Have you ever been stuck in an unexpected car emergency when you needed more items? It can be stressful, so why not ensure you are always prepared for whatever comes your way?
A reliable car is essential for daily life. Private vehicles offer greater freedom and control regarding mobility. However, with great freedom comes great responsibility, and having the right tools at hand can make or break your day.
When expecting the unexpected, it is wise to be ready, so I’ve prepared a list of 11 essential things to always keep in your car that might help you equally on a city cruise or a coast-to-coast road trip.
1. Documentation & Daily Essentials
The gist of personal items can apply even when driving a car. Your ID, driver’s license, cell phone, and charger should be kept from being mentioned, but as people can be absent-minded- always make sure you have these on you.
You should also have car documents – an original owner’s manual and proof of car registration and insurance always at hand. Have them sitting neatly in a glove box, and you won’t have to worry about forgetting them- trust me, I’ve been there!
If you’re paranoid about identity theft, use the glove compartment to store candy bars or cable clips. Consider having a specific document compartment. The easiest thing to do is to get a hide-a-key magnetic box setup. In it, you can keep all documents safe from prying eyes.
2. First-Aid Kit
Having an emergency first-aid kit is a must-have when packing your car. In some countries, drivers are obliged to do so by law. Having a medikit with bandages, gauze, antiseptic wipes, and adhesive tape can bring more safety and assurance.
3. Water and Snacks (Non-perishable)
It is always good to have easy access to fluids and a light snack when opportunities for refueling cannot present themselves. Packing a few water bottles in your car ensures you don’t go thirsty while on the road. A small snack stash with energy bars, nuts, and other foods that can’t easily perish is also a good idea.
People who spend more time in cars can consider investing in a game-changing car seat organizer to hold their cups, phones, and meals while on the go. This is especially convenient for frequent drive-through visitors.
4. What to Put in the Car Trunk?
A car’s business is usually in the back. Organizing the trunk storage might be a bit challenging, but take time to do so and check if anything needs to be changed:
- A spare tire is an all-year-round necessity, as no one knows when you will get a flat. With it, you need a jack and a lug wrench – the car company supplies these, or you can buy new ones online.
- Gadgets like wire cutters, jump-start cables, and fix-a-flat tire inflators are nifty for first-hand solutions. They can patch a flat or give your car enough energy to go to the nearest mechanic or parking lot.
- WD-40 and a set of screwdrivers can be handy if you need to loosen or tighten something.
- Containers for extra storage because additional tools can be useful in inclement weather.
5. A Windshield Sunshade
When the sun’s out, having a windshield sunshade is perfect for protecting your car from ultraviolet rays and keeping your hands cool. It can keep the steering wheel cool and prevent your hands from getting burnt. Sunshades come in different sizes, so choose the right one for your car. It’s easy to install – attach it to the windshield with suction cups, and you’re ready.
6. Winter Ice Breakers
During wintertime, it’s always a good idea to have winter ice breakers on hand in case you ever find yourself stuck in the snow. These tools are designed to help your car move through icy patches and include:
- an ice scraper for car glass
- small ice hammer
- a set of chains that wrap around your tires, providing extra traction on slippery surfaces.
Specialized snow tires or even regular tires with metal spikes can improve grip if you live in an area with consistent snowfall. Additionally, an extendable snow brush can reduce the time spent cleaning off your vehicle.
7. Tire Pressure Gauge
Your car’s correct tire pressure is essential for maintaining safety and fuel efficiency. But it can be hard to check if you don’t have a reliable tire pressure gauge handy.
A digital tire pressure gauge is an electronic device that measures the air pressure inside your tires and displays the results digitally. This genius car accessory is more reliant than a mechanical gauge at the gas station. With one of these devices, you can easily check each tire’s air pressure and ensure they are all inflated to the right level.
8. Gadgets for Everyday Items
Quite a few nifty items come in handy occasionally, and you can stack these in that extra storage container in the back I mentioned earlier.
A heated seat cushion will keep you warm during cold weather, while an adjustable and extendable cup-holder adapter can secure hot beverages like coffee or tea. Another convenient knick-knack is a magnetic phone mount that attaches your device to an air vent to easily access your directions, music, and more.
Lastly, a rearview dash cam allows you to record and review footage of any unexpected events for added protection on the road. With the right choices, your car can be modified to suit your needs and preferences better.
9. A Pet Parent’s Dream
Step up your pet car game with stylish seat covers, adjustable safety harnesses, and extendable pet carriers for those long hauls. Remember the collapsible water bowls to keep them cool on the go!
For those with larger pets, a bench car seat cover can be placed over the backseats so your furry friend can relax comfortably during the ride (this is also perfect when there is an unexpected rainstorm and you are out in the park or forest). Installing a barrier with storage is another good option to prevent your furry babies from hopping onto the driver set and your lap while ensuring extra storage.
10. Emergency Supplies
You never know when an emergency may arise, so it’s best to be prepared. Having a few essentials in your car can make all the difference if you find yourself stranded on the side of the road or in need of assistance:
- A flashlight and extra batteries. If your car has an electrical issue, having a light source to look under the hood can be extremely helpful.
- A fire extinguisher to put out any potential fires.
- Escape tool cuts that can cut through the seatbelt if you suffer a car accident and need to get out.
11. Comfort Items
The last items on our list of must-haves are comfort items. From cozy blankets and pillows to a reliable car charger, these little things can make all the difference when traveling long distances or spending an extended period of time in your car.
An auxiliary cable connecting your phone to your car speakers is great for jamming to your favorite tunes without draining the battery. Besides, you’ll want a way to charge multiple devices simultaneously, so installing an extra USB port in the glove compartment could be a game changer.
Life can throw you some nasty curveballs — but don’t worry! Keeping the right items in your car can help prepare you for any unexpected situation.
I know it might seem like a bit much. From emergency supplies and comfort items to organizational storage solutions, having these items at hand can ensure you’ll always be ready no matter what life throws at you.
What are your road trip and driving essentials? Make sure to let me know!