Road Trip Essentials

May 04, 2011 by

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Lost on a family road trip.

When packing for a family vacation, it can be hard to predict what you’re going to need. Aside from vacation essentials like clothes, sunscreen and a camera, taking a road trip requires extra items in order to make your time in the car as enjoyable as possible.

But if you’re like most people, your life can be hectic and the last thing you want to think about is whether or not you’ve packed everything you need without cluttering your car.

So instead of racking your brain for all the items you need for your vacation, here are eight road trip essentials to make your life easier:

1. Maps/GPS

In addition to printing out maps to and from your planned destination, you should also map out gas stations and interesting pit stops along the way. The points of interest feature can also help you locate the nearest restaurant or gas station. If you are using a map, check multiple websites such as Google Maps, Yahoo Maps and Map Quest to make sure any unexpected detours or road changes are accounted for. Even if you have a GPS system, you should always bring a printed map, just in case your GPS malfunctions.

2. Snacks

Bringing food for the road is not only a way to save money on the road, it will also minimize the number of pit stops you’ll have to make for food. Consider bringing healthier, crumb-free snacks such as trail mix, granola bars and hard-to-bruise fruits. Healthy snacks will also help you keep your energy up.

3. Emergency Car Kit

While you should always take your car in for a check-up before you hit the road; it’s always a good idea to pack an emergency car kit, just in case. Items to pack include a first aid kit, jumper cables and duct tape.

4. Garbage Bags

Instead of collecting trash in the corner of your car bring a couple empty trash bags or grocery bags. Your car will be less cluttered and cleaning up will be a lot easier.

5. Blanket

Picnics are a great way to enjoy the beautiful weather and a blanket will make spur-of-the-moment picnics and naps at rest stops possible.

6. Books on Tape

While spending hours with your kids asking ‘are we there yet’ may not sound ideal, consider it a great opportunity to bond as a family. Pack a few books on tape for the whole family to enjoy.

7. Activities

In addition to packing games and entertainment options for the kids, also remember to pack a few for adults in the front passenger seat. Sudoku, crossword puzzles and magazines are all good choices.

8. Emergency Phone List

An emergency contact list isn’t just for kids. Always bring a list of important phone numbers such as numbers for your insurance company, your doctor and a neighbor or emergency contact at home.

Creating a road trip checklist will ensure that your car, family and home are all prepared before you leave on the open road.

Want to protect your car? Get an auto insurance quote now.

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