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.
Family Road Trip Safety Packing List:
- Car cell phone charger (eg. lighter adapter and cord)
- Paper map of the area you’ll drive through (backup to GPS)
- Backup list of emergency contact phone numbers (independent of your phone)
- Spare tire and jack
- Fix-a-flat tire emergency tire repair in a can
- Jumper cables
- Flash light (with new batteries)
- Replacement wiper blades
- Replacement headlight bulb
- Flares or emergency lights
- Space blanket
- Quarters for unanticipated parking meters or turnpikes
- First-Aid kit, complete with infant / child medications
- Spare pen and paper for emergency note-taking
- Emergency cash reserve
- Emergency water reserve
- 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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