Realizing when you’re in the middle of the road that you have forgotten something at home is agonizing. How more stressful will it be if you’re not on your way to work but on your way to a first road trip stop? Can you imagine leaving on schedule and trying to follow the plan until you realize you need to go back home?
First things first: Check your car’s engine, tire pressure, battery level, and truck battery box before leaving for your trip. At the very least, you need to make sure that your car is in good working condition. Otherwise, your trip may not only get delayed, but it may altogether not happen.
If you’re sure that your car can take you and your friends to your destination, here are the 10 other things you need to make sure you have packed before you leave:
License, Registration, and Insurance
Leave everything else and take these documents with you. Forget anything but not these three. You can pick up a spare tire along the way or even a first aid kit. But if you left your license, registration, and insurance policy at home, you’re definitely making a U-turn and turning back for these documents.
Yes, you can pick up a spare tire along the way, but that’s expensive. You’re already paying for the gas and the toll fees, you surely don’t want to spend unnecessarily on a spare tire if you have one at home. Make sure you know how to change the tires, too. Practice before leaving. That being said, take the jack and tire iron that you need to change the tires. You can’t remove the tire with your bare hands.
Emergency Car Kit
This is something you should have even if you’re not embarking on a road trip. The kit usually includes flares, gloves, jumper cables, and first aid items such as Band-Aid, bandages, ointment, Betadine, and medicine. You don’t know what will happen on the trail, so it’s better to come prepared.
Take one map of every city or state you’re going to. You never know when your phone will act up or when the i]=Internet signal drops. You can download an offline version of the maps, but you’ll feel better with a printed map that you can consult anytime.
This might not be important back home when you have access to the Internet or you can call a friend for help when the car breaks down. But if you’re in the middle of the desert and an indicator lights up on your dashboard, the owner’s manual is going to save you a lot of time. It will literally save you, in fact. If you’re renting a car, make sure that this is available.
Yes, you need water to stay hydrated, but what you need more is fluids for the car such as engine fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid, engine oil, and a gallon of water just in case the radiator overheats. You need an empty gas can, too. You can fill it up in a gas station so that you have a backup.
A road trip is not something you take on at the last minute. You need to prepare for it at least two weeks in advance. That gives you enough time to prepare your car and ready the items you need.