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Your Roadmap to a Great Road Trip

Flip flops—check. Sun block—check. Bug repellent—check. Lists are a great way to keep you organized and get you on the road quicker when headed off on a road trip. A week or two before the big day arrives, make a list of everything you need to do and pack (and be sure you leave enough room so you can see out of your rear-view mirror). Here are some ideas to help:

Plan the route

Construction can strike anywhere, anytime during the summer. Check out for tips on avoiding these areas, or know where congestion is possible and plan extra time to travel through the area.

Budget right

It’s easy to plan the hotel cost, but be sure to budget accurately for meals (or grocery shopping, if you like to grill) and gas costs. Go to for a handy calculator to figure out gas costs before you hit the road.

Pick up traveler’s checks or prepaid credit cards

Everyone is going green these days, but when you travel, leave the green at home and pack traveler’s checks or purchase prepaid credit cards instead. It’s a safer and smarter way to travel.

Check the glove box and toss in a disposable camera

Among the salt and ketchup packets, napkins and those impossible to fold maps, check the glove box for a few other travel essentials like your insurance card and any cards or numbers for emergency road service. Also, toss in a disposable camera in case of a fender bender. While most travelers have cell phones with cameras now, it’s good to have a backup in case your cell phone becomes too full with other precious pics you haven’t had a chance yet to download.

Make room for a pet carrier

Are Fido and his Frisbee® headed to the beach with you? Use a pet carrier or other pet-buckling devices to keep him safe for the ride. In the event of an accident, ERIE provides Pet Insurance Coverage (as part of your auto insurance) for your four-legged furry friends, but why ruin a getaway with trips to the vet? It’s better to keep him safe right off the bat. Oh, and don’t forget to pack a portable water bowl and some extra kibbles for rest stops.

Stack up on smart snacks

Chips, chocolate and pop. Every kid’s dream meal. To avoid the sugar highs after every rest stop and gas fill-up, pack a small cooler filled with bottled water, cereal bars, crackers and fruit. Avoid salty foods or sodas that may actually make you thirsty, or heavy foods that can make you tired.

Know your GPS

Whether it’s a TomTom®, Magellan®, Garmin® or a GPS system through your smart phone, be sure to have navigation systems that you can plug into your vehicle. They’ll keep you from spacing out while on the road and prevent those “Which way do I turn?” arguments. Now you can pay attention to the road instead of listening to back seat drivers yelling about which way to go.

Take techno-entertainment for the road

“On my summer vacation I packed …” or “I spy an Ohio license plate.” Remember these? Kids used to play travel games to pass the time. Nowadays, though, many won’t leave home without their iPods, DVD players and PS2s. These nifty electronic devices help to prevent the repetitive, “Are we there yet?”

Remember an emergency travel kit

Have bug bites, splinters, a flat tire or a dead battery? An emergency travel kit can save the day. Be sure to pack a flashlight, flares, first-aid kit, jumper cables, a blanket, gloves, paper towels and basic tools.

To-Do: Get the Car Checked Out

Check all fluid levels, belts and tires before hitting the road to prevent any mishaps that might keep your family stranded roadside—instead of beachside.

And last but not least, drive safely!

This has been updated from a previous version, originally published in June 2009

ERIEĀ® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of July 2022 and may be changed at any time. 

Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.