What do you keep in the glove compartment of your car rental? Gum? A lost mitten? Ketchup packets? Glove compartments are a great place to stash a wide variety of items. Unfortunately, very few travelers take the time to stock their car rental glove box with crucial components. Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, the following items should be an essential part of your packing itinerary.
Crucial Items to Include in Your Glove Compartment
• Critical Medical Information: This is especially important when traveling alone. Before embarking on your adventure, take some time and write down any medical conditions, medications or allergies that you might have. If you’re traveling with children, make sure to include their unique conditions as well. This information will come in handy if ever you are involved in an accident and are unable to communicate the information yourself.
• Emergency Contact Numbers: When traveling in a foreign city, make note of emergency contact numbers for police, fire and emergency services. You should also write down any roadside assistance numbers for your car rental provider or auto club. Finally, include the contact information for a loved one back home.
• Pen and Paper: This can come in handy for any variety of reasons. If ever you’re involved in an accident and need to exchange information, you’ll have something to write with. If you need to jot down directions or a phone number, you’re in luck. If worse comes to worst, you have something to doodle on while stuck in traffic.
• Proof of Insurance: It’s against the law to operate a car rental in the United States without insurance. When you’re on the road, make sure you have a copy of your personal coverage, along with any additional coverage that you’ve purchased from the rental agency. You may be asked to display this information during a routine traffic stop or in the event of an accident.
• Owner’s Manual: Familiarizing yourself with a strange vehicle takes time and practice. Unfortunately, if you’re only in town for a few days, you’ll need to learn how to operate your car rental quickly. Before driving off of the rental lot, make sure that the agency has provided you with a copy of the owner’s manual, and more importantly, make sure you take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the basic functions.
• A Map: Either of the cities you’re visiting or simply outlining directions to and from your destination. Nothing ruins a vacation quite like getting lost on the first day.
Some car rental travelers will even bring a spare copy of their living will and power of attorney for health care and stash it in their glove compartment. This way, if ever anything happens, their requests are close at hand.
Additional Items to Consider
Glove boxes aren’t just for emergencies. The following are a few additional items that you may wish to include in your glove compartment kit:
• A Flashlight: You never know when one will come in handy, both inside and outside your rental vehicle.
• Napkins, Travel Wipes, and Hand Sanitizer: A must-have when traveling with children. Even adult car rental passengers will appreciate having something to wipe their hands on following a hasty drive-through meal.
• Plastic Grocery Bags: Because sometimes two arms just aren’t enough. Pack some into a small Ziploc bag to conserve space.
What sorts of items do you store in your car rental glove box? Leave a comment and share your travel necessities.