When it comes to being on the road, what does it mean to be prepared? Whether we’re sending off our kids in carpools, watching our teens behind the wheel with their newly-minted drivers licenses, or wishing safe travels to aging parents or a Blackberry-distracted husband as they head out on a trip, we can’t help but worry until they let us know they got there just fine.
Anything could happen – from a wrong turn or a car-sick kid, or even a breakdown just in running our daily errands. But what’s the best way to prepare to be safe on the road? If you ask a dozen different people you’ll get a dozen different answers. So we asked the experts at TravelingMom, SheBuysCars and State Farm what we should think of in preparing for our next road trip.
Here’s what our seasoned TravelingMom road warriors recommend in your emergency kit:
Julie Cohn: Paper towels, toilet paper, 1-2 bottles of water, can of emergency tire inflater, Dramamine, granola bars.
Teresa Shaw: Gallon Ziploc bags for trash, vomit, etc.
Deb Jamtot: In the winter – ice scraper, blanket, extra mittens/gloves, and bag of kitty litter (to create traction when stuck on the ice). And Band Aids; always very handy.
Eric Jay Toll: (from his Sierra Nevada Search and Rescue experience) Three gallons of water, space blankets for each member of the family, a container of bullion cubes, ‘Survival’ chocolate bars, jumper cables, tire patch kit, your AAA card, and if possible an air pump. Always have a map of where you are traveling and know what the different road symbols mean. If you get on a road on a map (or from a GPS) and it doesn’t feel right, stop and turn around. GPS maps are notoriously inaccurate in rural areas.
Nasreen Stump: Sparklers & matches. Good for visibility and keeping kids busy. We always pick up a bunch after the 4th of July.
Barb Likos: Work gloves; water for people and the radiator; space blankets; solar charger for phone; Gatorade powder to mix in the water bottles; hiking boots or good walking shoes and socks; sunscreen.
Meagan Shamy: A Leatherman. The best multipurpose tool on the market.
Kelly Queijo: Wet wipes, Swiss Army knife, Band Aids.
Christine Tibbetts: Yoga mat, a good book, and extra flashlight and road flares.
Mimi Slawoff Mendelson: Scissors, tape and a wine bottle opener (not for use during driving of course).
Margalit Sturm Francus: In case we get stuck in an earthquake, we carry in our cars a small pre-packed backpack with a blanket, jacket, duct tape, flare and three days worth of water and dried food. Next to the driver’s seat we also have a hammer/seatbelt cutter in case we are in an accident and need to get out of the car fast.
Lara DiPaola: Baby wipes. I don’t have babies anymore, but these things are truly all purpose. A flash charger for your cell phone and an extra set of batteries for it. And of course, cash.
Scotty Reiss: Your car’s owners manual, your AAA card, an extra cell phone charger, apps on your phone that allow you to find local things quickly, a towel, plastic bags and water bottles. And yes, that is my car in the photo being towed away. Luckily, items #1 and #2 were on hand and I wasn’t stuck for very long.
Mary Heston: Duct tape (a must), and kitty litter; keep it in a Tupperware type tub because it’s no good if it gets loose in the car or gets soggy.
Just Try To Keep Your Fellas Away From This One
A ratchet set is irresistible to many men; and work gloves? They demand to be used! Just as almost anything might qualify as an emergency when chocolate is in the emergency kit, the kit that State Farm put together may prove tempting to those who like to tinker. But when you face a hazard or need mechanical help, these items can be a life saver:
- A reflective hazard warning sign (this one’s a carrying case)
- Jumper cables
- Ice scraper
- Tire pressure gauge
- Ratchet set
- Electrical tape
- Automotive fuses
- Work gloves
Submit Photos and Win Your Own Emergency Kit!
What are your road trip safety strategies? Share with us through Instagram and qualify to win the State Farm Emergency Kit. Just be sure to hash tag your photos #SFRoadTrip and tag @SheBuysCars and@TravelingMom. You can post photos about each of the topics below between August 1 and August 15 (each topic number is also the date in August that it will be the subject of TravelingMom and SheBuysCars Instagramming!). We’ll randomly select a winner from the posts hash tagged #SFRoadTrip (one entry per person per day) and notify via email by August 20th. Post often, be creative and above all, be safe on the road this summer!
Disclosure: Thanks to State Farm for sponsoring this contest and providing the winner with the kit pictured here.