Every car needs to have some essentials stashed away in case of an emergency – even if that emergency is an unexpected snowstorm like the one Ireland experienced in March.
Apart from getting soaked to the skin on the way to work because you forgot to leave an umbrella in the boot of your car, other unexpected things happen while travelling and being prepared can make the difference between something being annoying and a complete disaster.
On that note, the following are 10 of the most important things to keep in your car:
- Road Repairs Kit
This is the first and most important thing to keep in your car. You should keep this in the boot at all times, and make sure you replace anything you use or you will find yourself stranded on the side of the road one day! Your repairs kit should include:
- Jumper cables
- Safety cones
- Reflective vest
- Tire gauge
- Thick gloves
- Tire patches
- Lug wrench
- Spare Tire
- Duct Tape
- Your car’s manual (which should always be in the glove box)
You may want to add additional items, but these will take care of the most basic roadside repairs until you can get to a garage.
- First Aid Kit & Safety Items
The first aid kit should be kept in the back seat, and the safety items should go in the glove box. A basic safety kit is important in case you injure yourself while making a repair, or even while driving. You can get a first aid kit from most pharmacies but many online retailers carry them as well. They contain everything you need to treat minor, and not-so-minor, injuries.
In the glove box, you should keep a seatbelt cutter that doubles as a window-breaker. This can help you to get out of your car in the case of an accident. It is also a great idea to store a USB charger here. That way, you never risk being unable to call someone for assistance.
It’s always a good idea to keep some extra money in your car. Sometimes you may have to pay for parking, or you might just need to grab a quick coffee on the way to work in a shop that doesn’t accept card payments.
- Basic Survival Gear
It may seem extreme, but if you ever do end up stranded you will want survival gear. Much like a first aid kit, you can buy a standard survival kit online. It usually includes metal dishes, freeze-dried foods, blankets, water, flashlights, batteries and more. The winters can get pretty harsh here in Ireland so it’s always better to be safer than sorry. With the snow we experienced back in March, many cars ended up stranded on the M50 and if you were unlucky enough to be one of these people, then survival gear would have kept you going until rescue arrived.
- Paper Map
Should you not be able to access your GPS, it is important to have a paper map at hand. If you get lost while traveling, it is quite possible to end up in an area with no phone service so your best bet is to have a backup plan.
- Overnight Kit
You don’t have to get stranded to need an overnight kit as any delay in your travels could leave you wishing you had a toothbrush. Your overnight bag should also have spare clothing and other essentials, as you’d never know when they could come in handy!
- Umbrella & Rain Gear
It’s no secret that we get a fair amount of rain here in Ireland so it makes sense to keep wellies, a raincoat and an umbrella in the car for those times when you don’t want to get drenched.
- Notebook & Pen
It’s always a good idea to keep writing materials nearby. If you have a minor accident, you don’t want to search around before you can take and give the necessary information.
- Hand Sanitiser & Baby Wipes
Baby wipes and hand sanitiser are essential items to keep in your car at all times. Keeping your hands clean helps you remain healthy and baby wipes can work wonders when it comes to cleaning the dash, mopping up spills in the back seat and giving your car a clean, fresh smell.
- A Towel
Towels come in handy if you need to clean fog from your windows, mop up water from your seats or carry out basic repairs. The last thing you want is to get oil all over your seats so between the towel and the baby wipes, you’ll never have to worry about that happening ever again.
Remember, Travelling Smart is Travelling Safe!
The best way to stay safe on the road is to be prepared. Travel smart by keeping the essentials on hand. That way, you will be prepared if you end up in a sticky situation.