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How to plan a road trip vacation

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the summer vacation will probably look a little different this year. For many families, it may mean skipping the airport and uploading the car for a family trip instead.

If you are planning a trip this summer, some advanced planning can go a long way toward making your vacation safe and fun for everyone. (Having the right car insurance can also help you stress less.) Here are some tips to help you stay organized – and prepared for whatever comes your way.

Pack smart

  • Use a checklist. We all hate the feeling of forgetting to pack something. To avoid leaving some essentials at home, create a list a few weeks before you leave ̵
    1; and add it when thinking of new items. Then pull out the list when you start packing and check out the items as you go.
  • Make extra space. Avoid the temptation to fill your vehicle up to the roof. This prevents the view from the rearview mirror and greatly limits your visibility. Instead, think of a load box or ceiling mounted load carrier to create extra storage space.
  • Keep pets safe. Is the family dog ​​on the way to the beach with you? Use a pet or harness to keep him safe for the ride. If your pet is injured in a covered accident while driving in your car, ERIE will help cover veterinary care costs by reimbursing you up to $ 500 per pet (up to two pets) for a maximum $ 1,000 reimbursement limit. But why ruin a getaway with trips to the vet? It is better to learn how to protect pets in the car just outside the bat. Oh, and don't forget to pack a portable water bowl and some extra food for rest breaks.

Know your route

  • Use your GPS. Before leaving home, enter all your destinations in your vehicle's GPS system or a mobile navigation app. This gives you real-time updates on travel time and saves you from searching for last-minute addresses.
  • Plan for traffic. Delays in construction can strike at any time, anywhere in the summer. And driving through a big city during rush hour can add hours to your itinerary. Know where congestion is possible and plan to travel during holiday hours. Mobile navigation apps like Google Maps or Waze can also help predict traffic times and suggest alternative routes if you get stuck.
  • Bring an atlas. Even if you have not used one in ages, it is always good to keep a road atlas in the car. With a paper map at the old school, you don't have to worry about dropping your GPS signal or the battery is running out. And if you have kids, they can get a kick out of tracking your trips.
  • Skip tolls. If you are traveling on the turnpike, you may want to consider ordering an electronic transponder such as E-ZPass. With the help of an electronic fee system you can skip the cash lines and pay lower prices. Already have a charge card? Make sure your credit card information is up-to-date so you can recharge your device when it gets low.

Prepare your vehicle

  • Plan a multi-point inspection. This type of inspection, usually carried out at a dealer or an independent car shop, is a good way to get a picture of your vehicle's overall condition. A trained mechanic can inform you of any maintenance issues that can be fixed before they become worse (or more expensive).
  • Check your tires. Before leaving home, check the condition of the tires and inflate them to the pressure recommended by the car's manufacturer. If your tires have some tread, replace them before driving. You can check with the "penny test." Just put one ear upside down in a tread. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, it's time for new tires.
  • Change your oil. Road trips can take up miles on your car in just a few days. Look ahead to prevent maintenance, such as oil spills, that may lapse while traveling. Taking care of it before you go is not only good for your car – it is also good for peace of mind.
  • Add liquids. Do not wait until the windscreen is covered with bugs to find out that your washing liquid is empty. Check all your vehicle's fluid levels before your trip. It includes windshield washer fluid, antifreeze, brake fluid, oil and power steering fluid. Top them all as needed.

Be ready for everything

Take a break

  • Make regular stops. Eliminating stops can help you get to your destination sooner, but it's not the most fun way to travel. Stopping to take a short break for a few hours gives everyone a chance to stretch their legs and can help you stay more awake behind the wheel.
  • Pack healthy snacks. Chips, chocolate and soft drinks. Every child's dream meal. To avoid sugar levels after every rest and gas refill, pack a small cooler filled with bottled water, cereal bars, fruits and vegetables. Avoid salty foods or sugary drinks that can actually make you thirsty, or heavy foods that can make you tired.
  • Find ways to pass the time. "How much longer?" "Are we there yet?" "I'm bored!" If you are traveling with children, check out these four brilliant ways to keep kids busy on road trips .

Protecting what's most important

When it comes to packing for your car journey, we know that the people you travel with are your most important cargo. That's why we're here – to help you make sure they're protected.

Whether you're taking an epic road trip or just walking across the city, we've got you covered. Find an agent in your area to learn more about car insurance from ERIE .

Not all coverage and benefits are offered in or applied to all states. Terms, restrictions and exceptions apply; talk to an ERIE agent or see the details policy.

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