Hey, my girlfriend and I are driving from NM to Boston over Thanksgiving. Its my first road trip and I want to make it memorable. Are there any "must have" items for in the car - including food and drink. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. ~ DF
I don't know what the temperature will be like when you'll head north, but if winter is at the rendez vous, here are a few things you better have : traction aid kit, windshield washer for temperatures below the freezing point, winter tires, jumper cables, something to shovel snow from under your tires if you get caught somewhere, blankets and candles, extra headlights for the car, cell phone and/or CB, AAA membership if possible, winter clothing (scarf, hat, warm coats, ...)
At all times, you should have water in the car (for you and your car), the right maps, entertainment for you and the passenger (music, reading, depending on your interests), some things to eat along the way that aren't easy to spill or that won't ruin anything(like rasperries for example) if possible ( try dried fruits, nuts, cheese, apples, oatmeal cookies), try to pick drinks that are caffeinated (Coke, coffee, iced tea), it'll help you to stay awake while driving, a garbage bag, kleenex or towelettes, sunblock, sunglasses, a pressure gauge, a jack and some tools to repair a flat tire (fix-a-flat for ex.), a spare tire, first aid kit, emergency numbers to call just in case.
Have a safe trip!
Hey Gen, thanks so much for your advice. Wow, about half of the stuff you listed I would have never thought of. I can hardly wait for this vacation. Appreciatively yours, Dave Franco
We have a couple of boxes of tips you might glance at with respect to your trip. Look at the bottom of this <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/tips/couples.htm">page<a/> and also <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/tips/solo.htm">here<a/> at the bottom for supplies to carry with you.
Plus, Bob Schaller wrote a very good article about <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/travelplanning/Winter-Driving.htm">winter driving tips<a/> and there are a few more ideas about <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/tips/mountaindriving.htm">mountain driving here<a/>
I was going to mention that NO roadtrip "survival box" is complete without corn nuts! Also, don't forget your camera (+film if necessary), spare batteries and phone charging cord, and binoculars (if you have them). Bob
I'm also curious to see what everyone else carries in their car. Here's a list of what I carry in mine. But it varies a lot depending on where I'm going, how long I'm going, and what I'm planning on doing (i.e. straight driving or sightseeing)
Bottled water(Most important), Small ice chest, roll of toilet paper (second most important), Tow strap, Tire chains (optional), blanket, rope, first aid kit, portable jumpstarter, air compressor, roll of paper towels, good pair of hiking boots (in case you have to walk), gloves, warm clothes, spare socks, more water, flashlights (or headlamps), garbage bags (small and large), handi-wipes, duct tape, hat, sunglasses, lighter, fix-a-flat (but always have a spare tire), large spotlight, a coathanger or two, a few tools that you know how to use, sometimes a small shovel. It looks like a lot of stuff but most of the stuff is packed in a backpack that sits behind the seats. If you plan on staying on well travelled highways during the day, then a lot of the stuff can be considered optional.
As far as food and drink, I just use the small ice chest to carry a days supply of food or whatever, because you will almost always be able to find snacks and food along the way, so no need to carry a whole kitchen with you. I like individually wrapped snacks that I can leave in the car without worrying too much about refrigeration. And I love cereals. I prefer things that come in a box that I can put next to me and eat with one hand, rather than having to always hold it (i.e. cereal)
Pretty good list + some additions
ditto your list plus: EQ extraction (search & rescue) tools, a couple of paperbacks, a candle and matches, work gloves, coveralls, ice-scraper, small shovel, basic canned food (I rotate the cans every 9 mos or so). I also always carry a newish teddy bear (accidents involving kids), blanket and a couple of extra coats (beyond what I need) TWO FIRE EXTINGUSHERS, CB radio, GPS, 2 beach towels and at least two tea towels (work really well for driving and eating)
Having done a few trips myself, here are my list of Necessities:
*Lugwrench that fits ALL the lugnuts on veh (check them)
*Spare tire (a good one)
*A.B.C. Class Fire Extinguisher
*First Aid kit
*Pre-mix Anti-freeze (2 jugs)
*Oil (the correct type for your vehicle, 4 quarts at least)
*Standard tools (screw driver, socket wrenches, etc.)
*1 gallon non-drinking water (for a backup for coolant or to put out fire)
*1 gallon per person of sealed drinking water
*minor food supplys, such as crakers, candy bars, dried fruit/nuts (unless you travel to the middle of nowhere, the chances of getting stuck far from a food source is slim, water is a more likely neccessity).
*pocket knife (as a tool and as protection)
*Cellular phone WITH CAR CHARGER!!!! (I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH! Working with AAA roadside assistance, TOO MANY people go off without a car charger for thier phone. Even if your vehicle breaks down, you can plug in your phone and get help.)
Cary a combination of Cash AND plastic. Spread your cash around between passengers and places on the vehicle. No more than $100 in any one place at one time. Put about $100 in the glove box, and hide some in a baggy in the trunk area of the vehicle, like under the mat. The rest spread between the passengers. This way, you will always have atleast $100 on you, which is enough to get you gas and food. When I traveld down with my 14 year old brother from Washington to Arizona, I kept $100 on both of us in cash, and $50 in the glove box and $50 in the trunk (i couldnt afford any more than that.)
Anything else is pretty much optional. (editorial snip)