Prepare your road trip with this checklist
I love road trips! It somehow became one of my favorite ways to travel. The last three years Michel and I have made several road trips together (US West Coast, Tuscany and Moselle Valley). A road trip can give you the ultimate feeling of freedom. However, preparation is key. If you do your prep work right, you can be as spontaneous as you want to be. This checklist will help you to get the basics right!
Is the car you are going to use in good and safe condition (maintenance all set)?
Is your car prepared for the weather conditions for your destination? Do you need snow tires? Or sun shades?
Is your tank filled up with gas? And did you check the amount of gas stations on your route so you’ll know when to make a stop?
Did you gather the necessary emergency supplies (like: motor oil, radiator fluid, roadside emergency kit, first aid kit and spare tire)?
Do you know how to do the basics on a car (like changing a tire, checking the oil and fluid levels etc.)?
- Is the driving seat adjusted properly for your body?
- Are the rear-view and wing mirrors in the right position?
- Did you check if your road assistance membership is up to date?
- Do you have the roadside assistance number saved on your mobile phone?
- Do you have a GPS, navigation app (like Google Maps) and an actual map with you?
- Did you check the rules of the road for the country you’re visiting?
- Are you crossing any toll roads? Do you have a credit card or cash to pay them?
- Have you checked the timing of your trip (it can be busy during early weekdays when people go to work)?
- Do you have a credit card or a card which allows you to pay in the destination you are heading towards?
- Did you inform your bank (sometimes cards get blocked automatically when your bank, all of a sudden, sees a lot of payments in a foreign country)?
- Some cash might come in handy when your card doesn’t work or when you need to make small payments (a bathroom visit, a small snack/drink etc.)
- Book any last-minute accommodations with Airbnb or Booking.com
- Use Google Translate to help you translate any language
- Convert currencies with XE Currency
- Taking a break from your car? Use Citymapper for public transportation options.
- Install TripAdvisor to get tips from other travelers
- Get restaurants reviews and recommendations on Yelp
- Is your trunk big enough to hide any big suitcases? So that you don’t need to open the trunk along the trip?
- Can you easily take valuable things (wallet, mobile phone, camera etc.) out of the car when you make a stop?
- Did you pack the important toiletries (toilet paper!) or regular medication close to you?
- Did you bring a few empty (canvas) bags in case you’re going (grocery) shopping?
- Did you pack some meals and snacks?
- Did you bring some water bottles and/or a thermo mug to keep any drinks cool/warm?
- Do you need a collapsible cooler or mini electric fridge for any of your drinks/food?
- Did you check the weather forecast of the areas you’ll be visiting? Will the climate remain the same during the whole trip? Or do you need to wear layers you can easily take off?
- Did you bring some entertainment (books, music, games, tablet etc.) for the passengers? Don’t forget chargers and/or powerbanks!
- Did you book some accommodation(s) so you have a rough outline of where you will be on certain days?
- Is there free parking available?