Road trips are a favorite pastime of millions around the globe each year. Heading out with friends and family for sightseeing and exploring is a great way to get to know the world around you.

Road trips are not only ideal to get to know your surroundings, but they provide ample opportunity to spend time with your loved ones while making new memories that are sure to last a lifetime. Any time you are planning an upcoming road trip it is important to prepare ahead of time to remain confident and comfortable with your surrounding environments. Storms, unforeseen snow, and even difficulties with your vehicle can put a damper on your road trip when you least expect it. When you are planning an upcoming road trip, there are a few things to pack away in your car to ensure safety, protection, and smooth sailing once you are on your way.

1 - Proper Paperwork

Always travel with the proper paperwork anytime you are heading out on a road trip, regardless of the distance you plan on driving. Keep a valid driver's license on your person at all times while storing your vehicle's insurance verification and registration safely in your car's console or another tucked away area. If you have a run in with the law, an accident, or if you become stranded, having the proper paperwork helps to smooth the process of sorting out any issue you encounter.

2 - Emergency First Aid Kit

Keeping an emergency first aid kit in your car is highly recommended even if you are not currently on a road trip. An emergency first aid kit includes necessary tools and medical supplies to address cuts, burns, and even serious injuries while you are away from home or far from a nearby hospital. Ensure that your first aid kit includes:

  • Bandages (in a variety of sizes)
  • Gauze and medical tape
  • Clean wipes
  • Painkillers or prescribed medications
  • Medical scissors
  • Cotton balls

3 - Spare Tires

Keep at least one spare tire in your vehicle's trunk or back seat when you are planning a long road trip. Spare tires are necessary when you find one of your vehicle's tires have been slashed, torn, or popped. It is also important to travel with a car jack if you are stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire that requires a replacement. Brush up on your ability to change your vehicle's tires before heading out onto the open road.

4 - Emergency Roadside Kit

Traveling with an emergency roadside kit is essential when you are planning to take a trip out of state or even across the country. Roadside kits come in handy whether you find yourself stranded in a desert, in a snowstorm, or even in a heavy torrential downpour. Some of the most common items to keep inside of your emergency roadside kit include:

  • Outdoor flares
  • Electrical-safe gloves
  • Travel-sized hand warmers
  • Jumper cables
  • Portable battery charger
  • Bungee cords
  • Duct tape
  • Electrical tape
  • Vests
  • Flashlights
  • Portable shovel

5 - Kitty Litter

When you live in an area with a cold climate or traveling to a location that is expecting snowfall, travel with a large bag of kitty litter in your trunk. Kitty litter is one of the best tools to use if you find your vehicle stuck in snow and ice, unable to get out even with your gas pedal to the floor. Once you shovel the snow away from your vehicle's tires, use kitty litter to create a barrier between your tires and the snowy surface, allowing your car the ability to get free and continue with your trip.

6 - Food and Water

Any time you are planning to spend an extended amount of time on the road it is advisable to do so only after stocking up on food and water. Travel with enough water for each of your occupants for a week whenever you are taking a road trip. Additionally, use a traditional cooler to store food while also stocking up on non-perishable items such as soups, vegetables, and other packaged goods that are weatherproof and won't spoil.

7 - Cords and Chargers

Avoid losing your phone due to a lack of chargers or outlets in your vehicle. Always travel with portable phone chargers and keep spare cords in your vehicle's console in case of an emergency. Search for portable chargers that are solar-powered or include replaceable batteries in times of need. Finding yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere is daunting, but not as daunting as feeling stuck without the ability to reach emergency services or others using your phone.