Nine essentials every smart road tripper should pack.

Deidre Plotnick March 13, 2020
Four women enjoying the spring sunshine on a park bench.
As the weather’s warming up and the days are getting longer, you’re probably thinking about spring road trips. 

By packing a few essentials, you can be prepared for just about any curve the road throws your way. Here are nine must-have picks for your spring road trip:

  1. Roadside emergency kit. Purchase a ready-made kit, or make your own, because this is a must. Your kit should contain first-aid supplies, booster cables, flares or reflective triangles and a flashlight with spare batteries to keep you safe until help arrives.

  2. Properly inflated spare tire and a jack. While most of us have a spare tire in our trunks, we don’t regularly check its air pressure. Be sure to check yours. Better yet, get a complete inspection and check your brake pads, tires and fluids. CAA has a list of trustworthy garages near you.

  3. Blanket. Use it for a picnic, cuddle under it in the back seat or wrap yourself in it while waiting for a tow truck at the side of the road…a warm blanket is always a good idea!

  4. Extra windshield fluid. Bug splatter can quickly pile up and obscure your vision. Running out of windshield fluid between gas stations can lead to hazardous driving. Stock up on extra fluid to be safe.

  5. Car phone charger. If your car battery works, you can charge your phone. You may need it to call for help, so make sure yours is charging while you’re driving.

  6. License, registration and car insurance policy. This may seem obvious, but sometimes we take these out when changing purses or drivers. Be sure to have these all in your wallet before you leave home.

  7. Your car manual. While you may not be a mechanic, troubleshooting small problems can be easy with your car manual by your side. If you don’t already have one in your glove box, many car manufacturers today have them online. Be sure to have a hardcopy of your car manual handy in your glove box so you get instructions on how to change a tire and more.

  8. TripTik® and CAA Tour Books. TripTiks map out your driving route, while offering recommendations for CAA-Approved hotels, restaurants and attractions along the way. You can create your TripTik Travel Planner online or you can order one through your local CAA Store. CAA Tour Books provide more in-depth recommendations on CAA accredited stops. You can also find these at your nearest CAA Store. The best part is both of these are FREE for CAA Members.

  9. Your CAA Membership card.  Your CAA Membership doesn’t just provide 24/7 roadside assistance anywhere in North America. It also covers you in any rental car, even if you’re not the driver! Plus, show your CAA Member card at any of the 124,000 participating partner locations and get great savings and perks at hotels, restaurants and attractions too. 

Need roadside help but aren’t a CAA Member? You can join on the spot! 

Make your travels memorable for all the right reasons by having these road trip essentials on hand. And if you’re not sure where to go, start by pointing your car to the experienced Travel Experts at your closest CAA store!