Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Few Lessons Learned

Since you are likely driving with your kids more often when you become a stay at home parent, it helps to be prepared for sticky situations. A month ago I was out and about with the kids and our car broke down, leaving us stuck and "out and about" for longer than anticipated. That motivated me to finally put together a car emergency kit, in order to make any future mishaps more tolerable with young children. Well wouldn't you know it, just this week we got two flat tires while running some errands. I'm embarrassed to admit how it happened, my daughter cried out, I turned to look at her and ran into the curb in the Walmart parking lot. Irony of all ironies the whole reason I was there was to get an extra key made for our car because a few months back I accidentally locked the keys inside with the kids, luckily that one was in our driveway. Oh well, this stuff happens to all of us...right? But I did find the emergency kit somewhat helpful since I could break out some juice boxes and snacks for the kids while we waited for the tow truck. So here is what I put in our emergency kit:

*An extra change of clothes for each person (I've needed this several times already!)
*Snacks and juice boxes
*First aid kit with children's medicine (you never know when a fever or teething will start)
*Tissues and wipes
*Jumper cables and a battery charger/tire inflater
*Phone numbers written out (in case my phone gets wet/dies/lost)
*AAA's phone number (1-800-222-4357)

So the second tip I have for you is how to maximize your AAA usage. I'm a huge fan of AAA, they have great customer service and you can get discounts at many other businesses if you show your membership card. However, many people don't know that unlike car insurance, health insurance and life insurance you don't actually have to purchase it in advance to use it when your car breaks down. About ten years ago my car died and I called and ordered AAA over the phone, a tow truck was there within an hour and I enjoyed all of the benefits of the membership for the next year--at the same price I would have paid just to tow my car without the membership. I haven't had the membership since, until today when the car needed to be towed. I'm not kidding, the tow truck was there within 10 minutes of hanging up with AAA and the cost was only around $100 for the membership. Yes I paid an extra $40 fee for utilizing their service the same day I ordered a membership, but I saved $600 from not paying for a membership for the last ten years, definitely worth it! This is one service you don't want to pay for until you need it, save the money and just keep their number in your new emergency kit!

1 comment:

  1. I still have to get a first aid kit. Thank you for the reminder! Good to know that you can purchase AAA when you first need it.