Dear Readers: It’s getting close to spring break, and that’s great news for those of us with wanderlust. Gas prices are the lowest they’ve been in many years; piling the kids or grandkids in the car and hitting the road is a wonderful idea.

A budget-friendly trip could involve a ride to the next city. Look at a map — where would you go?

Pack sandwiches, veggies and water for a healthy meal, or stop at a vintage roadside diner.

Souvenirs don’t have to be bought; shoot a video, or take some beautiful pictures with your phone.

Plan ahead, look for discount coupons for parks and get your vehicle checked out by your service station before you head out. Enjoy this time with your family!

— Heloise

My plus-one

Dear Heloise: I am wondering why the rooms for disabled people in hotels/motels only have one bed in them. People with disabilities often travel with a caregiver, and it helps to have that person in the same room.

Instead of having a queen- or king-size bed in the room, they could put two double beds in the room. There’d still be room for a wheelchair or scooter.

 — Carol C., via email

Hi, Carol. This is a frustration! Phone calls to the corporate office are in order. Also, when you make your reservation, phone the front desk directly and speak to a front-desk agent or manager. They can be of great help.

— Heloise

Cleaning the cleaners

Dear Heloise: I use cleaning towels for different things: dusting, polishing, mopping floors, wiping stainless steel appliances, cleaning mirrors, etc.

How can I wash/clean them without washing them one at a time?

 — Jackie in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Jackie, hopefully you are using microfiber cloths. They can be washed together in one load: hot water, regular detergent and no liquid fabric softeners or dryer sheets — these products can gum up the microfiber and lessen their effectiveness.

Using milder, natural cleaning agents on the cloths also can help. Commercial cleaners can contain harsh and toxic chemicals. I’ve compiled a collection of my favorite homemade cleaning solutions into a handy pamphlet. Would you like to receive one? It’s easy! Visit my newly updated website, www.Heloise.com, to order, or send a long, stamped (70 cents), self-addressed envelope, along with $5, to: Heloise/HCS, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Warm vinegar and baking soda combine to make a bubbly drain freshener. Give it a whirl!

— Heloise

Twice a week or every other week?

Dear Heloise: I’m confused: What does “biweekly” mean — twice a week, or every other week?

— A Reader, via email

Actually, both definitions can be correct. For clarity, you might want to avoid the word “biweekly” altogether and say “twice a week” or “every other week.”

— Heloise

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

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