Summer vacation planning: 6 must-have items for summer road trips

PHOENIX - We are used to packing our cars with supplies before snowy journeys to the high country, but do you pack appropriately for hot trips?

If you've taken long drives, you know it can take a while for help to reach you in the event of a breakdown. When the mercury hits 112 degrees, that wait is not only long but potentially dangerous.

Auto care expert Frank Lutz suggests never leaving home without these six items in your car.


When a breakdown happens, you can be stranded for a long time. Bring enough water for you and the kids. Don't forget the pets either; they'll be thirsty as they swelter beneath their fur coats. A small dish for the dog or cat will be helpful.

Jumper cables

Like water, jumper cables might seem obvious, but many people do not keep them inside their vehicles. When heat-exhausted batteries slow you down, these cables can get you back on the road.


Blankets can be very helpful if you get stuck on the side of the road. If you have to change a tire, the hot pavement can leave you with second-degree burns. Skip the trip to the emergency room and put a blanket between your body and the asphalt.

Battery-powered fan

This accessory is perfect for keeping the kids and pets cooler if you are stuck roadside without air conditioning. Clip it to the seat back or a handle to direct airflow.

Cooler with ice

Fill this with water bottles and a few hand towels.

Cold compress

The hand towels from the cooler, when moistened, can act as a cold compress. Placed on the back of your child's neck, it can make them more comfortable when the heat gets to them.

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