The holidays are right around the corner, and if you plan on heading out to visit friends or family for Christmas, there are some things you can do now to ease the burden of traveling. Whether you’re worried about airport crowds or road congestion, we have advice to help you! Here are some of the best holiday flight tips from us here at Packey Webb Ford.
- Technology – Technology is a great tool to make traveling easier. Many airlines have apps that allow you to access ticket and flight information on your smartphone. Some airports even offer a layout of the facility to help guide passengers to the correct gate. Drivers can use a GPS system or a compatible smartphone to plan a route based on time, fuel economy, or distance. Most systems can receive updates in real time, which means sitting in traffic jams due to accidents is a thing of the past.
- Luggage – Baggage fees can add up quickly. Instead of checking your bags, ship unnecessary belongings to your destination through the mail. Doing so will be cheaper. Bring everything you need in a carry-on to make life much easier!
- Rest – Make sure to get plenty of sleep so you don’t wake up and late potentially miss your flight. Being well rested will also ensure you don’t lose your temper with flight attendants or other drivers.
There’s a name we haven’t heard in 20 years: the Ford Bronco. The SUV, which debuted in the 1960s, was introduced to the market as an off-roading vehicle that could go head-to-head with the best of Jeep models. Unfortunately, the Bronco was retired in 1996 and hasn’t been seen since—until now. Now, the new Ford Bronco is slated to make a comeback as early as 2020, so get ready to enjoy the thrills of a new off-roading SUV.
The announcement came in a two-in-one package: both the new Bronco and the new Ranger were unveiled all in one go. Ford hasn’t had a midsize truck or an off-roader in years, but with the SUV/crossover and pickup truck segments picking up and attracting a host of interested customers, it only makes sense for the brand to capitalize on both current trends and the nostalgia of old Ford enthusiasts.
Not much is known about what will go into the new Ford Bronco. It will likely be based on the same platform as the new Ranger since both are debuting at the same time. However, Ford has also mentioned a desire to appeal to a more family-friendly sensibility, so we might see a kind of refinement previously unseen in older Bronco models.
Black Friday has a reputation for being a night when people throw all cares to the wind. If you want to streamline the process and prevent any accidents, it’s necessary to plan how your night will go in advance with these helpful Black Friday tips.
Plan Your Route
If possible, stay close to home. You should take a look at various stores’ ads to determine where and when you want to go so you have a good idea of what stores you’ll be driving to. Try checking a map and outlining a route.
Use Map Apps for Traffic Updates
Even if you know your route, accidents happen and traffic gets backed up. Many smartphone apps track traffic in realtime, which can help avoid this.
Don’t Drive Distracted
Leave the radio dial alone, put the phone away, and keep both hands on the wheel.
Park further away to avoid the crowds that are competing for closer spots. Don’t block other spots, and when pulling in or out of a spot, be on the lookout for children or other vehicles driving by. If your car has one, use a rearview camera.
Following these Black Friday tips can minimize your chances of getting in an accident. We want to see everyone get home safe this Black Friday so they can enjoy wrapping their brand new purchase!
These days, it seems like there’s an award or an ability to be recognized for just about anything, and Downers Grove has a claim to fame that not many cities have—a top trick-or-treating city in the United States. In a recent study based on data collection from community social networking app Nextdoor, it was concluded that out of countless cities in the US, Downers Grove was number seven on the list of best cities to take your kids trick-or-treating.
What criteria went into determining this? Simple: Nextdoor offers an annual Treat Map, which allows neighbors to check in and let the app know whether or not they will be passing out candy for Halloween that year. Nextdoor had the seventh-highest ratio of people passing out candy in comparison to the number of Nextdoor members living in Downers Grove out of the entire United States.
Wondering who was the top trick-or-treating city? The number one spot was taken by Cary, North Carolina, with Boise, Idaho rounding out the top-ten list in tenth place. However, if you’re looking for the best place to trick-or-treat in the whole state of Illinois, there’s only one clear winner, and that’s Downers Grove.
Now that school’s back in session, it’s important for everyone to brush up on their school driving knowledge to ensure a safe and stress-free school year. We’ve put together these back to school driving tips for parents and students.
Both parents and students need to be aware of the rules for driving behind buses and how to safely share the road with bicyclists. When driving behind a school bus, don’t try to pass when it stops; always heed their stop signs. Leave plenty of room behind the bus so that children can safely walk behind it, and remain stopped until the bus puts down its stop sign.
There will also be lots of children on bicycles. You have to be wary of bicycles because many people, especially children, either don’t know or just don’t follow traffic rules when riding a bike. They may not signal a turn or be riding on the correct side of the street, so you need to be watchful, keep your distance from them, and give them the right of way. If you need to pass a bike, give them a wide berth when you pass to avoid jostling them.
Parents, you need to be aware of drop-off rules and locations and follow them. Don’t drop your kids off across the street, and don’t double park. Try carpooling to reduce the number of cars in line and thus your wait time in the mornings if you’re in a hurry.
Students, leave at least ten minutes early in case you encounter traffic, and eat before you leave. You want to avoid driver distractions like texting and eating, and being afraid of being late can make you drive recklessly.
Drive safe, and have a great school year!
Sometimes, you just don’t have the time to take a full week’s vacation. At times like these, it’s nice just to take a drive away from the city and relax in a new place. There are a number of fun day trips near Chicago, and we tried to compile the ones that are within an hour or two of driving distance.
Evanston, Illinois (15 miles): This nearby Lake Michigan beach is only a half hour or so from the city and offers posh bed and breakfasts.
Crystal Lake, Illinois (50 miles): Whether you like the idea of a fun downtown area brimming with shops and cafes or a relaxing spring-fed lake with a new recreation area, Crystal Lake has something for you.
Indiana Dunes (54 miles): Charming local restaurants, towering sand dunes, and easy bike trails await at this stretch of coastline along the waters of Lake Michigan.
Fox River Valley (60 miles): This historical town overlooks the winding, scenic Fox River, and offers a nearby shopping district in Geneva.
Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie (60 miles): 19,000 acres of wildflowers, regional fauna, and hiking trails await you at this restored prairie.
There are many more fun day trips besides these, but this is a great jumping-off point for anyone looking for a spontaneous one-day adventure outside of Chicago.
What’s not to love about SUVs? They’re powerful, capable, spacious enough for big families, and with strides in modern technology, they’re not the gas-guzzling machines they once were. Still, finding an SUV with good city fuel mileage and the sort of maneuverability required by skinny one-way streets can be tough. Here are the best Ford SUVs for navigating the city.
The Edge is technically a crossover, a segment that’s popular among families thanks to their car-like agility coupled with SUV toughness. The standard turbo engine gets 20 mpg in the city and also features an engine start and stop feature that turns off the engine when idling to preserve fuel. Plus, available Adaptive Steering controls the steering for better cornering and handling.
At 21 mpg in the city with the standard engine or 23 mph if you opt for the available 1.5-liter EcoBoost iVCT, the Escape is hard to beat. It also features Auto Start-Stop technology, in addition to available safety technology that can auto-maneuver the Escape into tight parking spaces. You can also fold the rear seats for up to 68 cubic feet of cargo space.
The best Ford SUVs for city driving offer a combination of clever engineering and smart technology in order to get the most out of your gas budget while still providing all the driving capability and functionality of the SUV class.
Every driver should make regular maintenance a priority, and there are lots of reasons to go to a dealership for service instead of going to a corner garage.
For one, corner garages don’t have the same resources as dealerships do. The dealership has access to more advanced and expensive repair and diagnostic tools, as well as onsite factory original parts for replacement. Independent shops tend to use generic parts, and they often don’t have them on hand, so you have to wait for them to be ordered.
Also, nothing beats the expertise of trained dealership technicians. While corner garage mechanics have general knowledge, a dealership technician is trained to know all about your vehicle and how to repair it, as well as recognize the beginnings of mechanical issues. You’ll have better luck with preventative maintenance through a dealership than a shop mechanic.
Dealership technicians are also more likely to know about recalls and take care of them for free when you go in for service, which is a big advantage and might mean saving you from dangerous mechanical failure. Dealerships have tons of advantages over independent shops and ultimately save you money and time!