It always pays to be prepared, especially when you travel alone. College students spend much of their year enjoying a life of independence miles away from their hometowns. As such, you likely spend many hours on the road. Whether you’re cruising around town with your friends or traveling far away for a weekend, you’ll want to stock your vehicle with the necessary tools and supplies. Stay safe with this list of essentials to always have in your car.
Think About Where You’re Going
As you make a list of what you need to keep in your car, consider the area in which you drive. It will help you make smart choices about what you should and shouldn’t have on hand. For example, city drivers probably don’t need a flare gun or a sturdy pair of walking shoes, as they’re not going to be far from other people if they break down. On the other hand, someone who frequently crosses long stretches of rural areas won’t need spare change for a toll booth. When stocking your car, keep your usual drives in mind so that you can prepare accordingly.
Roadside Emergency Supplies
Emergencies are rare, but they still happen. Basic roadside maintenance supplies are at the top of the list of essentials to always have in your car. An emergency kit should include jumper cables, air pressure gauges, tire changing supplies, and a gas can. In addition to tools for vehicle maintenance, you need gear to keep you safe when you’re stuck on the side of the road. Spare gloves, a hat, a coat, and a blanket are beneficial items to stock in case you break down or simply forget an accessory in cold weather.
The right paperwork is essential no matter where you drive. You should always have your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance cards with you when you hit the road. Make sure your insurance cards are legible and up to date, as driving without insurance can lead to severe consequences. Additionally, keep emergency information in your car in case you need it. A roadside service number, emergency contacts, and your vehicle’s owner’s manual will prove invaluable if you find yourself stuck on the side of the road in an unfamiliar place.
You never know what will happen out on the road. It’s better to be ready for anything than to be unprepared when you need it. A handful of basic supplies can make a breakdown or any other mishap much easier. Keep a flashlight in your vehicle—yes, even if you usually just use the light on your phone. Speaking of your phone, keeping a charger with you is always a good idea. You can also pack a bit of cash and a first aid kit in case of emergencies. Finally, think about seasonal supplies. An umbrella for rainy springs or an ice scraper for frigid winters can make your drive much more comfortable when inclement weather hits.