Take it from a teen—these 10 items are absolute must-haves whenever you hit the road.
1. An Aux Cord/FM Transmitter
Car rides are always better with music. If your car doesn't have Bluetooth, you can plug your iPod or phone directly into the AUX, or beam it wirelessly with an FM transmitter. You can get each online for around ten bucks. This allows you and whoever else in your car to play your and their music while cruising the town. Just make sure you don't get in a wreck changing the song.
2. An Emergency Kit
While you should have AAA for emergencies, it never hurts to keep a bag of emergency supplies on hand (you know, just incase the zombie apocalypse hits). Put a good flashlight, extra batteries, a decent knife, a pack of water bottles, some emergency space blankets, Clif Bars (choose your favorite flavor), jumper cables, some glow sticks, and a good first aid kit in a duffle bag and store it in your trunk.
3. Clothes and a Bathing Suit
We teenagers get in some pretty messy situations, so an extra t-shirt and pair of shorts can't hurt. Also, you never know when a party is going to become a pool party or if you might see an awesome river near the side of the road, so pack an extra bathing suit in the car with you.
4. Chapstik and a Hair Brush
I know I never have time to do comb my hair before I'm out the door and driving to school, so a quick brush at a stoplight can make me semi-presentable for the school day. And you never know when you are going to get chapped lips, so have chapstik in your console, just in case.
5. A Pack of Gum
Keep a good supply in your car. Everybody loves gum. 'Nough said.
6. Air Freshener
Teenagers stink. It's just a fact. Also, if you own a used car, the previous owner might have had the annoying habit of smoking with the windows up, and that stench might require some heavy treatment.
7. A Pair of Shades
Nothing looks cooler or protects your eyes like a nice pair of sunglasses. (However, frat guys should know that their little fake ray bands are ridiculous, and they should get themselves a classic pair of aviators.)
8. A GPS
Whether you just use your phone or a Garmin, a GPS can be a lifesaver when you find yourself lost in the ghetto of some random town or in the backwoods of Tennessee. No matter where you are, you can always press the 'Go Home' button and arrive at your estimated arrival time.
9. A Towel
Whether you are sitting on it after a day at the lake or mopping up a spilled drink, towels will always find their use in a teenager's car.
10. An Emergency Stash of Cash.
Keep more if you want to, but in my mind, $25 is a pretty tidy sum, so storing more would seem wasteful.
© 2012 Sam Hammel
Klailea on June 03, 2020:
A glass breaker and an extra gas can in the back of you don’t have a Tesla or a smart car.
TFinicum on October 09, 2018:
You forgot the glass breaker, tire guage, jumper cables, and electric air pump, Fix-A-Flat.
Liv on July 25, 2017:
Honestly it seems like a fourty five year old man wrote this
Sam Hammel (author) on January 04, 2012:
Thanks! Yeah, that emergency cash has saved me numerous times!
sabrani44 on January 04, 2012:
Great list! Thanks for sharing :) I think the $25 is very important in case of emergencies.