With vacationers and professionals alike setting out on road trips this summer, it’s crucial that drivers have everything they need for a successful ride. As you prepare for your own trip, be sure to pack these road trip essentials in order to be prepared for any possible situation on the road.
Registration Paperwork and Car Manual
You should always keep these items in your car, but having them on hand is even more important when you’re away from home. You’re required by law to have your driver’s license and car registration accessible when you’re in the car, since they provide proof of your legal ability to drive and proof that the car is insured in the event of an accident. Your car manual is also important to have available for reference in case you need to adjust the workings of your vehicle.
Side mirrors come standard to every vehicle, but it’s important to properly adjust your mirrors before you leave for your trip. Before you do this, you should think about the type of vehicle you own and which angles will best minimize your blind spots. For instance, commercial truck drivers need to angle their mirrors to account for their trailers.
Flat tires are common when a car is driven for an extended period of time, especially on unfamiliar roads. Be prepared for this inconvenience by storing a spare tire with the rest of your luggage. Even if you end up not needing it during the trip, you can’t predict if and when you’ll get a flat, so keep a spare with you just in case.
Roadside Emergency Kit and First Aid Kit
Whether you’re heading an hour away or going on a trip across the country, emergencies can happen while you drive, so you should be prepared to handle whatever the road throws at you. In the case of vehicle malfunctions, keep a roadside emergency kit on hand—these kits are equipped with everything from jumper cables to a tire pressure gauge to light sticks. You should also keep a first aid kit handy to ensure that you can remedy a minor medical situation.
Large Water Bottles and Snacks
Long drives can be draining, and it’s crucial that drivers keep their energy up throughout the trip. Occasionally pulling over to get a drink or eat a snack can be a great pick-me-up while you’re on a long ride. This will keep you awake, engaged, and energized for the rest of the trip.
Sleeping Bag and Pillow
If you’re driving overnight, a sleeping bag and a pillow will give you the option to sleep without having to search for a nearby hotel. Having these comfortable items available will also help keep you in peak driving form by allowing you to take brief naps when you get tired—just make sure you pull over to a safe location.