Travel is exciting, but you need to be ready. Even when you are just driving a few days away from home, you should have your vehicle stocked with everything you may need before you hit the road. Being prepared for any situation you may encounter can make for a much smoother and enjoyable trip for all.
Emergency Roadside Gear
You don’t want to get stranded by a flat tire in a remote place. Cell phone services is not always reliable, and you may have to rescue yourself. Take an inventory of your emergency roadside equipment. Test the tire pressure in your spare, and check the vehicle jack. If you have locks on your wheel lugs, keep the key in safe place. Test the size of your lug wrench to ensure that it fits all of the wheel nuts. Make sure you have a pair of gloves and a working flashlight.
Snacks and Drinks
Road munchies are a necessity. Carry snacks and water with you at all times. When you are driving all day, you are not very active. You won’t be burning as many calories as you do in your normal routine. Stopping every few hours to eat a heavy meal at a restaurant is fattening and expensive. Instead, stave off hunger with a few provisions, and keep yourself hydrated as you drive.
Maps and Contacts
You should check your route before you go. GPS and digital maps are great tools, but you may be driving through places where you will not receive a signal. Know what to expect on the road, and have an idea of how to get where you are going. Keep a physical map or road atlas with you. You should also have a list of hotels, gas stations, and restaurants where you can obtain services if you need them.
Carry a pillow and blanket in the car along with your other supplies. If you become tired, you will need to rest. Driving while exhausted can be even more dangerous than driving while intoxicated. Pull over at a rest stop, and sleep until you feel able to continue on your way. Even a short nap can improve your alertness and reaction times.
Your mind can wander when you drive for long stretches at a time. Keep yourself entertained with your favorite music. Bring an audio book or check out some new artists. When traveling with children, keep a video player and a supply of movies for them to watch.
You want your trip to be safe and enjoyable. Stock up on your essential supplies and get your vehicle’s mechanical condition inspected before you leave, to be sure you can get where you're going without any unexpected hitches.