On the Road Again! After years of being restricted as to where we can go and what we can do, the freedom of the road beckons, whether you’re touring your own country or venturing overseas, a road trip checklist is going to make your trip even more special, safe and happy.
A road trip checklist is going to help you plan your trip and enjoy it to the max. It will cover the needs of your vehicle, your passengers, and you.
The Ultimate Road Trip Checklist Is Here
Find everything you need to remember right here. Some things are obvious, some things not so much, and some might not even apply to you.
Our advice – print it out and tick it off to make sure you have every angle covered to make your trip a big success.
How To Prepare Your Vehicle
- Have a basic service at a minimum – especially if your trip will be a long one.
- Check your tires, including your spare. (You do carry a spare, right?). A tire pump can be a very useful accessory to carry.
- Check your battery has plenty of life in it, especially if it is a bit elderly.
- Check all fluids – windscreen washer, radiator, oil, and carry water and oil just in case. Carry a gas can – full if you are likely to be going to remote places. You can put this in a large vacuum pack bag to help cut down on fuel smells.
- Make sure you have a full tool kit, including jump leads, in case of a flat battery. Carry spare bulbs for your lights. Make sure you have a good flashlight and chargers for your devices.
- Make sure you have your vehicle’s manual safely in the glove compartment.
- Carry your car insurance and ownership/hire documents. Take photos of these and save them on your phone or another device. Make sure everyone who’ll be driving has their license with them.
- Give your vehicle a thorough clean, especially on the inside. This makes for a more comfortable ride.
- Get a spare set of car keys and keep them with you at all times. Leave a spare set of keys with someone who can dispatch them to you in an emergency.
- For cold-weather travel, snow chains can be useful.
Comfort Items For The Road
- Water, juices, and sodas to drink, and snacks to eat. Energy bars, dried fruit, and nuts are favorites for travel. A car cooler that plugs into your cigar lighter is a nice addition, meaning cool drinks are always available. If you are going to be traveling in cold weather, a thermos flask or even a dashboard liquid heater is a good addition.
- Pillows and blankets for snoozing
- Sun visors for the passenger area
- Cleaning spray and wipes, plus a garbage bag for rubbish – it’s surprising how rubbish collects on the road
- A great map and guide books so you can explore interesting places along the way
- Membership cards for national organizations – these might give you discounts on admissions.
- A great playlist that everyone can enjoy and sing along to, as well as personal playlists on your own devices
- Cash for incidental expenses along the way. You want to take advantage of those roadside stands and oddball attractions!
- A first aid kit and any regular medications that you take.
- Bug spray and sunscreen
- Plenty of books and movies downloaded for evening entertainment
- Toilet tissue and baby wipes for those unscheduled emergency stops!
- An extra portable charger
What To Pack
This will vary from person to person and will also depend on the season, but this is a helpful list that you can subtract from or add to. Technical clothing that is designed to be washed and dried quickly and that packs up small is ideal.
- A grab and go overnight bag with nightclothes, medications, toiletries, and a change of underwear for the morning
- Id, proof of vaccination, proof of negative covid test
- Masks – in case of changed regulations or personal preference
- A pair of comfortable slip-on shoes for evenings
- A spare pair of pants with zip-off legs that turn them into shorts
- Four sets of underwear
- Three t-shirts plus a long-sleeved shirt and a tank top
- A big snuggly hoodie with deep pockets
- Four pairs of socks
- Terrain-appropriate footwear – flip-flops for the beach, walking boots for the trails.
- A hat – to protect from sun or cold
- Gloves if it’s going to be cold
- A travel towel designed to dry quickly
- A Swimsuit
- Rainproof jacket, and consider rainproof trousers, although bare legs dry out more quickly than trousers
- A personal alarm – just in case you end up alone at night in a remote place
- A reusable shopping bag so you don’t need to use plastic grocery bags
- A can and bottle opener
- A multipurpose camping knife
- A roll of duct tape and a ball of good string
- A notebook and pen
How Long Can A Person Drive For?
This is a question that is often asked, and it depends on you and your vehicle. If you are fit and healthy and used to driving long distances, then it is possible to drive twelve hours in a day. However, this should be broken up into sections to avoid stress and strain on both you and your vehicle.
Stop every couple of hours to stretch your legs, maybe eat and have that bathroom break. At least once a day, take the opportunity to have a quick check of your vehicle – are the tires at the right pressure, do you need to put fluid in the windscreen wiper bottle, and are the lights functioning?
Remember that you are supposed to be having fun, so there is really no need to rush. Don’t challenge yourself beyond what you can reasonably do, and always, we repeat ALWAYS, stop and rest if you feel sleepy.
Prepare yourself for a long drive by making sure that you get enough sleep the night before. It’s a good idea to go over the route you’ll be driving the next day so that you can look out for exits and turns. If you have a passenger who is able to keep you company, then that’s ideal.
A Big Part Of The Fun
Getting ready for your road trip is a big part of the fun, right? Challenge yourself to create the perfect travel experience. During your road trip, make a note of things that you wish you’d brought and things that you could have left behind. This will be really useful the next time you hit the road!