Originally Posted: Nov 8, 2018
Last Updated: Sep 25, 2019
Having a few basic “on the go” necessities readily available in your car can make life that much easier when you’re commuting back and forth from college. Even if you live on campus, having these items in your car can be a lifesaver if you’re ever in a bind on the road.
When it comes time for a hot date, a spontaneous weekend road trip, or a run to the local coffee shop for a late-night study session, it’s easy to run out the door without a care in the world—until you find yourself in trouble on the road somewhere. That’s when you find yourself wishing you had things readily available in your car to use during an emergency. Because of this, we’ve put together a helpful list of five items students should keep in their car at all times.
1. Phone charger with multiple USB ports
Let's face it—we don’t go anywhere these days without our cellphones. If you’re not actively using it, it’s generally tucked in your pocket or tossed in a purse. Unfortunately, your phone’s battery is no match for the amount of daily use it sees. It’s always a good idea to keep a spare phone charger in your car so you can charge your phone as needed. It’s an even better idea to opt for a phone charger that has multiple USB ports—this way you can keep multiple electronics charged.
The last thing you want is to be out on the road late at night and have your phone die with no way to charge it. While cellphones are great for scrolling the internet, posting on apps, and calling friends, they’re also beneficial if you end up having mechanical issues with your car. You need to have a way to safely contact someone for help without having to travel a dark road on foot to find help.
2. Spare tire
How often do you inspect your car’s spare tire? Do you know if your car even has a spare in it? This is important to take care of sooner rather than later. Along with the spare tire, you should also keep a car jack and jumper cables somewhere in your car. Prepare for mishaps like this ahead of time so you aren’t kicking yourself if you ever end up with a flat tire or a battery that won’t start.
Don’t forget, if you do have to use your spare tire, certain driving conditions apply. They aren’t designed to be used as a permanent replacement but more of a temporary fix.
3. Air freshener
This might seem like no big deal, but imagine you’ve finally worked up the courage to ask your crush out on a date. You spend time picking out the perfect outfit, fixing your hair just right, dressing to impress, and making sure you smell good. Then you hop in your car to pick your crush up and the smell of yesterday's gym clothes hits your nose.
Immediate panic, right? Your car needs to leave a pleasant first impression on your date, not an impression that makes him or her gag immediately. If you keep an air freshener in your vehicle at all times, it can prevent this embarrassment from happening.
We all know how unpredictable the weather can be. The day can be sunny when you start your travels then turn into an unexpected thunderstorm along the way. Running to and from class, work, or the cafeteria turns into an obstacle when you’re unprepared for rain. Go ahead and toss an umbrella or poncho in your car now so you’re prepared for any unexpected changes in weather.
5. Emergency money
You never want to leave big money in your car, but an extra $5 or $10 isn’t a bad idea. Keep some loose quarters in your car as well. If you need to put air in a tire or water in your radiator, you’ll be glad you have the change ready. Just make sure to hide your emergency money somewhere out of sight. Don’t store it in a place where the money is visible to passersby through your car window.
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