5 Tips for Packing the Car for a Road Trip


In Case of Emergency

Let's just assume that before you head out on a road trip, you've already taken care of the preventative maintenance tasks, including changing the oil, checking the tires, replacing fluids and making sure the "check engine" and other warning lights are not illuminated.

Despite all your planning and preparation, "stuff happens" so it's best to be prepared. An emergency car care kit has the basics for addressing roadside emergencies, and many people find their cell phone and an auto club membership to be equally important. Don't forget your cell phone charger. (And by the way, your auto club membership can also get you discounts at hotels and attractions, and is useful for maps and trip planning.)

For those other accidents -- the ones that involve bodily fluids -- it never hurts to have a few plastic bags, a roll of paper towels, extra water and air freshener in the car.

The Boy Scouts Have it Right: Always be Prepared

You never know what you'll need and when, so experts recommend packing the basics in a roadside emergency kit, including:

  • First-aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Warning light, hazard triangles or flares
  • Tire gauge
  • Flashlight
  • Jumper cables
  • Auto club membership card

[source: ConsumerReports.org]