15 Essential Things To Keep in Your Car

When you’re on the open road, anything can happen. Usually, this is a good thing – where new experiences, adventures, and friendships await.

But the other reality we road warriors face is that something might go wrong. Whether it’s a flat tire, a dead car battery, cuts, bumps, or bruises, there are a few essentials we should all keep in our cars to ensure health and safety at all times.

Before your next road trip, take a few minutes to assemble your very own car kit. You’ll feel better knowing it’s there, and hopefully you’ll never even have to use it!

Safety & Survival Kit

If you spend any amount of time in your car, it’s best to have a few items on hand to help in the event of an emergency. Consider collecting a few items and stowing them away – just in case.

  1. First Aid kit – include bandages, sterile gauze pads, adhesive tape, scissors, tweezers, safety pins, instant ice packs, disposable non-latex gloves, and antiseptic wipes.
  2. Food & comfort – include a blanket (or 2), toilet paper, bottled water, and energy bars.
  3. Gadgets & communication – battery-powered radio, a pocket knife or multi-tool, maps, USB mobile device charger.
  4. A few ‘tools’ – think rope, duct tape, and glow sticks.
  5. Other – matches, tea lights or candles in a tin, a shovel, batteries, flashlight.

Car Maintenance & Repair

You can’t predict when your battery might die or when you’ll get a flat tire. But you can prepare for these instances in the event they do occur. Before your next road trip, spend an hour or so gathering these essential items and familiarizing yourself with how they work.

  1. Spare tire – this is a no-brainer, but always be sure to have a spare in the car.
  2. Jumper cables – and knowledge on how to use them.
  3. Tire sealant - in a pinch, a sealant will help you patch a hole in your tire long enough to get yourself to a nearby phone, hotel, or mechanic, without having to fully replace the tire yourself.
  4. The car manual - these manuals contain a lot of helpful information about your car and how you should expect certain elements of it to work.
  5. Tire pressure gauge – checking your tire pressure regularly is a good practice, helping to prolong the life of the tire. It may also help you troubleshoot if something feels off in the car.

Personal Items

There are just a few more things you’ll need to complete your car kit, including:

  1. A change of clothes – if you unexpectedly end up somewhere overnight, or if your clothes get soaked while changing your tire, it’s nice to have another set available.
  2. Umbrella – to help keep you dry when you’re out there changing the tire!
  3. Poncho, hat, gloves – any clothing items to make you more comfortable in the elements.
  4. A little bit of spare cash - just in case!
  5. Emergency contacts – even in a digital age, it’s a not a bad idea to keep a list of names and phone numbers in hard copy in the car. If you’re in a jam and your cell phone dies, you’ll be happy you have this.

9 Healthy Snack Ideas (& Where to Find Them) On The Road

Eating healthy when you’re on the road doesn’t always seem like the easiest thing, yet most people aspire to do it. Not only will healthy snacking keep you energized and alert during your travels, but smart planning will also save you money in the long run.

So before you depart on your travels, spend a little bit of time planning out some of the snack options you have in advance, so you’re less likely to grab that muffin or burger when you feel those hunger pangs.

At the Gas Station

Chips and chocolate aren’t the only things you’ll find at the roadside gas station. Stop early on in your travels to stock up before you get hungry. Pick up a few of these reliable snacks, including:

  • Fruit – often gas stations stock fresh bananas, oranges, or apples
  • Sandwiches – check the cold case for fresh, daily-made deli sandwiches. Often gas stations will stock a variety of sandwiches including deli meat, egg, or vegetable varieties
  • Trailmix – nuts and dried fruit are an excellent source of vitamins, proteins, and healthy fats. Scan the aisle for a bag with the least-processed ingredients available

At the Drive-Thru

At many restaurants, fast food has come a long way in terms of options and variety for sourcing a healthier meal or snack option. When you’re on the road, swing by the closest drive-thru and examine the menu for things like:

  • Fruit & yogurt cups – a perfect option morning, noon, or night, yogurt and berries are always fresh and satisfying. Get your fill of fibre, calcium, and more
  • Salads - salads are an excellent option when traveling, and you have control over the portions that are less-healthy, like dressing type and quantity, protein source, added vegetables, and so on
  • Wraps – chicken, turkey, or veggie wraps (think quesadillas) are commonly offered at fast food joints today, and they typically have grilled options instead of fried, as well as higher vegetable content, making a much healthier snack or meal option for the road

At the Drug or Department Store

If you find yourself in a small town or city off the highway, stop in to a drugstore or department store and enjoy a wide variety of snacking options. Take a look for a few travel staples, including:

  • Granola bars – the perfect, compact snack that allows you to enjoy a few servings of whole grains, fruit and protein, depending on the variety
  • Fruit cups – from pineapple, to peaches, pears and more, there are all kinds of premade fruit cups that make a delicious snack when on the road. Just grab a spoon and enjoy!
  • Rice cakes & peanut butter – fuel up on protein with this simple (and inexpensive) snack idea

Happy snacking!