Just because summer is winding down, it doesn’t mean you can’t pack up your car and hit the open road
Hours of daylight, free from worries about snow and ice, the world is yours for the taking. With that being said, a carefree attitude will only get you so far.
Whether you’re taking in the sights from a two-door convertible or are planning to see the world from an RV, there are certain things you need to pack. We help take the guesswork out of what to bring, leaving you free to finetune your itinerary.
Roadside Emergency Kit
No one wants to think about flat tires, fender benders, or car troubles—but the fact of the matter is, lousy things happen. While no one can guarantee a trouble-free trip, you can help mitigate some misery by planning ahead.
Plenty of companies sell ready-made roadside kits but making your own isn’t hard and can ultimately serve you better. Take a large duffle bag and fill it with key items such as:
- Jumper cables
- Fire extinguisher
- Bottled water
- Protein or energy bars
- First aid kit
- Roadside warning sign
- Cloths or rags
Food and Drink
By no means are we advocating total abstinence from roadside food trucks, local diners, and other tasty temptations. We are, however, recommending that you BYO for at least part of the trip. Relying solely on restaurants and gas station convenience stores can get really expensive and sometimes, you’ll find yourself a long way from a reliable food source at the very moment you think you might just starve to death.
Plan ahead by assembling a snack kit that includes your favourites, along with some car-friendly staples. Think granola bars, dried fruit, shelled nuts, and anything else that won’t make a mess. Reusable water bottles are also key because no one wants to find themselves on an abandoned stretch of desert highway with nothing to drink.
If this were a decade ago, we’d say pack some maps. But times have changed and so have navigation tools. If your car is equipped with a GPS system, great. Make sure you know how to use it. Same goes with your smartphone and whichever nav app you prefer.
Just bear in mind that sometimes, technology fails, especially when you have to factor in things like drained batteries and lost signals. For this reason, it’s always smart to have a good old fashioned paper map at the ready. Just in case.
Whether you consider yourself a technological pioneer or actually just prefer to pretend you’re a literal pioneer and eschew all things screen, chances are you’re going to need your phone. Whether you have to make last minute reservations at a hotel or just feel like listening to your favourite song, it’s a good idea to have it on hand.
Pack more chargers than you think you need. Get one that you can plug into your car and then make sure you’ve got backups. With sketchy sources of electricity and long stretches of road without stops, it’s better to be prepared than stranded without a means of communication or selfie device.