Summer is here and that means people are gearing up for road trips. Every year millions of families or friends pile into a car, drive from state to state and annoy the crap out of one another while they visit landmarks, state fairs and whatever else their hearts desire. Road tripping is becoming a more popular way for people to see the world. However, many people jump into their cars and start driving without thinking of all the possibilities that could occur. Have you ever stopped to think if you have all you need before driving off? So many incidents can occur over the time of the road trip that you would never be able to cover all your bases. However, you can be as prepared as possible.
Some say it’s hard to know what you need or there is simply not enough room to keep certain things in the car when you have to accommodate luggage, people, blankets, food etc. Everyone knows the basic emergency things to bring on a road trip. A first aid kid, blankets, back up food. Which is great because those things are extremely important as well. However, there are a few other things that you should consider; they could end up saving the day.
20 Sanitizers Are Actually Important
Sanitizers may seem like a no-brainer when on a road trip. Well, either a no-brainer or a recipe to encourage a germaphobe to be even more afraid of germs. But think about it, how long can you drive in a car before you have to get something to eat. Also, some of the bathrooms on the road are filthy. So, one can imagine washing their hands in their before eating does nothing for personal hygiene. That being said, sanitizers have more than one use when in a pinch because sanitizers can be used to disinfect wounds and clean out scraps. Keep in mind it will burn but it’s better than getting an infection.
19 Jumper Cables
Jumper cables should be a staple in everyone’s car but believe it or not, many people don’t even know what they are. So, in case you didn’t know they are meant to boost your car when the battery dies. This is great for all those fresh outta high schoolers who can’t remember to turn off their lights when they shut off their car. There is no telling when you will need a pair of these because not everyone’s car is going to break down and not every new high school graduate is going to leave their lights on. But knowing that the cables are there just in case you run into an emergency is good for keeping the mind at peace.
18 Fire Extinguisher
Just in case something catches on fire, like say, your car. The fire extinguisher is really for nothing but fire. It’s not every day that someone’s car catches on fire in fact, it’s a pretty slim chance. But, it’s better to have it and not need it than not have it and need it. So, it may sound crazy and low key dangerous to drive around with a fire extinguisher in your car, which is why we really only recommend this when on a road trip that will take you through the backwoods and small towns with no cell signals and little to no connection to the outside world.
17 Water Is Essential To Stay Hydrated
Keeping a case of water in your car is just common sense and not only when on a trip. It’s better than having to buy a $3.00 for a bottle of water every time you make a pitstop. Actually, it’s better than buying soda and sugary coffee drinks and a great way to save money. There is only one thing we will mention, it’s best to drink the water within 6 months. Especially ones in plastic bottles. The plastic bottles have been linked to cancer when left to bask in the sun in the backseat of a car and the water just isn’t so fresh when it has been sitting around for six months or more.
16 Antifreeze And Windshield Washer Fluid
These are the two basic necessities that a car needs. No one realizes that they need windshield washer fluid until they are overusing it on a highway trying to wipe all the dead bugs off the windshield. Or when a truck drives by and splashes mud on the windshield and you are in trouble because the windshield washer fluid is used up. Antifreeze is the same deal. When a car is overheating on the side of the road antifreeze is your best bet to cool it down and possibly get it started up so it can at least be driven to the nearest garage.
15 An Old Fashioned Roadmap
In the age of technology that includes virtual maps, it’s easy to forget that actual, physical copies of maps exist. Believe it or not readers, these maps used to be the go-to for people going on trips because it was the only way that they knew how to navigate. So seeing as phones die, cell service can be lost and google maps can sometimes send you to places you never wanted to go to, then it’s just a smart move to keep a roadmap in your car. Now, all you have to do is learn how to read it in case you actually need it.
14 A Flashlight Will Come In Handy
Picture this, it’s dark and you can’t see a damn thing. Part of your trip includes camping and someone has to go to the washroom. You will need a flashlight. If your car breaks down or runs out of gas at night you will need a flashlight. There is no question that there are a thousand uses for flashlights. You will need one eventually so just keep one in your car. If a flashlight is too old fashion for you there are are some cute and small bright LED lights that can be attached to your keychain. In fact, they actually might be better than a flashlight and don’t need batteries.
13 Energy Bars
When someone is driving all night long and is sick of junk food (or just feels downright nauseous after eating all of it) an energy bar is a better choice. It’s the go-to snack for so many people not just for those who are health conscious. Some may say energy bars are full of sugar but let’s be honest, sugar is what you need when you haven’t eaten a lot and you need that spike of energy. And, let’s be clear, not all energy bars are full of refined sugars. There are so many options that there is bound to be one that suits everyone’s lifestyle.
12 Gas Can
Having a gas can in your car is just a smart business move. Whether on a road trip or not it’s smart to keep a gas can in your car because let’s face it, we have all towed the line one time or another driving on E and watching that gaslight flick on and haunt us as we frantically search for the nearest gas station. At least having a gas can in your car can bring you peace of mind even if you have to walk far to get to the nearest gas station. At least you know that you have a solid plan and will be back on the road as soon as humanly possible. Just one word of advice, don't take drives from strangers no matter how tired your legs are from walking.
11 Car Charger
If you insist on relying on a cell phone for your entire road trip make sure you have a car charger. Maybe a high-end one that you know won’t break easily or burn out from constant use. Most people nowadays own a car charger because if we are being real the more high tech the phone the crappier the battery, especially on an iPhone. About 2 hours into your trip, you will be looking for that car charger and having to rev up that battery. If you’re smart, you will get 2, maybe 3 car chargers because depending on how long your road trip is, you risk the chance of losing at least one of them.
10 Tire Inflator
Driving around with a tire inflator is best practice. Unless a tire is fully blown you can always blow a little life into it and get to the nearest mechanic. Tire inflators come in all shapes and sizes and have different levels of power. Make sure you get the one that is best suited for your tire size and keep it in your car at all times not just on road trips. They are easily purchased at any store that stocks automobile-related items. Don’t fear they are compact and don’t take up a lot of space. The only downside is that some of them can be a bit noisy but they get the job done.
If you don’t want to invest in a tire inflator, do yourself a favor and get a can of Fix-A-Flat. The small cans range in price from $9.00 all the way up to about $25.00. They are technically a tire sealant so you should know where the slow leak is occurring in your tire. There are some that act like a tire inflator and pump up your tire just like the device would. Be warned there are mixed reviews on Fix-A-Flat so we can’t personally vouch for how reliable they are but it’s another option to look into.
8 Bag Of Sand
So first off, we know driving around with a bag of sand is a little inconvenient. It’s heavy, it’s messy and it can take up a lot of space which means, you would have to pack light. So what is a bag of sand doing for you on a road trip? Simple, sand is a great way to get yourself out of a muddy, watery ditch. If you happen to run off the road and end up getting stuck in mud or deep snow, tires lose traction. Throwing sand underneath the tire as a makeshift grip is one of the best and old fashion ways of getting your car out. Not only will it save some money but it can be done in a matter of minutes.
7 AAA/CAA Membership
Another way of getting your car out of a tough spot is investing in a AAA or CAA membership. This is a more expensive route but if you can afford it, why not? The downside is you may have to wait a while for them to show up. Also, you only have a few free services until they start charging you. On the upside, having a membership with one of these companies can give you a lot more options. In addition to digging your car out of deep ditches, they offer towing when your car breaks down, they will fix your flat tire and they are easily accessible if you have cell service.
6 Batteries Will Always Come Handy
Batteries are a necessity wherever you go and no matter what device you have. Those batteries can be used in that old fashion flashlight you’ve been hanging onto. They are used in wrist watches, cars are even plugged into electrical outlets nowadays. Batteries will never be obsolete and they will always be needed. You may never know what you will need them for on your road trip. Although they can lose juice quite quickly compared to new gadgets, and yes they can be quite corrosive, but they are still used all over homes and in helpful devices like hearing aids and even battery operated lawn mowers. They can even be used to make an emergency mobile charger. So what’s the harm in keeping a few in your car?
5 Poncho Because...Why Not
A rain poncho is essential. Well, in some places more than others. Like, visiting the Niagara Falls. Usually, at the falls there is an opportunity to stand as close as possible to the falls but this also allows for a lot of water to hit you and possibly soak you. This is where the rain poncho would come in handy most. They even sell them at Niagara falls as well. A rain poncho comes in handy in other places as well like music festivals and hikes. Really, it’s just rain but, come on, it’s not nice having water hit you in the face and soak your clothes. It’s just uncomfortable.
4 A Sturdy Umbrella
Something as simple as an umbrella is usually glanced over when packing for a road trip. The use of an umbrella is really underestimated. It’s not just for when it rains, it is also used to shield the skin from the hot sun and can protect from skin cancer. Imagine having to wait outside of your car and it begins to rain or the hot sun is beating on your skin. Or stopping at the Grand Canyon and not being able to explore it because it’s raining so hard you can’t even get out of your car. Who would want their trip disrupted because of some rain?
3 A Tow Strap
A tow strap is something that can be tied to another car in order to pull another car out of a ditch or even off the road if it breaks down in an awkward spot. Not many people think to bring a tow strap with them or even keep one in their car because there are tow trucks. However, when there is a possibility to be stuck in the middle of nowhere you can’t assume that a tow truck will be able to make it out to you in a reasonable time or at all. At this point, you would have to get a pull from whoever you can as long as their car is bigger than yours.
2 Stinger USB Tool
The Stinger USB tool is so small one would never assume that it would pack so much punch. The tool has a seat belt cutter on the end in case you get into a car accident and the seatbelt jams. But the best and most fun part is that the tool can break all the glasses in your car in case you need to escape through the window. Hopefully, this situation doesn’t occur but keeping one of these bad boys handy is the right move. If anything you have a device on hand that can help in a dire situation.
The goTenna is one of the coolest new gadgets to come out in a long time. The goTenna is a device that allows for a stronger cell connection no matter where you go. The device can be paired with a cell phone to allow for text messages, GPS, and a reliable connection while off the grid. One can see how this can be handy when taking a road trip and driving through small towns that have little to no service. These are normally the towns that cars break down in and travellers have no way of knowing what to do next. At least now they can use GPS and Google to find a nearby mechanic without having to leave their car.