15 Road Trip Planning Tips You Need Before You Go

There are a lot of important documents you need for your trip. But as you’re on the road, where’s the safest place for your most important information? “The glove box is the safest place to put any documents that you may need during your travels,” John Burkhauser, an auto repair specialist and director of educational programs at Bolt On Technology, tells Reader’s Digest. “Why? Well, it’s the most obvious place and the first place that anyone will look if need be. Yes, it will also be the first place that any thief may look, so being careful of what you place in there is also important.”

What not to keep in your glove box: Burkhauser recommends keeping your vehicle’s title in your home in a safe. Credit cards, checks, receipts, or any personal information should also not be in your glove box. If you keep your license out of your wallet and someone breaks into your car, then they’ll “know where to go when you are not home.” Before you go, double-check that your license, car registration, car insurance, and any other important documents haven’t expired and are easily accessible to you. Also, make sure you don’t forget any of these road trip essentials.

What to keep in your glove box: For things to keep in your glove box, Burkhauser suggests the owner’s manual (“Maybe a good time to open and read it,” he says), a spare phone charger with cable, a basic first-aid kit, a fully-operating flashlight, paper maps since phone and GPS reception might be sketchy depending on where you are, and a multi-type tool for safety scenarios, including a seat belt cutter or a window breaking tool. Here are a few more tools you should have in your car.

What should be in your wallet/purse: Now that we’ve covered what should be in your glove box, here’s what should be in your wallet or purse. Burkhauser recommends your license or other forms of ID so you can be identified, registration/insurance card, any medical information like current medications or conditions, and a list of emergency contacts. However, your social security card, your work ID, and a list of passwords are just some of the 13 things you should never keep in your wallet.

What extra “just in case” items should be stored under the seat: If you’re out on a long drive, making great time, you may not want to stop and hunt through the lunchbox for a snack even though your stomach is rumbling. For a few extra items stored under the seat of your car, Burkhauser recommends emergency snacks for eating in the car, paper products like paper towels and toilet paper, a silver survivor blanket that folds up neatly, and money (“Good old hard cash for when other payments won’t work,” he says). As you’re driving, make sure you know the appropriate driving etiquette rules, too. After all, being hangry is no excuse to be rude on the road.

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