With travel bans in place due to COVID, there’s not much option these days for travelling. That’s why it’s a good idea to get your car in order so you can make local road trips within your country and not be dying of boredom at home. With road trips also comes the challenge of running into issues along your route and you never know what you might be in need of. That’s why it’s important to check out this list of things you should always have in your car in the event that your car breaks down or you are stranded somewhere. Because the last thing you would want is to be unprepared.
While this list is a bit long and not every item on here is essential for you to have, it’s up to you to judge what your needs on the road are and how much space you have in your car and pack accordingly. So without further ado, here is a guide on things you should always have in your car so you’re as prepared as you can be.
1. First Aid Kit
One thing I have learned in life is that you never know when you’re going to need a first aid kit. You never know when you can get a cut or scrape, especially if you have children. So if you’re going on a road trip a first aid kit is definitely one of the things you should always have in your car. You can make your own first-aid kit, including band-aids, gauze, scissors etc. or purchase pre-made kits online.
My favorites include:
2. Owner’s Manual
This is a must to have in your car, stored in your glove compartment. You never know when it might come in handy. Your owner’s manual comes with your car and will tell you all the information you need to know about your car such as what type of fuel is best for your car or how to change the tires. It’s best to keep it in your car at all times so you know exactly where it is when you need it.
3. Insurance and Registration
This one should be a no brainer but make sure you have your updated insurance and registration in the car whenever you are driving it. In the event you get pulled over by the police, you are required by law to have this information on you so it’s best to store it in your glove compartment so it is there at all times.
4. Spare Tire, Tire Jack and Lug Wrench
You need all of these 3 things in order to change a flat tire. So don’t wait until you have a flat tire only to find out these items are not there. Also, make sure your spare tire is inflated otherwise you’ll have another problem on your hand.
5. Tire Pressure Gauge
This little gadget can come in quite handy. Checking your tire pressure on a regular basis is recommended as it can increase your fuel economy and promote tire longevity. A Tire pressure gauge can tell you exactly how much air is in your tires so you know how much more to add.
My favorite tire pressure gauges include:
6. Cleaning Supplies
Having certain cleaning and hygiene items in your car can make for an easier and mess free trip, especially if you have little ones with you. I recommend keeping the following:
- Paper towels
- Reusable shopping bags (to use for garbage)
- Hand sanitizer
- Wet wipes (great for sticky messes)
7. Windshield Wiper Fluid
Driving in rain or snow is no fun. To prevent yourself being in a situation where you’re driving in such weather conditions and you run out of windshield wiper fluid, it’s wise to always have a backup handy in your car. The weather can be quite unpredictable and having some extra windshield wiper fluid can ensure you have a clear, visible path along your trip.
8. Jumper Cables
A dead car battery can catch anyone by surprise. As a result, to avoid relying on another person to help you when you’re in that situation, it’s best to have some jumper cables in your car. Also, look into getting an Emergency battery booster as jumper cables alone won’t be enough to get your engine started up.
9. Snow Brush and Ice Scraper
If you live in the north, then having a snow brush is definitely one of the things you should always have in your car. For those days where you have to wipe off snow or ice from your windshield, a snow brush comes in handy as opposed to using your hands or something else and risk scratching your windows.
My top snow brush and ice scraper recommendations include:
10. Small Shovel
It’s a great idea to keep a small snow shovel in your car in the event that you have to dig your car out of a parking spot. It’s a must have especially for winter.
Ones I recommend are:
Having a few water bottles in your car can literally save your life if you get stranded or lost in the middle of nowhere. They’re also handy to have so you don’t have to stop along your route to pick them up and take away from the time you have to reach your destination.
Having paper maps (yes, I know it’s old school) in your car is always a smart idea. You never know when your phone’s battery may die or when you might lose your phone service and not be able to use your GPS.
A flashlight can save the day if you were to drop something in your car at night or if you had to change a tire at nighttime. If you’re worried about its battery dying, keep some extras in the car or opt for a flashlight that doesn’t require batteries and works by cranking a handle.
I recommend checking out the following flashlights:
Last but not least, keep an umbrella in your car. This won’t come in handy only for road trips, but also for those days where it rains unexpectedly and you have nothing to shelter you. They can also make a handy sun shade.
That concludes my list of things you should always have in your car. Keep in mind, you can always have more or less stuff than what’s mentioned here. Keep your needs in mind, pack accordingly, and drive safely.