Vacation

Prep Your Home for Summer Vacation

Prep Your Home for Summer VacationWhether you are going away in the summer time or the winter time for a vacation it is always important to make sure that your home is looked after while you are away. In fact it is the single biggest asset that most people have and why shouldn’t you make sure that it is well looked after while you are away relaxing and enjoying yourself. Most people feel really violated if their home is broken into while they are away. It is time to prep your home for summer vacation. If you can make your home looked lived in while you are not there, there will be less chances of a break in while you are gone.

Prep Your Home for Summer Vacation

Make your home look lived in while you are away. Place various lights on timers so that the standard lights in rooms that you use while you are there come on and turn off just the same as if you were living there. Make sure all of the windows are securely locked and place a bar in the sliding glass door so that it cannot be pried open.

Install automatic lights and an alarm system. The lights should come on at dusk and off at dawn at the front of your home and at the back and at any side doors. Use photo sensors and fluorescent lights or the new LED’s and they will not use much in the way of electricity. They also last a long time as well. The alarm system should really be monitored, but sometimes just having the alarm go off is enough to scare away anyone who is thinking about robbing you.

Check the locks to all of your doors and windows to make sure they are all closed and secure. No sense in making it easy for someone to break into your home. Place a bar across the bottom of the sliding glass door if you have one to prevent the door being pried open.

Hold All Deliveries

Put a hold on newspaper and magazine deliveries. News papers and flyers building up around your door is a sure way to let people know that no one is home. If you do not want to cancel the paper, arrange for a neighbor to pick them up for you and keep them until you come home.

Don’t let mail pile up, have close friends, neighbors or family pick it up. Lots of mail in the mail box is another sign that no one is home as well. If you are gone for a long time you may want a family member to go through the mail and open some of it and then review it with you over the phone.

Hire someone to mow the lawn and trim the shrubs if you are gone a long time. Most neighbors want the street to look nice as well and an unkempt place is another advertisement that no one is around.

Hire someone to clear the snow if you are going to be away in the winter time. We know this is about summer vacations, however we wanted to stick this in here as a reminder that regardless of when you leave, home owners must make sure that their home is looked after at all times of the year.

Hire someone to check the home while you are away. Check with your insurance company to find out how often you need to have someone actually come into the home and verify that everything is ok. Then arrange for a friend, a family member or a professional company to come and check that the power is on, there is no leaking water and there are no breakings.

Save


Happy Hour at Restaurants

Happy Hour at RestaurantsHappy hour at restaurants  is not really about home maintenance, but it is all about saving money so we thought that we would include this post on our blog. Many people are going on vacation in the spring and in the summer and although a vacation can be expensive, there are ways to control or decrease your costs.

One of those is to take advantage of Happy Hour offers at restaurants  when you go out for dinner. This approach may not appeal to everyone, however if you are looking for an inexpensive meal and do not mind eating early, you can save a lot of money and still have a nice time out with the family and friends. Prices can be half price for drinks or food or even for both at some locations. These deals can really make a huge difference in the cost of eating out.

Happy Hour at Restaurants – Times

Many restaurants experience a slow period from about 4 pm until 6:30 pm in the afternoons. After 6:30, more people will typically show up for dinner and have their evening meal. Many restaurants have decided to offer happy hour during this slow period in order to fill their restaurant and generate additional revenue as well during a period that typically would not make much money for the restaurant.

Every Body Wins

Customers get better deals on booze, which are often half price and also on smaller meals that are discounted or also at half price. Sometimes you must eat in the bar area, however there is nothing wrong with that since there is more going on in the bar area anyway. sometimes drinks will be at the regular price and appetizers will be half price or vice versa.

The restaurant makes money in a period that would otherwise be slow and they can keep their staff working longer as well so the staff makes more money and they make more tips. So really it is a good deal for all concerned.

In addition, patrons may be willing to try a restaurant during happy hour, find out that the enjoyed the menu and the ambiance of the restaurant. Returning patrons end up driving the overall business activity up and increasing revenues.

Not All Restaurants Offer Happy Hour

Every city has them, but not all restaurants offer happy hour every day or even at all. You have to look for them and watch for them. We will often go up to a receptionist in an area were there are a lot of restaurants and ask if they have a happy hour. If they do, great if not, we try some other place and they learn that customers are looking for deals and maybe they will get the idea to also offer a happy hour.

Some places have one specific day, such as wing Tuesdays, or even during football games. Once place we went to had beer on half price as long as there was a football game playing on TV. Great way to watch the game at a great location. Another location we visit has draft beer for $2 and pizza at the regular price on Mondays only. This is an excellent example of enticing your customers to try your pizza while having a beer and then those same customers may return on other days since they enjoyed the food so much.

Check them out and save some money. You and your significant other can go out more often with the money you save and that always goes over well ! It is an evening out with no meals to cook and no dishes to wash which has many other advantages. We always enjoy going to happy hour and trying new restaurants to help us decide if we want to try their main courses at some future point.

There have been several locations that we would never go back to based on the poor food offered during happy hour or sometimes even the service we received from the staff. This is a great way to check these places out. You have to be careful when you order because not all items on the menu are included as part of the happy hour prices.


RVs – Do They Save Money

My wife and I have talked about getting an RV to travel across the country, stopping wherever and whenever we wish, spending time sight seeing and just plain enjoying ourselves.  The question is – RVs – Do They Save Money? This web site is about saving money and we have concluded this is a big time saver to talk about. RV’s can be enjoyable, however it is not in our opinion a way to save money. Traveling in an RV is more of a life style decision than anything else. Read on.

A lot of people every year do this and seem to have a great time. In fact if you pass RVs - Do They Save Moneyby many RV parks, you may see thousands of them congregated in one park. Not to my taste with not much room etc, and having to pay $50 or $60 a night for hook up fees. There are ways around hook up fees, however they are equally unpleasant.

Other times they will be in Walmart parking lots RV’s Parked at a Walmart RVs - Do They Save Money for the night and many are finding that the Casinos offer free parking with no services for people to park their RV rigs for the night. The casinos of course really want you to come and spend your money at the casino or perhaps in one of the many restaurants that they will have.
We have concluded that it is really about the lifestyle that you want to lead while vacationing and really not about the money you may spend or save while owning or renting one of these big RV units. If you are thinking that you will save money forget it. Owning an RV will NOT save you money at all both in carrying costs to own the RV, operating costs and then parking and utility hookup costs.

RVs – Do They Save Money

Our feeling is that you can go on a relative inexpensive vacation , staying at motels that provide free parking, free breakfast in the mornings and always having clean sheets every night.

We would like to get your comments and thoughts about owning an RV and whether an RV vacation is more expensive than a hotel vacation. The following are a few more comments about owning and operating an RV!

Drawbacks to RV’s

There are other drawbacks as well about RV’s. They take a lot of gas, you cannot just park them anywhere and what do you do with it when you are not using your RV. Most municipalities do not allow parking in your driveway for any length of time and besides your neighbors probably would not talk to you if you did. Many people need to have a special garage built for them so they can store their vehicle in the winter months or off season months when they are not in use. Unless you are retired, you cannot travel around all of the time. While it would be nice if you could head out in your RV for the entire summer, the reality is most people only get to use their units now and then during camping season.

In addition to providing  storage, you also must make sure you have proper insurance for both off season as well as during your travel time.

If your RV is going to be left in storage, it’s important it is properly insured. Check with your insurance company or find someone who insures RV’s. YOu will likely get a better deal, however it always pays to comparison shop for RV insurance.

Maintenance is or can be a major issue for many people. Although you have your house on wheels and have everything you need with your for an extended stay somewhere, this is a vehicle and like a car needs maintenance. At the very lease oil changes, battery checkups, brakes, the usual mechanical things that a vehicle needs. There are other items that need attention.

Batteries

For example, the batteries which provide emergency power,  cleaning and emptying waste tanks, general maintenance of your RV, removing all fluids if the temperature falls below freezing and so on.

Even the water you use can be an issue. Water from a city source is treated and has had all of the bugs etc eliminated. Campground water is quite another thing. Empty your tanks on a regular basis  and check before filling to make sure it is good clean water.

Like a home, your RV needs to be aired out once and awhile. You cannot keep it shut up for a long time and not expect it to smell. Never leave food inside it with everything shut for any length of time or you may pay the price of smelling that odor for a long time. Damp environments need to be dried out as well from time to time.


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