Checklist for a Road Trip


Would you like to make your own checklist for a road trip? Good…I’ll ask you a few questions, and you answer them. Then, feel the brain-juice start to flow. Before you begin, grab some paper and a writing utensil, because you’ll want to catch those ideas as they pass through your head, and put them on your vacation packing checklist. Now, you won’t forget any road trip necessities.

Where a bullet-list is given for a question, don’t stop with that list…make it longer, if you can.

Road Trip Packing

Do you need any more packing aids?

Do you have clothing appropriate for the different climates you’ll visit?

Do you have clothes that get you in the flow? …bring them

What toiletries do you need while you’re on the road?

Will you get hungry between stops?

Do you have ways of recording your road trip memories?

  • A point and shoot camera
  • Journal
  • Laptop computer

Might you do any camping along the way?

Are you ready for medical situations?

  •  Portable first aid kit and guidebook
  • Medications
  • Medical conditions written down for EMS

Automobile Reliability

Would you have a roadside emergency handled well?

What fluids might your automobile need?

When is the last time your road trip car saw a mechanic?


Will your music needs be met?

What kind of road trip games would your travel-mates enjoy playing?

What would you and your travel-mates enjoy playing between drives?

Children’s Needs

Would your child appreciate bringing a toy or two? (I once forgot toys for my 3 ½ year old)

Are you prepared to change a diaper in the car or at a rest area?

What if the kids get stir-crazy?

What if they get hungry, and the nearest stop is still hours away?

Auto Comfort

What helps you have a comfortable drive?

  • Fashionable sunglasses
  • The right pair of shoes
  • A special pillow

Does your car need any comfort aids?

Do you need any clutter control (litter bag)?


What kind of reservations do you need to make?

  • Lodging
  • Road trip activities
  • Shows
  • Car rental

Does anyone need to know you’re coming and when you’re coming?

Do you know what you want from your road trip?

  • A relaxing getaway
  • An experience in a particular place
  • A visit to some friends and family
  • To simply wander

Have you researched your road trip route?

  • Possible detours
  • Possible stops
  • Long stretches of road with no amenities

Do you have a well thought-out checklist for a road trip?

Time To Go

What preparations must be made for your home?

  • House keys for the neighbors
  • Pet care
  • Mail delivery
  • Timers on the lights
  • Electronics and lights turned off
  • House thermostat turned down
  • Water heater thermostat turned down

Do you have a way to know where you are?

How can you handle surprise challenges?

  • Phone list
  • Spare cash hidden away
  • Mobile phone
  • Hide-a-key
  • Accessible flashlight

If your checklist for a road trip still needs to grow a little more, you can see my road trip checklist, for even more brain-stimulation. Give your list some time to marinate. It will most likely grow even faster, if it’s set out in a high-traffic area of your home.