How to Plan Your Very Own Vintage Roadtrip!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I've received some e-mails expressing interest in Vintage Roadtrip!, my fantastic three-day adventure across the mid-Atlantic area in search of thrifting treasure. How did we put together such a wonderful trip, you ask? Well, we (my fearless thrifting partner Kevin and I) sort of winged it, which resulted in a lot of unexpected vintage booty but also some serious detours through the likes of Chestnut Hill, PA and Frederica, DE. Still, it was such a success, we're already planning for Vintage Roadtrip! Part Two – with a few minor adjustments. Please, learn from our mistakes. Here's a little primer on putting together your own thrifting trip.

1. Plan your route and destinations in advance. It helps if you have a beginning and end point, naturally (in our case, it was Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.). But you'll also want to think about how you're getting from point A to point B. If we'd driven in the straightest line, we'd have ended up on the busy interstate highway for most of the trip and only popping off at exits to hit the thrift stores along the way (I'm pretty sure that wouldn't have been too fun – kind of like Dionne trying to get on and off the freeway in Clueless).

Instead, we decided to add Rehoboth, DE as our in-between stop, which meant that our roadways were less congested and our scenery (farmland and pretty little towns) much more idyllic. I do think one of my favorite parts of the trip was (somewhat inadvertently) driving across the exact center of Delaware, an empty little road surrounded by lush green fields, little white houses and the occasional silo, with blue skies above and the sun setting behind us.

It's also best not to be too ambitions with how much territory you'll be covering each day – you'll need time to rest, thrift and refuel at your local greasy spoon, after all. We covered about 2.5 hours of driving each day, which left us just enough time for lots of Salvation Armys and even a regular nightly drag show. (Yes, really.)

Once you've got a route mapped out, check out The Thrift Shopper, an amazing resource of charity-based thrift stores in the U.S. We looked up the major towns/cities we'd be passing through and got an exhaustive list of what was in the area (even better: it also provides store rankings from other thrift shoppers so we could whittle it down to the top choices in thrift-heavy metropolises, like Philadelphia). Pay close attention to the hours that stores are open – Goodwill tends to stay open late, while the little church shop might close by noon.

2. Get thee a GPS. Or at least a map. Kevin and I spent a lot of time saying things like "I feel like [insert street name here] is this way" and just going that way. We were successful about 70 percent of the time, but in retrospect, cosmic vibes are probably not the most efficient way to roadtrip.

3. Veer from the original plan whenever necessary. Friday and especially Saturday mornings are big for yard sales, so if you're traveling on these days, grab a local paper and see what sales might be happening. (Yard sales are totally hit-or-miss but almost always cheaper than thrift stores. Plus, you get to interact with the locals!) And keep your ears open at places like the little old lady-helmed church thrift shops, both for extremely funny conversation but also for tidbits on other stores/sales in the area. Kevin and I made an unexpected afternoon stop at the adorable Milton, DE community yard sale after overhearing several little old ladies discuss it at a nearby thrift store. It turned out to be a goldmine of goodness, including a batch of fantastic vintage purses for 50 cents a pop.

4. Pick a good thrifting partner. I can't stress this enough. Not only was my partner extremely adorable and lots of fun (we spent our hours in the car discussing such important topics as, "Why does Fergie insist on spelling out words in all her songs?"), he is the kind of shopping partner that understands that serious thrifting takes time. Kevin also has an impeccable eye, and scooped up lots of good finds for me before any other shoppers could get their hands on it. (Case in point: At the Goodwill in Dover, DE, he telephoned me from the furniture section to let me know that they had a mini library card catalogue for sale, and watched it like a hawk until I could grab a cart and come claim it).

Probably the most important thing about a successful thrift partner pairing is that you're not looking for the same stuff. Kevin is a boy, so that kept us from competing over clothes (mostly). He's also paring down his worldly possessions at the moment, so was happy to pass most of the cute housewares to me as well. If you're thrifting with someone with similar interests, have a agreement in place beforehand to keep it from getting too competitive – like taking turns claiming items spotted at the same time, or putting all mutually adored items in a pile for distributing one at a time at the end of the trip. Nothing sours a friendship faster than thrifting jealousy.

5. Once in awhile, be sure to step away from the vintage and take some pictures. Because otherwise, when you get home, you will look at your camera and realize that the only photo you have from the wonderful trip is you in the 17th Street McDonalds at 2am, giddy from a greasy food rush:

At least it's a cute one.


Carebear said...

Yes, planning the right people to shop with is important. One time, I went to Dr. Martens factory to find bargains. They have a pretty small selection, usually one or two pairs in each size. Three of us wore the same size shoes. We were all good sports and it was a good time. Sometimes you don't think about the details.

Anonymous said...

Aww...thanks Betsy. You're the best. I'm so excited to have made the blog!

My favorite thrifting memory (aside from the banana creme pie blizzard-of-the-month at Dairy Queen in Dover) was when we tried on old military school uniforms at a thrift shop in Rehoboth.

Betsy was sporting a uniform jacket with tails and epaulettes and some kindly old, townie lady said, "Oh that's great, hon. That's some kinda military suit."

Betsy said, "Yeah? I can't decide on it. I think that it's kinda Mark Jacobs slash Sargent Peppers."

The old lady replied, "I'm here to find something with a long block the the garden."

You never know who you'll meet.

Can't wait for VRT 2!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great time! And thanks to Fergie, all teenagers will now have no problem spelling "Glamorous" or "Fergie-licious" ;o)

Grace said...

You should make your next thrifting extravaganza here in Oklahoma. As wild as that idea sounds, we boast some of the best thrift stores in the nation. People come from Kansas, Arkansas, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and other surrounding states just to hit up the stores here. You've never seen better prices or better vintage items in your life.

Ms. Spinach said...

I bet Oklahoma would be fantastic! I'm definitely putting it on my thrifting to-do list...

Erica said...

I live in Chestnut Hill in Philly! What store did you go to, and was it any good?

Was it the little one on Germantown Avenue near the WaWa?

Anonymous said...

新宿 賃貸
新宿 マッサージ
不動産 東京

Anonymous said...

情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,按摩棒,跳蛋,充氣娃娃,免費A片,AV女優,美女視訊,情色交友,免費AV,色情網站,辣妹視訊,美女交友,色情影片,成人影片,成人網站,A片,H漫,18成人,成人圖片,成人漫畫,情色網,日本A片,免費A片下載,性愛,A片,色情,成人,做愛,情色文學,A片下載,色情遊戲,色情影片,色情聊天室,情色電影,免費視訊,免費視訊聊天,免費視訊聊天室,一葉情貼圖片區,情色,情色視訊,免費成人影片,視訊交友,視訊聊天,視訊聊天室,言情小說,愛情小說,AIO,AV片,A漫,av dvd,聊天室,自拍,情色論壇,視訊美女,AV成人網,色情A片,情趣用品,A片,免費A片,AV女優,美女視訊,情色交友,色情網站,免費AV,辣妹視訊,美女交友,色情影片,成人網站,H漫,18成人,成人圖片,成人漫畫,成人影片,情色網,sex,情趣用品,A片,免費A片,日本A片,A片下載,線上A片,成人電影,嘟嘟成人網,成人,成人貼圖,成人交友,成人圖片,18成人,成人小說,成人圖片區,微風成人區,成人文章,成人影城,情色,情色貼圖,色情聊天室,情色視訊,情色文學,色情小說,情色小說,臺灣情色網,色情,情色電影,色情遊戲,嘟嘟情人色網,麗的色遊戲,情色論壇,色情網站,一葉情貼圖片區,做愛,性愛,美女視訊,辣妹視訊,視訊聊天室,視訊交友網,免費視訊聊天,美女交友,做愛影片,情境坊歡愉用品,情趣用品,情人節禮物,情惑用品性易購,av2572

Anonymous said...

知多半島 ホテル


Anonymous said...

復縁と言う事は、現況としては失恋や離婚の最中と言う前提になっています。 大好きだった恋人と別れて心の底から愛したヒトを忘れようと努力しているが、もう一度、復縁できないのか考えてみる。実際にあるのか復縁工作?そのプランと料金といった復縁に関する基本的な知識について特集しています。

Anonymous said...

Bフレッツ Premium Light Flet's not just one phone line on the Internet can be. Call Us price also reached a monthly service fee. Now your phone number and phone available because it will start to ease. "Hikari TV" instead of a PC monitor video service watch on TV. Light Flet's only connect to a TV, watching rich Channel is the television service, from the remote control when watching a video rental service and enjoy.

Anonymous said...

mitsuidairekuto auto insurance, car insurance, auto insurance direct Mitsui. The largest net gain of 4,500 yen, Mitsui Direct your auto insurance, click Sign up now! Mitsui direct auto insurance, are free to set the terms of the contract, compensation for a perfect fit for what you choose to build your own! To be driving "his spouse only" and "more than 35 years old," you are limited to, such as a combination of insurance premiums to more great! Before the current contract verification of the major automobile insurance policy for the car to be driving people to your driver's license available to you and smoothly. Wines phone, the discount does not apply to the Internet Please note. Details of insurance coverage and insurance companies, Mitsui Direct please visit the website.

Anonymous said...

デリヘル 品川
すすきの 風俗

Anonymous said...

So far Coated floor of the main resinous thin wax Furoakottengutexingu on the sustainable recoating is, durability and safety RIMASHITA far from it.SHIRIKONFUROAKOTINGU RAIFUTAIMUSAPOTO of a highly persistent, high-durability is very good. Conventional coatings of about 15 times (our ratio) with thedurability of materials usedSHIRIKONFUROAKOTINGU. Water system in the floor coatings does not contain any formaldehyde, the industry boasts a top-level safety. In addition, UV coating the floor to introduce the-artequipment, the 20-year warranty isavailable.Also, the more therelationship between people and pets have become close in recent years, who kept a pet in the room, showingincreasing year by year. And live in a pleasant room with a pet on the other hand, there are various problems. The flooring from the living room of the home, "the new floor isslippery, so a slip of the foot and pets on the injured scary" to hear a good voice. Non-slip floor coatings Our processing is a safe pet.

Anonymous said...

知多半島 ホテル

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I usually buy the rf gold.
I hope i can get rf online gold in low price.
i buy rf money for you.
rf cp is present for you.
Do you like cheap rf gold?

Anonymous said...

there ...very nice topic
thanks ^ ^