Road trip tips: How to plan a memorable vacation and save money



(BPT) – Americans enjoy the fun and relaxation of traveling: 77 percent of domestic trips are for leisure purposes, according to the U.S. Travel Association. If you want to vacation with friends or family, hitting the pavement for a road trip can’t be beat, and with a few money-saving tips and organization tricks, you’ll plan an awesome trip packed with memories.

Step 1: Get everyone on board

Planning a group-travel trip can be complicated when it comes to deciding on a destination. Start with a brainstorming session where everyone offers an idea of where he or she would like to go. Research different destinations and visit websites dedicated to travel, such as www.LiveLifeLocal.com. With a focus on car, RV, boat and motorcycle travel, the site makes it easy to search for fun locations – whether an hour or a day’s drive away. It’s a breeze to search by geography, vehicle and tags – for example, you can search for information on boating in the San Diego area, but designate only fishing-related posts. You’ll find valuable content from everyday users as well as authors and bloggers passionate about travel.

Step 2: Build an itinerary and save travel documents

Once everyone agrees on a location, it’s time to get organized. Whether camping or staying at a hotel, make reservations well ahead of time to avoid the seasonal rush. When you call, ask about available discounts. Many places offer deals to lure visitors and win your business. Whether you’re traveling locally or cross-country, create a folder and save all travel documents for easy access.

Step 3: Drive smart and slash gas costs

Getting there is half the fun of a road trip, but if you’re traveling a long distance, it can also mean expensive trips to fill the tank. Slash your gas costs with a few important tips. Start by only filling up in bigger towns – remote gas stations often have higher prices. Utilize your cruise control – it’s convenient plus it regulates gas usage. And remember to use air conditioning sparingly because it is a huge gas guzzler. Crack those windows and enjoy the breeze and open road.

Step 4: Create a meal plan

Eating out is one of the most expensive parts of traveling. Save cash by planning meals ahead of time. If you’re camping or staying in an RV, pack easy-to-cook foods like pasta, stew and canned vegetables. Then pack a cooler with basic necessities, like cold cuts, cheese and milk. A little forethought with food can mean hundreds of dollars in savings, plus it can be a lot of fun to cook in the great outdoors. If you’re staying at a hotel, you can still cut down on meal costs by packing bags of snacks and a small cooler with basics for breakfast or lunch. Plus, look for a hotel that offers free continental breakfast.

Step 5: Be a compact packer

No matter what type of vehicle you drive, the more you haul the more you’ll pay. Reduce how much you pack and you’ll reduce how hard your vehicle has to work to get it there, conserving on fuel. Pack what you need, but don’t go overboard – you can probably survive on two pairs of shoes rather than five. Pack multipurpose items, such as a coffee maker that also makes hot water for tea, and a sleeping bag that also works as a picnic blanket. Vacuum bags work well for bulky pillows and jackets to save space and provide you and your family a more comfortable ride.

No matter where you go, a few proactive steps and planning tricks will ensure you have an awesome vacation. Whether it’s your adventures on the road or the memories you make when you arrive at your destination, your time offers unlimited travel potential.

Courtesy of BPT

Make the most of one’s living space


Is your living space a place for show, only utilized when you are entertaining? Living rooms, as their title suggests, should not only reflect who you are towards the outdoors world, but they should also be lived in. Here are some recommendations for getting your living space warm and inviting for visitors as well as functional and comfy for household members.

In case your living space is large, divide it into smaller locations through the positioning of furnishings. You would like the “conversation pit” to become cozy – a couch and loveseat and a couple of chairs close to a large cocktail table will seat many people, yet they’ll all have the ability to hear what the others are saying. A great place for household meetings as well as for entertaining. Make certain all seats are within reach of a table – someplace to arrange those drinks and chips!

Face the couch to an architectural focal level, something like a fireplace or a large window that looks out to your garden or even the city lights. If you don’t have an architectural component to work with, produce one by hanging large photos or a mural on a wall. This allows people to admire the artwork and it’s safer than hanging something large over the seating (especially in locations susceptible to earthquakes!). Hang cloth wall hangings or little photos on the wall behind the couch. Don’t, however, hang a mirror where people will see their reflection all of the time. Not everyone is thrilled by his or her picture.

If you divide your living space in two or 3 seating and/or eating locations, use rugs to outline the talking space, another beneath the eating table, and another space to exhibit the Buddha you brought back from Thailand, or a wall of bookcases that not only maintain your books but additionally display your assortment of antique toys. Area rugs work well, more than waxed hardwood floors or neutral, wall-to-wall Berber-style carpeting.

An ornamental space divider, like Japanese shoji screens, can be utilized to separate a large space right into a living space and a Tv space. In a smaller place, face the couch to a wall unit that holds the television – it’s certain to turn out to be a preferred gathering spot for the household.

The days of covering the “good” living space furnishings with plastic are over! Leather or even the new microfiber fabrics are simple to clean, look great, and can survive visitors, children, and pets. If the furnishings are in neutral colors, add colorful ornamental pillows. Remember to keep a couple of throw blankets close to stay cozy on cool nights.

In case your living space walls are painted in mild neutral shades, you’ll have the ability to change the furnishings and ornamental touches easily. Other ways to change the look of one’s living space are by including tall plants or a silk tree, a permanent flower assortment in a basket or tall vase, and even a fountain or little pond in a sufficiently large area.

Don’t overlook lighting! Floor lamps, especially in darkish corners, can brighten large locations, while desk lamps can provide good light for the preferred reading/knitting chair. An assortment of candles on the mantelpiece or a desk adds ambiance to your living space. Now go ahead, live inside your living space.

by: Amy Wells 

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_6822.shtml