Posts tagged " parking "

driverless cars

The Evolution of Parking in a World of Driverless Cars

April 26th, 2017 Posted by Parking, Technology No Comment yet

It’s been difficult to read or watch the news in the past year without being aware of the rise of driverless cars. Car and tech giants from Uber and Google to Tesla and Ford have identified self-driving vehicles as the next logical step in the industry, and are investing billions of dollars to plan accordingly.

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Sharing Some of Chicago’s Best Winter Events

December 22nd, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Events, Holidays, mobile app, Parking, parking spots, restaurants, sharing economy, West Loop No Comment yet

Chicago, the city of the big shoulders. There’s always plenty to see and do in Chicago. Let us share some information with you on winter events in the Windy City.

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Holiday Shopping with ParqEx

The Joy of Holiday Shopping with ParqEx

December 15th, 2016 Posted by Holidays, mobile app, Parking, parking spots No Comment yet

The holiday season is here, and that means plenty of shopping is in your future. Finding the perfect gift for each and every person on your list is a fun part of the holiday season that most everyone looks forward to.

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September Festivals We Recommend in the Chicago Area

September 22nd, 2016 Posted by Chicago Events, Community, Holidays, Parking No Comment yet

Summer is wrapping up and temperatures are cooling off, but things are still heating up in Chicago this month! For your consideration: a number of fun things to do while traveling in Chicago during the month of September.

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Chicago Sports Update: Cubs Clinch NL Central

September 16th, 2016 Posted by Chicago Cubs, Chicago Events, Chicago Travel Tips, Community, Cubs, News & Events, NL Central, Parking, ParqEx, Playoffs No Comment yet

Our team at ParqEx is obsessed with parking, but we like other things, too; like when Chicago sports teams make the playoffs. Cardinals fans can plead the “1908” card, but for now, Chicagoans have something to celebrate: THE CUBS CLINCHED A PLAYOFF BIRTH!

While the main goal for the season has yet to be achieved, Cubs manager, Joe Maddon, wants his players to celebrate winning the National League Central Division. And why not? Just because you didn’t yet reach your end goal doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate lesser accomplishments along the way; so pop the champagne, boys, you deserve it. And you do too, fan reading this blog, because you’ve devoted many hours to the 2016 regular season.

While the Cubs were hoping to clinch the division by beating Milwaukee last night at Wrigley Field, their comeback effort fell short, and W flags were not flown. Resale ticket values were off the charts before the game, with standing room only tickets selling for upwards of $100 and bleacher seats even more. Unfortunately, Cubs fans who bought tickets at inflated prices in hopes to see a huge Cubs celebration took the el train home feeling a bit unfulfilled. For good reason.

“It would have been wonderful to do that for the fans right there,” Maddon told ESPN. “We were unable to do so. That’s part of the uncontrollable nature of the game.”

But, it didn’t take long before the Cubs clinched the division. The Cardinals lost to the Giants on the west coast last night, which secured the Cubs division title. The Cubs plan to make-up for their lack of celebration last night by celebrating after this afternoon’s game at Wrigley Field. Bring your ponchos, Cubs fans; bubbly is likely to be sprayed into the stands. And knowing the energy, enthusiasm, and spirit of this Cubs team, there will be a lot of it.

 

 

If you’re planning on heading to a Cubs playoff game, make sure you download the ParqEx App for all your Wrigleyville parking needs.

ParqEx is a technology company that connects owners of private parking spots to people looking for parking. In urban areas where parking demand is high but available options are scarce or expensive, ParqEx makes additional supply available to the driving public by listing exclusive inventory owned by local residents and businesses.

Using ParqEx, parking owners are able to make some supplemental income from an underutilized asset while renters get access to exclusive inventory in more convenient and hard-to-park locations. The ParqEx support team ensures that the entire process of listing, reserving, parking, and paying is as smooth as possible for all involved.

Watch our short video to see the beauty of the ParqEx app!

People Helping Other People

September 15th, 2016 Posted by Chicago Events, Heartwarming, ParqEx, Story No Comment yet

Sometimes all it takes to brighten someone’s day is a heartwarming story. That’s exactly why we wrote this post. At ParqEx, we want to do everything in our power to make you life easier, and better; sometimes by linking you to a story like the one below, or most of the time by finding you a convenient, affordable parking spot. Today, we certainly have a story for you that will not only brighten your day, but will hopefully encourage you to go out and do something nice for someone else. People helping other people can be special. 

Here’s a story that’ll warm your heart; so get your tissues ready: 

http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/12/us/popsicle-seller-chicago-fidencio-sanchez/index.html

(Article Courtesy of CNN)

Respect. 

 

ParqEx: 5 Simple Ways to Monetize Your Home and Property

Five Simple Ways to Monetize Your Home And Property

August 18th, 2016 Posted by Chicago Travel Tips, Parking, ParqEx, sharing economy No Comment yet

The sharing economy has introduced the possibility that anything you own can be shared and monetized, including your home. Hospitality apps like Airbnb, coachsurfing.com and other home-sharing apps are commonplace. But, for those who are not quite ready to open up their home to strangers, there are ways to monetize your space without sacrificing your privacy or compromising your investments.

ParqEx: 5 Simple Ways to Monetize Your Home and Property

Holding Company

Many homeowners have extra space, whether it’s a spot in a basement, an attic or spare rooms. Conversely, many apartment dwellers have limited space. Honestly, what’s an apartment dweller to do with their snow tires during summer months? They can use apps like StowThat or Spacefinity to find someone who is willing to rent out extra space.

These apps connect those with space, to those without. You can rent out a section of your basement without having to move out, or share the bathroom, while at the same time helping an apartment dweller who had previously considered creating a decorative table out of Michelin tires. That’s a pretty simple solution to two problems.

Drive-In

If your home is located in an urban, or well-trafficked area, you can monetize your parking space by listing it on ParqEx. Take a picture of your spot, list it on the app and pretty soon someone in need of a place to leave their vehicle will fill your empty spot. You choose how much you want to charge and at what times the spot is available. It’s as easy as that.

Stealing Sunshine

Line your roof or property with sun panels and ease the financial burden of power bills, while potentially earning some extra cash. Although this method of monetizing your home isn’t entirely simple, it is a good investment in a long-term money-making solution that is also helpful to the environment. Companies like Understand Solar take care of setting up and maintaining a solar panel system on your roof or property. It’s not entirely simple, in that you will have to check with your municipality to determine if they will buy your surplus energy, but practically every state as well as the District of Columbia has a solar energy buy back program.

Sit in the sun, or power your AC, and get a return on an environmentally sound investment.

Urban Gardens

While we are on the topic of environmental awareness, there has been a bit of backlash regarding the American love of lawns. The concern is that our desire for verdant green pasture may not be the best use of space and resources. For those interested in saving time on lawn care, watering and fertilizer, going lawnless with xeriscaping is an option. Or, you could monetize your property by donating your lawn to a local urban farmer. You might not earn cash, but you will earn food. If you want to create your own edible front yard, you can sell or swap your produce with neighbors.

Minimalism

If you’ve recently adopted the Japanese philosophy of minimalist living but have no idea where to dispose of the objects that no longer bring you joy, you can sell items on eBay, or sell specific items on object-specific sites. Bookscouter is an app that helps you sell your used textbooks (and other joyless prose) directly to people who want it. Freeing up all that space will not only make you happy, but you can potentially turn that space into a profit-earning square foot.

Overall, homeowners have a variety of practical, and whimsical, options when it comes to monetizing their investment. Apps and technology have made the process of sharing your resources with others simple and easy. You don’t have to try every option, but it’s good to know what is available.

For more information on monetizing your home, or the property around it, please contact us.

ParqEx: 5 Great Things To Do in Chicago This Summer

5 Great Things To Do in Chicago This Summer

July 7th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Events, Chicago Travel Tips, Parking, ParqEx No Comment yet

Part of the benefits of living in or visiting a large city is the many things to do anytime. The summer time, in particular, is a great time to visit or get out and have some fun. What kind of fun depends on you, but when it comes to Chicago in the summer, the choices are wide and varied. To narrow it down a little, let’s check out 5 great things to do in Chicago this summer.

ParqEx: 5 Great Things To Do in Chicago This Summer

Lollapalooza Music Festival

How could we leave out Lollapalooza, which will be the 25th birthday of the event. This years festival is being held at Grant Park, and is headlining some bands you might have heard of like: Radiohead, Lana Del Ray, and LCD Soundsystem. The four days of music festivities is being held July 28th -31st, which is one day longer than usual.

Grant Park is in downtown Chicago, and will have two entrances attendees can use. The event coordinators warn of the limited availability of parking, so advise people to take public transit. This is where ParqEx can help you have the perfect parking spot nearby while everyone else is taking the bus! The cost of four-day passes are $335 and single day passes are $120.

Movies in the Park

For a more low-key type of activity, how about a movie in one of Chicago’s many parks? Over 250 movie screenings are being held from June until mid-September in parks all across Chicago. Bring a blanket and some snacks to enjoy a movie on a very large blown up screen, in the middle of a Chicago park at night.

To give you an idea of some of the parks holding these events, here’s a list of 10: Gross, Grant, Piotrowski, West Chatham, Sherwood, Lindblom, Lowe, Eugene Field, Eckhart, and Maplewood. And to give you an idea of the movies being played, here’s a list of 10: Jurassic World, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Sandlot, War Room, Ant-Man, The Lego Movie, October Sky, Inside Out, Rio 2, and Zootopia.

Watch an outdoor movie for little to no cost, and enjoy the beautiful nights of Chicago with friends and family watching a good movie. There are many parks holding these events, so parking availability will vary, but either way ParqEx can help make outdoor movie night less of a hassle for the times when parking is needed.

Windy City Smokeout

There are so many great food and music festivals during the summer including the Taste of Chicago held at Grant Park, but let’s highlight the Windy City Smokeout. This is an annual three-day food and music festival being held from July 15th – 17th, 2016. Grilled meats and country music are the themes of this event being held at River North on W Grand Ave.

Bands like Billy Currington and Old Dominion will be playing country music while plenty of tasty pork, beer, and meaty treats will be available from local barbecue restaurants. Attendees can gain entry one day for only $40, or get a weekend pass for $100. Parking will be tough for this downtown event, so reserving a space through ParqEx will help facilitate a smooth culinary country music holiday at the annual Windy City Smokeout.

See a Cubs Ball Game

One of the biggest attractions in Chicago and especially in the summer is the major league baseball teams: the Cubs and the White Sox. There’s not many cities with two pro baseball teams, which gives residents and visitors a great choice for a summer time event to attend.

The Cubs play at the historic Wrigley Field, which has been undergoing some big renovations. The Cubs had their best season since 1945 last year, only four wins away from being in the World Series! That means this summer should be an exciting time to watch a Cubs game.

Tickets cost anywhere from $27 to $200. Wrigley Field is located in North Chicago near Uptown on W Addision St., so finding parking and dealing with traffic could be tough. ParqEx could help you find and reserve the perfect parking spot nearby, so you can enjoy a Cubs ball game this summer.

Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture River Tour

Many people will find a river cruise appealing in Chicago this summer. There are many different options to choose from if this is the case. For instance, the Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture River Tour runs daily from Gateway Park and Navy Pier beginning at 10am. This is a 75-minute cruise highlighting more than 40 Chicago landmarks and only costs $32-$39 for adults and $16-$20 for children under 12.

Summary

The list goes on and on with fun and interesting things you can do this summer in Chicago. These 5 activities should give you an idea of the diversity of options Chicago gives residents and visitors when it comes to enjoying the Windy City. Great food, music, and culture are all kicking off even now as summer officially begins.

Don’t let parking woes slow your fun down this summer when enjoying Chicago. The ParqEx app gives you the tool needed to find the parking solution for every circumstance. Simply find a parking spot being rented nearby your event, reserve it on the day and hour needed, and the rest is taken care of through the app.

For those who have a parking spot to rent the process is just as simple. Use ParqEx to rent out your space and make some extra money during the year, all through the app. We’re a Chicago based company proud to help bring people together to make parking easier and safer. To learn more please contact us today.

How ParqEx Uses the Sharing Economy to Get You What You Need

How ParqEx Uses the Collaborative Economy to Get You What You Need

May 12th, 2016 Posted by Community, Parking, ParqEx, sharing economy No Comment yet

Unless you work in the world of technology, you probably haven’t heard these terms before, but they are doing more for you than you realize. If you do business with companies like Uber, Lyft, AirBnB, Kickstarter, or, of course, ParqEx, then you’ve been working with these concepts for a long time. You don’t necessarily need to understand them in order for them to work for you, but knowing what’s under the shell can help you appreciate how truly amazing the technological world we live in really is. Let’s talk a little more about the collaborative economy.

How ParqEx Uses the Sharing Economy to Get You What You Need

What is the collaborative economy?

The collaborative economy, also known as the sharing economy, is not new, but it has definitely been growing recently. In this type of economy, the lines between consumer and provider become blurred. Goods and services are shared between peers, to achieve mutual benefit. For example, instead of two people renting their own two-bedroom apartment, they can share one. They each get what they need, but at half the price they would have paid otherwise. Or, if two people only need a parking spot for half of the day, instead of each renting an entire spot, they can share one, only paying half of the price.

The collaborative economy can also connect two or more consumers, allowing them to provide products and services to each other, which at one time were only provided by large companies.

These are the basics of a collaborative economy, but there is so much more to it, and the possibilities are endless.

The power of smart phones

Although smart phones are not a requirement for the collaborative economy to work, they are definitely a big part of what makes it so efficient. Smart phones make it possible to participate in the collaborative economy at any time. Without them, you could still participate in auctions like eBay, or find a loan through Lending Club on a computer, but the smart phone makes it possible to book a night through AirBnB, even after arriving in the city, or find a parking spot for the big game, even when you’re halfway there.

When companies get involved

Even though the collaborative economy is based heavily on consumers, there is still a place for businesses. Generally, these companies facilitate the connection and communication between the consumers, or establish trust. For example, eBay, as well as many other apps, helps people who are trying to sell things to connect with those that are looking for something. AirBnB does not provide places to stay. Instead, they offer reviews and background checks on the individuals who do, creating a sense of trust between users.

Making use of idle resources

The collaborative economy is all about using resources to the fullest, rather than wasting them. In order to do that, it helps consumers share the resources that they already have with those that would have otherwise bought their own. Eliminating unused resources indirectly eliminates the unnecessary purchase of new resources, which helps everyone involved save money. In most cases, it is also good for the world in general. For example, buying used items online prevents new ones from being produced, and sharing parking spaces means that fewer green areas have to be paved over.

Growth

The collaborative economy is growing rapidly. As it grows, more people learn about what it can do, and more people come to trust it, which leads to even more technology advances, and the people who find new uses for it help it to become even stronger.

Are you interested in learning more about how the collaborative economy is solving problems? Contact us. We’ll be happy to answer all of your questions, and even help you get involved.

ParqEx: Poor Transportation Options Have More of an Impact Than You May Think

Poor Transportation Options Have More of an Impact Than You May Think

April 14th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Travel Tips, Community, Parking No Comment yet

Transportation used to be simple.  If we got from point A to point B, we would consider it a success.  As society developed, so did our transportation needs and desires.  Cars gave way to more cars and trucks, and the need for public transportation rose as our society spread out.  Many of the issues that have arisen due to this are not only caused by the need to reach more distant destination, but also with congestion in the cities and business hubs.

ParqEx: Poor Transportation Options Have More of an Impact Than You May Think

Poor transportation options, lack of mobility, and parking failures have just as many indirect consequences as they do direct.  Not only are means of transportation now a symbol of status, but lack of transportation can, for example, prevent someone from attending a job interview and therefore doom them to a lower status for life. When 30% of city traffic is made of cars looking for parking, it often does not even matter why they are there anymore.  King or pauper, traffic is the great equalizer as it can turn the most mild-mannered citizen into a snarling beast.  It wastes people’s time and puts the general population in a collective bad mood.  Below are several other ways that traffic and transportation issues can have an impact.

Poverty

In Harvard business professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s book Move: Putting America’s infrastructure back in the lead, she highlights several transportation challenges that all people face. One area in which there is specific focus is in regards to inequality and discrimination.  She discusses how not only are the poor individuals who cannot afford to live in big cities being punished for doing so, but also any chance to improve their lives is impeded by crumbling infrastructure that provides obstacles in getting places.  Furthermore, the lack of public and government support in fixing these areas or providing affordable parking options highlights the social injustices that perpetuate poverty.  The poorest areas often have the least options, and this applies to transportation just as much as anything else.  They will miss out on opportunities while also being unfairly labeled as lazy and irresponsible.

Environment

By 2035, 2-3 billion cars will be driving on our roads and drivers will spend 20 to 40 minutes a day on average looking for parking. This has already had a large negative impact on the environment and increased CO2 emissions.  Theoretically, there are approximately 3 to 8 parking spaces available for each car on the road, but that does not seem like the case when we are driving around looking for one.  People waste gas and emit harmful fumes while circling around looking for that perfect spot on the street.  More traffic/less parking = more cars on the road for longer = pollution.  Some cities have instituted systems allowing more control over the flow of parking and traffic.  This has resulted in a better general quality of life, better air quality, and less congestion. In Barcelona, a new sustainable mobility plan has reduced traffic, created more control over public parking, increased revenues, and many new jobs.

Financial

Our country’s transportation issues have a direct impact on the economy because it makes U.S. manufacturers far less competitive globally. It does this by making it more much more expensive for other countries to use our services. It is no secret that not all manufacturing takes place in the United States, and with traffic-filled streets, congested shipping ports, and airport that are stretched incredibly thin, working with the U.S. is becoming less and less appealing.  This will of course impact our economy and job growth negatively because in addition to impacting appeal, it affects delivery times and sales.  While this does not always impact the individual directly, it will when these companies have to close and lay off their employees for reasons that have nothing to do with performance and everything to do with infrastructure.

Parking and transportation issues seem simple, but they can easily bleed into the rest of our society. Contact us to learn more about these issues and to reserve parking so that you will be part of the solution and not the problem!

ParqEx: 3 Tips and 3 Apps For Your Spring Break Traveling

3 Tips and 3 Apps For Your Spring Break Traveling

April 7th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Travel Tips, Community, Parking, ParqEx No Comment yet

The days are getting longer, the temperatures are starting to rise — spring is definitely in the air. That can only mean one thing — Spring Break! Thousands of people will be doing a lot of traveling within the next few weeks. To kick things off and get your travelling juices flowing, here are 3 apps to help you with your Spring Break travels.

ParqEx: 3 Tips and 3 Apps For Your Spring Break Traveling

  1. TripIt – This travel app does it all. All you have to do is forward your confirmation emails (for hotels, car rentals, air travel, etc) to TripIt, and it will turn them all into a custom itinerary for you. You can edit that itinerary as needed, and share it with others in your party. You can do all this with the free version of the app. If you want TripIt Pro, you can also see flights in real-time, locate alternate flights, and you’ll have access to VIP travel benefits that can save you money.
  2. ParqEx – Whether you’re planning on a visit to Chicago, or you’re going to be leaving your Chicago home for a sandier, saltier destination, this handy parking app is a must-have. If you are visiting Chicago, you can use this app to make sure downtown parking will not put a crimp in your travel style. You can rent a parking spot for the duration of your trip, and not spend an arm and a leg. If you are leaving town, and you currently own a parking spot, you can rent that spot out and let it make you a little extra souvenir money while you’re gone.
  3. BringFido – For those of you who wish to travel with your four-legged furbaby, this app will be your new best friend (after the furbaby, of course!). You can search for pet-friendly hotels, dog parks, and vet clinics in and around your travel destination. There are tons of resources about travelling with your pet, and information about what you need to know if you’re looking to fly with your furry companion.

Now that you have your apps downloaded, let’s take a look at three things you don’t want to forget to do before you leave on your trip.

  1.  Don’t let your mail pile up. – Mail that is piling up can be a big tip-off to thieves that there is no one home. Make plans to have your mail picked up by a neighbor, friend, or family member. If that isn’t doable, you can also make a request with USPS to have your mail held. You can schedule a hold anywhere from 30 days in advance, all the way up til 2 a.m. CST the day you’re leaving. Bear in mind that the postal system isn’t open on Sundays so you won’t be able to make your request on that day.
  2. Get a pet-sitter. – If your pet isn’t traveling with you this time, or if you have a pet that isn’t much of a traveler (like an aquatic pet), you will want to allow plenty of time to get a pet-sitter scheduled. Leave detailed instructions for the sitter about food, treats, play time, known anxieties, medications, etc. It’s generally a good idea to have the sitter come over a few times before you leave to allow your pet time to get used to them. You will also want to leave your contact information and your vet’s contact information in a central place should the sitter have a question or an emergency.
  3. Let your bank know where you’re going. – Giving your bank a head’s up that you will be using your card in a new location can prevent them from freezing your funds. A lot of banks will monitor where (in what city) your card is used, and if an unfamiliar place pops up, they may stop all transactions to make sure it’s you that’s using your card. If you live in Ohio, and you’re going to Florida on vacation, by letting them know in advance where you will be heading, they won’t freeze your card when they see charges in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia — they’ll know the general direction you’re going in.

If you have questions about Spring Break travelling, feel free to contact us with them. Please let us know, also, if you have any questions about using the ParqEx app, or about how ParqEx works. We want to help you have a happy and safe Spring Break!

ParqEx: 3 Tips for Planning Your Spring Break Travel This Year

3 Tips for Planning Your Spring Break Travel This Year

March 31st, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Travel Tips, mobile app, Parking No Comment yet

It’s almost time for Spring Break; the annual school holiday millions of college students and their families look forward to each year. Hundreds of thousands of students will be hitting the streets, looking for a week’s worth of excitement and everlasting memories. If you’re looking to hit the big, beautiful, “Windy City” of Chicago, Illinois this year for your Spring Break then don’t forget these three important tips to make the most of your memorable experience.

ParqEx: 3 Tips for Planning Your Spring Break Travel This Year

Parking

Save the walking for once you’re inside your destination. Why chance having to park a significant distance from where you want to be? With the comprehensive and easy-to-use ParqEx app, downloadable on any smart phone, you can find a great spot close to your destination right now, whether it’s Shedd’s Aquarium, the art museum, or Soldier Field.

Parking in downtown Chicago can be a daunting task for even the most experienced travelers. But who wants to pay exorbitant taxi fares, and wait for them to show up to get around the city? You can simply rent a parking space ahead of time, using the same handy ParqEx app. Renting a space ahead of time can get you discount parking as well so you can spend more on souvenirs. If you know where you’re going to be and when, it’s simple to use the app to find a parking space close to your destination.

Hotel

Shop for your hotel room early in the year; even as early as January. Many hotels will be happy to offer you a large discount for booking well in advance of your trip. In many cases the hotel will require up front payment but the savings, which can be as much as $100 or more can be significant enough to be worth it.

As you know, Spring Break is one of the biggest reasons for tourism for big cities like Chicago. Those choice hotel rooms can go faster than you can blink an eye. You can find these great deals for hotel rooms on popular travel sites which will show you an array of hotel options based on your preferences. Deals can also be found on hotel websites.

An app from a site such as Trivago or Hotels.com can help you find a hotel on the go in case you find yourself in the Windy City without a reservation. As an added bonus many travel sites let you bundle your vacation, saving you money on hotel, car, and flight.

Fun

Last, but certainly not least: have fun! This is your Spring Break. Experience it the way you want to experience it. It can be useful to have the Trip Advisor app as well. The app will show you the most popular hot spots in nearly every city in the country including user reviews. An app such as that can also offer more detailed information on restaurants, night life, and local culture such as address, admission information, and whether or not advance reservations are required.

If you are flying to and from Chicago and renting a car in between, consider shipping your souvenirs home before leaving the city. With skyrocketing luggage fees, it’s possible to save a ton of money this way. If your hotel does not offer a mailing service, they can certainly point you towards the nearest United States Postal Service.

Spring break is a time to let loose, kick back, and have a blast. With these handy tips and apps, you take the guess-work out of vacationing in comfort and style. You have the tools close at hand to make it the best Spring Break ever.

Contact us today for more information on how to find the perfect parking place wherever you are.

ParqEx: 5 Commuting Tips to Make Your Mornings Easier

5 Commuting Tips to Make Your Mornings Easier

February 11th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Travel Tips, mobile app, Parking, ParqEx, Safety No Comment yet

Who doesn’t wish their morning commute was easier? Even those who have a blissful 15 minute or less commute can likely find a thing or two they’d like to change about it.

We see your morning commute as being a window of opportunity — even if you love your commute, you may find something here to help make your mornings even smoother. Here are 5 commuting tips to make your mornings easier.

ParqEx: 5 Commuting Tips to Make Your Mornings Easier

  1. Start Your Morning the Night Before. Both men and women take the same amount of time to get ready in the mornings — about 52% clock in between 10 and 30 minutes; with another 20-25% saying it takes more than 30. Think of all the things you could be doing otherwise — morning yoga, a run, reading your favorite web comics, or sleeping (our favorite option). While there are certainly some things you can’t do the night before like shave, put on makeup, or shower (we know — some of you refuse to do it the night before), there are things you can do — like pack your lunch, lay out clothes, and get your briefcase or purse ready to go.
  2. Treat Yourself to a Tasty Beverage. Part of what makes our morning commutes crummy is that they’re boring. We get in the car, we drive the same route, we park, we go to work. Done. Spice up your mornings with some delicious beverages that can make your drive a little tastier! You can prep healthy and filling smoothies the night before by freezing ingredients in a blender; make a mini coffee bar with your favorite syrups or add-ons, or try scrounging for some new tea flavors to try on your commute.
  3. Guarantee Your Parking with ParqEx. If you’re lucky enough to have your name in big corporate letters on a metal sign, please skip to point 4. All others, read on! We know what a headache it can be to have to haggle for parking once you arrive at your destination — even worse are the mornings when you’re running late and can’t seem to find a single place to park. Cut down on all the hassle by finding and reserving the best spot using ParqEx, and never give your boss that lame parking excuse again.
  4. Level Up Your Entertainment. The news tends to be depressing, talk radio is typically mind-numbing, and there’s a good chance you’ll be hearing those Top 40 songs for the rest of the day in either the breakroom or from your cube mates. Why not get yourself some better audio entertainment for your ride? Podcasts, books on tape, and even webinars are all fantastic ways to inject a little education into your morning — here are some that are far from boring, and are genuinely fun to listen to.
  5. Get a Sidekick. It may seem like a 90s sitcom trope, but carpooling can actually be pretty great. You can typically save a lot on both car maintenance and gas — and you may even land yourself some new friends. Carpooling can be a great way to practice your professional social interaction too, letting you get a leg-up in the way you talk with your coworkers — and when was the last time you saw “Communication skills not needed” on a job listing?

We’d love to hear from you! Contact us if you’d like to learn more about how you can earn money through your parking spot, and how the sharing economy is making waves for people like you.

ParqEx: 3 Travel Apps Everyone Should Have to Make Winter Easier

3 Travel Apps Everyone Should Have to Make Winter Easier

February 4th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Travel Tips, mobile app, Parking, ParqEx No Comment yet

With months to go until spring pokes its head up, with the days being shorter and colder, cabin fever can quickly set in.  And we all know what the best cure for cabin fever is, right? Travel! Figuring out where to go, when to leave, how long to stay – the excitement can only grow from now til time to head out to your destination. Before taking off, check out these three top travel apps that everyone should have tucked into their suitcase…or at least in their phone.

ParqEx: 3 Travel Apps Everyone Should Have to Make Winter Easier

  1. ParqEx – If you are going to be driving once you arrive at your destination, this app can save you a lot of time and headache. You can rent a privately owned parking spot for an hour, a day, a week, or a month. During the winter, this app can be just the thing by helping you get as close as possible to your hotel, or entertainment venue, so you won’t have to risk trekking through snow and ice on your trip. Also, if you own a private parking spot, you can list it while you’re out-of-town and let it earn you some extra cash until you return.
  2. Winter Survival Kit– This app can be a true life saver. If you are stranded out in your vehicle during cold weather, your Winter Survival Kit will calculate how long you can run your engine on your remaining amount of fuel, call 9-1-1 for you, alert your family, and help pinpoint your location. It is also set up to alarm every 30 minutes to remind you to shut off your engine for a while and to check your exhaust for obstructions.
  3. Minutely – This weather app can also be a very handy accessory for cold-weather travel. It keeps you up-to-date on all the current weather conditions and forecasts for your location and your travel route. This can help you know what roads to avoid, or if there are any closures ahead. This can help you not end up stranded out in your car for extended periods of time during inclement weather.

These may not be the only apps you’ll use while you’re gone, but they can definitely help to make your trip easier and safer.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Happy travels!

ParqEx: 5 Tips for Safe Winter Driving and Parking in Chicago

5 Tips for Safe Winter Driving and Parking in Chicago

January 28th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Travel Tips, mobile app, Parking, ParqEx, sharing economy No Comment yet

Chicago may be the only city in the snow belt where residents use lawn chairs to hold parking spaces. As the city’s administrators crack down on this time-honored practice, its residents will need new techniques to find and hold parking spots. Driving and parking when the snow and sleet begins to accumulate is never easy in Chicago or anywhere else, and everyone can benefit from the top five tips for safe winter driving and parking in Chicago.

ParqEx: 5 Tips for Safe Winter Driving and Parking in Chicago

1. Your SUV is not impervious to snow and ice. You will feel more comfortable and safe in a large SUV or other large vehicle when you are driving in the snow, but many rear-drive vehicles have poor traction because most of their weight is distributed over the front axles, where the engine is located. If your vehicle is equipped with a 4-wheel or all-wheel drive system, use it to optimize your safety.

2. If you start to skid, turn your wheels counter to the direction of the skid. You probably heard this in driver’s ed, but you also probably never had a chance to practice it. The advice may be counter-intuitive, but if you do start to skid, do not hit the breaks. Instead, take your foot off the gas slowly and turn the wheel so your front wheels re-align themselves with the road. The car will slow gradually and straighten itself, allowing you to recover from the skid.

3. If you get stuck, rock the car back and forth and keep your front wheels straight. Most people know to rock the car, but they try to turn out of a snow pile at the same time as they rock the car. The car will free itself more readily if it goes straight ahead without trying to turn.

4. Don’t be a parking hog. When you do find a parking spot in the snow, use only one spot. Respect the other drivers’ desire to find their own parking spots. If you take two spots in order to leave yourself room to drive away, you will be lucky if the worst consequence is a nasty note on your windshield.

5. Use new technology to locate parking spots before you head out. New apps from companies like ParqEx will provide the convenience and security of available  parking in your desired location before you arrive. You can use the ParqEx app to reserve your spot before you leave your home, reducing at least one element of the stress you will experience when you head out into the Chicago winter.

Please contact us for additional tips on driving and parking in Chicago during the winter, and for more information on how our ParqEx app can help you find winter parking in Chicago.

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