Venture A Highway And Survive! Road Trip Travel Tips

Venture a highway and survive

Road trips can be SO exciting! We love them! So, once a year, we stock up our first aid kit and go through this check list below. For us, kids, pets and now for you! 

1. Get A Cell Phone Charger! I know, seems obvious huh!? Many people don't have one for their car and it is so easy and could save you a major headache in the event of a car emergency. Today you can even pick up a cell phone charger at a gas station. Maybe pick up an extra one!

2. First Aid Kits - These will vary depending on the type of road trip; duration; number of people and whether you are traveling by car, boat, train or plane.

We use a larger kit for our road trips, but still small enough to fit under a seat or in a car seat pocket. If you have a full crew coming with, a fishing tackle box works great! Instant shelves for more "stuff".

If you are hiking, just add a smaller empty waterproof bag and add the essentials that will fit comfortably into your backpack.

>>>After Years Of Road Travel, Here Is What We Have In Our Kit:

  • A variety of band-aids, but mainly medium size. Also include 2-4 Butterfly Closure bandages for small, deep cuts. If you are traveling with pets, add Vet Tape Adherent bandage and muzzle or small scarf. 
  • Blister moleskin, we walk and hike- a lot, so we always use these!! Here's the ones we use: No More Blister
  • QuikClot, this is a clotting sponge that helps stop bleeding from a deep wound --have you ever been hiking or biking and run into a tree branch? **BOING**!  That would be ME! Cut yourself while preparing a meal at a campsite? I have, and more! Keep one on hand, but watch the expiration date. You can buy them HERE
  • Alcohol swabs- we bring at least 25!
  • Plastic disposable gloves.
  • 4-5 large gauze pads. ( These work great for larger cuts-or you can cut them down), also some medical adhesive tape to secure these. Can also be used to secure band-aids or bandages if you are traveling in a super humid area.
  • Antibiotic Ointment AND Anti-itch cream----YES ! YES! Thank goodness for this stuff. Its hard to escape insect bites on outdoor trips.
  • Small scissors, safey pins and tweezers. Tweezers are essential for splinters and tick removal.
    **NOTE: Our family has had a lot of ticks. If you're in the woods, check each other and the dogs. IMPORTANT -- get the tick's head out. Here's a technique from the Center For Disease Control and Prevention. HERE
    If you do not have tweezers, but you do have some dental floss, tie a piece evenly around the head, or as close as possible, tighten slightly and pull straight out.
  • Emergency foil blankets. Pack enough for everyone in the car including pets! We use these: Blanket
  • Travel size container of pain killers and Anti-Diarrhea Tablets.
  • Rehydration salts or powder. This is our NEW ADDITION! I had my first bout with travel sickness and wish I would have had a rehydration powder or salt. Some people love the travel size packets of Gatorade, however I am taking the advice of a fellow traveler and use DripDrop. I purchase mine on Amazon, here is the link, if you like to check them out.

3. Emergency Car Kit- Now, for the car:  Jumper cables; multi-purpose utility tool; extra bottle of water; old blanket or towel ( to use if you have to get under the car); matches; windshield wiper fluid (we ran out once on a back road trip with lots of mud!) Now we don't leave home without it!!

Small flashlight ( check your batteries); candles; three reflective warning triangles; flares; foil emergency blanket; extra pair of socks; duct tape; tow rope (we have used TWICE!).

If you are traveling in the winter, I would add a small fold up snow shovel and windshield ice scraper.

All items can be stored in a car tote, milk crate or a wooden box your better half builds! Mine did, and our first aid kit fits right in.

4. Avoid Distractions! Before you start, organize items that you might need while driving, and put them in a easy to reach spot. If using a GPS, have it loaded with your destination. Better yet grab a current waterproof map for your destination, GPS systems are not perfect and signals can be spotty in certain areas.

Organize your tunes or audio tapes and put down the phone. If your car has Bluetooth, use it.

If you are traveling with children, keep them entertained during a road trip so they don’t distract you. If something comes up and you need to lend a hand to your kids or make a call, be sure to pull off the road into a safe spot.

5. Give Your Car Some Love! If you don't already know, learn how to check the air pressure in your tires and add air to any tires that are low. Most local gas stations have an air pressure gauge that you can buy for around a dollar.

-Get your car's belts inspected, they can crack and wear down with age, If it snaps on the road, it will be frustrating and costly.

-Check oil ; windshield wiper fluid and make sure your windshield wiper blades are still in good condition! Have you ever been stuck in a nasty rain storm with bad blades? It's REAL SCARY!

-If your battery shows corrosion, take an old tooth brush and clean off with baking soda and water.

6. Pull Over And Take Breaks~ every couple of hours, even if you don't feel sleepy. Grab a snack, walk around, stretch, breathe deep. Look up; Look down; Look around!

7. Treat Yourself To Some Tunes! Books on tape are great too! Keep the brain active, without creating a distraction. Listen to comedy, laughing will probably keep you awake.

8. SECURE YOUR STUFF! According to AAA Foundation study, in 2011, more than 200,00 crashes are caused by Road Debris. According to Jurek Grabowski, director of the foundation, "Drivers can easlily save lives and prevent injuries by securing their loads and taking other simple precautions to prevent items from falling off the vehicle."

  • Always tie down any extra load with rope, netting or straps.
  • Tie large objects directly to the vehicle or trailer.
  • Cover the entire load with a sturdy tarp or netting.
  • Don't over load your vehicle and always check to make sure everything is secure when you take your rest stops.

Before you go, you might also Eyeball this post I wrote on how to avoid wildlife collisions. Here's the title and the link: 
"My Mom And Dad Hit A Cow"

9. AAA membership can be a life saver! We pay around $90 dollars a year and have, for over 10 years. WELL WORTH IT!! They are fast and we have used them for Tows, Flats, battery re-charged.

10. Don't Get Fried! ~Guess What?! You need sunscreen in the car too! According to, some UV rays can come through your windows, depending on your tint. On long trips, sometimes you can just "feel" the burn from side windows. No reason to take chances, either wear long sleeves or Lather Up.
Plus, you will always be ready if you take a side break at a lake, beach, outdoor cafe, or rest stop!

11. Last But Not Least, Use The Bathroom~ in Welcome Centers! When ever we see one OR we're wiggling a bit, we always stop. Some have free water or coffee, great information of
course, clean bathrooms, areas for you and your pet (if need be) to walk and stretch.



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