Archives For Tips & Tricks

Not too long ago I suggested a few Quirky But Beautiful Road Trip Destinations that you and your family might enjoy now that summer vacation season is officially underway.

Before you get too excited about mapping out your next road trip destination, let’s bring you back to reality for a few minutes.

The Zen of Road Trips: 5 Ways to Survive the Drive

Road Trips can either be amazing journeys that you remember forever or they can be the thing of nightmares that you’ll never forget (as much as you may want to).

Personally I’ve experienced both ends of the spectrum, and I can tell you if you want to have a Zen-like vacation that’s free of stress it all comes down to preparing ahead of time.

So whether you’re hitting the road to visit your family or you’re diving off to experience something new – follow along with these 5 Ways to Survive the Drive and the odds of you having an anxiety free vacation are in your favor.

1. Prepare Your Vehicle Before You Hit The Road

OK, first things first. Your mind and body won’t be in a peaceful state if your vehicle isn’t prepared to handle the rigors of a long road trip.

Before you set out on your journey, make sure your vehicle is in good shape. Check your oil, tire pressure and all the vital fluids. If anything needs to be tuned up or fixed, schedule a service appointment before you head out.

And remember (and I speak from experience on this one), if the check engine light comes on during your trek, stop immediately and get it checked out (R.I.P. ’86 Chrysler Lebaron).

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The summer travel season is upon us and right on cue the average price of gas in Michigan is beginning to creep towards the $4 per gallon mark.

While there’ll be plenty of news stories this summer touting the advantages small hybrid and electric vehicles give you at the pump, the reality is that these vehicles aren’t always convenient.

Especially if you’re a family of five…taking a 12 hour road trip to visit the relatives….with teenagers that need their space…who might get a little cranky…see what I’m saying?

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So what’s a responsible person to do? You start looking for new ways to maximize your current vehicle’s fuel economy, that’s what!

Don’t worry though, I took all the hard work out of your quest and put together these 6 little known facts that can boost your vehicle’s fuel economy today.

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If you’ve been following along with us here on FamilyDealBlog.com, you’ve noticed that summer time means travel time.

According to a survey done by TripAdvisor, three in four summer travelers take a road trip by car which means that there’s a pretty good chance you’re going on a Road Trip of your own in the near future.

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While I’ve been working hard to give your my best tips for having a stress-free road trip, I thought I would take a different approach with this article and show you how you can quickly ruin your summer vacation in just a few simple steps!

Now obviously I don’t suggest doing any of these things, but it should hammer home just how easy it is for a road trip to go awry if you’re not properly prepared.

So are you ready to ignore the busy roadways, your vehicle maintenance and summer madness in general? Me too, here we go!

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So you have your road trip destination picked out and you are looking forward to having a stress free journey. The only thing left to do is make sure that no matter how long your trip, you have everything you need to make it a success.

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There’s a lot to keep track of before hitting the road and for that reason I wanted to share with your this Cheat Sheet of 9 Road Trip Essentials.

Keep this cheat sheet handy, and you’ll be able to kick back, relax and enjoy the ride.

Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.

~ Greg Andersen

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1. Bring a First Aid Kit (Just In Case)

Do you have a first aid kit in your car at all times? I’m going to guess that most of us don’t.

Let’s face it, accidents happen and can sometimes be inevitable. Whether it’s a scrapped knee from your child’s ill-advised sprint (and subsequent fall) across the Dairy Queen parking lot or something a tad more serious, having a first aid kit is a great way to ensure the safety of your loved ones.

The real questions is what items should you keep stocked in your kit?

At minimum, be sure your first aid kit contains motion sickness remedies, pain killers, anti-bacterial cream and bandages.

If you want to be as prepared as a Boy Scout, check out what they recommend for their first aid kits.

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As the summer breeze starts to move in, that means school is almost out and vacations are upon us. Do you have any trips planned this summer?

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If not, why not plan a road trip in your new vehicle and save on airfare?

Planning your summer vacation is easy with our list of four quirky but beautiful road trip destinations you can take in your vehicle!

Plan an Outdoor Adventure in Sawtooths, Idaho

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If you love the outdoors, then Sawtooths, Idaho is for you!

Your journey can start in Idaho City and test out your vehicles handling while winding through those mountain roads. Discover the city’s 19th century buildings while following in the gold rush miners’ tracks.

Next, enjoy all that nature has to offer at the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. It’s encircled by evergreen forests and the 7,056 foot tall Banner Summit, you’ll see a wide variety of wildlife. From elk and hawks, to deer and beautiful butterflies, Sawtooth has tons to wildlife.

You can even take a swim in the hot springs or go fishing in the trout stream. Whatever activity you pick, you’ll have a breathtaking view of the jagged mountain tops.

Follow in Ernest Hemmingway’s footsteps at your last stop in Sun Valley Resort, named “America’s original ski resort.”

Here you can find swank vacation homes of celebrities as well as an Ernest Hemingway memorial where the American writer made his final resting place.

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Spring is finally here and that means it’s the perfect time for a spring clean-up and green-up for your vehicle.

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You don’t need a hybrid vehicle to get the most mileage out of your daily driver. By following a few tips, you can make sure you are getting the best mpg possible out of your car.

You see, over time, your car suffers a lot of wear and tear due to temperature changes. If you don’t take care of your vehicle, its condition will begin to deteriorate and your fuel efficiency will decline.

The best way to prevent having to spend more at the gas pump this spring is by maintaining your car. Scheduling a check-up will improve your overall drive quality and make your vehicle more eco-friendly (what’s not to like about that?)

Here are 5 Ways to Drive Green This Spring:

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It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you when I tell you that Michigan has some of the worst roads in the country.

Our roadways are constantly filled with dangerous obstacles that we need to be aware of – reckless drivers, construction work gone astray, bears….the list goes on.

Of course the most sinister predator of the concrete is the pothole. Small in stature and seemingly innocent, these little monsters can rise up and rip apart your car’s wheels like a dog rips apart your favorite slippers.

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In order to prepare yourself from the enemy that lies in wait, here are a few tactics you can employ to help you in the fight against p-holes:

1. Avoid Them With Care

A very simple way to guard yourself from serious damage is to prevent even running (literally) into one.

If you are on a road that you believe is infested with potholes, be more mindful.

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Winter has only just begun and already it’s one of the snowiest Michigan winters on record.

To help ease the stress of snowy and icy roads, here are 23 tips that will help you drive safely on icy roads.

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My first tip is the most important one and if you can follow it word for word, you won’t need the other 22. To be 100% safe when the roads are snow and ice covered – don’t leave the house.

Simple, isn’t it?

But the reality is that most of us don’t have the luxury of letting the winter weather run its course. We have to get out there and go.

So if you must leave the house, for my second tip I recommend not leaving your warm and cozy abode until you are sure the snow plows and salt trucks have had a chance to do their job – don’t be in a hurry!

Here are the rest of my tips for driving on icy roads…

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From researching vehicles you are interested in, to looking for specific inventory and even beginning the financing process – more and more of the car shopping process is now taking place on the internet.

However, there’s one aspect of the car buying experience that can’t be replicated online (yet!) and that’s the Test Drive.

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One of the most important parts of buying or leasing your next vehicle is getting behind the wheel and taking your potential new car, truck or SUV for a spin around town to make sure it’s the right vehicle for you.

The test drive is also one of the most often skipped or overlooked parts of buying a new car. Sometimes we fall in love with the look of a vehicle and don’t seriously put it through its paces. Other times we are so excited to drive our new baby home we skip the test drive all together.

Either way (and I can’t stress this enough!) you should always take a test drive. And not just a spin around the block either. Roll your sleeves up, put on those driving gloves and take a nice, thorough test drive.

So what exactly should you be looking for when you test drive your next vehicle? I’m glad you asked!

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With 2013 quickly coming to a close, many people are getting ready to make a New Year’s resolution that will undoubtedly drop from their memory like the 2014 ball in Times Square.

Fact: A staggering 88% of people who make a resolution this year will ultimately fail, and I don’t want that to happen to you (or me!).

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That’s why I came up with this quick guide of helpful tips – so you’ll be able keep that promise to yourself, to others, and to your waistline.

Without further ado, here are 3 Ways To Make a New Year’s Resolution and Keep It:

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