Taking a Road Trip? The 2 Most Important Things To Bring
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I’m not a huge fan of road trips. I get bored, I get too self-reflective, and I get extremely high strung in bumper to bumper traffic. I prefer planes, but sometimes a car is the better or more convenient option. Only if nothing goes wrong.
When I headed off to college my dad made sure my car was equipped with two things that might not prevent breakdowns, but have certainly minimized my trauma through the years.
1. Roadside Assistance Kit
These things come with gloves, reflectors, various tools, jumper cables, and most importantly, a mini air compressor. I can’t tell you the number of times I had to use my jumper cables on my increasingly aging car or pulled them out for friends who were not so well equipped. And you never know when you’ll be glad to have a poncho when changing a tire in the rain or gloves to keep grease off your hands.
But the thing that has made the biggest difference was the mini air compressor. It plugs into your cigarette lighter and while slow, does the trick for inflating tires. Once I got a slow leak on the New Jersey turnpike. Rather than having to wait on the side of the road for help to come or even try to change the tire myself, I was able to inflate my tire in 10 minutes to full capacity, giving me enough time to get off the highway and to a nearby tire store and minimizing my feeling of helplessness.
Even just this morning I was able to top all my tires up to optimum air pressure before getting on the highway, improving my gas mileage and steering control.
2. Fire Extinguisher
My Dad actually bought this with my peace of mind rather than salvaging my car in mind, hoping I’d never have cause to use it. Having seen how quickly a car can go up in flames, he never wanted me to experience trying to help with a car accident and not being able to get them out of a smoking/wrecked car before it was too late. The fire extinguisher probably wouldn’t save the vehicle, but it might buy me/them enough time to get all the passengers out.
This having never been something I’d considered before but now think about fairly often, I feel better knowing I have that extra bit of protection should I or anyone else need it.
What are your roadtrip vehicle essentials?
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