Be road-trip ready with this family road trip safety packing list.
It’s all too easy to assume our smartphones will help us out of any difficulty we may encounter on a family road trip. But not only can those smart-when-they-work gadgets lose signal the moment you really begin to rely on that navigation–or need to call AAA. They have a hard time replacing that burnt headlight on a late night’s drive or keeping everyone well hydrated in an overheated car while you wait much longer than expected for roadside assistance.
Here is a quick list of what to make sure you have with you on the open road for your next family road trip–and here’s a printable copy to keep in your glove box for future trips. This post contains affiliate links.
Family Road Trip Safety Packing List:
1. Car cell phone charger or pre-charged powerbank
A pre-charged power bank like this one works quickly (2.5 x faster) and easily with USB-compatible devices as well as other cords.
2. Printed map of the area you’ll drive through (backup to GPS)
3. Backup list of emergency contact phone numbers (independent of your phone)
4. Spare tire and jack
5. Fix-a-flat tire emergency tire repair (in a can!)
You might also consider taking along this temporary tire repair product for times when a full wheel replacement (with jack and spare) may not be possible, or this may hold you over until the professional repair. (Be sure to follow instructions and read precautions.)
6. Jumper cables
7. Flash light (with new batteries)
8. Replacement wiper blades
9. Replacement headlight bulb
12. Quarters for unanticipated parking meters or turnpikes
13. Family First-Aid kit, completed with your preferred infant / child medications
15. Spare pen and paper for emergency note-taking
16. Emergency cash reserve
You never know when you’ll need the green stuff (“cash only” for gas or souvenirs?). But in case of a storm or power outage during your adventure, it may become your only option.
17. Emergency water reserve
18. Emergency snack reserve for all travelers–including pets!*
In your emergency snacks, be sure to include something suitable for each family member, not overlooking jarred baby food or formula if appropriate and/or something for your four-legged friend.
–> Click here for the printable version of this list to use for this trip–and to keep in your glove box for future family road trips. You might also like Ten Things You Should Pack for a Family Road Trip at our sister site, Family Travel 411.
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An earlier version of this post first appeared July 12, 2017.