During the fall and winter holiday season, the number of long-distance trips in the United States increases by at least 54 percent, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. If you're one of those travelers, you know that the last thing you need to is experience car or passenger troubles of any kind. So before you hit the open road, here's how to get your car safe, organized and ready for anything.
Triple check your car's health
A smart vehicle health monitor is an affordable, compact way to keep an eye on what's going on under your vehicle's hood. This particular model is is designed to be easily installed — just plug it into your car’s OBD II port and you’re ready to go.
Once installed, it will send you real-time alerts about engine error codes, tire pressure, gas mileage and more, all through your own cell phone. It can help you identify any issue quickly and without having to pay a diagnostic fee so you can drive for hours without any concerns.
Have backup tunes ready
Everyone knows music, podcasts or audiobooks are necessary to survive a long road trip, particularly during those tireless stretches of boring highway where you don't get radio service. A good car music adapter can solve that problem.
This model lets you enjoy such Bluetooth capabilities as answering calls — the built-in microphone lets you have crystal clear phone conversations — and listening to HD music. It simplifies the front seat, and prevents you or your passengers from having to mess with multiple cords and buttons while you try and focus on the road. Plus, it's compatible with both iOS, Android and Blackberry systems. All you need is an AUX port.
Get your glovebox in order
The last thing you need while road tripping is to realize you left a crucial document or your toll change at home. Prevent all of that by organizing your glovebox before you leave.
Pack the necessities like vehicle registration, proof of insurance and the car’s manual. You should also keep relevant maps, pens, gum, spare change and emergency contact numbers.
Pack an emergency roadside assistance kit
While we all like to think we'll never need it — and most never do — you should never leave for a road trip without packing an emergency roadside assistance kit.
This kit comes with a three twenty minute flares, jumper cables, a first aid kit and more, all packed in a polyester bag that has self adhesive straps attached to the back to secure placement in the trunk or under the seat in the vehicle.
Take preventive measure to avoid any “hanger”
Keep everyone in the car happy — and prevent unnecessary, time-consuming food stops — by packing a cooler with everyone's favorite snacks and drinks.
This YETI cooler fits perfectly in most car trunks and can keep things cool for hours. Avoid foods and beverages that will leave your car a mess, though, like soda, sunflower seeds or powdered doughnuts.