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The Tip Sheet - Winter 2021

Give yourself a mental boost this winter

We hope that we are in the final stretch of one of the most difficult periods for our country and the world in recent memory. As we keep our distance from one another and wait for life to return to some semblance of normalcy, here are a few ways to lift our spirits.

Plan a dream getaway

Travel is still considered riskier than other activities, but if you just can’t wait to get away — to warmer weather, to visit family members or simply to experience a change of scenery — we have some good news for you. Studies show that planning and anticipating your trip can make you even happier than actually taking it. So plan the details of your next vacation, even if you aren’t going to book it right away. First, choose your destination. Would you like to be somewhere on a beach or do you want to head to the mountains out West? Next, decide on your lodging. A beachfront property overlooking the ocean or a mountain lodge with a breathtaking view? Then, plan your itinerary. Which activities have you always dreamed about? Snorkeling in Key West, kayaking on Lake Tahoe or hiking in Zion National Park? Remember that as an MTA member, you have several travel discounts available. The Travel Savings Center offers discounts on hotels, car rentals and group travel. And a new travel rewards program from Access offers up to 50 percent cash back at more than 800,000 hotels.

Showcase your favorite memories

Digital photography is a wonderful invention, allowing us to take unlimited numbers of photos at any time. The downside is that we tend to take the pictures and then forget about them. If you aren’t in the habit of printing your digital photos, you can start now, saving memories from an incredible vacation or your child’s most recent cute moment. If you have saved concert tickets or mementos from a trip, you can have those framed, too. Several local framers offer MTA member discounts, including 20 percent off at Gastonart & Frame in Northborough and Shrewsbury and 10 percent off at Big Picture Framing (with eight locations in Massachusetts) and Post Road Framers in Rowley. Relive those happy moments each time you walk by your framed pieces.

Meet your fitness goals safely

Keeping up with fitness can be a challenge, even without a pandemic. But in the past year, local fitness centers have begun offering online classes and memberships. So whether you’re back in the gym already, you’re planning to return in a few months, or you prefer to work out at home, you can find discounts on classes that you can take right from your living room. New this year is a discount at DanceFIT Studio in Natick. Members save 15 percent on all full-priced adult fitness packages, including virtual classes. A Mom’s Village in Peabody offers a supportive environment for moms with a wide variety of fitness classes, as well as children’s programming. MTA members save 15 percent on a fitness pack, including virtual classes. If you’re thinking of purchasing some home gym equipment such as a treadmill, bike, rower or strength trainer, you as an MTA member can save 15 percent at Total Fitness Equipment and 10 percent at Precision Fitness Equipment.

Learn a new skill

How many times have you told yourself you would take up a hobby or learn something new? Now is the perfect time for doing just that. Support a fellow MTA member and learn to play the guitar, with lessons from Israel Saldana. He’s offering 10 percent off remote or in-person lessons for all new students for the first six months. If you already know how to sew, American Folk Art & Craft Supply offers members and their immediate family members a 10 percent discount on sewing, quilting, sergers and embroidery machines.

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