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Road trip essentials

Posted by Anne Fitzgerald, Globe Travel Editor  June 3, 2009 10:16 AM

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If you're hitting the road this summer, Plymouth Rock Assurance, a Boston-based auto insurance company, has some tips to make your trip hassle free. They might seem like common sense but it never hurts to review.

BEFORE YOU GO
1. Check tire tread and pressure.
2. Check wiper blades for wear.
3. Check exterior lights.
4. Check driver’s license, registration, and vehicle inspection dates.
5. Keep roadside emergency supplies in your vehicle, including reflectors, flares, flashlight, and a reflective vest.
6. Bring an extra set of keys.
7. Get an auto insurance tune-up.

GETTING THERE
1. Plan. Know your route and estimate how far you plan to drive each day. 
2. Learn about local traffic and safety rules. 
3. Know your limits. Don’t drive when you’re tired. 
4. Recharge and refresh. Take breaks at regular intervals.
5. Don’t multitask.
6. Turn the volume down.  Keep the sound system low enough so you can clearly hear emergency sirens or a horn from another vehicle. 
7. Appoint someone else to deal with the kids. 

BE PREPARED TO BE AWAY
1. Make a checklist for your house as well as for your car.  Suspend newspaper and mail deliveries, adjust the thermostat, have the lawn mowed, use lighting timers to discourage break-ins, and arrange for a friend or family member to spot check while you’re gone. 
2. Unplug nonessential appliances and electronics to prevent the possibility of damage from lightning or an electrical surge.
3. Turn off water lines leading to your washing machine. 
4. Leave a set of car keys with a neighbor if you’re leaving other vehicles at home. 
5. Assign alarm duty to a trusted friend or neighbor. 

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contributors
  • Anne Fitzgerald, Globe Travel Editor
  • Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor
  • Eric Wilbur, Boston.com staff
  • Kari Bodnarchuk writes about outdoor adventures, offbeat places, and New England.
  • Patricia Borns, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs travel, maritime, and historical narratives as well as blogs and books.
  • Patricia Harris, a regular contributor to Globe Travel, is author or co-author of more than 20 books on travel, food, and popular culture.
  • Paul E. Kandarian, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs New England and Caribbean stories.
  • Chris Klein is a regular contributor to Globe Travel. His latest book is "The Die-Hard Sports Fan's Guide to Boston."
  • David Lyon, a regular contributor to Globe Travel, is author or co-author of more than 20 books on travel, food, and popular culture.
  • Hilary Nangle, author of Moon Maine, Moon Coastal Maine, and Moon Acadia National Park, writes about soft adventure, skiing, cultural travel, and food.
  • Joe Ray, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs food and travel stories from Europe.
  • Necee Regis is a regular contributor to Globe Travel.
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