Kwik Fit | Friday 28th August 2015 11:30am
No one enjoys being stranded on the side of the road especially on a summer holiday road trip. Make sure you’re ready for your next excursion with our list of essential items to keep in your car.
1. A tool kit
A tool kit is possibly the most important item to pack as it can help you out of a number of sticky situations. You can either buy a tool kit that’s already assembled or alternatively put one together yourself. If you decide to ‘build-your-own’ here are a few essential items to include:
Car jack and jump leads - You should keep these in your car all year round especially when you’re heading out for a long drive.
Tyre pressure gauge- Having a tyre pressure gauge in the car means you can quickly check the pressure anywhere, and can prevent a tyre mishap.
A reliable torch and extra batteries - From reading a map in the dark to trying to find a missing toy in the boot, when the light starts to fade a good torch will come in really handy especially if you encounter a problem such as a burst tyre and have to get out of the car. But remember to pack extra batteries, they never last as long as you’d like.
Warning triangles – Most pre-packaged emergency kits will contain a warning triangle, but it doesn’t hurt to have a few extra. Place each triangle 50 feet apart behind and in front of the car to help warn oncoming traffic.
Seatbelt cutter/window breaker – In case of an emergency it is a good idea to have a seatbelt cutter and window breaker stored in your glove box. These specialist tools can help you to evacuate everyone from the vehicle in the event of an accident.
Duct tape – This has a plethora of uses, whether it’s to hold your exhaust in place or to reattach a side-view mirror, duct tape is a great temporary fix until you can get to your nearest Kwik Fit centre.
2. Mobile phone
A fully charged mobile phone is essential so that you can call for help or to let loved ones know that you are alright. If you have breakdown cover, make sure you keep the number in your phone, should you need roadside assistance. Equally important, make sure you have an in-car phone charger to top up your phone battery.
3. Extra clothes and blankets
Having a change of clothes and shoes is always useful especially for any children in the car. Kids love splashing in muddy puddles when it rains but no one wants to sit in a car wearing wet, dripping clothes and having a change of clothing may to help to avoid catching a cold. In addition, a couple of good blankets will come in handy for a number of uses – you can use them to cover seats when you have pets in the car, lay it on the grass for a picnic or even just use it as a blanket to keep sleeping kids warm!
4. Snack Time
Driving makes you hungry but snacks from the motorway service station can be expensive as they know they have a captive audience. Save money by packing your own well-stocked cooler with snacks and drinks. You can then get a drink or a bite to eat whenever you want, even if you hit an unexpected traffic jam.
5. Clean up
Tissues, wet wipes and hand sanitiser are extremely useful to have in your car especially during the summer. With no access to running water these items are the next best thing to help keep you and your family keep clean on your road trip. They can also be used to mop up spillages and clean the interior of your car.
6. Bring on the entertainment
Long drives can be boring for young children especially if you get stuck in a traffic jam for hours on end. Luckily in this digital age it’s easier than ever to keep your kids entertained in the back of the car so remember to pack tablets, mp3 players, gaming systems and portable DVD players. Remember to also bring charging cables and a 12v car adapter. And if all fails, everyone loves a game of ‘I Spy’ to make time fly by!
7. First aid kit
Cuts and grazes can occur anywhere so you never know when you will have to administer first aid. Make sure you keep a first aid kit in your car containing alcohol wipes, bandages and plasters of different shapes and sizes. You should also pack creams to treat burns and bites and medication to treat common ailments like motion sickness, headaches and hayfever. Be sure to keep your first aid kit in a secure location, away from children but still easy to access.
8. Sat Nav & Maps
It’s always smart to plan your route ahead of time. But admittedly satellite navigation devices have made it much easier for drivers to navigate to their destination without getting lost and many smart phones now include sat nav tools and apps making it even easier to find your way. But if all else fails and technology lets you down, make sure you keep an up-to-date road map in the vehicle as a back up plan. You might want to polish up your map reading skills!
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