Winter road trip essentials

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PHOENIX  -- Lots of folks will be hitting the road this holiday season, driving to see family or friends. But the folks at AAA want travelers to know about some essentials that should always be in your car.

"There will be a lot of traffic on the road," says Linda Gorman of AAA Arizona. "AAA is projecting 1.7 million will be on the road sometime between tomorrow and New Years'

1. Emergency Car Car Kit
You can buy these for under $20 and they contain all the essentials. "There's a flashlight in there, some tape, some jumper cables, some warmers," says Gorman. Make sure it always stays stocked.

2. Kitty Litter
It may sound strange, but Gorman says it will come in handy if you get stuck in snow, ice or mud. "It can help provide you with just the right amount of traction to help get you out of a right spot." A scrap piece of carpet can also be used to provide traction.

3. A Battery
"Last winter, AAA rescued 62,000 stranded motorists," Gorman says. "And a lot of the reasons were batteries."  Cold weather can drain a battery, so make sure yours is charged.

4. Car Charger for Phone
Make sure you have this to keep your phone charged. "You also want to make sure you have the apps you need, if you're stranded."

5. Blankets
This is an essential. Make sure you have enough for everyone in the car.

6. Hot Packs/Warmers
"If you do get stranded out there you want to make sure you stay warm," Gorman cautions.  Emergency covers and hand warmers can help.

7. Food and Water
Non-perishable food and water is always important to have on hand before you hit the road.