Checklist For a Road Trip – Get Ready to Hit the Road!

has been forgotten when you’re finally ready to jump in your car or RV and go. Most people think about what they need to pack, but there’s so much more you need to do when preparing for a road trip.

The items on this checklist for a road trip have been placed in the order that they need to be attended to – so don’t jump ahead!

  1. Select your road trip companions first – if you’re going with your family or significant other, you can jump ahead to step 2. If you’re selecting friends to take on your road trip, make sure you’re truly compatible. That person that’s fun to hang out with in a bar or go out with for the occasional coffee may not be someone you can handle on a 24-hour basis. Add all that time together to the close proximity you’ll share during the ride, and tensions may mount. How do you know that they’re the right person to bring? You want someone who generally shares your interests and attitudes, who is as much like you as possible or is complimentary, and someone who rarely (if ever) ticks you off. Watch out for any annoying habits or personal grooming issues – they will really get to you on a road trip.
  2. The next item on this checklist for a road trip is to select a destination that the entire group is excited about. It’s not good enough for just one person or half of your group to be enthusiastic about where you’re going. A road trip is often a week or more, and part of what keeps you going every day is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: your destination. You don’t want some people in your group thinking that pot of gold is really just a pot of cheap gold-painted plastic coins.
  3. Map your road trip so that your route to your destination and your return route are different. This will make both journeys more interesting and give you more opportunities to see interesting sights, stay at different hotels, and eat at different restaurants – jazzing up your road trip considerably. Plan your route to hit sights, towns, cities, and various attractions along the way. A road trip is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. If you don’t care about the journey, take a plane!
  4. Make your hotel/motel or campground reservations and print out all reservation information to have on hand in case there is a mix-up. Doing this has saved me many times when mistakes were made on the hotel’s end – sometimes I even got an upgrade and some complimentary wine or a fruit basket for my troubles! If I hadn’t had the printed reservation, I would have had to find other accommodations (and when you’re in a popular area – that can often mean no accommodations).
  5. Pack your maps, any printed directions, and any reservation confirmations in a wa
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