Road Trip Essentials
Caring for your car goes far beyond regular maintenance, glass care, and oil changes. If you spend a lot of time in it, (especially during summer trips) your vehicle may become your safe haven. Grab your keys and favorite beverage, here are our favorite road trip and car safety essentials to keep on hand:
First Aid Kit. You may never need to use it, but it’s comforting knowing you have band-aids, burn cream, and disinfectant available just in case. Throw in a pain reliever and anti-nausea supplies if you or your loved ones are clumsy or tend to get motion sickness!
Swiss Army Knife. Packed apples, but no knife to slice it? Need to remove a tricky tag from a new souvenir? Forgot to remove some zip ties on new gear? Keep your trusty all-purpose tool in your car to help you out when you least expect it.
Flashlight. Ever tried to change a tire in the dark with low phone battery? Not advisable. You may be surprised how often a small flashlight will come to your rescue.
Small trash can, wet wipes, and napkins. Because when you’re in a car for extended periods of time, things get messy. And sticky.
Phone Charger. Seems like a no brainer, but on long trips it’s crucial to stay charged for gps, entertainment, and connection.
Small cooler and snacks. Keep your water bottles and snacks cold with a small cooler. Easy to store and refill, coolers are perfect for running kids between sports or long trips. Plan to bring warm items in a thermos too. Packing healthy snacks avoids binging on convenience foods and saves on extra garbage in your car. Be extra eco-friendly by packing reusable utensils and bags.
Blankets, towels, and travel pillows. In addition to preparing for napping comfort, blankets, towels and pillows are handy in case of unexpected roadside overnights or extended beach stops.
Umbrella. Whether you need to block rain or sun, a concealed umbrella is always a valuable find.
Sunglasses, sunscreen, and hats. When you spend extended periods of time in the car you will see the sun at all angles. Avoid squinting and awkward burn patterns by planting your favorite sun blocking items in your vehicle.
Jumper Cables. Jumper cables are cheap to purchase, and can get you out of a bind should your battery die. These are good to have in your car not just for a special road trip, but also for day to day driving.
Roadside assistance kit. In addition to jumper cables, make sure to have an emergency road kit packed, including a list of important phone numbers and maps. Because if that worst case scenario happens, it’s nice to be able to have a few numbers to call.
Seasonal Supplies. Even though you’re planning a summer trip west, you may run in to snow or inclement weather. Keep an ice scraper, small shovel and rock salt on hand.
Activities. Before you hear “are we there yet,” and “I’m bored” for the millionth time, present playing cards, coloring books, travel games, and of course movies or tablets, for your passengers. Time in the car will be more enjoyable with options to occupy the hours.
Don’t forget to check out these resources before planning a summer trip:
- Maps.me for navigation without WIFI
- Google Maps to download the most up to date maps
- Podcasts–from educational, to entertaining, there is a podcast out there to fill your time.
- Gas Buddy to check and compare gas prices
- Trip Advisor for local reviews and businesses