Take advantage of the long days, warm nights, and great weather, and go on a road trip. If you’re heading out of the highways for days, you’ll want to prepare properly.
To have the best experience, especially if you’re not going alone, you should ready your vehicle for hours on the road. But what are the most important items to keep in your car? Here are 10 of the most crucial things you should keep somewhere in the vehicle to handle whatever the road throws at you.
1. Emergency Roadside Kit
Take no chances with spending a lengthy amount of time on the road; there are key emergency items to keep in your car. Even if you have your car fully maintained and prepared for a road trip, you have no control over storms, wild animals on the road, or other drivers’ behaviour. If you end up in an emergency, make sure you have the tools to handle it.
An emergency roadside kit consists of things like booster cables, food/water rations, a flashlight, candles, waterproof matches, a screwdriver, reflective safety posts/vests, and other car maintenance tools. You can either make a checklist and assemble this yourself or buy pre-packaged kits of emergency items to keep in your car.
2. First Aid Kit
If you bought a comprehensive roadside emergency kit, you might already have this included. If not, you can draw up a list and collect these emergency items to keep in your car or go shopping. First aid kits should include necessities like bandages, latex gloves, antiseptics for cleansing wounds, cotton swabs, and antibiotic ointments.
It’s always a good idea to have certain auto-related documents in your vehicle at all times, but this is especially important if you’re travelling far from home. Your licence and registration should be present but also your insurance and a list of contact numbers in case of emergency. Pack your car manual as well, just in case you need to know about functions you don't frequently use, such as cruise control.
4. Spare Tire
Always make sure your spare tire is where it’s supposed to be and at the correct air pressure. Also, confirm that the tools for changing a tire are still in place and working. These are important items to keep in your car, especially for long drives.
5. Paper Products
People eat in the car; people drink in the car; people sometimes have accidents in the car. You don’t want to wait until you get to a gas station to wipe up a spill, so bathroom tissue, napkins, and paper towels should always be accessible. Hand sanitizer, baby wipes, or wet wipes of some kind are also a good idea.
6. Power Bank/Recharger
If you have a modern vehicle from the last few years, odds are you already have charging ports available somewhere for recharging devices. But do you have enough ports? If you don’t, make sure you keep some reinforcements on hand when phones, e-readers, or mobile gaming devices need to be plugged in.
When you’re on the road, sometimes you get a case of the munchies, and you can’t wait until you get to the next rest stop. Have some snacks packed away that can be quickly dug out, consumed, and passed around to the people who need them.
8. Trash Disposal
Whether you're cleaning up messes and need a place to stash the used paper towel, or you have a snack wrapping or packaging that you want to get out of the way, you’ll need a trash container. It’s one of the critical items to keep in your car. Keep it small but accessible, and empty it when you stop.
9. Games and Entertainment
You may have children you need to distract over long stretches or be travelling with companions who have short attention spans. Whatever the case, if they haven’t brought their own entertainment options with them, bring some of your own. There are plenty of portable board game options, and if your car doesn’t have a screen or DVD playback, there are plenty of portable options to facilitate a movie or TV show marathon.
Do not assume that wherever you go, you’ll be able to pay for goods with a debit card or credit card. Some places may have their machine down temporarily, or they may not have upgraded to electronic transactions. Always make sure you still pack a little bit of cash for smaller purchases while on the road. Cash comes in handy in many situations.
Be safe on the roads and prepare with these items to keep in your car!