Name brands have always been and will always be an integral part of society. They have been instilled in our long-term and short-term memories since childhood. Every year a study is conducted to seek out and list the most recognizable, bankable and global brands. We all must admit that we are attracted to some brands more than others and maybe downright addicted to a few.
As a married couple that works together, my husband and I found ourselves on a book tour this year for our first co-authored book, Surviving Marriage in the 21st Century - 13 Easy Tips that Can Help You Get to 20 Years and Beyond. After 15 cities and still counting, I'm sure we could be placed in the Guinness Book of World Records as most road trips by a married couple. The road is rough -- very rough. There are a few things that make it easier, such as good conversation, well-planned routes and brands that you can count on no matter where you travel. Here is a list of brands (in no particular order) that helped us keep our sanity and made life and marriage on the road stress-free:
1) Dunkin Donuts- Hands down, Dunkin Donuts makes the best coffee. It is a must have when we travel and keeps the mood light and lovely. Hubby is an iced-coffee connoisseur while I love a good regular coffee, small size, with four creams and four sugars. My brother-in-law calls my mix hot chocolate. It is our preferred coffee destination, and when in New Jersey and NYC, we are never disappointed.
2) Toyota - The Camry is equipped with an Eco tank, which allows us to travel almost six hours on one fill up of gas. When we are on a tight schedule, the fewer stops the better. An added luxury is the seat warmers. There's nothing like an ongoing marital argument about being too cold or too hot while driving. When changing climates on the road, the push of a button can stop the argument of the century.
3) Hilton Hotels - A for-sure brand that has the best and most comfortable hotels is Hilton. The rooms are equipped with allergy-free bedding and great gadgets for charging your gadgets. While free warm cookies are nice coming off the road, a married couple can lounge in the lobby next to the fireplace, as most of the hotels have one.
4) Apple - Thank goodness for the iPhone and the iPad mini and synching capabilities. These two devices for techies make mobile life less constrictive. The things hubby has been able to do with these two devices have made my day-to-day responsibilities while traveling streamlined. You know what they say: Happy wife, happy life.
5) Sony PlayStation - A man and his game are not soon parted. Thank you, Sony.
6) Google - First of all, thanks for maps, email, search, alerts, etc. But most of all, thanks for being able to settle things by just telling your spouse "Google it." It's better than counseling.
7) Facebook - Having a couple's profile on Facebook was one of the best decisions we ever made. As a married couple, we should complement one another's strengths and weaknesses. While most couples are saying Facebook has ruined their marriage, it has done the exact opposite for us. It can only do what you allow it to do and what it did for us was be a great outlet. There's nothing better for a marriage when everyone in your circle respects the man and the wife.
8) Netflix - What a great application to just zone out from the world. Sometimes in traveling, there is nothing to watch on hotel television or during long layovers. You can pull up Netflix on your laptop, iPad, iPhone or other mobile devices and find something within minutes. The time passes pretty quickly when watching a TV season marathon or a good documentary. Another great feature is that several people can log on at the same time. Just in case you need a break can anyone say his and hers...
9) Amazon - From publishing, to shipping, to selling, to payments, Amazon makes it easy. Managing several products while mobile was never easier. The one thing that we always love, direct deposit came exactly when it said it would. No worries.
Welp, maybe this list should have been rounded out to 10 brands. The Huffington Post has been instrumental in keeping the stress level down while traveling as it reports real news. Turning to social media and real-time streams proves troublesome when you can't verify the information for daily news, world news or even breaking news. When you see a Huffington Post link you know it's the real deal. Thanks, Huffington Post, for helping us survive 2013... it felt like "Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams" but it was only Cranberry Juice Thoughts and Red Snapper Infatuations.