Archive for May, 2014

May 20 2014

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8 Travel Tips for a Holiday Weekend Road Trip – The Garage Plan Shop

Paper Map

With the holiday weekend just days away, many people are planning their first weekend road trip of the summer. And while a spur of the moment road trip might seem like a great idea, a little advanced planning will get you to your destination on time and in a safe manner. Below are eight driving safety tips to help you plan a successful road trip.

  1. Find cheap gas – Gas money can take up a significant amount of your road trip budget so plan ahead. With today’s technology, there are plenty of smart phone apps that can tell you where gas is least expensive. Download an app like GasBuddy to help you find the least expensive gas. If you don’t have a smart phone, figure out your gas budget ahead of time by using one of the many online fuel cost calculators to help you find the cheapest gas stations along your route.
  2. Pack a basic repair kit – Create your own basic repair kit by packing a few basics in a small box or duffle bag. Include items like a flashlight, roll of duct tape, pliers, and a variety of screwdrivers. Check online for roadside survival guides for other suggestions.
  3. Choose companions wisely – When you’re cramped in a car for a long amount of time, you can get to know someone really well. And if you and your companions know each other really well, time and distance will fly by you and you arrive at your destination in what seems like no time. But if you make poor choice in your travel companion(s), a long rind may have you wishing your traveled by yourself. Think carefully about the people you take with you. Make sure you can get along with them for however long the distance you’ll be traveling. Nothing can ruin a good friendship like a bad road trip.
  4. Break up the drive – If you’ll be on the road for many hours, don’t try to be a super hero and drive straight through. You won’t be as alert at 9:00pm as you were at 6:30am. Plan several restroom, stretch and snack breaks along your route. A 15-20 minute break every few hours will be good for your mind and body. If you have multiple licensed drivers traveling with you, take turns driving every couple hours.
  5. Know the law – While you may be excited to get to your destination, a hefty speeding fine or another moving violation can drain your travel budget in a hurry. Additionally, speeding can be a danger to you and to other motorists on the road. Obey the speed limit and use that cruise control to keep a steady pace on the interstate. Also, if you are passing through multiple states, be aware of cell phone and texting laws. It is best to avoid distracted driving all together, but if you must use your phone, know the laws. Some states do not allow the use of phones in construction zones, school zones, etc. Use your stretch breaks for non-emergency phone calls and texting. Do not text while behind the wheel.
  6. Pay attention to the dash – Besides minding the speed limit, your dash can alert you to any potential problems with your vehicle. If something goes wrong, a warning light on your dash may tip you off before it is too late.
  7. Bring a paper map – With today’s technology, it might seem silly to bring a paper road map on your trip. But what will you do if your GPS malfunctions where you’re in the middle of nowhere? A paper map makes the perfect backup and you can use it as a travel log too. Write notes about your trip on the map and make it personal. You’ll enjoy looking at it when you dig it out of a box 10 years from now.
  8. Bring your mother-in-law – Even though we warned you to choose your travel companions wisely, what can we say? If you bring your mother-in-law, you’re trip is sure to be one to remember for one reasons or another!

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May 07 2014

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More Ideas to Enjoy the Great Outdoors – The Garage Plan Shop

Filed under Activities,Seasonal

Enjoy the Great OutdoorsThe Garage Plan Shop made a New Year’s resolution to enjoy the great outdoors in 2014, and we invited you to do the same. In January we posted a list of ideas for fun and interesting things to do outdoors. Below is another list of ideas to help you renew your commitment to getting outside and enjoying everything around you.

  • Catch lightning bugs with your kids on a summer night.
  • Take your kids for a nighttime walk around your neighborhood with flashlights.
  • Visit local outdoor attractions such as the zoo, a botanical garden, or a natural area.
  • Visit a local park you haven’t been to before.
  • Plan a road trip and stop at national monuments, historic sites and other points of interest along the way.
  • Visit a Civil War battle field.
  • Drive one of America’s scenic highways or byways.
  • Visit a nearby park several times throughout the year and observe how it changes as the seasons change.
  • Learn to identify native trees, flowers and shrubs.
  • Learn to identify native birds and those that migrate and only visit your area seasonally.
  • Plan a weekend camping trip with your kids or friends to a new campground.
  • Schedule a weekly outing with other friends and take your kids to the park for a picnic and to play on the playground.
  • Fly a kite.
  • Stargaze on a clear night and learn to identify some of the constellations.
  • Take a boating safety class.
  • Take a class to learn about a new outdoor recreational activity like rock climbing, archery or scuba diving.
  • Take your kids apple picking, strawberry picking, to the pumpkin patch, etc.
  • Take in Mother Nature’s display of fall colors in a city, state, or town you’ve never visited.
  • Enjoy winter sports with your kids like skiing, sledding and ice skating.
  • Take your kids horseback riding.
  • Hike a new trail once a month.
  • Teach a child about an outdoor sport you love.
  • Participate in a charity event or fundraiser such as a walk or fun run.
  • Get involved in a neighborhood beautification project such as picking up litter along roadways or planting flowers at a community garden.

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