Industry News
May 5, 2022

9 Essential Items to Have in Your Car for a Summer Road Trip 

Make sure you’re ready for anything during long road trip by packing these must-have car essentials 

Make sure you’re ready for anything during long road trip by packing these must-have car essentials 


Summer 2021 is finally here, and if you’re like us, you’ve already got plans for a big road trip! Getting ready for this type of trip takes a lot of planning and preparation, from fun accessories to make your ride more fun to intensive car maintenance inspections, so we’ve compiled a list of our top essential items to have in your car during a road trip so you won’t forget anything important and can focus on the fun.


Road Trip Essentials For Your Car: 

License, Registration, Insurance, and Tags

Make sure your license is in your wallet or another safe space that you can carry with you, and that your registration and insurance documents are in a safe, easily accessible place like your glovebox before hitting the road. Check that your car tags are not peeling off your plates or scratched off. 

Double check that everything is up-to-date as well, and that nothing will be expiring while you’re on your trip. 

Spare Tire + Tools to Change a Tire

Your spare tire should be inflated with no visible signs of aging or damage, like cracks or punctures. Also, check that your car has all the tools to change a tire, which can sometimes be missing if you bought a used car. You should have: 

  • A lug wrench 
  • A car jack 
  • Wheel wedges 
  • Work gloves

Tire Inflator

If you have a slow leak or your tire’s air pressure depletes while you’re on the road, having an electric tire pump can be your best friend until you can get to a mechanic.

Jumper Cables + Jump Box 

Nothing is worse than a dead battery with no one around to help give you a jump. Check that your car has jumper cables, and if you don’t have one already, invest in a jump box so you won’t get stranded by a dead battery in the middle of nowhere.

Extra Oil and Coolant + a Funnel and Rags

While you should have all these areas covered in your pre-road trip car inspection, sometimes you may need to top off your car’s oil or coolant, especially if you have an older car. Bring an extra bottle of oil and an extra bottle of coolant, along with a funnel and some rags to help keep your work clean.

Road Trip Essentials For You: 


Hand Sanitizer + Wet Wipes 

Don’t ever trust the cleanliness of a gas station, especially during their busy seasons. You’re not the only one taking a summer road trip this year! Bring a bottle of hand sanitizer and some wet wipes to make sure that you can stay safe even without access to a handwashing area. 

Spare Car Key

Nothing is worse than locking the keys in the car when you go to the gas station, or losing them at one of your stops. Depending on who you’re traveling with, you can prevent lockouts by keeping the spare on you or on another trusted person, or in another safe place.

Phone Charger / Power Inverter 

Phones are often our primary navigation systems, and so making sure their batteries aren’t drained when you need them is a factor of safety. Double check that your car has the correct ports for the electronics you’ll bring along the way, and if it doesn’t then you can get a great power inverter for your car here

First Aid Kit 

An obvious essential for the prepared traveler. You can buy a great first aid kit for road trips here.

Bonus! Professional Road-Tripping Tips: 

Clean your car before you go 

No one wants to spend a long day locked in a messy or smelly car. Keep your road trippers happiest by cleaning out your car of any unnecessary clutter, and consider getting it detailed to remove any dirt, food crumbs or spills, and unpleasant scents.

Clean your headlights along the way

Bugs will start to pack on throughout your trip, and so doing a quick wipe down at every pit stop keeps your headlights and grill much easier to clean than waiting to scrape them off after a week-long journey.

Pre-download entertainment content. 

Pre-downloading entertainment content prevents streaming lag, keeps you immune to “dead zones,” and doesn’t burn up data in roaming areas. If you have multiple people with you on your trip, consider asking them all to download content as well, so you’ll have a variety of entertainment to choose from to either enjoy on your own or together.

Pack light

It’s important not to overload a vehicle with too many heavy items, as massive loads can shorten tire life and reduce fuel economy during extended trips. Although, some bigger items might be necessary for your trip, so check your owner’s manual for your car’s maximum load, and overall, pack only what you need.


Before You Hit the Road…

Have you had your car looked over top-to-bottom? Extended periods of driving can potentially damage cars that are not road trip ready. Our Summer Road Trip Car Inspection Checklist is a helpful guide in assessing your vehicle before it takes you on your next adventure.

Need Car Help?

Our auto team is one of the most skilled you'll find in Omaha. Let us show you.

Call Now

Content Tags

New Cars
Used Cars
Luxury Cars
Recalls
Summer
Fall
Spring
Winter
Checklists
FAQ
Opinion
Car Accessories
Car Hacks
Travel
Body Repair
Service
Comparisons
Omaha
Nebraska

More Blog Posts

An image of a service professional working on a car
How Tos & DIYs

Step-by-Step Instructions to Jump Start Your Car

Detailed instructions with pictures for how to jump a dead car battery.
Read Post >
Collision Avoidance System
Car Tips

Can You Trust Your Auto Collision Avoidance System?

Auto Collision Avoidance Systems, sometimes referred to as CAS, can be very useful - as long as we don’t see them as replacements for human drivers but as tools to make our driving better.
Read Post >
Car Frame Damage Repair
Car Tips

Everything You Need To Know About Car Frame Damage

‏Never let issues like frame damage go unattended. They may result in further issues, wear-and-tear, or worse. If you think any of this sounded all too familiar, don't waste time; have a licensed technician assess your vehicle today.
Read Post >
Auto Repair Education

Why Is Preventive Auto Maintenance Important?

How often do you take your car to a mechanic for a check-up? Most car owners believe that driving their car until it breaks down gives them value for their money, as they don't pay until it's necessary. This post breaks down that myth.
Read Post >
Car Maintenance During Pandemic
Car Tips

Everything You Need To Know About Car Maintenance During The Pandemic

During a pandemic, we may find ourselves driving less, either mandated by the state or just self-imposed. During this time, we may tend to focus more on our well-being and staying safe that we end up overlooking other things, such as our vehicles.
Read Post >
Enhance Your Car's Value After An Accident
Auto Repair Education

Enhance Your Car's Value After An Accident

Any major accident lowers the value of your car. However, there are some steps you can take to enhance the value of your vehicle after an accident.
Read Post >