Be Prepared! Break-Down Kits for the Busy Traveler |

Regardless of how often you travel, there’s no such thing as being too prepared. After all, every Boy Scout knows that “being prepared” is not just a great motto, but a way to live each day. So when it comes to travel-especially road trips, being prepared is the one of the most important steps you can take. As part of the preparation, you need to have a break down kit. These kits can be purchased at most auto parts or hardware store, but it is quite easy to assemble one of your own. In most cases, all of these items can be stored in a small to medium sized duffel bag and can be kept in the trunk of your vehicle.

A basic break-down kit should be comprised of the following:
• A thermal blanket/sleeping bag
• At least one gallon of water (ideally one per person travelling)
• Duct tape
• A flashlight with batteries (these should be check at minimum twice a year)
• A set of jumper cables, a tire gauge, and work gloves
• Some hand towels (light colors are best as they can be used as signal flags)
• Toilet paper (store in a plastic or zip-top bag)
• Hand tools such as appliers, Allen wrenches, screwdrivers and perhaps a small hammer.
• Some rope and at least one bungee cord
• A small 12-volt tire inflator
• An empty, unused one gallon gas can
• A back up cell phone charger or prepaid calling card
• A disposable rain poncho/rain coat
• A complete change of clothes
• A pair of comfortable shoes
• Basic first aid kit. Be sure that it is restocked as necessary.

While this may seem somewhat extreme, being prepared with go a long way toward dealing with a travel emergency. Also, it is imperative that once you have the break-down bag packed, you should not remove it. Yes, you should update it, but do not take it out of your vehicle! Emergencies can happen at any time, so if you do your part to be prepared then when there is a problem it won’t seem near as stressful as it would without the items in your breakdown kit.

Of course, along with the break-down kit, you will want to be sure you not only know how to access your spare tire and jack, but that you know how to change a tire…yes, ladies- you too, should know this. If you don’t, call a trusted friend or reliable garage. And regardless of your gender, if you do a lot of traveling, then you may want to consider having towing insurance as a rider on your vehicle insurance policy. Having this added to your insurance policy can go a long way toward getting your vehicle towed quickly and will help offset the cost as well.

Being prepared is as important a part of travel as is paying attention to the road. As the old adage says, “It’s better to be safe, than sorry!” So pack a break-down kit and place it in your vehicle. Hopefully, you will never need it, but if you should at least you will be ready.

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