- Communication: It’s important to make sure your family and friends know when you’re traveling and which route you’re taking. Also, try to avoid the major highways to avoid the pesky traffic jams. Make sure to keep your phones charged up and have a way to charge these devices in your vehicle. Also, make sure to pay your phone bill so your service won’t get canceled. Don’t forget that GPS unit to get you to your destination safely. Also, make sure to have your Insurance Agent information stored in your phone in the event you need them. It’s also good practice to keep a camera with you to take pictures in the event something happens, but with cell phones now-a-days, they are equipped with cameras.
- Travel Kit: It’s important to keep a roadside kit in your vehicles at all times. You can get a pre-made roadside kit from retailers like Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, Sears, or even from Amazon. If you plan on making one yourself some items in your kit should include: Mini air-compressor, road-side flares, emergency triangle, jumper cables/jump box, small tool kit/multi-tool, duct tape, assorted fuses, zip-ties, safety vest, flashlight/glow stick, solar blanket, qt of motor oil, gallon of anti-freeze, wiper blades, ice scraper, de-icer, snow chains (for the northern/mid-west states), tire repair kit, fix-a-flat, spare headlight bulb, spare taillight bulbs.
- Go Bag: Go Bags are very important these days. I myself carry a go bag/get-home bag with me at all times. Like the boy/girl scouts, it’s important to be prepared. Go Bags can come in many shapes and sizes and can be customized to meet your needs.
- Keep Warm: With winter months, come colder temps. It’s important to keep an extra blanket, warm jacket, gloves, and other warm items in your vehicle just in case you get stranded. It might be a good idea to keep a sleeping bag in your vehicle just in case.
- Water: Water is one of the most important things to have in a survival situation. You can’t survive without water, so it’s important to keep some bottle of water with you. In my Go Bag, I have a hydration bladder, and I usually keep a case of water in the back of my truck at all times as well, just in case.
- Food: It’s important to have some food, just in case you get stranded on the side of the road. If you have little ones, it’s a good idea to have some sort of snack that they like that is still a good source of protein and the appropriate calories. It might be a good idea to keep some MRE’s or some sort of Emergency Food Kit. Be aware that some of the Emergency Food Kits need boiling water to cook it.
- Fire: Having a source of heat is important. Fire starters are good with some tinder. Waterproof matches are great and you can’t go wrong with a BIC lighter. I usually carry a BIC lighter on me at all times, but having an extra source of fire is nice.
- First Aid: First aid is important when traveling. If you take medications on a daily basis, don’t forget to bring them with you while your traveling this holiday season. It’s also a great idea to keep a first aid kit/IFAK with you. You can purchase pre-made kits from Skinny Medic, Dark Angel Medical, and Tac-Med Solutions, or if you’re like me, you can make your own personal one. Some basic OTC meds to think about includes: Ibuprofen, Ranitidine, Diphenhydramine, Acetaminophen, Meclizine, Bismuth Subsalicylate (Pepto Bismol), Chlor-Tab, Afrin, and Neosporin.
- Entertainment: If you travel with kids or more than two people, it’s a good idea to have some sort of entertainment. Entertainment can be a book or two, a few toys for the children, Tablet/I-Pad, magazines, even a traveling board game/deck of cards. This is something that keep spirits high and keep children occupied during a sticky situation.
- Protection: This one can be overlooked and can be tough when traveling, especially in the New England states. If you are fortunate to live in the South and have your concealed carry, you have nothing to worry about. Double check the firearm laws when traveling. Some states allow open carry and some only allow concealed carry (South Carolina). It also depends on the state that you live in and their reciprocity on concealed carry. Luckily for me, North Carolina Concealed Carry is recognized in most states, so I’m good to go. But be careful when traveling and remember to look at the laws first!
This is just my list of what I think is important when traveling. Your lists may differ from mine and that’s okay. Remember to not text and drive, obey the speed limit (watch out for those speed traps and remember radar detectors aren’t legal in all states), get your vehicle serviced (oil changed, tires rotated/aired up properly, anti-freeze levels checked, new wiper blades, serpentine belts checked, etc) before you take that long trip, and look up the weather before you leave (dress appropriately because it may be sunny and 75 where you’re at, but 15 degrees at your destination with snow on the ground). Did we miss anything? Let us know!
As always, ya’ll be good and be safe!