As the school year comes to a close, many families are making their summer vacation plans and preparing for all that comes with traveling with the entire family. While a person may have planned for the obvious needs of a family on a trip, there are a few things they may not have thought of. If you are traveling by car this summer, following are a few tips to make the trip a safe and successful one, including talking to your personal insurance agency to ensure your personal auto insurance policy is up-to-date.

Prepare For Medical Emergencies

No doubt the kids already have the entertainment for the car trip prepared – but has anyone thought about minor emergency preparedness? Prescription medication for family members is a no-brainer; however, don’t forget to pack an all-purpose first aid kit filled with bandages, Neosporin, and both Tylenol and aspirin. While most people do not anticipate injuries, it seems every family has that one child or adult who manages to find a way to get inured. Don’t forget the Benadryl – both in pill form and topical cream. It is impossible to know what kind of allergies will show up while on vacation, not to mention the accidental run-in with poison ivy or an angry insect that leaves an itchy arm or leg.

Why Do I Need A Map?

The next thing to consider before a cross-country car trip is packing a map. We all rely on our smart phones these days to give us all the directions we need to get from Point A to Point B. Have you thought about what happens if you get lost where there is not any cell towers nearby? Add to that equation that you forgot to recharge your phone last night at the motel – it could be a recipe for disaster. If this is the first time you’ve driven through certain areas of the country, be safe and carry a trusty, all-purpose road atlas in your auto – just in case.

What About Flat Tires?

One final tip for a successful trip is to plan for the worst. Most people do not think the one of the tires on their personal auto will get a flat, which is why it is so devastating when you get one while traveling with a car full of hungry kids and luggage piled up over the spare tire location. Planning for a flat tire, with all the necessary equipment to handle such a hurdle, will make the trip a lot less stressful. A “flat-fixer-upper” kit includes a sturdy jack, lug wrench with a socket, and of course – a spare tire. It is also important to have a flashlight, rain poncho, and reflective triangles – in the event that flat happens at night or in bad weather, forcing you to change the tire on your auto at night or in the rain.

With all the preparation and planning that comes with a family trip, adding one more thing may seem may seem unnecessary; however, by taking the time to plan these last few details, the family trip will go much more smoothly. Don’t forget about the insurance for your personal auto, as it includes coverage while traveling. Check with the the insurance agency that covers your personal car to ensure that your coverage includes roadside assistance, trip interruption, and personal property coverage. These insurance perks for your personal vehicle can be a huge lifesaver on a trip. If you do not have a copy of your policy, contact your insurance company before your trip for a copy to take with you, as well as after-hours contact information for your agent or carrier while on the road. Before the next cross-country family car trip, call the professionals at Jones & Associates to make sure you are prepared for your family getaway!

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