Car Care: Your Essential Road Trip Packing List

As the summer months approach, your plans may include traveling or taking vacations to visit friends and family. But, the season of fun is anything but if you experience a car emergency unprepared without putting some thought into your long road trip packing list. The culprit can be anything from poor weather conditions to a flat tire and the concern — that you simply can’t anticipate what you can’t expect. Luckily, you can prepare for it regardless. Check out some of our car care recommendations below for your next road trip. Don’t hit the open road without packing these car necessities that will keep your trip on track. 

Car Emergency Essentials

Getting your vehicle road trip-ready should include having it inspected by a professional mechanic to ensure everything is in proper working condition. Then, in addition to the car care accessories that make your travel more comfortable, don’t leave home without including the following emergency items in your road trip car care kit. 

Spare Tire Supplies

Include a spare tire that has been properly inflated, along with a wheel wrench and jack. Before you ever need to put it on out of necessity, it’s also a good idea to periodically check your spare tire to make sure it hasn’t become damaged or is leaking air. 

Waiting on the roadside for assistance under the harsh Florida sunshine surely isn’t the start to your trip you had anticipated. So, knowing how to fundamentally care for your vehicle is a must before heading out. If you’re not sure how to change a tire, don’t be alarmed. With plenty of tutorials, the internet has got your back. And, if you have time before your trip, come to one of our Car Care Clinics to try your hand with these basics before you need them!

Jumper Cables

Your car battery can go dead at any time, from lack of use, lighting components in the car being left on, or age. Keeping a set of jumper cables appropriately sized for your vehicle with you at all times helps you potentially avoid being stranded should your battery go out on you.

Tire Gauge 

Not only can incorrectly filled tires negatively affect fuel economy, handling, and the wear and tear put on your tires, but they can also be dangerous and cause blowouts. In addition, you will want to ensure you have added the proper tire pressure should you have to inflate your tires in the case of an emergency, which is where a handy tire gauge comes in. 

Car Care For the Sake of Your Passengers

Safety First

For safety, you should also always include a multipurpose utility tool, duct tape, reflective triangles and vest, and a flashlight with extra batteries. Further, regardless of where you’re headed, every car should be equipped with a well-stocked first aid kit. From rowdy children cooped in the backseat to scrapes when changing a flat tire, you never know when and what will be handy. To ensure you’re prepared, include the following in your kit: 

  • Antibiotic ointment 
  • Bandages
  • Tape
  • Blankets
  • Gloves
  • Tweezers
  • Gauze
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Over the counter medications such as Tylenol, Advil, or Benadryl
  • Antihistamine 
  • Scissors
  • Thermometer
  • Saline solution

Having these essentials on hand will save you an off-highway trip to a convenience store and keep your road trip traveling smoothly ahead.

Snacks for the Road

What’s a road trip without road trip snacks? Don’t find yourself in tight quarters with a hangry passenger! Instead, make sure you keep a few bottled waters and non-perishable food items in your car, such as granola bars or crackers. 

Offline Directions

This one may sound obvious, but given our digital dependency, this key component to a successful road trip can often go overlooked. When traveling, keep a roadmap of the area handy as you can never predict when you may lose or damage your phone or unexpectedly lose signal. Further, another great way to ensure your maps are always at the ready regardless of the cell service where you’re traveling is to download the maps offline to keep your phone. 


Depending on how far you’re traveling and where you’re headed, you may wish to take a few items that aren’t always necessary for short distances and well-trafficked areas. In addition to the items listed above, the following are wise to keep on hand when making larger trips in your vehicle. 

  • Gas can
  • Flat tire inflation canister
  • Spare car fuses
  • Spare oil quarts 
  • Car escape tool

Keep Your Summer Plans Moving with Car Care from City Auto

You might think that there’s nothing better than eagerly hopping into your car for an exciting road trip, but we’re here to tell you that it’s even better to take off knowing that no unexpected situation will derail your trip! City Auto Repair in Gainesville, FL can help get your car ready for whatever your summer has in store through our thorough inspection, maintenance, and repair services. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your trip!