Road Trips: Should You Drive Your Car or Rent a Car?

dreamstime_xs_29500523 - Car ValueA lot of road trips can kill the value of your car. I had a conversation with a friend who was not a happy camper! He was trying to sell his car and was shocked to learn the vehicle lost $12,000 in value in 2 years. Why … a lot of road trips. He has a short commute to work, but he hits the road at least once a month for weekend stays.

He purchased a used car two years ago with 11,000 miles on it. He paid a little over $18,000 for the car. Today, the car had 91,000 miles and was appraised at $6,000. Wow! That’s a lot of value lost in 2 years. Should he have rented cars for all those road trips?

Drive my car or rent a carThe question you have to ask yourself is, do you care about the value of your car? What type of car owner are you? Are you the type to buy a car and drive it until it dies? If you are, you probably don’t care about car value. One day you’re mechanic tells you it’s time to replace the old set of wheels. You call some nonprofit to tow it away and buy the next car. You don’t need the value on the old car to help purchase a replacement car. If this is you, go road trip crazy and drive your own vehicle.

If you plan to trade-in your old car, your car’s value is essential. Here’s what you need to think about. How many miles do you drive per year? The average American drives 12 – 15 thousand miles per year. Let’s use 15,000 (or 15K) as a nice round number. Miles driven is not the only factor in determining the value of a car, but it’s an important one. At the end of each year you own your vehicle, how many miles did you drive? If you added less the 15K, GREAT. You slowed the rate of decline in value. If you added more than 15K … OUCH! It’s like tying a brick to your car’s value. Bottom line … if your road trips will take you over that 15k mark in any one year; fly, take the train or RENT A CAR. Don’t make your vehicle’s value a victim of your travel plans!

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Hotel Stay: Why You Should Tip The Housekeeping Each Night

I found an article on the Groupon website that caught my eye. It’s called “Why You Should Tip Housekeeping Every Night and Other Hotel Tipping Etiquette” by Jorie Larsen. In the article, Jorie Larsen spoke with manners expert Lizzie Post. Read the article to see the complete info-graphic on hotel tipping.

My favorite part was tipping the housekeeper. Lizzie’s advice goes as follows:

Should you tip [the housekeeper]?: Yes.
How much?: It depends on the number of people staying in your room, although $2 per night is fairly standard. Larger families, or those staying in a large suite, should tip more, up to $5 per night. When deciding how much to leave, Post says to “consider the amount of work housekeeping has to do.”
Should I tip every night or once at the end?: “Tipping nightly ensures the tips go to the people who actually clean your room,” Post says.
Where should I put the tip?: On your pillow or nightstand. Better yet, place it in an envelope clearly labeled “Housekeeping,” then leave it on your nightstand.
What if I’m staying at a B&B or small inn?: It’s up to your discretion, but feel free to ask the inn’s staff what the tipping standards are. Generally speaking, you should leave a tip if there is hired help to clean the rooms.

dreamstime_s_48685237-hotel-housekeeperI often get into discussions with friends who don’t tip housekeeping at all or who only tip at the end of their stay. I hope this ends the debate for my friends that don’t tip. Follow the wisdom of Lizzie Post and start tipping!

For my friends who tip at the end of the stay … STOP IT! There are times when a different person cleans your room each day. If you tip all at the end of your stay, you are over tipping the last housekeeper and not tipping the others at all. When I stay at a hotel, I leave a $2 or $3 tip on the desk with a note that says “tip for housekeeper.” I want it to be clear to the housekeeper that it is a tip for him or her.

How do you handle tipping the housekeeper?

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Words to Live By (Great Quotes)

Some of my favorite quotes. What quote would you add?

dreamstime_xs_98437601 - Quote

 

 

“If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true
enemies; succeed anyway.” – by Mother Theresa

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Author Unknown

“Well done is better than well said.” – by Benjamin Franklin

“No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.” – by Alice Walker

“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – by Eleanor Roosevelt

“Failure is not falling down, failure is staying down!” – Dave Ramsey Show

“If you can not say what you mean, than you can not mean what you say.” – Author Unknown

“Five years from today, you’ll be the same person you are today; making the same money you are today; with the same problems you have today; except for the books you read and the people you meet in the next five years” – by Charlie Jones

“If you are nice to your friends but rude to the waiter, you are still a rude person.” – Author Unknown

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.” – by Benjamin Franklin

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Road Trip Tips: Bring Back Good Memories From Your Next Trip!

“It’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.”

Words of wisdom I like to keep in mind every time I take a day trip in my car. Here are some things you should have for your next day trip:

© Curvabezier | Dreamstime.com - Cute Cars Driving On A Road Trip Photo

1 – Visit the ATM before you leave – Cash is still king in many small towns and roadside stops. My wife and I tried to attend a community fair on a trip 2 months ago. There was a cash-only entrance fee and no available ATM’s. Many stores, gas stations, and food outlets have minimum amounts for credit or debit card charges. A few bucks in your pocket will be very helpful in times like this.

2 – Get an E-ZPass for your car – I know some people feel they don’t travel enough or go through toll booths enough to justify an E-ZPass. They forget that convenience has a value and stress has a cost. I love being able to zoom by the toll booth in the E-ZPass lane! Without the E-ZPass, I would go crazy if I had to wait behind a long line of cars at each toll booth. To me, a less stressful vacation is worth the small cost for the E-ZPass. Note: Here’s a list of other toll collection services.

3 – Join the American Automobile Association (AAA) – The benefits are enormous; travel information, travel discounts and travel insurance. They’ve even added identity theft monitoring as an option. The main reason to join … roadside assistance! I locked my keys in my car on one trip and had my car break down on another. In both cases, all I had to do was make one call.

4 – Store a small first aid kit in your car – There are many first aid kits available for car use. Buy one! “Better safe than sorry!”

5 – If it’s warm, buy bug spray (or check the expiration date) before you leave – You never know when you will need this. I’ve been attacked while pumping gas! Flying critters are always on the lookout. Don’t be their next victim! I always have a can or some wipes in my trunk during road trips.

6 – Give your car a quick checkup – Here are 7 easy car maintenance checks for traveling motorists from AAA:

  • Check Brake Fluid Level and Color
  • Check Engine Air Filter
  • Check Windshield Washer Fluid
  • Check Windshield Wiper Blades
  • Check Tire Pressure
  • Check Tire Tread
  • Check Battery

7 – If you need a partner for the road trip – Read my post on this, “Find Travel Buddies.”

I hope this helps! Vacations are about building memories. These tips will help make them good memories. What tips would you add?

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Find Travel Buddies

silhouette photography of group of people jumping during golden time
Photo by Belle Co on Pexels.com

My wife and I travel together and, we love it! An excellent trip for us is a long drive with a good audio-book and scenic views. We’re over the moon if we have a couple interesting of places to visit and a good meal at the destination. I maintain a list of places to go. When ever we have a weekend with no commitments, we’re in the car going somewhere! It’s about spending quality time together and building memories!

I have a lot of single friends who rarely travel because, well … they’re single. If you’re actively dating, this may not be a problem. Dating and travel go great together in the advanced stages. If you’re not dating and you hate to travel along, then it’s pizza time in front of the TV.

Not married. Not dating. Find travel buddies! I thought I would test my theory that it’s easy to find and make new friends. New friends who like to travel. Meetup.com is a site you can use to find people with the same interests. I set the location to a zip code in Fairfax County, VA and did a search for 25 miles in any direction. I used the search term “day trips.” 249 meetup groups came up! That’s 249 groups of people who sometimes travel together. You can also try a search for “travel,” “weekend getaways” or “weekend adventure.”

Pick a group. Join. Make new friends … and start traveling!

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How is Your Wheel of Life?

wheel-life-thinking-chartA seminar I attended introduced me to the concept of a “Wheel of Life.” I LOVED IT!

What is the “Wheel of Life“? In short, it’s life balance. It’s all the areas of your life that contribute to your happiness and well-being. The theory is simple. You have contentment when these areas are in balance or going well. You have sleepless nights, headaches and misery when the wheel is out of balance.

So what makes up the wheel? There are several systems out there. Zig Ziglar’s wheel has the following parts:

  1. Career
  2. Financial
  3. Spiritual
  4. Physical
  5. Intellectual
  6. Family

I found another wheel by Brendon Baker. From the website, “The Start of Happiness,” he has these parts on his wheel:

  1. Physical Environment
  2. Business / Career
  3. Finances
  4. Health
  5. Family and Friends
  6. Romance
  7. Personal Growth
  8. Fun and Recreation

I’ll show one more example. An example that’s a little different. On the website, “Mind Tools,“ the wheel has this set of parts:

  1. Partner
  2. Mother/Father
  3. Manager
  4. Colleague
  5. Team Member
  6. Sports Player
  7. Community Leader
  8. Friend
  9. Career/Work
  10. Health

As I said, there are a lot of systems out there and a lot of wheels. I love the concept of life balance and the constant battle to keep it in balance. I’m adding this concept to my blog. Most people fail at the balance thing. I figure the more information I have, the better my chances at contentment. Why not share as I do the research?

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31D2BBC – Day 3 – Promote Your Blog

rose gold iphone on top of white envelope
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

31D2BBC = 31 Days to a Better Blog Challenge. I explain the challenge in my post, “31 Days to Build a Better Blog from ProBlogger.” The third day of the podcast challenge is “Promote Your Blog.”

This episode is 21 minutes of ideas on promoting a blog. Sharing posts on social media I already have covered. Three of the ideas stand out for me:

  1. Guest posting on other blogs
  2. Interview someone
  3. Comment on other blogs

Ok fellow bloggers. Who’s looking for a guest post?

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