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Ten essential items to keep in your car for road trips

November 16, 2021
Ten essential items to keep in your car for road trips

Our days cooped up, are almost over. As each state and territory opens up to other parts of the country, we will soon travel again. Since it's been a while that we've been on a decent road trip, we thought it would be a good idea to put together a list of essential items that you should keep in your car. So no matter what curveballs get thrown at you, you'll be able to respond accordingly.

Spare tyre and jack

Most cars these days come with a spare tyre and all the tools you need to change it. But if you have previously used that spare tyre, it's a good idea to check that it's in good condition. Read through your manual to ensure you have all the tools too. Review the terms and conditions of your roadside assistance to see what you'll be covered for in your trip.

First aid kit

Never leave for a road trip without a small first aid kit. You never know if and when it will come in handy. As any experienced traveller will tell you, things can go wrong on any trip, regardless of location, weather and activities. So a well-stocked first aid kit is highly recommended. In your kit, you should have some adhesive bandages, antibacterial ointment, cleansing wipes, small scissors, tweezers and pain relief as a minimum. Anything more than that is great.

A beach towel

It’s a handy one to have to remove the dirt from children or pets after physical activities. Towels can also be used as a makeshift blanket, so you can protect any injured wildlife you may come across during your drive. Make sure to keep the local wildlife rescue number on hand to call if necessary. Other great uses for a beach towel include using it as a replacement blanket if you’ve forgotten to bring one with you, as well as something that can be used to pitch up some shade in the middle of a hot day.


Torches are an essential item if you’re planning to drive at night. Having a torch will make changing a tyre or checking your engine a lot easier, plus it makes walking around in the dark more manageable, with less chance of tripping over rocks and other items. Put fresh batteries in before leaving and keep a spare set with you if the torch runs flat.


Always take more water than you need for your road trip. The Australian summer is a notorious time for becoming dehydrated. The risk is even higher if you undertake physical activities during your road trip. Dehydration can lead to headaches and drowsiness, making the trip a lot less enjoyable. Water is even more critical if you’re driving in the outback. Consider taking water for more days than you are on the road for. So if your destination is a day’s drive away, carry water for two days. But, if the day is forecast for a scorcher, then plan on bringing more water.

Fire extinguisher

It can take the combination of a hot, dry day and an unsupervised barbeque for a fire to start. Having a small fire extinguisher in your car can be a lifesaver. Fire extinguishers can prevent a faster spread of the fire until fire emergency services take over. Buy one that is compact and suitable for vehicles. Store it in an easily accessible spot in your car boot.


Sunscreen is essential if you plan on spending the day outdoors. Put simply; sunscreen will protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays. If you forget and get sunburnt, at a minimum, it makes the rest of the trip miserable. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen every two hours if you are spending more time outdoors. The Cancer Council Australia recommends using a sunscreen with a minimum SPF30 or broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen.

iPhone charger/USB cord

Arguably the most essential item. Because you can’t make emergency calls from a dead smartphone. Need we say more about this?

Hand sanitiser

In this age of post Covid-19, it is vitally important to clean your hands before eating and after touching high contact surfaces. Hand sanitiser is the next best thing if soap and water are not available. When buying a hand sanitiser, ensure it contains at least 60% alcohol.


Nobody likes to be in a car with a hangry person. It just makes for an unpleasant drive. Keep snacks within reach so you can munch on without having to pull over. It also can’t hurt to make a sandwich or have other types of finger food to eat when you stop to stretch your legs.


Other things to consider packing

  • AirBolt is great for locking bags and suitcases. You can then leave your bag at your accommodation and not worry about someone getting into it. The great feature about AirBolt is its Bluetooth technology. So no need to carry extra keys to get into your luggage. You can also share your AirBolt and its location with family and friends. Attach it to your day bag or handbag and activate the proximity function so you will never leave your bag behind again.
  • Reusable shopping bags are perfect for those impromptu shopping trips. Plus, it’s an easy way to minimise your use of single-use plastic.
  • Reflective Warning Triangles ensure you and your vehicle are easily visible to oncoming traffic when you’re in a breakdown situation on the side of the road, particularly during dusk and on the hard shoulder turns.