Road Trip Essentials

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Video play button    Make sure you're prepared for your next road trip by taking along a few key items.

When planning for your next road trip, it's not always easy to predict what you're going to need. Some things are crucial in case of emergency, while others will merely make the trip a lot more comfortable. You don't want to clutter up your car with too much stuff, though, so we put together a list of essentials, meaning you'll be prepared for anything out on the open road.

Safety Items
  • Proof of insurance
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Cell phone: How did people survive before these things were invented? Of course, they become the opposite of a safety item when you text your girlfriend while driving in rush-hour traffic.
  • Batteries: Don't leave these in the car too long. We did once, and some unearthly green stuff came out of it and burned our hands.
  • Flashlight: An LED keychain provides bright light in tight spaces and won't clutter up your car.
  • First-aid kit
  • Spare tire (No, seriously, you'd be surprised how many people take this off once and never put it back or replace it.)
  • Car jack
  • Jumper cables
Entertainment
  • MP3 player/CDs (We recommend Oran 'Juice' Jones' 1986 album "Juice.")
  • Camera
  • Portable DVD player (But don't watch and drive, you menace.)
  • Reading materials
  • Charger/power inverter: If your car doesn't come with its own power outlets, one of these will let you plug in small household electronics. Just check to make sure the voltage is compatible with the inverter.
  • Drinks/snacks: Make sure you choose snacks that won't make a mess or melt easily.
  • Candy/gum: They've actually been known to ease motion sickness.
  • Cooler: Use cool packs to prevent the mess that melting ice can make.
Convenience
  • Map/GPS: A GPS with a points of interest feature can help you locate the nearest restaurant or gas station.
  • Pillow
  • Blanket
  • Change for tolls
  • Sunglasses
  • Coat
  • Bleach pen (You will need it. You WILL need it.)
  • Change of clothes
  • Trash bags
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