The holidays can be a stressful time, and we could all use a few hacks to make life a littler easier. I scoured the web for some of the best tips and tricks, essential for those of us living in New Jersey. They’ll help make your beach trips even better, and visits to Newark Airport more bearable!
1. Use E-ZPass to save time and money at the toll booth.
On our congested roads, E-ZPass can be a lifesaver. You probably are already aware of the time saving benefits, but did you know you could save some serious dough? Many toll plazas offer discounted rates for E-ZPass users automatically, and the service offers a variety of programs for even better deals. New Jersey has special discounts for senior citizens, those with certain fuel-efficient vehicles, and frequent users of the Atlantic City Expressway. Learn more at
2. Spray Scotch-Gard on fabric sneakers.
New Jersey weather is all over the place. We have four fantastic seasons, which sometimes means rain, snow, and mud. Protect your shoes with Scotch-Gard which helps to waterproof and prevent stains.
3. Drink pickle juice to prevent or alleviate muscle cramps.
This may sound slightly unpleasant, but your sore muscles will thank you after snow shoveling. Not only is pickle juice packed with electrolytes, the vinegar seems to activate nerve receptors that stop muscles from malfunctioning!
4. Use menthol to ease migraines.
Science shows that menthol (mint) based gels and oils help to relieve tension headaches. They may also help with migraines, for those not sensitive to scents. Other popular herbal remedies include drinking mint or peppermint tea and adding peppermint oil to hot water and breathing in the steam.
5. Seniors can snag free admission to state parks!
New Jersey residents aged 62+ can obtain a Senior Parks Pass free of charge, with proper documentation. The pass also provides holders a $2 discount on state campsites. Bass River State Forest is pictured.
6. Throw a dry towel in with your wet clothes to reduce drying time.
VIDEO Be sure to take the towel out in about 15 minutes for this to work. Watch the video for a full, interesting explanation.
7. Use black tea to soothe sunburn.
We love spending time on the Jersey Shore, but sometimes we get burned. Aloe may be the most popular remedy, though applying chilled black tea to the affected area before bed helps to speed up the healing process. You can thank the tannins (a component of black tea) when you wake up in the morning.
8. Stuck at Newark Airport? Head to Terminal C for some fine dining.
There are places to eat throughout the airport, but Terminal C has several choice options. You will find Grand Central Oyster Bar, Vino Volo, and Le Grand Comptoir. Enjoy scrumptious seafood and extensive wine menus.
9. Use chips to kindle a fire if you run out of wood.
Winter can get chilly here in New Jersey, and it's best to always have wood on hand for your fireplace. In a pinch, chips can make for a suitable substitute. Why? They are basically pure hydrocarbons soaked in fat - both very flammable.
10. Take advantage of free fishing days to avoid permit fees.
The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife offers free fishing days each year. On these days, fishing is allowed on the Garden State’s public waters without a license or trout stamp. To learn more, click
11. Avoid the hassle of beach parking and take a FREE shuttle.
Coastline Shuttle Service offers free, seasonal service in Avon By The Sea and Belmar. Learn more at
12. Enjoy FREE kayaking on the Hudson at Hoboken Cove.
Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse is a non-profit public boathouse, offering free kayaking trips on the Hudson. No experience is necessary and all gear is provided.
Of course you can’t believe everything you read on the internet, so I double-checked these hacks to make sure science backs them up. They’re all pretty legit, but use the Scotch-Gard at your own risk. What other hacks for New Jersey life or Jersey-specific hacks can you share? Do you have a special shortcut, parking secret, or know of a great deal in our state? Let us know in the comments, if you’re feeling generous.