15 essentials everyone needs for a road trip

Everyone needs a good pair of jumper cables in their car, and your vehicle’s manual is a must. What else are the absolute essentials? License and registration are obvious, but a first-aid kit is key. So here’s our list of essentials you absolutely must check/have before you set out on your summer road trip...

  1. Roadworthy Spare Tyre – A flat spare tyre is of no use to anyone, let alone when you have to change a tyre on the side of the road. The spare should be roadworthy with at least the minimum tread depth, and the inflation pressure should be checked regularly so it can be used whenever it’s needed.
  2. Jack/Wheel Brace – It’s also important to have the jack and wheel brace you’ll need to remove the flat tyre and mount the spare. Make sure they are in the boot and you’re familiar with using them.
  3. Tyre Pressure – Make sure you’ve inflated your tyres to the correct pressure before you head out – failure to do so could result in higher fuel costs, affect your driving and, potentially, lead to an accident.
  4. Maps – Yes, the paper kind. Because not everywhere has reception.
  5. Fill up – We know it sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised the number of people who think they’ll find fuel en route and then got caught short.
  6. First Aid Kit – There should be one in your car at all times – but especially before a big trip.
  7. Phone and Charger –Your phone is one of the most important safety items you have in an emergency. It allows you to call for help whenever you need it, no matter where you are (well almost), but if it’s going to be of use to you, you need to remember your charger!
  8. Cash – Not everywhere has EFTPOS or an ATM so make sure you have some spare cash on you before you leave.
  9. Torch – Yes, almost all phones have an in-built torch these days, but it’s still a good idea to carry one, just in case. Remember to check the batteries before you leave home!
  10. Blanket – Being stranded on the side of the road with a broken down car on a chilly day or night is no fun, but a picnic blanket will make sure you stay warm. Plus, it’ll come in handy once you get to your destination.
  11. Jumper Leads – Save on towing charges, help out a stranger, no need to wait for a tow truck – there are numerous reasons why you should always carry a pair of jumper leads in your boot.
  12. Water – There’s nothing worse than feeling thirsty yet having nothing to drink.
  13. Owner’s Manual – The owner’s manual should always be kept in the glovebox. It tells you where the spare wheel is located and how fit it. It also has information on fuses and where they’re located, how to jump-start an engine, and a myriad of other important things you should know about your car.
  14. Reflective Triangle – The last thing you want when you’re waiting for help on a dark night is for another vehicle to not see you. Remember to place at least a couple of metres ahead of your car, facing oncoming traffic.
  15. Tell Someone – It can be your mum, a friend, a family member – just remember to tell someone your planned route, stops and your ETA at your final destination.
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