Heading out onto the roads this holiday season to go across the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house can be a stressful affair. Not to mention evil women in Gingerbread houses who try to cook you (oops, mixing my fairy tale metaphors here) there are big rigs, distracted drivers and other road hazards to contend with.
So what sort of essentials should you have in your trunk or the cargo area of your SUV to be fully prepared for the trip? No, I am not talking about plastic bags and shovels. Not unless you are a serial killer. Road trips require preparation because you are going to be miles from home and you never know what might happen. So in this mindset here are five must-haves in your trunk.
(Note: No, I don't care if you are trying to drive light so you can save gas. Hypermiling is an endeavor for the obsessively compulsive. Stop emptying your trunk and go see your therapist--the meds obviously aren't working.)
Flashlight - Even if you have AAA or Roadside Assistance if you have a blowout or breakdown by the side of the road at night you are going to need to see. This will also help you flag down help once it arrives. You can also use it to make spooky faces as you drive by other drivers if you put the end of the flashlight in your mouth. It makes you look like a living jack-o-lantern.
First Aid Kit - Just in case you get a paper cut while reading your owners manual after you realize that your navigation system doesn't have "Grandmother's House" in the system as a "Point of Interest."
Blankets and Jackets - Just in case you do break down and have to wait for help for a while you will be glad you have these in the trunk. I would make a joke but didn't your mother ever tell you that catching your death of cold is no laughing matter?
Cooler Full of Snacks - Staying awake at the wheel takes more than a six pack of Diet Coke and a packet of No-Doz. Be sure to bring a cooler full of non-caffeinated soda, water or juice to stay hydrated and grapes or sliced pears to make a refreshingly cool snack while you are driving. McDonalds French Fries do not qualify as nutrition. Even if they are one of my main reasons for living.
Plenty of CDs in Your CD Changer - How old is your car that you have a CD changer in your trunk? Dude, its time to go car shopping because your CD changer should be in the front where you can access it. No matter. Be sure to stay pumped behind the wheel with a few hours of listening to C + C Music Factory's "Everybody Dance Now." That will keep you awake.