Randy Dean's Timely Tips

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Timely Tips© Volume 2 Issue 5: May 2005 — “Time Saving Holiday Road Trip Tips"

Dear Friends,

I’ve been on the road quite a bit the last few months, often for regional driving trips to visit clients and give presentations (and a few times just for fun, like last weekend in Chicago!) I’ve been using a few different strategies to find some time savings when on the road, and sometimes the savings is pretty dramatic. Here are a few ideas as you head into this holiday weekend:

Prior to the Trip:

    1. Use a Packing Checklist: If you remember the Timely Tips from a few months ago, there are packing checklists for both personal and business trips on my web site (www.randalldean.com -- click on FREE PDA Memo Downloads) – using these can save you time packing, and also save you time (and money) hunting down something that you forgot to pack once you get to the destination.

    2. If you aren’t comfortable with the directions to where you are going, use the Mapquest Directions tool to get specific directions to your destination (http://www.mapquest.com/directions/main.adp?bCTsettings=1). You can enter in where you are leaving from and where you are going to, and get door-to-door directions. Print out the map and directions, and have it handy while driving to the destination.

    3. If you are a PDA user, and this is a destination you will be traveling to frequently, why not even cut and paste the text directions into a PDA memo or PDA MS Word document, so that you will always have it handily available? Then, just pull up the memo or document on your PDA when you are ready to leave, and you are ready to go. (And if you are a paper calendar or planner user, print the directions, shrink them down on a copy machine to fit in your calendar or planner, and keep them with you!)

    4. If traveling to a big city, do an Internet search prior to leaving to find the News/Talk Radio stations in that city, and when you get into range, start listening. They usually provide traffic updates every few minutes, and might give you advance notice of a major travel problem that could add hours to your trip. If you listen early, you might be able to route yourself around the trouble spot. I found one web page using Google that seemed pretty useful - http://www.constitution.org/rtv/talkrtvd.htm - it had a state-by-state and city-specific list of News/Talk radio stations. (BTW, I am not giving an endorsement of what the rest of the site discusses – I simply found this page useful!!)

    5. Also, check your state department of transportation web site for information on construction locations on your trip path (BTW, the Michigan Department of Transportation Web site is http://www.michigan.gov/mdot, where you can easily find maps and info on the major construction projects). If you can easily choose between two equal-time routes, and yet one is clogged with construction, why not take the other way? Also, if you have printed a Mapquest directions map, why not take a red highlighter to the zones having construction, in case you find yourself in a particularly nasty logjam? Simply by having the information on where the expected delays should be, You might be able to self-navigate around the problem, or realize you should be patient as the problem should be only short-lived.

I hope this helps make your holiday travels this weekend, as well as your future road trips, go more smoothly. Happy driving! Until next month, Stay Timely!


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