Road Trip Check List


Road trips are an awesome way to extend the traveling fun.

You make the schedule, you choose when to stop and best of all: no crying babies, snoring passengers, mysterious smells or any of the other unpleasant things that sometimes come along with planes, trains and buses.

All you have to do is pick a destination, a driving partner or two and you are on your way. (Check out Julie’s post on her adventurous journey driving California’s PCH.)

Keep the following in mind and you’re in for a great time…

Find yourself a travel partner

Driving alone can be really fun but if you are heading far, you might consider finding a friend to go along with you. It will make the long drives a little easier since you can switch off, plus you’ll have someone to talk to.

Just make sure you really like this person because you’ll be trapped together for quite some time!

Get some music

What’s a road trip without music?

You’re bound to be driving through some long stretches of corn fields and having some upbeat music will really help keep you energized.

Plus, you can pretend like you are in a movie montage and sing while the wind blows through your hair. Who doesn’t love a good move montage fantasy?

Load up on snacks

I like to keep it healthy but there are times to eat junk food and I believe road trips are among them.


Oreos, Doritos, Cheetos and endless amounts of Mountain Dew all make it into my backseat when I am on a roadtrip. I usually pack up several sandwiches for some sustenance as well.

While snacking to stay awake and/or past time is not a great idea for every day life, I think it’s pretty justifiable (if not necessary) for a proper road trip.

Be safe

Flat tires, stalled engines, crazy storms and other unexpected things happen.

Make sure your cell phone is fully charged and carry some emergency supplies including extra water and blankets. A membership with AAA wouldn’t hurt either.

Take your time

Give yourself plenty of time to arrive to your destination. You don’t want to be speeding through unfamiliar territory and getting caught in speed traps because you are running late.

And, if you allow for plenty of extra time you can make spontaneous stops to weird road-side attractions like big balls of yarns, exotic taxidermy museums or maybe just a fun greasy spoon diner.

What’s the best road trip you have ever taken? What sorts of things do you do to prepare for a good road trip?


About Author

Rease gave up on office life before she turned 22. She believes in hard work, but only if it makes you incredibly happy. Rease is a writing, traveling, kid-loving, Spanish-speaking nerd of a girl who may be the craziest balance of 40-year-old responsible logic and 7-year-old childlike amusement. She is currently living the expat life in Buenos Aires, Argentina, writing for and planning her next trip - in other words- living the dream.


  1. I think that depends on your style! I, personally, would be forever lost without a GPS but I know not everyone is into super planned out routes!

  2. Agreed, AAA is a must if you’re on an extended trip in the U.S.! And music too. I love junk food but that one depends how long you’re on the road. My trip was 4 months, and if I had taken junk food I would’ve been obese by the time it was over. In that case, bags of apples, nuts, granola bars are a good way to go!

  3. I’ve never used a GPS and I get lost very easily! However, I do all the research before hand. I would also recommend getting the car checked out, oil change, etc before a really long road trip.

    Another great thing to include in this (and I don’t blame Rease for not mentioning it) – find ways to entertain kids! A long road trip with kids and no entertainment is a disaster!!

    • Honestly I have worked with kids a lot (I was a preschool teacher!) and really the best thing you can hope for is that they will sleep. Other than that, each game will keep them occupied for 5-15 minutes, depending on their age. Bring a movie and a portable DVD player!

  4. On our year-long roadtrip in an RV we discovered the beauty of Geico — apparently they’ll come jump your battery for free (if you have coverage through them, obvs). They jumped our RV twice and our Jeep five times (each time in a different city), and we didn’t pay for any of it! 🙂

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