:


  • You must be between the ages of 18 and 22
  • You must be enrolled in the loyalty MileagePlus program (free to join) and indicate your full birthdate
  • The discount applies only to yourself (no companions)
  • It must be for economy class on domestic flights within the U.S., and on routes to Canada and Mexico

And to appeal to the Gen-Z crowd, United has pledged to offset carbon emissions with its Eco-Skies program for the first 25,000 flights purchased through the new promotion. United is the sole carrier to commit to reducing our individual greenhouse gas emissions with a goal of a 50% reduction by 2050.

If you know any veterans, they are eligible for 5% discount on United Airlines, by joining the United Veterans Advantage program.

To avoid extra charges for baggage - United charges $30 for the first checked bag, we recommend a carryon only.  Our favorite is the Osprey Porter 46L which can be carried as a backpack or shoulder bag.  The compression straps allow for ease of packing more than you would expect you can!  Click the photo below to learn more at Amazon and support our blog!



Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Is it Safer for you to Travel Business Class for Longer Flights? Is Economy Class Syndrome Real?

After years of conflicting and inconclusive findings by leading researchers, the World Health Organization (WHO) and The American College of Chest Physicians have provided guidelines about the health risks of prolonged periods of immobility when traveling.


Fear of "economy class syndrome" is more common than ever as airlines aim to fit more seats on planes at the expense of leg room.  Read on to learn about the definition, who is at risk, symptoms and treatment.




Remember, if you have questions related to your health, always consult your doctor or medical professional. The information presented here is informative only and is not medical advice.


What is economy class syndrome?


Economy class syndrome is a phrase coined by researchers in 1977: The formation of blood clots in veins deep within the legs -- deep vein thrombosis -- occurring during (or just after) a long airplane flight, especially in economy class where there is the least space allotted per passenger and ones legs tend especially to be immobilized due to lack of leg room.

The economy class syndrome is directly related to immobility for long periods during which blood pools in the legs, raising the risk of clot formation. The tendency to immobility is often compounded by the fasten-seat belt sign, the presence of carts in the aisles, etc.

Other suggested risk factors contributing to the syndrome include lower oxygen pressure and dehydration. Changes in oxygen pressure in the cabin may decrease the oxygen level in the blood, and air in the cabin lacks normal humidity which contributes to dehydration. The serving of coffee, tea, and alcoholic beverages, all of which are diuretics, further causes passengers to become dehydrated.

The economy class syndrome is not confined to that class on a plane. It is recommended that all persons traveling on flights, irrespective of which class they are in, drink lots of water, move their legs by walking whenever possible and by periodically flexing and extending their ankles, knees, and hips to minimize the risk of economy class syndrome. Deep vein thrombosis is potentially serious and can even have fatal consequences.


What is a Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT)?


Monday, September 9, 2019

Full of Art and Style, the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel is Conveniently Located Near the Major Museums and Event Venues of Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina.


Right in the heart of Uptown—the downtown district of Charlotte—sits the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel. This luxury hotel in Charlotte overlooks Romare Bearden Park, is mere steps away from from the Panthers Bank of America Stadium, the Hornets Spectrum Center and Knights BB&T Ballpark, and surrounded by fantastic restaurants, museums and theaters.


Kimpton Hotels is one of IHG's lifestyle brands and this newer Charlotte hotel and rooftop bar is sure to please travelers of all styles.   


1. Location


This location is outstanding to attend sporting events in Charlotte being directly adjacent to Bank of America Stadium and the Spectrum Center. Not a sports fan? There are plenty of other activities nearby with frequent concerts, live stage productions, opera, symphony and museums. Charlotte is a great destination for foodies and the uptown area is loaded with options within walking distance or a short Uber. The front auto entrance and valet isn't easy to find so look closely at the corner of W. 3rd Street and S. Church Street on your left when you're heading south on Church Street. The entrance is immediately on your left after you pass 3rd Street.  Be sure to ask about the Kimpton House Car if you need to go somewhere and you don't want to walk, since we found out very quickly that Uber or Lyft drivers have a hard time finding the hotel!

Full of art and style, the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel is Conveniently Located Near the Major Museums and Event Venues of Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina.

Full of art and style, the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel is Conveniently Located Near the Major Museums and Event Venues of Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina.



2. Check-in

We were greeted as members and checked in early without any difficulty from a very accommodating employee who was very helpful to orient us to the hotel, it's amenities and immediate area.