Tons of Staycation Ideas

staycation ideasStaycation Ideas!

Are you looking to schedule a staycation this summer? Whether you have little kids, older kids, no kids, or are empty nesters, we’ve put together some great articles and resources to help you plan your next staycation.

We started a Pinterest Board for staycation ideas you can pull from!

Many people do have little kids who will want plenty of fun activities to keep them busy, so here’s “Five Family Staycation Ideas; How to have a great time without leaving home” and a long list of “Do’s” to “Make Your Staycation FUN”.

If you still need more ideas, here’s a few more on how to “Make your staycation feel like a vacation.”

 

Money Saving Tips for Your Summer Road Trip

save money travel by carLooking for money-saving summer travel tips?

With weather that is, for once, not only warm but occasionally downright balmy, the summer is undoubtedly here once again. For many families that means that it is time to hit the road for a much deserved road trip vacation. If you are planning a summer road trip in the near future, here are a few tips to ensure that your vacation is kind to your bank account.

Plan Your Gas Spending Ahead of Time

Car travel is often cheaper than air travel, but it still comes with its own set of formidable expenses, namely gas. Gas prices are seem to be rising these days, and the price per gallon varies from city to city and state to state. Instead of relying on luck to try and find cheaper gas prices, there are actually ways to research the cheapest gas stations in an area ahead of time, such as GasBuddy.com and the US government’s fuel economy map. We’d be remiss if (being the TireZoo) if we didn’t mention checking your tires over for proper inflation and other concerns. Proper inflation will help with gas mileage, and obviously safe tires should help you avoid wasting time and money repairing tires when you’d rather be enjoying your vacation.

Pack Snacks Ahead of Time

Gas station stores make a tidy profit from hungry road trippers willing to pay a markup for convenience. However, you can save a surprising amount by packing your own snacks ahead of time, including cold drinks in a cooler – ice is less expensive than food and drinks on the road.

Avoid Tolls When Possible

The revenue from tolls helps keep certain roads maintained and operational, but that does not mean that you have to use those roads. With GPS units and smartphone apps, along with online trip planning sites, finding toll-free alternatives has never been easier.

There is No Rush

While it seems like getting there as quickly as possible may seem cheaper, and otherwise preferable, to spending more time on the road, flooring the pedal and far exceeding the speed limit is not necessarily the way to go. Not only is speeding dangerous and potentially very costly if you get caught, but high speeds are much less fuel efficient for most vehicles.

Avoid Fast Food Chains

While you or your family may get the craving for a specific type of fast food while on the road, stopping at chains regularly gets expensive and tedious. Local businesses often offer better tasting, more interesting and potentially healthier fare for the same price if not cheaper.

What is your favorite tip for saving money while on the road with the family?

 

Make Your Own Travel Adventure Toy

Hidden Treasure Bottles; Travel Games for KidsThis is a great activity that you can make for or with your kids that is perfect for long car rides. It’s quiet and doesn’t involve any batteries. Turning and shaking the bottle actually gives the kids something to “do” and promotes fine motor skills as they search for items. The best part of this activity? It’s FREE and can be made with items from around your home.

What You Will Need:

  • A clear plastic bottle with lid; water bottle, pop bottle, Gatorade,  etc.
  • Rice, beans, corn or some other small filler.
  • A plastic funnel, or make one from a rolled sheet of paper
  • Paper and tape for a label
  • Some kind of glue
  • Items to “hide” in the bottle

Hidden Treasure Bottles; Travel Games for KidsIdeas for items to place in the bottle:

  • Button
  • LifeSaver
  • SillyBand
  • Eyeball
  • Straw
  • Balloon
  • Golf Tee
  • Dice
  • Safety Pin
  • Paper Clip
  • Corn
  • Coin
  • Ring
  • Screw
  • Key
  • Jewel
  • Barrett
  • Hidden Treasure Bottles; Travel Games for KidsBobby Pin
  • Puzzle Piece
  • Marbles
  • Dried Bean
  • Gummy Worm
  • Penny
  • Nuts
  • Washers
  • Rubber Band
  • Earring
  • Bandaid
  • Q-Tip
  • Crayon
  • String
  • Rock
  • Small Plastic Toys
  • Bottle cap

Hidden Treasure Bottles; Travel Games for KidsDirections: Wash out the bottle and dry as well as you can. Locate the items you plan to “hide” in the bottle and add them. Funnel the rice (or beans) into the bottle. Type or hand write a guide so your kids know what to look for, and tape it to the bottle. Once filled, replace the cap and add some glue. Hot glue works great. Shake to mix items well.

To Make the Activity Harder: Add more rice. The less empty space in the bottle, the less the items have to move into sight. Use smaller items. You could also use food coloring to color the rice, which would make the colors of the items blend in and harder to locate.

 

Memorial Day 2018

Both our locations in Anoka and Bloomington will be closing at 3pm on Saturday, May 26th and will remain closed through Memorial Day. We will resume our regular hours on Tuesday, May 29th.  We wish you a very happy and safe Memorial Day holiday.

How NOT to Lock Your Keys in the Car

lock keys in carTend to lock keys in car?

If you have ever locked your keys in your car, you know the feeling – helplessness, panic , disgust. Then, anxiety and realization of what it will cost you to get a locksmith to come to your rescue. Here are some ideas on how to avoid the situation of locked keys in your car all together:

  1. Pay attention to the beeping in your car that means your keys are in the ignition. It is not just there to annoy you, it is warning you to bring your keys with you.
  2. Never take your keys out of the ignition and place somewhere else in your car. Bring your keys with you as you get out of the car. Have a spot where you consistently place your keys, so you know where they are in a hurry.
  3. Don’t let your kids play with your car keys! As obvious as this may sound, it happens often and is a safety issue also. Kids are notorious for starting panic alarms on keypads, and even putting the keys in the ignition or locking themselves in the car with the keys.
  4. Always have a spare key handy. Whether this is in your home, wallet or purse, with a friend, or strategically placed in a well-hidden location under your car with a magnetic key holder, a spare key can save you when you need it most.

AAA or other auto clubs with roadside assistance are great to have if you run into frequent car problems, like a flat tire or locking your keys in your car. You may also want to check with your insurance carrier to see if your policy includes lockouts.

If you do lock your keys in your car, don’t panic. Although most local police departments do not perform the unlocking service any more, there are other options. If you have a newer car, you can call the local dealership with your VIN number, and they can make you a new key. Another option would be to call a local locksmith to get your car open.

Tell us about a time you locked your keys in your car. What did you do to get your keys back?

Happy Easter!

Everyone at the TireZoo wishes you and your family a Happy Easter and safe travels!

Happy Easter from the TireZoo

Winter Driving Safety Tips

Winter Driving TipsWe are in the middle of winter in Minnesota. There will be snow, ice and cold weather. It is impossible to avoid it, so always keep safe winter driving tips in mind. Some tips may seem basic, but a simple refresher can be helpful as we get comfortable in our habits.

10 Winter Driving Tips:

  1. Increase your following distance. Snow and ice make stopping more difficult. Give yourself space.
  2. See and be seen. Keep snow and frost off windows, mirrors, lights and reflectors.
  3. Plan before you travel. Be aware of the weather conditions. Check 511 for road conditions, call 511 or visit www.511mn.org. Stay home if conditions are bad and you don’t need to travel.
  4. Check tire pressure. Make sure your tire pressure is where it should be for your tires and vehicle. Cold weather can cause tire pressure fluctuations.
  5. Take your time. Fast acceleration and braking can cause spinning and loss of control when driving on snow and ice.
  6. Replace worn tires. This will help give you better control in snow and ice.
  7. Don’t panic. Remain calm. If you hit icy conditions don’t brake. Try to steer straight and don’t accelerate.
  8. Pack a winter survival kit. In case you get stranded it is best to be prepared.
  9. Watch out for other drivers. You don’t have control over what other drivers do. Give them space.
  10. Give snowplows space.  Snowplows are trying to improve road conditions, but they are watching many things and have limited visibility.

 

These are just a few tips to remember. AAA offers a thorough list of winter driving tips to provide a refresher for the next time you find yourself driving in snow, ice and frigid Minnesota cold. Stay warm!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Both locations will be closed on December 24th and 25th for Christmas, as well as January 1, 2018 for the New Year’s holiday. 

The TireZoo of Anoka and Bloomington, MN

FAQ’s about Tires & Service at the TireZoo of MN

faq's tireWhat brand tires do you carry?

Goodyear, Bridgestone, Kelly, Firestone, Michelin, Uniroyal, Continental, Kumho, Mast Associate, Fuzion, General, Mickey Thompson, Nexen, Nitto, Nanking, Pirelli, Riken, Bct, Bfgoodrich, Falken, Cordovan

Do you sell both new and used tires?

Yes.

Can I check if you have a certain size tire before I stop by?

Yes! You have two options. You can check on our website for new tires, or call either of our locations to check on our used tire inventory. We’ll be happy to check for you and give you a price.

When shopping for used tires, can you tell me what amount of tread is left?

Yes, we will tell you about what percentage of tread is left. In many cases, we have several options to choose from, and our inventory changes frequently.

How many locations do you have?

Two. Bloomington and Anoka, MN

Can I buy tires from you and not have them put on?

Yes.

Can I have you put on tires that I already have?

Yes.

Is there a warranty for used tires?

We warranty all used tires for 30 days after the purchase and installation on your vehicle!

Do you offer free rotations?

When you purchase a set of four new tires from us we do free lifetime balancing and rotating. Details here

Do you do alignments?

No.

Do you deal with TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system)?

Yes. Most vehicles/tires now have TPMS.

Do you have any coupons or specials?

Yes. You can see our current specials here.

Do you recycle tires?

Yes. Tires that have expired their safe and useful life are recycled. We ship the ‘spent’ tires to a reputable recycler. The tires are shredded or made into crumbs and are used to produce new products.

Do I need an appointment?

No appointments are necessary. Just stop in.

What are your hours?

Our normal business hours are 9am-6pm M-F. On Saturdays we’re open 9am-5pm, and closed on Sundays. Watch our website and Facebook page for holiday hours.

 

 

 

Closed on Thanksgiving

The TireZoo will be closed at both locations (Anoka and Bloomington) on Thanksgiving Day. We will be open regular hours on Friday, November 24. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving