Plotting yourself an effective garage saling route can be a challenge. The mapping part is simple enough -- MapQuest or Google Maps can take care of that for you -- but putting them all in the right order is the tough bit. Want some advice? Well, it's here anyway. You can keep reading if you want.
You'll want to plot a circular route, if you can. Find some sales that are close to your point of origin (most likely your house!), on either side, and make those your beginning and ending points. Circling around will prevent you from having to drive a long stretch without seeing a sale; instead, you'll do your driving in bits at a time, getting out at many points along the entire route to stop and shop.
Hit up any neighborhoods in a group. Plot a circular route of that neighborhood, with your escape point being the closest to the road that will take you to the next neighborhood or further-away sale. It's actually when circling a neighborhood that you can waste the most gas, if you don't plan it correctly -- so be sure you've come up with the most economical route possible.
You don't want to miss any super important sales because the evening is growing long and everyone's closing up shop by the time you get there, so if you have any further information on what the sales might feature, put the most important ones towards the top of your list to hit first. Instead of going in a circle in the opposite direction from that sale, causing you to stop there late in the day, go in the direction that gets you there first. Remember, late in the day, many of the best items will already be gone, so you'll want to get there early.
Don't forget about traffic. You're likely going to be out shopping on a Saturday or Sunday, so the traffic will be minimal; however, some areas have traffic no matter the day or weather, so don't forget to take that into account as you plan.
Do you need to get some other shopping done? Plot that into your route as well. Granted, you don't want frozen foods melting in your car, so time it right, but it can be a great time saver if you do your grocery or other weekly shopping on the same trip as your yard saling.
Finally, take into account the fact that you'll probably need to stop to eat. If you have a cheap, fast restaurant you enjoy, you can incorporate it into your route. Or, if you want to save money, pack a picnic lunch and find a nice spot somewhere along the way to pull over and take a breather.
Need some more advice from the world of garage saling? Come on over to GarageSaleCow.com! And if there's a topic you'd like to see blogged about, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to cover it!