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Road Trip Survival Kit: What to Bring on Your Road Trip

on March 23, 2021
Car Driving RoadTrip

Road Trip Survival Kit: What to Bring on Your Road Trip

on March 23, 2021

An American road trip can be fun to be a part of, but hard to plan. Where are you going? Where will you stay? What will you do? With these questions swarming around your head, it can be easy to forget something important. 

Trying to write down what you need could help, but what do you need again? It can be hard to plan ahead for events that you don’t think about when your head is dreaming about what you will see on those scenic byways. 

Let’s make a family road trip survival kit for your road trip so that you don’t have to stress about it later.

Before You Go

Before you leave for your road trip, it is imperative that you take the time to bring your vehicle to the mechanic for some general maintenance. 

Topping off your fluids and having a mechanic give the thumbs up for vehicle performance will ensure that you will have a nice journey. 

A mechanic will be able to see if there is anything that could be an issue in the future or could be cause for some concern. If he gives the okay, then he thinks your car will be able to handle the open road. 

Make sure that your tires, and spare tire, are properly filled. Proper tire pressure can be the difference between a fun journey, and a gas-consuming nightmare. Vehicle mileage is better when the tires are full.

It would be a good idea to go shopping for the road trip car essentials; snacks, drinks, and other things that you can think of that you might need for both the ride and while you are at your destination. Being sure to take into account everyone’s tastes will help you to make a well-rounded road trip packing list.

What Goes Into Your Survival Kit?

There are several things that should be on your road trip kit. 

  • Break Down Kit – which consists of jumper cables, gloves, and tools to be able to fix your car if you can.
  • First Aid Kit
  • Basic Necessity Medicine – Pain Killer/Fever Reducer, Antihistamine/Allergy Relief, etc.
  • Hand Sanitizer AND Hand Soap
  • Wet Wipes
  • Weather-Related items
  • Snacks/Drinks
  • Entertainment Options

These are some very important things that should go into a DIY road trip survival kit. While there isn’t much here, the basics are all that matter when it comes to making sure that your experience in the car is as easy as possible. 

Why Are These Important?

There are many reasons why these items stood out as needing to be on a car travel checklist. Let’s break it down and let you decide for yourself. 

Break Down Kit

Every car should have a “break down kit” even if you are not preparing for a trip. It will help you survive in the event that your car stops working, or you get into an accident. 

This should be updated for every season, as you will need more essential items in the winter than in the summer. 

A basic breakdown kit should consist of jumper cables, gloves, some basic tools, a pre-charged, external battery with USB ports, a car jack, and your spare tire. Of course, adding things to this kit is at your discretion, and more should be added to keep you safe in the winter.

First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is an absolute necessity in any situation. Not to mention in a long drive that may involve children. When an accident happens, it is best to be prepared to handle it.

This first aid kit should include bandaids, antiseptic cream or spray, gauze, a splint (or something to set a body part in case of a break), some sterilizing wipes, and some medical tape. These are just the basics that should be included. 

Adding more to your first aid kit will depend on your family, or who is joining you on the trip. If someone is allergic to anything, having a spare EpiPen might be a good idea in case it happens unexpectedly. Having some higher protein snacks might be useful for someone who has blood sugar issues. 

Take into account who is coming with you when making your first aid kit. Make sure you take care of everyone’s needs, as the first aid kit is not just for you. 

Everyone gets hurt every once in a while, but making sure you are prepared for when it happens is what will ensure you have a great road trip. 

Basic Necessity Medicine

Having the basics in your medicine arsenal would benefit you as well. This will ensure that any aches, annoyances, or health issue won’t put a hole in your plans. 

Having a basic pain killer/fever reducer will be beneficial if someone has a headache or is in pain, It will also help to reduce a fever in case one strikes. 

An antihistamine will be good for when allergies strike, and for if someone has an allergic reaction that isn’t too severe. 

Any other medication that you think would be good for the crowd you are rolling with should be added to your basic necessity medicine kit. If there is any ailment that you can think of that could happen, pack medicine for it. 

It will make the long road trip more bearable if you plan for all unexpected ailments that could logically arise. 

Hand Sanitizer AND Hand Soap

Hygiene is key when it comes to staying healthy, especially when you are in the car with a couple of people for an extended period of time. 

Many diseases and illnesses come from improper use of hygiene when in places that it should be practiced the most. 

Making sure to have hand sanitizer for the car, and pocket-size hand soap for restroom use is a great way to practice safe and healthy hygene. 

However, be sure to have everyone have their own personal sanitizer and soap. Sharing is caring, but sharing germs is not! Keep everyone safe and healthy, and you will be sure to have one of the best road trips. 

Wet Wipes

If you are going to be traveling, wet wipes and hand wipes are the best ideas to have. Not only for kids, but for people of all ages. 

No matter how old you get, messes happen. The best you can do it try not to, but they always find their way onto surfaces. Be prepared with some wipes to clean up messes, and dirty hands. 

Weather-Related items

Things such as a rain jacket, snow boots, or even some sunblock will make sure that you have everything planned out for whatever the weather brings your way. No one can control the weather, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t prepare for it. 


Having drinks and snacks are very important on any road trip. Stopping off when someone gets hungry can be extremely tiresome, and can set you back when it comes to your time schedule. 

When you go shopping, make sure to grab some road trip essentials, like fruits, trail mix, water bottles, and resealable drinking containers. Remember to pack for a road trip, not for a small car ride. More is definitely more in this situation. 


This is especially important when it comes to having kids in the car. When they have nothing to do, it can cause absolute chaos when they find something. Pack some fun, non-messy things to play with that could be stimulating for at least a few hours. 

Packing a few DVDs to watch or having some fun car tunes can help to alleviate the times where boredom is taking over.

From Los Angeles to Key West, whether it be a state park or a trip down route 66, making sure you are prepared for everything that could happen is key to having a fun time. 

Remember, this is a survival kit, so it should help you stay prepared for what could happen. One of the most important things that you should have, even before the road trip is a thought, is an Extended Auto Warranty.

DriveSmart Warranty wants to make sure that you are protected in the event of something happening to your car. No matter what you pack in any survival kit, the best thing you can have is protection. The best way to achieve that is with an Auto Extended Warranty through DriveSmart.

DriveSmart offers Roadside Assistance, Trip Interruption, and can even help you in renting a car! Protect yourself now so you don’t have to regret it later.

Blog By Brooke Lazar

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