10 Things You Should Always Bring On Long Drives

Road trips are a fun, and a little bit challenging, way to have some fun over the summer. To make your ride as smooth as possible, make sure you have these 10 items readily available for your road trip.

  1. Audio books

If you’re driving, download an audio book to listen to on your car ride. Having music is great, but if a drive is longer than a few hours it’s a good idea to add some variety.

  1. Snacks

When on long drives, it’s best to bring snacks that don’t leave much of a mess and are easy to eat with your hands. Things like carrot sticks, crackers, cheese, and sandwiches are all great snack and meal options, and will save you some time at rest stops.

  1. Drinks

If you’re driving with young children, limit the amount of fluids they drink during your drive to minimize stops, but still have drinks available if they need. Cold water is the best option.

  1. Blankets and pillows

When driving with a car full of passengers, having blankets and pillows available helps other drivers get some much-needed shuteye when they’re not driving. It’s also super helpful for long car rides with children who have difficulty sleeping in the car. Having blankets and pillows puts them in the mood for bedtime, and could save you from having to deal with overtired and cranky kids.

  1. Jumper cables

Long drives can exhaust your car battery, so make sure that you have cables in case your car dies on the road. They’re inexpensive to purchase, and could save you a call to your roadside assistance service.

  1. Movies

Estimate how long your drive is going to take you, and download a few movies to pass the time. Having movies in the car is a lifesaver, especially when you’re driving with young children.

  1. Roadside emergency kit

Long drives are hard on your car, and long trips often mean vast stretches of highway with no on-route service stations. A roadside emergency kit can be a lifesaver if your vehicle breaks down in the middle of the night, or if you’re in a location that is difficult to get to. If your car does break down and requires a repair, patch it up in order to get to the nearest service station, and do not drive it for the duration of your trip.

  1. Toilet paper

When you’re on a long drive, there may be emergency bathroom stops in locations that are less than ideal. Have some toilet paper on hand just in case.

  1. A car or battery powered charger

Driving for long periods of time means that most of your passengers are going to be on their phones (or yours) for the duration of your journey. Make sure that you have a car charger with an extra-long chord, or a backup charger that you can use if the outlet is taken. If you can, find a chord that splits off so that multiple people can charge their devices during the drive.

  1. A change of clothes

If you’re going to be driving for longer than 12 hours, changing into different clothes can help you feel refreshed and ready for the remainder of your long car ride. If you’re going to be driving overnight, bring yourself some comfortable warm clothes and get some sleep while another driver is taking the wheel.

You’re all set! Before you head out on your road trip, it’s a good idea to take your vehicle in for a checkup to make sure everything is working properly. Your insurance policy should cover regular maintenance checkups. If your provider does not, compare your policy to others on the market to see if a better price is available for your vehicle.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.