Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware that there’s a Solar Eclipse happening soon. I truly had no idea 3 months ago when I wrote The Great American Eclipse: Coming August 21st that it was going to be such a THING! Holy cow- there is no limit to the Eclipse craze sweeping our country right now. Schools have cancelled, workplaces are being shut down, parties are planned, and the amount of merchandise available for purchase is insane! I mean, am I really the only one who doesn’t find it necessary to commemorate this event with a T Shirt? Or- even more bizarre- a necklace?
Needless to say- this is kind of a big deal. In fact, for weeks I’ve seen Eclipse Tips posted just about everywhere. From interstate overhead signs to social media- the warnings and advice are almost as plentiful as the merchandise available! Reading through the various articles, it’s easy to go from crazy excited to massively hysterical in a matter of minutes. I do think there’s something to be said for being cautious. However, it’s a once in a lifetime experience so you don’t want to miss it!
Here are a few favorite eclipse tips I’ve gleaned and plan to use for our family:
- Have a Plan: Don’t wake up Monday morning and contemplate your agenda for the day. If you want to travel to see the eclipse, you’ll need to think this through ahead of time. Most (all) hotels are sold out across the country in the maximum eclipse viewing window. And even for the day or two prior to August 21st. Your best bet at this point is to stay as close to the center line as possible and plan to travel early.
- Be Prepared: Have you ever driven to the beach on a Saturday in the summer? If you have, you’ll likely remember the massive amounts of traffic you sat in as you approached the coast. Experts are estimating the amount of people traveling to view the eclipse will be similar to a hurricane evacuation. Interstates will be clogged. Therefore, keep your gas tank topped off and some food and water in your car.
- Protect Your Eyes: Again, by this point you’ve likely heard that you’ll need to wear NASA approved viewing glasses to look at the sun. Don’t mess around with this tip! Even with the glasses, NASA recommends that you don’t spend prolonged amounts of time staring at the sun.
- Education: Use this exciting day as a great learning opportunity for your kids. Although we’ve been talking about it for months, I plan to really drive home the science lesson. I’ve ordered the book: When the Sun Goes Dark to help teach my 5-year old about the experience. NASA also has TONS of educational resources available here.
- Photography Do’s And Don’ts: There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of eclipse tips out there for photographers. But the best tip I saw- put down the camera and be present in the moment. Let someone else take the truly professional photograph! Personally I plan to take a few shots of my kids witnessing it, but no pictures of the eclipse itself. If you are determined to photograph the phenomenon, make sure you read some guidelines beforehand. I really liked the tips from PicMonkey as they were very straightforward and even included tips for photographing with a cell phone.
Any other favorite eclipse tips?