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Coordination ensures smooth college trip



Published: Tue, August 16, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Dear Readers: Debbie wrote via e-mail about her concern for the safety of her daughter, who will be going off to college in the fall. Here are some hints to help both parents and the "birdies" flying from the nest:

ULabel all items with only the initial of the first name (not the full name, so no one knows if it is a guy or a gal) and last name; include student's cell phone and home phone numbers in case an item is lost.

UPreprogram the cell phone with the home phone listed as "home."

UIf your student is driving, be sure his or her vehicle has been properly serviced.

UDiscuss and map out the route and have your student call you at intervals so you can follow him or her on any Internet mapping service. This is also helpful for rerouting, directions, finding a hotel or restaurant, etc. At Heloise Central, we call this our "GPS" Global Parent System.

UMake sure your student has some cash on hand for emergency situations -- e.g., gas-station pumps that don't accept credit cards.

UDesignate an estimated time of arrival, and touch base to check the status, such as driving conditions, delays, etc. Hint: A helpful Web site to check for road construction is www.fhwa.dot.gov/trafficinfo.

UA roadside-assistance service would be helpful for many reasons, and would also provide peace of mind for parents.

UWhen unpacking the car, lock it each time the student makes a trip to the dorm room or apartment, just to avoid anything being stolen.

UGet a few phone numbers (and last names!) of roommates, suitemates or friends so that you (parents) can get ahold of them in an emergency.

These are only a few suggestions to keep in mind when sending your student off to college. If you have any more suggestions or hints, e-mail us at Heloise@Heloise.com. Heloise

Dear Heloise: I had trouble keeping the three sizes of tablecloths straight until I put them in 2-1/2-gallon-sized zipped plastic bags. They stay neatly folded, and I write their size on the bag with a permanent marker. Mary Harper, Houston

Dear Heloise: I check the pressure in my car tires frequently. I was alarmed when my gauge registered under 20 pounds of pressure for all four tires. I drove to a service station with an air pump, but I could tell from the built-in gauge that something was wrong. It finally dawned on me that my gauge was worn out.

I noticed that a store was selling new air gauges for less than a dollar. I was glad to be able to replace my worn-out one so cheaply.

If any of your readers, especially single women who service their own cars and tires, want to invest a dollar to be sure they have a gauge that lets them know their tires are properly inflated, they can do it. Joe F. Allison, Mesquite, Texas

Good advice for all -- guys and gals. Why not buy a few and give them as "safety" gifts? Heloise

King Features Syndicate




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