top of page

Is Your Car Suitcase Ready?

car suitcase

On this week’s episode of Overdrive Radio, we talked about what you need for safe road trips this holiday season. The biggest takeaway is NOT to leave your preparations for the last minute. It’s so easy to get sucked into the physical preparations of your holiday road trip that the car can be forgotten.

Where do you begin?


Go to a reputable auto repair shop to have them do a full vehicle inspection or tune up. It’s always better to make sure your car is in good condition than to find yourself on the side of the road.

Here are some of the basics that should be in the Pre-Trip Inspection:

  1. Check Oils & Fluids – make sure they are “topped off”

  • Brake Fluid

  • Transmission Fluid

  • Coolant

  • Windshield Wiper Fluid (for the abundant bug splatter on the highway!)

  1. Check the Wiper Blades

  2. Check Brakes/ Braking System (Brake pads, Rotors)

  3. Tires – (and this includes the spare tire!) – Make sure it has good air pressure, good tread and no nails

  4. Battery – It’s important to check it has adequate battery life

  5. Shocks, Struts & Springs – It’s important to make sure that your suspension is in good condition for the road due to the different road conditions/terrain you encounter while traveling.

Now it’s time to pack the car suitcase

Every car needs a “car suitcase” when you travel. You don’t have to put these items in an actual suitcase (or you could!) but you need to keep them easily accessible just like you would hurricane essentials.

First up is the crucial stuff:

  • License and registration

  • A copy of your car insurance card

  • Cash

  • Spare tire (this item will have been checked for safety at your Pre-Trip Inspection)

  • Jumper cables or jump box (Make sure the jump box is fully charged and you have a portable charge with you as well)

  • Basic tool kit (with basic screwdrivers like a Phillips and Flat Head)

  • Flashlight – Even though our cell phones have a built in flashlight, you really should have a handheld flashlight just in case your cell battery dies.

  • Compact dry-chemical fire extinguisher – Here’s hoping you don’t need it, but it’s a great item to have in the event of a minor car fire.

Next are the comfort items:

  • Extra phone charger

  • First aid kit

  • Blankets and pillows

  • Sunglasses

  • Reusable water bottle(s)

  • Tylenol or Ibuprofen

  • Umbrella

Okay, the vehicle has been checked at a reputable auto repair shop and you have packed your “car suitcase”. What is next?

  • Stay fueled up! You never know how long it might be to the next gas station when you are on long stretches of roads

  • Listen to local radio stations to get updates on traffic and accidents

  • Once you are on the road, keep an eye on the road conditions and traffic signs. Great apps include Google Maps and Waze

  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast

  • Check out the traffic and roadwork you might encounter along the route

  • Take a roadmap or print a route map from Google Maps, MapQuest, etc.

  • Good music or podcast cued up for the trip

  • Lots of videos, games and snacks for the kiddos (and even the adults)

  • Taking items of value? Keep them in your trunk

Give Universal Tire & Auto a call at (407) 636-4033 to schedule your Pre-Trip Inspection.

Listen to us each week at Overdrive Radio on 105.5 FM 606 AM Saturdays at Noon on Florida Man Radio. Straight talk about cars and a little bit more.

bottom of page