Protect Your Bubble Recaps BarkWorld

This weekend, Atlanta truly went to the dogs. BarkWorld Expo kicked off on Thursday and continued on through the weekend at the Westin Buckhead as hundreds of pet parents and their dogs showed up for “social petworking”, discussing everything from blogging tips and social media ideas to how to make a difference for homeless pets.

Protect Your Bubble's David and Alyssa ready to talk pet insurance at BarkWorld Expo.

Protect Your Bubble's David and Alyssa ready to talk pet insurance at BarkWorld Expo.

The Protect Your Bubble Team was front and center for the weekend, sharing great information on pet insurance with each person who stopped by our booth while also getting to know the various attendees and their lovely canine and feline companions.

Alyssa from Protect Your Bubble meets Norman the scooter riding dog

Alyssa from Protect Your Bubble got to know Norman, the scooter riding dog, this weekend at BarkWorld.

Alyssa got to meet one of the internet’s most beloved dogs, Norman; you may recognize him best when he’s riding on his scooter.

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Road Trips 101: A Road Trip Survival Guide

The Road Trip: It’s a staple in American nostalgia. When you were little, you survived a four hour drive to the beach for quality time with the family. When you’re in college, you’re off to find yourself and some great wonder, from the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone to Atlantic City. As an adult, you’re cross-country commuting when your job decides you need to be in office in San Fran instead of New York and all of your things need to go with you. Many people will even be driving across the country to head to BarkWorld Expo this weekend, where they’ll meet some of our team.

Looking in the rear-view mirror of a car on a road trip
Ready to hit the road? Check over Protect Your Bubble’s Road Trip 101 Guide to be sure. 

Road trips are a means to an end, an adventure in their own right, and quite an experience no matter where you’re going. Before you hit the road, take heed of these tips to ensure the experience you have is a good one.

 

1. Plan Ahead

That spontaneous road trip you took with your friends in College was fun, but do you remember the sticky situations and the bickering that cropped up along the way? Go ahead and discuss who’s going to drive and for how long, how you plan to share control of the music selections, and where’d you’d like to take pit stops. Your trip will be much more enjoyable.

 

2. Be Prepared

When road trips have snafus, which most typically do, you want to be prepared. Don’t rely on one gadget for navigation; your GPS and your smart phone’s apps may give you different courses, and one may be right when the other is not. If something were to happen to one, say your GPS experienced mechanical breakdown or your phone was stolen, you want to be sure you have a back up plan. (Our electronics extended warranties and smart phone insurance policies can also help you out if something like that happens). Make sure to pack a spare tire and an emergency kit for roadside needs. If you’ve rented a car, get rental car insurance that offers emergency assistance.

 

3. Make a List

Before you head out on the road, double check to be sure you have everything, from your phone’s charger to spare underwear. The worst road trip expenses are the ones that you didn’t see coming because you left something behind.

 

4. Think of your travel companions

If you’re traveling with a group of friends, work to accommodation the various personalities, diets, and needs. Pack snacks that everyone likes and be respectful of each other. If traveling with family, pack games to help keep the kids occupied and plan travel around their sleep schedules. If it’s a business trip, consider bringing audio-books for people to enjoy if they need some time to themselves and keep conversation light and friendly.

 

5. Don’t be afraid of spontaneity 

While planning everything is important, and being prepared is essential  don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path for an unplanned pit-stop. Half of the fun of a road trip is in the process, not the destination.

 

When was your last great road trip?

CC Photo via Flickr

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5 ways to improve your holiday photos

digital camera

Use your camera to take great holiday photos. Image via Flickr.

The holiday season is almost here; it’s time to capture pumpkins and pies, ghosts and goblins, Thanksgiving feasts, Christmas trees, and more as we work our way through holiday cheer towards the New Year. We know you’ll want to document all of fantastic new memories, so we have a few tips to help you with your photography skills from a few of the pros:

 

1. Choose the right camera. 

Having a great camera is the first step to taking amazing photos. “If you own a DSLR make it your Holiday resolution to learn to use it in manual and shoot in RAW so you can fix lighting issues later. Shooting in auto on a DSLR is just a step above shooting with the considerably cheaper point and shoot camera, but shooting in manual will unlock a world of possibilities,” advises Kelsey Drozd, a family and pet photographer in Oceanside, California.

If you’re still using a point-and-click and are looking to upgrade it can be a little daunting to pick a camera you love–There are so many options! Justin Snavely, a photographer in Atlanta, suggests the new Nikon D600. “It’s a nice mid-level, full frame dslr that would balance very nicely between…shooting stills and video.” (If you do invest in a new camera this season, be sure to protect it with camera insurance from Protect Your Bubble).

 

2. Always have a back up. 

Lauren Ferzoco, of Lauren Elizabeth Photography, a pet photographer in the Nashville area, recommends using multiple memory cards during your event. “That way, if something happens to the memory card, you haven’t lost the entire shoot!”

 

3. Keep the quality high and the styling classic.

Kelsey stresses that quality and classic styling are important for holiday photos. “Put away that iPhone. Its great for capturing the crazy lady walking down the street dressed as Mrs Claus, but for moments that matter…use a real camera. The quality is better and your editing options are better…This goes for Instagram too! The funky effects are cool for capturing your “duck face” as you model your new ‘do, but when it comes to memories keep it classic.”

 

4. Don’t over pose…

We all know that the posed group shot is coming, but don’t forget to snap a few shots when people aren’t wary of the camera. “My advice is to start shooting once the eggnog and the activities start happening.,” says Justin. “It’s at this point that people usually loosen up, aren’t as self conscious, and don’t pay as much attention to the person running around with the camera.” You’ll great candid shots of laughter and fun that you’ll cherish for years.

 

5. …or get too matchy. 

If you’re going in for a professional session or just snapping photos at the holiday party, remember that over-matching can be problematic. “Everyone in white shirts and jeans is BORING and overdone; at least one person in the group isn’t going to be flattered by that style and will look out of place. Variety is the spice of life. Stick to the same color palate and color tones (pastels, neutrals, bolds, muted, etc) but not exact same clothes,” advises Kelsey.

 

Have fun with your holiday photos this season and put a few memories on film that you’ll cherish in future years. If you have additional tips for people taking photos during the holidays, leave them in a comment!

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Haunted Holiday Adventure: Visit A Haunted Destination for Your Winter Travel

Halloween Jack-o-lantern  for your haunted travel destination

Enjoy the spooky delights of a haunted destination. Image via Flickr.

‘Tis the season for ghosts, pumpkins, and holiday frights: How are you celebrating? Rather than just watch your favorite paranormal shows on TV, why not have a ghostly adventure of your own?

Many of the world’s best travel spots have a few extra guests of the ghostly variety. This fall and winter, make plans to have a spook-tacular vacation at one 5 top haunted destinations in the world:

 

1: Thrills and chills…with bacon and eggs, at the Lizzie Borden Bread and Breakfast

Lizzie Borden, though found innocent in the grisly murder charges brought against her, is still the subject of conversation each Halloween in America. The long unsolved case not only stays alive in the minds of many, but apparently won’t let the ghosts of Lizzie, her father, or her stepmother rest. Now, you can try to solve the mystery yourself when spend the night in the house where everything happened. Feeling a little sheepish? Stay in a hotel nearby and take the tour in the daylight hours.

 

2: A Maze of Possibilities at the Winchester Mystery House

After the death of several loved ones, Sarah Winchester was convinced that her family was being haunted, and that the only way to keep the spirits at bay was to have constant construction on her home. Construction went one for 40 years, and the home now has a few fantastical features meant to confuse spirits, from staircases that lead to nowhere or 10 foot drop offs to doors that open to brick walls. Perfect for architecture enthusiasts and ghost chasers alike.

 

3: Take a Ghost Tour Down Under at Q Station

Named one of the top Ghost Tours in the world, Sydney, Australia’s Q Station Ghost Tour does not disappoint. The hotel inside of Sydney Harbour National Park where the tour takes place is well steeped in history and seen over 600 deaths, leaving a few lost souls still wandering about. Go have a conversation with a former hotel guest as you explore the scene for yourself on a tour.

 

4: Explore Scotland’s Past and Passed at the Edinburgh Vaults

The Edinburgh Vaults were the site of a great deal of heartache in Scotland as they housed the poor and lower classes in the city under the famous South Bridge. Many people lost their lives in the vaults due to famine or illness; the vaults themselves were eventually sealed, leaving them untouched for decades, until they were rediscovered and open to the public. Visitors now claim to see and interact with some of the vault’s victims today.

 

5: Enjoy Spirits with the Spirits on a Haunted Pub Crawl in Savannah, GA

Savannah, one of the well preserved historical cities in the southern US, is known for it’s school of art and design and historical architecture, but also for it’s ghosts. Take a tour filled with pints and poltergeists as you travel through  the city heading to various haunted destinations.

 

 

Ready for your haunted adventure? Protect Your Bubble’s travel insurance offers great trip protection in case of cancelled plans, delayed trips, lost baggage, and even emergency assistance, making sure you have all the coverage you need for an amazing vacation and peace of mind. Our coverage applies for both domestic and international travel, so you’re protected no matter where you go. We may not be able to protect you from ghosts, but we can sure protect your trip to go see them!

 

Have you been to any of these haunted destinations or have one to recommend? Tell us about it in a comment!

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Protect Your Bubble gears up for BarkWorld

The Protect Your Bubble staff is getting ready to head to BarkWorld Expo, the national social pet-working conference for pet bloggers and more, later this month. The idea of a bunch of pet lovers and their furry friends at one conference had us thinking about our pets, so we thought we’d share them with you, too (after all, you can never have too many animals on the Internet).

Kyle and Hoss

Kyle, Protect Your Bubble Product Manager, and his dog, Hoss

Kyle and Hoss like to take naps where they can both stretch out.

Hoss, a five-year-old Doberman mix, keeps Kyle on his toes. Hoss is an escape artist, and won’t stay in his crate. He’s even snuck out of the yard a few times and gone through the neighbor’s doggie door to play with their kids.

Rachel and Abby

Rachel, our Mobile Delivery Manager, and Abby, her German Shepherd

Rachel spends some time in the snow with Abby on a hike.

Rachel, our Mobile Delivery Manager, makes sure that our mobile site is running well. When she’s not keeping our sites running, she’s keep up with Abby, her 11-year-old German Shepherd Mix. Abby is living proof that you can teach a dog new tricks–Rachel taught her to “Speak” and “Shake” just this year! We believe in having a friendly staff that’s always willing to help; Abby definitely has the Protect Your Bubble spirit, as she greets Rachel at the door everyday with a squeaky toy, ready to play.

Alyssa and Minnie

Alyssa, Social Media Manager, and Minnie, her yorkshire terrier

Alyssa and Minnie like to document their adventures with Instagram.

Alyssa manages our social profiles–You’ve probably seen her tweets and Facebook posts, letting you know the latest from Protect Your Bubble, current trends, and answering your insurance questions. Alyssa carries that social spirit on outside of work, enjoying adventures with her Yorkie, Minnie, and documenting with Instagram.

Laura and Molly

Laura, our Director of Marketing, and Molly, her Border Collie

Molly may be an old soul but still still has a ton of spirit according to Laura.

Molly may be a bit older, but this retired athlete still has a lot of spirit. Molly, in her younger days, tagged along on mountain biking adventures, lake swimming days, and loved to jump. At 15-years-old and two knee surgeries later, Molly loves spending time with Laura, our Director of Marketing, in the afternoons on her lunch breaks, their daily ritual.

 

We can’t wait to meet all of the other pet people at the conference this month. If you’re traveling to BarkWorld with your pet, be sure to read up on our tips about traveling with your pets. We’d love to see your four-legged friends as well: Mention us in a tweet with a picture, share their photo on our Facebook page, or tag your Instagram with #pybpet.

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