Are you the type of person who cares more about your car’s cup holders than the size of the engine? You’re not alone! Car amenities are a big part of why people chose one model over another. Every car will get you where you need to go, but it’s the comfort of that journey that matters. That means a great playlist, hands-free Bluetooth and that cool, frosty beverage of choice. (Notice we’re not supporting the transportation of hot beverages. Too much potential for spill injuries!)
Now that you have your “comforts” taken care of, there are a few other things you shouldn’t be without. Consider this list of the 10 things to always keep in your car:
1. Proof of Insurance
This one is usually a given. However, many insurance companies have embraced the smartphone era by allowing you to have proof of insurance right on your phone. That’s super convenient, unless your phone dies or you forget it. It’s always helpful to have a backup in the glove box.
2. Cell Phone Charger
Speaking of smartphones, your car should have a dedicated cell phone charger. Get into the habit of plugging in, even if you have a full charge. If you’re without a charger, you can pick up a cheap one at nearly any gas station food mart.
3. Bottled Water
Having a six-pack of bottled water stashed in the back seat is great for long trips. It can also come in handy if you find yourself stuck by the side of the road or even in traffic for a long time. Remember: the moment you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
4. Survival Toolkit
There’s no telling where you’ll be when the zombie apocalypse strikes. If you’re in your car, having a survival toolkit will come in handy. Actually, this type of kit can be a benefit in a lot of different emergencies, and not just ones you might be directly involved in. Follow the Boy Scout motto and always “Be Prepared.”
5. Jumper Cables
You might find that having jumper cables makes you a very popular motorist. You might never use them, but several other people could be rescued. It will help to know exactly how to use jumper cables, too. Hard to be a hero if you don’t know how things work.
6. Tire Sealant
Have you ever had anyone roll up to you to let you know your tire looks flat? That’s a horrible feeling. Depending on where you are, it can also be a horrible experience if you need to change a tire. Thankfully, there are many easy-to-use tire sealants on the market today that can provide a quick fix strong enough to help you get where you’re going.
A flashlight is going to be helpful in all kinds of situations. Even a minor “I dropped my keys and can’t find them in the dark” scenario will be aided by a flashlight. Again, don’t always depend on your cell phone. It’s always good to have a backup that isn’t an app.
8. First Aid Kit
If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you might also spend a lot of time getting roughed up. After a tumble on the trail or bust-up on the pitch, it will be nice to get patched up before you get back on the road. A basic first aid kit has you covered.
9. Protein Bars
This is another one of those “just in case” items. You might find yourself stuck in traffic for hours with a grumbling stomach. Low blood sugar isn’t fun! Having a protein bar can help pick you up and keep you focused. They’re also great if you’re in a rush and have to skip lunch or breakfast.
10. Weather Tools
Depending on where you live, weather could be a huge factor in your daily commute. In snow zones, you want to make sure you have an ice scraper and snow brush. Also, a small bag of kitty litter can help get a car unstuck in the snow. In the hot zones, having a jug of distilled water for your radiator wouldn’t hurt.
Bonus: Fire Extinguisher
There are two fantastic reasons to keep a fire extinguisher in your car. The first is if your car overheats and catches on fire, having a way to put it out instantly can save your car and even your life. The second is for if you come on the scene of an accident and one or more of the cars are on fire. Having the extinguisher ready to go could be the difference between life and death for whoever is involved.
The best thing that could happen is that you stock your car up with all those essentials and never have to use them. On the other hand, you’ll be the smartest driver on the road when you’re able to say, “I got this” to any emergency.