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Items to bring on a road trip

Roadtrip USA Interstate sign with blue skies in the background

If you're in need of a quick weekend getaway or a long-week vacation from home, a smart and affordable solution is a road trip! Normally, gas is cheaper than airfare, and you don't have to sit in those long lines at the airport or wait for a layover. It can be less stressful and more fun on the road…if you're prepared!

Use this checklist before embarking on your next road trip to make sure you have all of the essentials and avoid any mishaps or unexpected surprises on the way to your destination:

  • Copy of your insurance card. This item should already be in your car, but it's always good to double check and make sure it's up-to-date.
  • Spare tire. Make sure it's in good condition before you leave!
  • Roadside emergency kit. This includes items like jumper cables, a tire pressure gauge, a flashlight, a window breaker, gloves, etc.
  • Cash. Sometimes you don't know where you're going to stop, and some stores may only take cash.
  • Water bottles. Stay hydrated! Having extra water on hand is very important, especially if you get stranded somewhere.
  • First aid kit. This should include supplies such as bandages, antiseptics and gauze pads.
  • Snow shovel and ice scraper… if traveling during the winter months! When driving through a snowy area, there's always the possibility of getting your car stuck, so these items are important to bring along.
  • Cellphone charger and extra battery pack. Your cell phone needs to have power at all times in case of an emergency. So take advantage of charging it in your car, and always have a fully charged battery pack on hand.
  • A blanket and travel pillow. If you are traveling with two or more people, it's likely you will take turns driving while the other one sleeps. Why not be comfortable while you're snoozing in the car?
  • Antibacterial hand wipes/body wipes. A shower isn't always possible on a road trip, so using body wipes may have to suffice!
  • Toiletries, toothbrush and toothpaste. Keeping up with good hygiene is still possible on road trips. Bring these along so you can freshen up at rest stops.
  • Car-friendly snacks. Everyone needs delicious snacks for long road trips! If you're not bringing a cooler along, bring non-perishable food items like fruit cups, granola bars and beef jerky.
  • Garbage bags. No need to trash your car during the ride. Fill them up and then dump the bags at a rest stop or gas station when needed.

I hope this list makes you feel more prepared for your road trip. And I hope you find rest, adventure or whatever else you're looking for on the open road! Of course, don't forget to take tons of pictures to capture memories of the fun along the way!

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