Summer Road Trip Items for Your Car

With thousands of flight delays and cancellations at airports around the country this year due mainly to staffing shortages, you may be considering a summer road trip instead of flying to your destination. Yes, even with outrageous prices at the gas station, 80% of Americans are opting for the open road to avoid the stress of airports and potential costly flight rebooking.

Road trips have become one of the most popular forms of travel in our post-pandemic world; therefore, we want to make sure you prepare if you decide to join the masses and begin planning for a summer road trip. This article will share the 10 must-have summer road trip items for your car before hitting the road for your summer adventure.

10 Must-Have Items for Your Summer Road Trip

  1. License and registration. Okay, this may feel like a no-brainer, but are your license, registration, and license plate tag all up to date? These expirations have a way of sneaking up on us, so before you head out on your summer road trip, double-check these items! If you get pulled over and any of these items are expired, you very well could be stuck with a costly ticket, and there is nothing that puts you in a bad mood like getting a ticket on a road trip, especially when it was avoidable. Trust us.
  2. Car insurance. The same goes for car insurance. Make sure you have a copy of your car insurance in your glove compartment in case you need it!
  3. Owner’s manual. Ensure you have your owner’s manual in your glove compartment, too. Since you’ll be on the road, you want to appropriately react if any lights come on or something wonky happens while you’re driving that may have never happened before. Being able to reach for your owner’s manual and research what may be the issue will help lessen the stress if something goes wrong.
  4. Roadside emergency kit. A typical emergency kit includes a torch, jumper cables, a reflective warning triangle, and a first aid kit. While no one wants to use these items on a road trip, you want to have them in case your car breaks down, your battery dies, or something else goes wrong, and you need help. Being overprepared is always better than being underprepared.
  5. Bring a flashlight. You will want one if you get stranded somewhere dark or if the car battery dies. Consider getting two! At a minimum, you can use it to tell ghost stories when it gets dark.
  6. A spare tire. Pack a spare tire and learn to change one in case you get a flat on the road! You can have a friend or partner instruct you how to change a tire or watch a few YouTube videos and teach yourself. Make sure you have all the equipment to help you change a tire, like a jack point (to lift and stabilize the car before you remove the flat tire), a lug wrench to loosen lug nuts, a spare tire, and your owner’s manual. Research to learn which lug wrench applies to your car model. It’s also wise to write the steps down on paper to have with you in case this is your first time changing a flat tire.
  7. Car window sunshade. We recommend purchasing a sunshade for your car to ensure comfort while driving. These keep your seats cool and help protect you from getting sunburn. The last thing you want to do on a road trip is reapplying sunscreen every few hours while sitting in your car (you’ll likely be doing plenty of that at your destination!)
  8. Healthy and delicious snacks. Car rides can be long, and it’s only a matter of time before you’ll have to eat. If you don’t want to eat fast food, it’s smart to pack some healthy snacks and nutrition with you. Trail mix, beef jerky, protein bars, carrots, grapes, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are all great foods to pack for a road trip.
  9. Water bottles. It’s essential to stay hydrated while traveling. Please ensure everyone in the car has their own refillable and reusable water bottle for the road trip. This way, you’ll save money by filling up when you make stops, and no one can complain that they’re thirsty in the car. If you are to get stranded, it’s also vital that you have enough water for everyone while you wait for help.
  10. A credit card and cash. It’s important to be prepared with both cards and cash during a road trip. In case you need access to a larger amount of money in an emergency (like you need to get a rental car if yours breaks down), you’ll want a credit card. And cash is still king in many places; you will want it if a credit card machine is down or your card is stolen


Contact Us Today

At Vehicles For Change, we help low-income households get access to their own car by accepting car donations from people just like you. If you are interested in learning more about donating your vehicle to a family in need, please visit our car donation page here or call us at 855-820-7990 so we can assist you. By donating your car, you help individuals get access to higher-paying jobs, provide for their families, and help parents be more present in their children’s lives. Please help us improve the lives of others right here in our Baltimore community today.