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July 2, 2014

Roadside Emergency Kits for Summer Vacation: What Should Yours Have in it?

Always Prepare for the Worst
If you’re on a road trip, the worst possible thing that can happen is for you to be caught off guard. Imagine your car is stuffed with people and suitcases, you’re about halfway to the beach and the car just stops. Smoke rises from the engine and you pull off the road. Before you get out of the car, everyone is already complaining about the heat and how hungry they are. As you scramble to find a tow truck number, the youngest of the kids is crying for food even though you had just stopped twenty minutes back down the road.

No matter what you run across, something will almost always go wrong on a road trip, so it is imperative to be prepared for the absolute worst. When your car is loaded down for vacation, or you’re simply making a quick run to the store, there are certain items that should never miss the cut. These are often known as roadside emergency kits. There are different things to keep track of depending on the size of your adventure, so let’s break it down into three categories.

Basic Kit (Everyday Runs)
A flashlight, snacks, spare tire, handheld fan, jumper cables, basic tools (pliers, flat and phillips-head screwdrivers and an adjustable wrench), road flares, WD-40, and ALWAYS have a cell phone and charger.

Intermediate Kit (Weekends Trips)
The basic kit, extra flashlight batteries, necessary fluids for your car (Motor oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, a gallon of water and antifreeze), a funnel and rags, electrical and duct tape, rain gear, sunscreen, car jack, extra clothes, folding chairs, pillows, sleeping bags, and toys and games for the kids.

Advanced Kit (Full on Road Trips)
The intermediate kit, a folding camping shovel, tire chains, fuses, blankets, fire extinguisher, gloves, work boots, a knife, bright cloth that can be displayed in the window during car trouble, non-perishable food and a can opener and toilet paper.

While these are just the basics, it is also good to keep a small manual on car trouble with you at all times if you are not sure how to perform repairs in a tough situation.

Check the contents of your kit when the seasons change. The blanket, chains and ice scraper are important for winter driving conditions, but you may not need them in August.

Keeping a roadside emergency kit in your car will arm you with both peace of mind, and the tools you’ll need to rescue yourself in the event of an emergency during your travels. Staying prepared is the best way to avoid roadside trouble and make it an adventure instead of a tragedy. Dealing with car trouble is one thing, but on vacation, it’s easy to get even more frustrated. Prepare ahead of time and enjoy your trip!

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