Category Archives: Travel

Auburn Gresham: How to Prepare for a Road Trip

It’s summertime in Auburn Gresham and you know what that means! Time to plan a road trip. Road trips are an essential part of the American lifestyle, so grab some friends and family and head in whichever direction you please. Wait! I wish it was that simple…but like with all fun getaways, it requires some time and effort to prepare. Here’s a short guide to help you prepare for driving to that special place across the country you’ve always dreamed of visiting.

1) Plan your Road Trip Route

This is obviously one of the most essential preparations to make. In the end, it comes down to how you want to spend your time on the way to your final destination. Are you trying to get there as quick as possible? Are you trying to save money? Do you not care about time, and just want to take the most scenic routes?

If your priority is to save money on gas along the way, be sure to check out GasBuddy.com. This is a great tool for finding the cheapest gas stations along your route from start to destination. If your priority is instead to find interesting stops along the way, check out RoadTrippers.com. This is a great website for making the best of your journey along the way.

2) Schedule and Plan your Hotel Stops

Auburn Gresham, Storage, Road Trip

To save you the hassle and worry along the way, it might be a good idea to make hotel reservations prior to leaving (if you know how long and far you’ll be driving each day). There are several websites out there, like Hotels.com, that can help you find good deals at nice places during your road trip journey.

3) Stay Entertained in the Car

Let’s face it, sometimes the long drives on road trips can get a little (I mean really) boring. One way to prevent this kind of boredom from bringing down your level of hype and excitement is to plan for some fun activities with your buds in the car. Here’s a few ideas:
– Listen to music. Nothing says peace and elation like listening to some good music.
– Play the license plate game. This classic road trip game will keep everyone entertained and busy along the way.
– Bring Mad Libs! This is something that would keep my family and I laughing and entertained on our several past road trips.
4) Schedule and Stop at Tasty Restaurants

Auburn Gresham, Storage, Road Trip, Food

Don’t be surprised, sitting in a car all day (especially if you’re driving) can still build up quite a nice appetite. If you’re a foodie like I am, take a look at your route prior to leaving and research some of the best restaurants that happen to be located on or near your road trip route. The best resource I can recommend is Yelp for this task.

5) A Clean Car and a Safe Car is a Happy Car

One last thing. Before departing with your friends or your family on the trip, make sure to give it a good clean on the inside, because nobody wants to sit in a dirty car for several days in a row. Secondly, the last thing you want is for your car to break down in the middle of nowhere. To prevent this from happening, get a quick checkup on your vehicle before the big day.

That’s it, you’re all set for a road trip of a lifetime! Have a great time and remember to be safe. Remember to follow our blogs for more lifestyle tips and tricks and click here for more info on our storage options at our Auburn Gresham location.

Money Saving Tips for Moving on a Budget

Streamwood / Bartlett, Illinois:
Moving to a new place can be extremely exciting, but many people dread the process. Not only is it hard, but it can cost a lot of money as well. Thankfully there are ways to manage the amount you spend, and our Streamwood & Bartlett U-Stor-It storage team is here to assist you.

Find Cheap Boxes

Boxes can come at a hefty price. There are lots of options on places like Craigslist for cheap or free boxes, but that road can be a major hassle due to unreliable sources. Boxes can be found for a great price at your local U-Stor-It or from various suppliers in the area.

Bartlett
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Garage Sale

You will be surprised how much stuff you don’t need yet let sit around in your residency. Dispose of them by selling them, giving them to friends or charity, or just throwing them in the trash or recycle bin. These items could include books, clothing, and excess furniture/décor. This will make the move lighter, and it may save a decent amount of space.

Irving Rd
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DIY

If you can afford the time and effort, moving without a moving company is ideal. For many the amount of time necessary as well as the stress of the labor makes the value of a moving company significantly higher than doing it yourself. The saved time and effort of a moving company can have you feeling better in the long haul even though it puts more of a hole in your wallet.

If you do choose the DIY path you will need to plan extra time than you thought initially—the last thing you want to happen is to run out of time because the process took longer than expected.

 

If you need a storage facility during your move be sure to look at our local facilities. In the Streamwood and Bartlett area our facility is located at 145 W Irving Rd, Streamwood, IL 60107 near Bartlett road and Park Avenue. Whether you live in Schaumburg, Hanover Park, Elgin, or Streamwood, we’re eager to help you find the space you need.

Elmhurst Self Storage’s Important Tips to Driving a Moving Truck or Trailer

Have you taken on the challenge of renting a moving truck or trailer? It’s more complex than it may seem. Our  Elmhurst U-Stor-It staff has laid out the guidelines to consider before taking the driver’s seat.

Make Sure You’re Plugged in and Chains Aren’t Dragging

One of the most common mistakes when towing a trailer is forgetting or incorrectly attaching the trailer connections. Without the electrical outlet plugged in you risk getting rear-ended since the drivers behind you will have no knowledge of when you are breaking or signaling for a turn.

Chains often are not tight enough and will drag on the ground creating major sparks. It’s important to make sure the chains hang at least 4 inches off the ground to avoid these sparks and to form the safest connection if the trailer happened to pop off the hitch.

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Be Prepared to Back up the Truck or Trailer

You may find yourself in a situation where it is necessary to back up and maneuver your way out. If this occurs you want to be prepared! If you have a trailer be sure to read up on how to back it up. With both a truck and trailer it is extremely helpful to have a passenger that can get out and help you with the navigation. Remember to go slow and be aware of all corners of the vehicle and/or trailer.

Drive Cautiously

The number one piece of advice is to make sure you stay safe by driving slowly. It’s easier than you’d think to get to a high speed while towing or driving a large truck; not only does this put you in danger, but it threatens your belongings as well.

Stay at a max of 55 mph or the marked truck/trailer speed limit on all streets and highways. Hopefully you’ll never have to break hard, but if you do you’ll realize how much better of a situation you’re in if you’re going an appropriate speed.

When approaching stop signs or lights ease off of the accelerator early. The easy speed change will help your loaded items avoid shifting around. Gas efficiency will improve, and your breaks will have a much easier time stopping the load.

Backpacking Adventure Recommendations

Backpacking is an adventure and opportunity you would not want to miss out on. You’ll have the chance to see places you’ve only ever imagined going to and experience things that are entirely outside of your comfort zone. However, there is a lot of planning to do before you venturing out into the great outdoors. Travelling the world with only a few possessions can be scary, but it is also undeniably exhilarating. When it comes to travelling abroad, there are two types of people. Those who stay with their friends and family, who share the experience and leave with unforgettable memories. And those who travel alone and integrate themselves into a culture with the mindset of cultural immersion and understanding. No matter what type of traveler you are, there are always going to be big obstacles to face when planning, especially when that trip is for a longer extended period of time. Two of these obstacles include, how you are going to maintain your home and how you are going to pack for the trip. Here are a couple suggestions to consider making these decisions.

Subleasing Your Apartment

An option that should be deliberated when travelling for long periods of time is renting out your home. There is a process in doing so, but it will reap more rewards than consequences more times than not. Renting your home could be a financial supporter towards your trip and extremely helpful to whomever becomes your tenant.
When preparing your home for a tenant, it is essential to make it as clean as possible. This includes storing away any personal items you would rather they not touched. Since a backpacking trip is usually only for a finite period of time, you’ll need to consider your storage options. People who rent their homes usually choose between two different methods of storing their valuables and personal possessions. You can either rent a self-storage unit during your trip, or you can lower the rate of rent and use a room in your home to store your possessions. If you use one of the rooms in your home for storage space, be sure to keep a lock on the door and take the key with you.
When renting out your home you will need to answer three important questions: are you capable of becoming a landlord, how much you can rent your home for, and have you found an appropriate tenant. Be sure that your home is as safe as it can be and that there are no home improvement jobs that will become issues later in the lease.

How To Pack for Your Backpacking Adventure

The other obstacle to overcome before you leave on your backpacking adventure is what and how you are going to pack. The first step on deciding what to pack, begins with laying out everything you think you’ll need to bring. From there you can decide what is essential. This usually includes cutting the amount of clothes you plan on bring in half. Clothes will ultimately be what takes up the most space in your bag. To use the limited space available as effectively as possible, roll your clothes instead of folding them and try to fill empty spaces with small or compressible items. A week prior to your trip departure, you should practice your technique on how to pack your bag as to prevent unexpected obstacles during your travels. The way you should organize your things would be by packing the lightest items at the bottom, the heaviest in the middle (against your back), and the middle weight towards the top of your pack. This will ultimately allow you to travel most comfortably over large expanses, by balancing and centering your weight. As seen below.

Your guide to a hassle-free spring break

Spring time is here which means thousands of students are exchanging their textbooks for swimsuits and beginning their spring break. US News Travel posted an article on the best affordable and accessible spring break destinations for college students. Popular destinations include: Miami Beach, Cancun, the Bahamas, Maui, and our very own San Diego, where our newest facility on 930 South 47th Street, San Diego, CA 92113 is expected to open May 2016. No matter where you are going, one thing is for certain, packing is stressful and a nuisance. Fear not, here are some tips that will make packing and preparing for your trip a whole lot easier.

Bring one bag: It may be difficult, but bringing only one bag that weighs around 20 pounds eliminates a lot of hassle. They can fit in an airplane’s overhead bin, saving you the cost of checking in a bag, and if you are going on a road trip, you won’t have to worry about your bag taking up too much space. Their small and light weight design makes it less of strain on your back and shoulders to carry or roll around which also decreases the risk of them getting lost or stolen.

Traveling, Spring Break, Backpacking
Spring breaker enjoying the freedom of traveling with only one bag

Pack light and very little: Believe it or not, you do not need to pack the entirety of your closet with you. To avoid bringing too much pack outside your suitcase by laying everything out that you think you may need and ask yourself whether or not it is worth it. Bring neutral colored clothing that you can mix and match or pack specific outfits for each day. You should also purchase travel-sized toiletries rather than bringing larger bottles. Lastly, leave your valuables such as your laptop at home; your smart phone should be enough!

Packing, rolling clothes
Rolling your clothes is the best way to make space in your luggage

Roll your clothes: Rolling your clothes instead of folding them not only creates extra space, but also prevents creases. It is also advised to invest in travel compression bags to keep clothes safe and well organized. This helps you pack lighter while ensuring that you are able to bring everything that you need.

Secure your dorm/apartment:  To prepare your dorm/ apartment for your departure, get rid of all perishable foods in your fridge and unplug all electronics to save you money on your electricity bill. To avoid burglary while you are away, make sure that all of your valuables are hidden out of sight and lock the doors behind you. If you feel uneasy about leaving your items unattended, look into renting a storage unit that you can keep for when it is it time to move out at the end of the semester.

Have Fun: Now that you are successfully packed and your apartment or dorm is well secured, you can fully enjoy your vacation. We at U-Stor-It hope that you have a wonderful and safe spring break!

Top Places to Study Abroad from a Wheaton Perspective

With the weather starting to warm up here in Wheaton IL, students are moving their focus away from schoolwork and looking ahead at sights of sand and sun to determine where they should go for a summer semester abroad!
We collaborated with students from Wheaton College and the College of DuPage. They talked to us about some of their favorite places they have traveled to.

Spain – International College of Seville

Seville is a warm, charming city filled with a lot of rich cultural heritage. It has an antique charm to it and a pacing that encourages you to take time for yourself. You can make the most out of your trip through sightseeing and becoming immersed with its culture.008_giralda_theredlist

“My semester in Seville was extraordinary and an experience that I will never forget. When I decided to study abroad, I did not expect to fall in love with the city and the people. I met some of my best friends in Seville and I am still keep in close contact with them. I will never forget how hospitable and helpful they were towards me and I left Seville feeling more like a native than a tourist.”

– Ashley from Wheaton College

“Seville is not about yesterday, and not about tomorrow. It is about today… and every day is beautiful in Seville. By the way, for everyone who lives in the cold northern parts of the US, there are palm trees in Seville; lots of ’em!!”

– Michael from College of DuPage

France – Alliance Française de Bordeaux

Bordeaux is considered by many to be France’s most beautiful city. It offers a vibrant cultural life and architecture that shows off its rich, historical tradition.

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My classmates and I would often explore Paris together, going out for drinks, to see movies, etc., and some of us even rented a car one weekend and drove to the beach in Normandy. Overall – the Alliance Francaise provided great teaching, wonderful support and a fabulous place for building friendships – I highly recommend the program!”

– Lindsay, from Wheaton College

All of the students in the Wheaton Area we talked to said the most important things to remember was to make sure your passport is all set, file any visa paperwork that needs to be done, and make sure that flight arrangements are all set.

Here at U-Stor-It Carol Stream, we support all of the students in Wheaton area traveling abroad and expanding their horizons.