By Peggy Jo Goodfellow, Arizona Farm Bureau: With the kids out of school, summer is the perfect time for a family road trip. When your summer vacation travel starts in the car, you’ll need to plan more than where to go and what clothes to pack, you’ll also prepare your car and plan how to stay safe during your travels.  Fortunately, your Farm Bureau member benefit provider, Farm Bureau Financial Services offers a few tips to help you prepare.

Essentials for the Car
Traveling smart means traveling safe. I always pack the car with nonperishable food, water, a first-aid kit, blanket and flashlight. In an emergency, these items could save your life or the life of another motorist. It is also important to keep a set of jumper cables in your vehicle.

Emergency Contact Information
Keep emergency names and numbers handy. Make sure your cell phone has your emergency contacts under the acronym ICE (“in case of emergency”), so paramedics, firefighters, police officers or hospital personnel can contact your next of kin to obtain important medical information. Also leave key contact information and detailed trip information with friends or family at home.

Vehicle Maintenance

Keep routine vehicle maintenance such as oil changes, fluid levels and tire pressure up-to- date. This will keep a minor setback from becoming a major roadblock during your trip. My husband is a stickler on this one. About a week before we go, he has our mechanic perform a full safety inspection on our car, including checking belts, hoses and battery.

Key Problem-Solver
One of the most common travel issues is locking your keys in the vehicle. I have done this and it’s a big headache and expense. Now I take a spare set of keys and keep them where they won’t accidentally be locked in the car. You might consider adding emergency roadside assistance coverage to your car insurance policy, which can cover both emergency towing and services like jump-starts, flat-tire fixes, fuel delivery and lockouts.

Get the Best Gas Mileage
Fuel can be the biggest expense of your trip. To squeeze more miles out of every tank, drive the speed limit. Higher speeds increase wind resistance and reduce your engine’s efficiency. Also, check the sticker on your doorjamb for the recommended pounds per square inch (psi) and keep your tires properly inflated.

When following these simple tips beforehand you can have an enjoyable worry-free summer road trip with your family. You may also want to contact your Farm Bureau agent to make sure your car insurance is up to date to ensure your getaway goes exactly as planned.

Editor’s note: For more information on our member benefits including our regional benefits go to Arizona Farm Bureau’s member benefits page online. Or, download the Member Benefits app to your smart phone for easy, everyday access to your benefits.

 Source: Farm Bureau Financial Services

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