Having essential items that live permanently in the car is not only a good idea, it’s become a necessity for Australian families. Here’s what you should keep on hand, especially when travelling Australia.
First aid kit
A small first aid kit is a great thing to keep in the car, because you will always have a handy stash of bandaids, slings, bandages, burn creams, bite creams, tweezers, scissors and more. Basic first aid kits are the handiest thing to have quick and easy access to for any day out. From an irritating insect bite on a family picnic, to a grazed knee at the skate park with the kids – you won’t ever regret having a small first aid kit in the boot of the car.
Time have really changed ever since CoVID-19 became something that we have to live with and be aware of. This is why it is a great idea to have a basic sanitation kit that lives in the car too. From hand sanitiser to hand soap and anti-bacterial wipes, it is essential to carry your own personal stash of sanitation products with you. It is also a great idea to include a box of tissues or a roll of toilet paper in this kit, because you never know when you will need spare toiletries.
You might not think too hard about these products, but they can be a real life saver when you need them. It is a great idea to have a phone charger that lives in your car – this means if you ever should find yourself stranded and in need of help, you won’t ever have to worry about your phone having no charge.
You should also keep a torch and spare batteries in your car. If you have a breakdown in the dark – a good torch will be a life saver.
If you don’t already have an air compressor and reflective warning triangle in your car, they can be really handy to store in the boot. If you have a flat tyre, making yourself visible with the warning triangle and using an air compressor can save you from needing to change the tire on the road side and might just get you back home or to a tyre shop to get your tyre situation sorted.
Basics but essentials
It can never hurt to have a blanket or a picnic rug in the boot of your car. Fold it over and line the bottom of the boot with it so it doesn’t take up too much space. There are many practical uses for this item, but in particular if you are experiencing driver fatigue, you can throw the blanket over yourself and catch up on some sleep. Or if your car breaks down in the heat – a blanket can be used to provide shade.
Water is another essential to keep stored in the car – preferably in a larger bottle, or old milk or juice cartons. If you’re travelling in remote areas, having water in the car is a necessity, but it can also be used to cool down an overheating engine or give the windscreen a quick clean when you don’t have quick access to a hose or a bucket of water.
With so many off-road adventure drives within easy reach of most Australians, it is not surprising that travellers can sometimes end up on a dirt road that becomes a track which is beyond their experience or car capability. If you are intending to venture off the beaten track, you will need to consider packing specific car recovery equipment and brush up on your 4WD driver safety techniques.
Contributor: Brett Mills of Ken Mills Toyota on the Sunshine Coast grew up with the Toyota brand, taking family holidays to Fraser Island in the 40 Series as a kid and working in every role at his Dads’ – Ken Mills – Toyota Dealership in Kingaroy. He went on to work for Toyota Australia Motor Corporation (TMCA), where he met his wife Caroline, and they purchased their two dealerships – at Nambour and Maroochydore – in 2002. Brett is currently the Chairman of the National Toyota Dealer Association.