How to Pack the Perfect Road Trip Kit

Posted Friday, Nov 05, 2021

While going on an extended vacation to an exotic location may not be a reasonable option right now, it doesn’t mean you have to spend the rest of the summer cooped up at home. Many people are opting to take road trips to visit family members or to simply take a short respite from the blazing summer heat.


No matter whether your trip will take you across the country or simply up to the northern parts of California, you’ll want to be sure that you’re prepared for anything the road may throw at you. Packing everything you need to address an emergency helps ensure that you and your family will get to your destination safe and sound. That’s why we’ve put together this list of 8 things that every driver should have in their vehicle during a road trip.


Smartphone Map App or GPS


It’s no secret that to get to your destination, you need to know how to drive there. There are many different map apps available on your smartphone to help you pick the best route. Plan in advance where you should stop for fuel so that you aren’t left in the middle of nowhere with an empty tank. 


If you’re going to be driving someplace remote that might have spotty service, you should take a GPS device with you as well just in case. (Unless, of course, your vehicle comes equipped with navigation!) If you don’t have a GPS, you can always print off a map using your computer. For a little nostalgia and a fun souvenir, consider buying a paper map and having your kids mark where you stop, and make little notes about what you did there.


Portable Snacks


No one likes a cranky, hungry companion in the vehicle. Make sure to pack some snacks for everyone, and choose things that aren’t going to leave a big mess. Think trail mix, granola bars, or crackers. While they may leave crumbs, they should vacuum right up and are unlikely to stain your upholstery.


Emergency Car Kit


While your vehicle should already be equipped with an emergency kit, if it isn’t, now is the time to put one together. Your emergency kit should include a flashlight with batteries, jumper cables, bottled water, flares or reflective triangles, multi tool, duct tape, and a first aid kit.


Spare Tire & Jack or Tire Inflator


The only thing that makes a flat tire worse is finding that your spare is flat, or that your jack is missing. If your vehicle has a tire inflator rather than a spare, make sure it’s still in working order before you head out the door.


Non-Emergency Kit


Make sure your passengers and your vehicle alike stay clean and tidy by packing trash bags, tissues, napkins, cleaning wipes, and hand sanitizer.


Playlist & Music Player


Having your road trip playlist planned out in advance isn’t just an opportunity to have a little fun with your music selection, but it is also an opportunity to help keep your passengers upbeat and excited for the trip. Pick a diverse mix that will suit everyone’s taste, and be sure to plan in advance if you expect to be out of cell phone service range and can’t use a music app.


Sun Protection


If you’re planning on making any pit stops at some roadside attractions, be sure to pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats, especially for small children. No one wants to risk getting a sunburn on the way to their vacation.


Portable Chargers


There’s nothing more frustrating than finding your device dead with no way to charge it. Make sure to have portable chargers on hand in your vehicle for cell phones, tablets, or any other devices you or your passengers may be using. This is especially important if you’re relying on your smartphone for directions.


While gathering all of these things together is sure to take a bit of time, you’ll be sure to have a great trip as well as be able to address any emergency situations that arise. If you’re holding back on taking a road trip because your vehicle isn’t driving like it used to, let us help you find a used car, truck, or SUV! You can shop our inventory and get pre-approved right from our website, and be ready to drive away in your new vehicle in an hour or less!