Road Trip Safety
- Nothing ruins the fun quite like a traffic fatality. Please… do everything you can to protect yourself and your loved ones and that guy who kinda invited himself and you said OK but he has to sit squished in the middle of the backseat the whole time.
- Plan how many hours each person will drive each day. Do NOT drive while tired. You’re not good at it.
- Plan where you’ll stay and/or have some options
- Look at weather forecasts where you’ll be going. Prepare.
- Distracted driving can be deadly. Keep your eyes on the road.
- Bring sunglasses
- Wear your seat belt
- For young children, be sure their safety seats are properly installed. You might be surprised. You can call 866-SEAT-CHECK to have an expert check. Or learn more at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- Never leave children alone in the car. Accidents happen and the temperature inside rises quicker than you’d imagine.
Your Pre-Trip To-Do List
Before you hit the road, be sure:
- Your vehicle has been inspected by a qualified mechanic. Check your tires, battery, belts, fluids, air conditioner, engine, brakes, windshield wipers, and more.
- The spare tire is in good condition. And that you’ve got a vehicle jack. And that you’ll have Wi-Fi to search “How to change a tire” on YouTube.
- You have a gallon of antifreeze
- To bring an empty 1-gallon gas container. Although let’s face it… the type of person who completely runs out of gas is usually not the type of person who reads these kinds of articles on preparation. So share this with that one friend you have! Also, NEVER carry gasoline in your car.
- To bring a back-up battery for your mobile phone and/or a car charger
- To have plenty of drinking water, sunscreen, and other items to keep your body healthy
- To have a paper map in case you don’t have power. Or at least download maps to your phone in case you don’t have reliable cell service throughout the entire trip
- You bring your driver’s license and registration, copy of car insurance policy and contact numbers, car’s manual
Road Trip Emergency Kit Essentials (and Extras!)
- First-aid kit with your prescription drugs, pain relievers, antiseptic, bandages, scissors, medical tape, motion sickness medicine
- Road flares
- Extra bottles of drinking water — gallons would be great
- Rain ponchos / Umbrellas
- Fully-charged car jump-starter (I have one of these gizmos. It’s clutch when you can’t find someone to jump your car.)
- Jumper cables
- Flashlights with extra batteries
- Blankets, pillows, or sleeping bags
- Warm clothes if it’s cold
- Snacks / food / energy bars
- Diapers / baby supplies
- Sanitary pads
- Hand sanitizer
- Toilet paper
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste
- Bug spray
- Fire extinguisher
- And your credit card that gives your professional roadside assistance!
Credit Cards That Give You Complimentary Roadside Assistance
Note: The premium credit cards listed here have higher annual fees than ordinary cards. The roadside assistance perk alone won’t make them worthwhile for you. BUT… some of these credit cards also have highly-lucrative intro bonuses worth hundreds or even thousands of dollarstowards travel. And their other benefits can also make them worth it.
For example, I have the Citi Prestige because I use it to save big at hotels and airport lounges. Others on the Million Mile Secrets team really love their Chase Sapphire Reserve and AMEX Business Platinum cards.
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