Summer has arrived! With Memorial Day marking the unofficial start of the Summer travel season, do you have your summer travel plans in place? If a road trip is in your future, make sure you have these essentials on your car packing list to prepare for wherever the road takes you.
1 – Map
Yes, a map. In the age of the GPS, having a map is a safeguard should your GPS fail. Visit your local AAA club where you can pick up maps to the areas and destinations you’re headed. Do you prefer going paperless? Download directions and maps of the areas you plan on visiting from Google Maps or your preferred map app to ensure you’re able to access a map when you need it most.
2 – Power Bank
Never be without juice for your family’s mobile devices. While today’s cars come with multiple ways to power our tablets and cell phones, amazingly the number of devices still outnumbers the power adapters available inside the vehicle. Power banks come in a variety of sizes and capacities, depending on how portable you want it to be, and how many devices you’re looking to power. The Goal Zero Yeti 150 Portable Power Station is a great option for a road trip. It’s equipped with a variety of power outlets, including USB and AC, and can even be solar charged.
3 – Cellular Signal Booster
From maps to music to voice calls, our cell phones are our lifelines. Aside from ensuring they’re fully powered, having a steady signal throughout your road trip also provides peace of mind. A vehicle signal booster like the SureCall Fusion2Go ensures the entire car is able to have a steady cellular signal. The Fusion2Go supports up to five users simultaneously, works with all U.S. carriers and boosts 3G and 4G LTE signals.
4 – First Aid Kit
Be prepared for any boo-boos, whether big or small. The American Red Cross provides guidelines for assembling a first aid kit. Or, if you choose, you can also purchase a pre-packaged one. Whatever route you choose to take, ensure that you have enough supplies for the number of people in your party. Also make sure the items in the kit are not expired, and also include extras of some daily essentials, like any daily medication, sunblock, bug spray, eye drops, contact lenses, etc.
5 – Water (For Your Car)
When temperatures rise, your car may need to cool down to prevent overheating. Have a gallon of water handy, just in case you aren’t near a gas station, and you or your vehicle need a drink.
6 – Spare Tire
Make sure your car has a spare tire (or check if your tires are run flat tires), and that it has ample air in the tire. Also, familiarize yourself with how to change the tire and ensure the equipment to change the tire is located in your vehicle and easy to find.
7 – Emergency Contact Numbers
It’s a good practice to familiarize yourself with a general idea of the nearest hospitals and police in the area through which you’ll be traveling. In any case, in addition to storing emergency contact numbers into your mobile phone, also keep a back-up list of emergency contacts in your glove box, so that others on the trip will be able to access them as well.
8 – Cash
While it seems like you can get money at virtually any ATM (or pay with your mobile device), at times, you may encounter a cash-only establishment. In such cases, it’s handy to have a few extra dollars available. Keep lots of small bills instead of bigger bills, to avoid having to make change.
9 – Light
Whether it’s a flashlight or a lantern, having another light-providing device will provide extra protection and security. This tiny Anker flashlight packs a punch, and is perfect for both the glovebox and hiking backpack. It’s super tiny and fits in a shirt pocket, but provides 400 lumens of light. And because it’s an LED flashlight, it has a runtime of up to 4 hours.
10 – Cool Weather Gear
Keep some extra blankets handy, and maybe even a sleeping bag, especially if you are planning on going camping and getting cozy around the campfire. Both blankets and sleeping bags come in a variety of sizes and weights, depending on the level of chilliness you’re trying to combat.