So you leave your comfort zone and set off for an exciting road trip with good company. You’ve been anticipating this moment for months, so you don’t want anything to go wrong. When you are far from home (and often from civilization), every detail matters. So from quality all-season tyres to pyjamas, this ultimate road trip check list will tell you how to get ready for a perfect trip.
Table of Content
Handy Road-Trip Check List
Decide where to go and keep things flexible
People travelling by car usually make one big mistake: they try to do and see more than it is actually bearable. Try to keep your itinerary flexible and make some room for spontaneous activities, rest, and enjoying the moment. Chances are you will remember these things most.
Get your car ready and learn some basics
A long trip requires not only good organizational and driving skills but also some basic knowledge about how the car works and how to fix the most common issues. However, it’s always better to prevent them. So we recommend getting your vehicle inspected, starting from tyres. Make sure they don’t have signs of excessive wear and the tread on them is deeper than 1.6 mm. There mustn’t be any cuts or bulbs on your top notch all-season tyres. Check the pressure in every tyre with a pressure gauge and correct it (inflate/deflate) according to the manufacturer’s recommendations imprinted on the driver’s door jamb (or found in the owner’s manual). If you are going to haul a trailer, ensure your vehicle’s tyres are up for the task (check their max load index). As tyres are the basic safety component in your car, think about possible solutions in case of a tyre failure. Do you have a spare and can you mount it on your own? If not, consider bringing a tyre repair kit. Find out the emergency numbers in the area you are travelling to and write them down.
Also, check your headlights, windscreen wipers, horn; test the brake system and heating/air conditioning systems depending on the season. Make sure all liquids (brake/transmission fluids, motor oil, and antifreeze) are fresh and at the proper level (between the min and max).
Invite the right company
Travelling alone is less stressful, but less safe as well. But as you are going to spend a lot of time in an enclosed space, take only those people on board you are sure you won’t have conflicts with. If you are going to have a long drive, make sure all passengers in the car are settled comfortably. Because too many people per square foot can be a disaster.
The GPS on the car or on your smartphone are a great tool but do not rely on electronic means only. Have a paper route map to secure yourself in a case when your battery dies.
Plan night stays
You need to have a good sleep at night to be able to move further the next day. Depending on your budget, you can choose between hotels, motels, hostels, or your friend’s house (if you have a friend living in the location you are staying at for the night). If you are limited in money, consider sleeping in the back of your vehicle, try couchsurfing or simply sleep in a tent. You need to have some means and skills for the last two options but you can stay close to nature and enjoy breathtaking sceneries just from your ‘bed’.
Prepare the first aid kit and a tool box
Never leave home without a first aid kit and a box of tools for a simple repair even if you’ve never had a need in them during your previous trips. You never know when you’ll need them.
Only take clothing and gear you are sure you are going to use as over-packing makes your trip less fuel-efficient. Use storage boxes and organizers to keep all belongings in order and find them easily without rummaging in big bags.
So how does your road trip checklist look like?