Tag Archives: sports

Planning a Road Trip: What You Need To Do

5 Mar

Sitting around bored one frozen night in January, enviously chatting about our friends’ spring travel plans, Vince and I jokingly brought up a road trip to Phillies spring training in Clearwater, Fla. We joked about how nice it would be to get out of town, escape to sunny beaches and warm days, while watching our favorite sport and MLB team practice for the upcoming season.

At some point during our verbal daydreaming sesh, we looked at each other and asked, “why couldn’t this be real?” After all, nothing was holding us back. Finances were good and we still had time to save more. I had plenty of vacation time from work and he’d be off school for that week anyway. Neither of us had been to spring training before and baseball is what brought us together. Excitedly, we agreed to begin planning our special getaway.

After the initial “YES!” the thrill slowly began to fizzle once we realized just how much work it was to plan a road trip. There are so many things to consider: hotels, gas, travel, tickets, the list goes on. So after weeks of research, and some serious Pinterest digging, we’ve planned our four-day, 1400-mile road trip for two and we’re ready to hit the road Florida-bound! 

Here’s a list of things we considered (and you should too!) when planning our road trip:

Hotels/Lodging

Lodging is typically the most expensive portion of traveling but it doesn’t have to be. With sites like Expedia and Hotels.com, you can get members-only specials regularly as well as sales. Another form of lodging to consider is camping! This can add a fun and adventurous twist to your road trip. Try using All Stays, a mobile app that allows you to locate and sometimes reserve campsites in your area.

Many hotels and campsites offer certain amenities such as hot tubs and free parking. You should clarify with your lodging provider the amenities they offer and more importantly, whether those amenities be available during your stay. If you’re choosing a certain hotel because they have a hot tub, make sure it’ll be open and functioning during your stay. Free parking is a hot commodity. Search for hotels that offer free parking, no matter the check-in time.

Most important when it comes to lodging: shop around! Don’t jump at the first special price. Read reviews. That’s where you’ll learn the truth about locations but keep in mind that everyone has a different opinion.

Also, be sure to read the details for cancellation fees. Make sure you can cancel your reservation if needed. In case of inclement weather or a change of plans, you wouldn’t want to be charged for a trip you didn’t take.

Route

Growing up on the east coast, we both had been up and down Interstate 95 plenty of times. We decided to take the road less traveled by following another southbound route. Roadtrippers, an online tool to plan road trips, was a big help in this. The site, which also offers a mobile app, provides a gas calculator, historical and entertaining destinations along the way, a full itinerary and much more! Consider using it for turn-by-turn navigation, too. This handy tool can house all sorts of information like addresses, phone numbers and directions in one organized location.

Gas

Thanks to AAA’s gas calculator and Roadtrippers gas calculator, we were able to figure out the approximate price of gas for our road trip and planned accordingly. We’ll also use the Gas Buddy mobile app, or something similar, to find cheap gas as we trek around the country.

7

Family

Having family and friends scattered across the US can be tough when it comes to maintaining those relationships. We considered the option to stop and visit in with any friends and family who may be on our way. We’ll be stopping to visit Vince’s grandparents and great aunt along our trip.

Documents

Get organized! If you’re taking your car, you’ll need an updated insurance card, as well as proof of registration. Obviously, don’t forget your driver’s license, but also bring your health insurance card in case of a medical emergency. Create and bring along an approximate travel itinerary. If there is an accident, this will help response teams to know where you’re coming from and/or where you’re headed. It’ll also help keep you and your family on track! Bring all receipts and confirmations. This includes hotels, tickets to events and other reservations or orders. Bring a printed list of addresses and phone numbers for the places you plan to stop or stay. You may also want to store this information in your mobile app.

 

Budget

Expenses are very important for any roadtrippers, especially a young couple like us. The key is to stay within budget while having a blast. Be sure to set comfortable spending limits on certain items. Consider the necessities like food, lodging and gas while making room for fun activities and miscellaneous expenses. If you drive by an outdoor concert, you can’t pass that up! Just as you pay attention to the spontaneous events, consider setting aside just-in-case money. This way, if you get a flat tire, you can afford it. Try using this vacation budget worksheet by Living Well, Spending Less.

Memories

Most of all, a trip like this is about creating memories that last a lifetime. Make sure all camera memory cards have plenty of space and bring along the charger for any device you plan on using. For an extra memorable trip, bring along milestone cards to mark down the different locations you stop at. I designed my own but they were inspired by these road trip printables by The Dating Divas. I put a rating and review section on the back of my cards for Vince and I to write a little bit about the location/stop and rate it using stars out of five. These are a fun way to track your trip and generate conversation between you and the other passengers.  They can be paired with photos in a scrapbook or photo album upon your return.

 

As you can see, much planning ahead is required but you know what makes it worth all the stress? An awesome trip. have a great one!

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Free College Stuff You’d NEVER Buy Today

18 Dec

Leaving the old stomping grounds behind for a shot at the real world meant letting go of all the beautiful things our college years provided: friends, education, memories…and tons of free stuff.

These things, these precious gifts from departments desperately seeking attention, we took for granted. Career fairs, awareness events, involvement fairs and the like made available useless novelties that we now yearn for. Now that our checking accounts are down and our penny-pinching skills have been put to the test, we would never be caught dead spending money on these 7 things.

Streetside Cupcakes

The signature fundraiser – a bake sale! When I was rushing off to class I’d pass a beat up old folding table topped with colorful homemade cupcakes and other goodies. Delta Nu is raising funds so they don’t have to switch from Charmin to generic! Donate and receive a cupcake. Today, however, while rushing into the building after sitting in 8:00 a.m. traffic, I’d never stop for a free cupcake from some rando sitting on the side of the street. For all I know, they could be the town’s serial cat-skinner. No thank you. I’ll stick to my trusted friend Little Debbie.

Printing Services

It was awesome having a certain amount of tuition allotted for printing services. Sure I was paying for it, technically (and still will be for upwards of ten years) but I used every damn cent. 20-page paper? No problem. Design an advertisement and print in color? Cake. Student org. needs flyers? I got you, dog. Walking into a Kinkos is completely out of the question now. Not only is it totally barbaric to have to drive somewhere to print something, but if I need something I can print it at work. It’s called being resourceful. Joking, guys! Relax..

Yoga/Pilates Classes

Wasn’t it cute how the recreation centers always tried to get students to come “relax” during finals at their free yoga sesh? And if I bought the semester pass it was what, maybe $30 for four months? Well done, rec center, the only cost appropriate expense around here. Needless to say, I haven’t done yoga since graduating. Yoga classes are insanely expensive to just be standing around in loungewear breathing slowly. I do that every morning for free.

T-shirts

College was a years-long free t-shirt bonanza. I could make a quilt for Paul Bunyan’s bed with all the t-shirts I got from school. I even struggled to find storage space for all of these bad boys. The thought of spending $10+ on a t-shirt today provides utter disgust. Not to mention, I still have nowhere to put a new t-shirt  in my cramped downtown apartment with a sorry excuse for a closet. Instead, I’ll hang on to every last bit of those memory-filled pieces of cheap cotton and wear them proudly, pit stains and all. 

Movie Screenings

In an effort to gain a followership and member base, student orgs all over campus would find ways to host free movie screenings complete with cheese pizza (cheapskates) and soda. I almost never went, but now I realize that I’d have to sell my grandmother’s watch to be able to afford a Carmike Cinemas feature presentation. Now I’ll NEVER see Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas. Netflix it is.

Women’s Basketball Tickets

Occasionally, probably only once, I reluctantly got up off my ass to go to a women’s basketball game…to get a free t-shirt. Sometimes the arena gave students free pizza. Why is it always pizza? Sometimes, on Greek Night, it was THE place to be because heaven forbid you miss a social opportunity to “network” with the other Greeks. After the season ended, though, and especially upon walking across that stage, women’s basketball has been nothing but a mere portion of a grain of sand in my cerebral cortex. The WNBA isn’t a real thing, right? It’s probably a no-tickets-necessary kind of thing because otherwise, I’d rather listen to Nickelback Radio.

SWAG

Little did I know when I first left for school I wouldn’t need those two bags of Bic pens and that 40-pack of Ticonderogas (obviously the best pencils ever). SWAG – Stuff We All Get – was everywhere: cups, pens, buttons, ID holders, pencils, magnets – I was a ninja in the fruit aisle. Although the endless amount of shit never seems to go away like that “Dorsey Hall 2009” keychain that always turns up somewhere, I’ll never walk into Office Depot with a significant need for desktop necessities.

The bright side is you get free stuff at work too! It isn’t all so bad. Who wouldn’t want contributions from their employer to a 401(k), annual holiday parties with dry sugar cookies, and unlimited amounts of room temperature fountain water?

10 Fall Must-Haves

13 Sep

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.” -William Cullen Bryant

What isn’t there to love about the fall? Nature’s beautiful colors. Back-to-school buzz. Pumpkin coffee. It is a beautiful thing!

As the Autumn season of 2013 quickly approaches, I figured I’d offer my fall must-have checklist (complete with photos!) Enjoy!

Navy blue and white chevron infinity scarf

 ♥Perfect with those brown leather riding boots and a green military jacket!

Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin ANYTHING!

♥You know how much I love coffee! This is the best time of year for coffee…PUMPKIN! Dunkin has the best flavor. Not too sweet, not too thick. It is definitely worth a try, even if you’re not a fan of pumpkin.

Tickets to an athletic event

♥Sure it’s cold but it isn’t too cold to get out and do something! This article in Women’s Health Mag said couples who attend baseball games are more likely to stay together. There’s football, baseball, basketball and more!

A good book

♥When the days get shorter and the nights get longer, there’s no better feeling than cuddling up with a good book. End of story.

Wood

♥Tis the season for bonfires! Find some old wood. Bored on a cold Saturday? Wood is an excellent resource for all kinds of crafts.

Oversized sweater

♥These are absolutely adorable! So stylish and they match everything. Plus, they’re warm and you don’t have to try to look skinny.

New pair of running shoes

♥There are tons of charity runs/walks/races as the school year kicks back into gear and also for October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Wine, Wine, Wine

♥Because why not? “The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation. The universe is too full of stars.” – Benjamin Franklin

Autumn-scented candle

♥A special place in my heart is reserved for the love of fall candles. So warm and relaxing. Definitely a must have!

Clever and original Halloween costume

halloween♥Spend $65 on a costume? No. Clever costume ideas can be found everywhere, even on the cheap! Goodwill provided a detailed guide on Halloween costume shopping in their stores. Here’s a list of last year’s best trick-or-treaters:

So there you have it, my friends. This is what this fall means to me! I’m looking forward to it. Hope you enjoyed my list.

What are your fall must-haves this year? I’d love to hear from you 🙂

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