Millions of families will travel by car to their favorite vacation spots this summer. Don't let a vehicle breakdown sabotage your trip; carry an emergency road kit.
Before you take to the road, have your car checked by a mechanic to make sure it is mechanically sound. They will inspect everything from your wipers to the tire pressure.
Make sure the spare tire is in good condition and properly inflated. Check to be sure all the parts of the vehicle jack are in the car.
In addition to a good spare tire, it may be a good idea to carry a gallon of antifreeze. Radiator hoses could develop a leak in the hot weather. Adding antifreeze if the car begins to overheat may allow you to make it to a repair shop.
A small empty gas can (1 gallon) could come in handy should you run out of gas and are close enough to walk to the nearest gas station. Never carry a full gas can in the vehicle.
In the worst case scenario, your car could break down and you and the family may have to wait for a tow truck. Have a cellular phone handy and be sure that it is charged. If you are not a cellular phone subscriber, consider purchasing a disposable cell phone and prepaid minutes before you leave.
Pack road flares, plenty of bottles of water, sunscreen, rain poncho, umbrellas, snacks and a few games or books that could help pass the time. In case of a nighttime breakdown, carry flashlights, blankets and pillows if space allows.
Most importantly, have a well-stocked first-aid kit. The kit should contain antiseptic, bandages, cotton balls, cotton swabs, medical tape, motion sickness medicine, burn cream, aspirin, ibuprofen and scissors. Customize the kit with any other items you think you may need. Be sure to carry any prescription drugs your family needs.
By taking the time to prepare before you hit the road, you could save yourself hours of aggravation during your trip.