Viewing the 2024 Solar Eclipse Safely

A rare celestial event is coming April 8. The moon will pass between the earth and the sun, blocking light from reaching earth and producing a solar eclipse that will be visible from Arizona to Maine.

It’s the second total solar eclipse that has been viewable in the U.S. in less than 10 years, and if you want to experience the full effect of the phenomena live, you won’t get another chance until 2044 without traveling overseas.

In the narrow path of totality (where the sun is completely blocked for a few minutes), night falls. Temperatures drop. Birds stop singing. Only the sun’s corona peeks out from behind the moon. If there’s no cloud cover, it’s an eerie thing to witness.

In ancient times, people saw total eclipses as bewildering portents of doom. Chinese civilizations proposed that a dragon had eaten the sun, while the Inca thought that the gods were expressing their displeasure and must be appeased. Modern science has dispelled such beliefs.

One thing we know for certain: Viewers must not look directly at the sun during the eclipse. Except for the few minutes of totality, you’ll need to wear solar viewing glasses to see the sun during its partial eclipse phase or risk severe eye damage.

You can also use an indirect method to view the eclipse by allowing the sun to project itself on a surface. These methods include a pinhole camera, a “sun funnel,” or options as simple as a kitchen colander or interlaced fingers.

If you are among the up to 4 million who travel to view totality this year, you’re in for an experience. Be forewarned that traffic could be bad on the return trip. Following the eclipse of 2017, people who drove to rural areas in the path of totality faced return commutes more than two-and-a-half times as long, USA Today says.

If you can’t see totality in person, you’ll likely still be able to step outside to view a partial solar eclipse — and you can live-stream the eclipse as it happens with NASA and other sites on your screens without the need for protective glasses. Check it out – it’s a rare event that might inspire your awe.

Purge as You Pack for Vacation

As you pack for your #winter #getaway, take note of what doesn’t make it into the suitcase. You likely have lots of items in your wardrobe or #closet that simply won’t make the cut, even if they’re perfect for someone else’s beach #vacation or a night out. Set those items aside in boxes and bags, and contact for a free #donation #pickup. If you have the time, go ahead and make it a complete closet #purge! That will give you a sense of accomplishment and ample license to reward yourself with some well-earned R&R. Bon voyage, wherever it is that you decide to go! #WinterGetaway

Save by Going to an Off-Season Destination

Not all #winter #getaways need to be at the beach, says The Planet D. Pick one of your favorite destinations that isn’t in high demand during winter, and chances are that most necessities — airfare and accommodations included — will be available at reasonable rates. That means U.S. destinations that are slightly warmer (think New Orleans or Savannah, Ga.) are good options, and those with a chance of seasonally inclement weather of their own (Seattle, New York City, Washington, D.C.) are eager for tourist dollars. You may not find a lot of deals if you’re a skier who’s actively looking for snow, however. #WinterGetaway

Pack to Save Money on Baggage Fees

With so many airlines charging not-insignificant fees to check a bag, #packing for a #winter getaway has gotten a lot more strategic over the years. Most airlines allow only a small carry-on bag and personal item with an economy fare, so you’ll have to make the most of the space you’ve got. If you plan to travel for a week or more, start with a “capsule” wardrobe that includes some of your favorite essentials, says Going. Wear clothes multiple times, minimize on shoes, and plan on doing laundry or having it done during your trip. And remember to leave room for souvenirs! #WinterGetaway

Plan an Affordable Winter Getaway

With #winter storms sweeping the nation last week, you may be feeling the need to take a quick trip to see friends or bask in the tropical sun. The good news is that there is still time to book a jaunt, says Thrifty Traveler. Some of the best airfares of the year are available now, making beach destinations outside the United States such as Cancun, Cabo San Lucas and even Costa Rica are surprisingly affordable. What’s more, the dollar is currently quite strong against many foreign currencies, meaning you can spend less on the vacation essentials — hotel, food and fun — once you land. #WinterGetaway