Safety Checklist – The Ultimate Guide to a Safe and Fun Family Roadtrip

Road trips are a staple vacation of every American family. These long drives allow us the time to enjoy the company of our families and grow closer, while also giving us the chance to see new and exciting things. It’s a tradition that evolves and grows every year, and although we all have good memories of road trips, there’s also this danger just beneath the hood of your car. What if you run out of gas? What if someone steals your wallet and you have no way to buy food or fuel? What if you get into a car accident? These worries are all valid, but luckily you can prepare for all of them.

Here’s how to have a blast on your road trip while staying prepared and safe.

First Aid Kit

Unfortunately, you can’t just put a first-aid kit in your car when you buy it and hope it stays good forever. Bandaids dry out, medicine loses potency, and things get lost. Before every road trip, go through your first aid kit and ensure it has everything you need in working order. The bare minimum would be bandaids, gauze, and aspirin. From here, you can go on to have disinfectants, bug repellant, sunscreen, small scissors, plastic gloves, medical masks, and sanitary wipes. You can add more depending on your situation, but it’s vital to have to be prepared with resources in case of an accident.

Keep Some Cash In Car

Almost everyone loses a wallet or has it stolen in their lifetime. We may assume we’ll be fine because we know an area or keep a good eye on our things, but accidents happen. Ensure you have a good backup by keeping some petty cash in your car. Forty bucks is enough for a tank of gas in most places or a cheap meal for a family. Place this somewhere that it won’t be in plain view, and try to hold off from using it unless you need the money.  

Spare Phone Charger and External Battery

All of us have been out and about and then suddenly realized our phone was dying. This problem can be an inconvenience if you’re out grocery shopping, but if you’re on the road a thousand miles from home, it could complicate getting back to your city. Bring a spare phone charger that stays in your car and an extra external battery to recharge your phone if your car dies. This planning may feel like overkill to some, but your phone is the best way to get help in case of a crash or crime. You can even keep your phone on the charger while you drive to diminish the chance of it possibly dying.

Written List of Important Contact Numbers

We may live in an age of endless screens and information, but sometimes a written note can be vital. Most people don’t memorize more than one or two numbers anymore, mostly because we often don’t have to type them. Unfortunately, if you get into a rough spot where your phone is stolen, dead, or not working, you won’t have access to significant numbers despite your charger and extra battery. Include an emergency contact or two, your insurance company, and your employer’s number in case you have to come back late. Hopefully, you won’t need this list, but it’s good to have if you do.

Extra Cups and Water Bottles

A couple of full water bottles, and four clean and empty plastic cups, are a reasonable precaution. You can drink water, pour it to clean a wound, use it to cool off someone who’s overheating, or any other number of useful things. Please don’t use these outside of emergencies, and keep them clean.


Food is a necessity! Although it’s nice to have snacks to munch on while you’re driving, you should also have shelf-stable foods if you get stranded anywhere. This food can be a box of crackers and some peanut butter, or it could mean something more reliable like jerky. Luckily if you stay on the main roads, there’s little to no chance of you starving enough to need them, but they’re good to keep in your emergency things.

Spare Pillow and Blanket

Comfort is important! Most drivers admit that there’s been a time where they thought they might accidentally fall asleep at the wheel. It’s far safer to pull on the side of the road or into a crowded parking lot and take a nap if you get that tired. A pillow and blanket can help with this and get you back on the road sharp and alert again. These may also prove useful if you’re traveling somewhere in winter and your car breaks down. Keeping warm with these supplies would be vital.