Revving Up For A Roadtrip: Ultimate Preparation Checklist

Road trips can be great fun and economically feasible vacations with a little advance planning and budgeting even in tough economic times. Whether you decide to go for a day or for a weekend or longer, it is important to prepare yourself for every contingency, especially when kids are involved. You have to pack judiciously, but completely, check your vehicle to make sure that it is road worthy and find ways to keep the kids engaged and entertained at the same time. And if you bring your pet, prepare to stop as often for your pet as you do your kids. Many road trips feel long, especially in summertime weather, k eep your emotions under control by knowing what to expect and preparing for it.

Items to Pack

If you are like most, you pack way too many clothes than you need for a vacation. Stick with the essentials, underclothes, bathing suits for that unexpected foray into a nearby pool or lake, toiletries, medications and three changes of clothes per person. Roll your clothes tightly to fit the most into the smallest bag possible. Bring snack food and drinks. Throw as much on top of the car as you can in carriers or secure with bungee cord. Stock your vehicle with a general emergency kit, including a flashlight with new batteries, jack or Swiss army knife, and money. Bring your cell phone—and do not forget the chargers. Keep jumper cables and jack in your vehicle; do not take them out to make room for incidentals.

Stocking Your RV for a Road Trip

Road Trip Vacation Packing Checklist

Road Food

Road Trip Checklist

Gas Prices

Checking Your Vehicle

Before trekking off into the wide blue yonder, check your vehicle’s vitals. Nothing ruins a road trip faster than car trouble. If you are getting close to your vehicle’s oil change, get it changed. If your vehicle’s shifting rough, check the transmission and its fluid. Check the air in your tires and check your belts for whine and wear. If you see your belts slipping, if they have tears or cuts, or if you hear them singing a whiny tune, get them replaced or face a tow on the road. Also double check your vehicle insurance to see what it covers.

Preparing Your Vehicle for a Road Trip

Getting Your Car Ready

Basic Vehicle Maintenance

How to Change a Tire

Fun Road Trip Games

Maximize game time by alternating between classic and digital games. Some classic road games include: Finding license plates, playing Riddly-Ree, counting animals and color cars. Engage your kids in learning games that tell about the road you are on, the geographic region and its people. Use video games, movies, and other digital entertainment sensibly. Half the fun of a road trip is not keeping the kids quiet and busy, but engaging them in conversation and fun with the family.

Top 10 Road Trip Games

Boredom Busters

Classic Road Trip Games

More Road Trip Games

All Things Portable

Road trips can be great fun and economically feasible vacations with a little advance planning and budgeting even in tough economic times. Whether you decide to go for a day or for a weekend or longer, it is important to prepare yourself for every contingency, especially when kids are involved. You have to pack judiciously, but completely, check your vehicle to make sure that it is road worthy and find ways to keep the kids engaged and entertained at the same time. And if you bring your pet, prepare to stop as often for your pet as you do your kids, making road trips feel long, especially in summertime weather. Keep your emotions under control by knowing what to expect and preparing for it.

Items to Pack

If you are like most, you pack way too many clothes than you need for a vacation. Stick with the essentials, underclothes, bathing suits for that unexpected foray into a nearby pool or lake, toiletries, medications and three changes of clothes per person. Roll your clothes tightly to fit the most into the smallest bag possible. Bring only emergency and snack food and drinks. Throw as much on top of the car as you can in carriers or secure with bungee cord. Stock your vehicle with a general emergency kit, including a flashlight with new batteries, jack or Swiss army knife, and money. Bring your cell phone—and don’t forget the car and electrical chargers. Keep jumper cables and jack in your vehicle; don’t take them out to make room for incidentals.

Stocking Your RV for a Road Trip

Road Trip Vacation Packing Checklist

Road Food

Road Trip Checklist

Gas Prices

Checking Your Vehicle

Before trekking off into the wide blue yonder, check your vehicle’s vitals. Nothing ruins a road trip faster than car trouble. If you are getting close to your vehicle’s oil change, get it changed. If your vehicle’s shifting rough, check the transmission and its fluid. Check the air in your tires and check your belts for whine and wear. If you see your belts slipping, if they have tears or cuts, or if you hear them singing a whiny tune, get them replaced or face a tow on the road. Check your vehicle insurance to see what it covers.

Preparing Your Vehicle for a Road Trip

Getting Your Car Ready

Basic Vehicle Maintenance

How to Change a Tire

Fun Road Trip Games

ost can be fun, but it can also be dangerous, so use common sense when setting off into the unknown.

If your road trip means travel from point A to point B on a well-known or well-traveled route, make sure you keep abreast of the laws of the state you are in. If you are traveling where children must be in booster or car seats, make sure that they are, since fines can be heavy and improperly usage can result in injury. Other things to remember: never text and drive and stop to use your cell phone GPS or to look at maps. And if you have a blow-out, get into the right lane and eventually off the road.

Summer Road Trip Safety Tips With Little Kids

Vacation Road Trip Safety Tips

ATM/Bank Locator

National Traffic and Road Closure Information

NOAA State Weather Data



Maximize game time by alternating between classic and digital games. Finding license plates, playing Riddly-Ree, counting animals and color cars are classic road trip games that get too few uses in the digital age. Engage your kids in learning games that tell about the road you’re on, the geographic region and its people. Use video games, movies, and other digital entertainment sensibly. Half the fun of a road trip is not keeping the kids quiet and busy, but engaging them in conversation, thinking and fun with the family.

Top 10 Road Trip Games

Boredom Busters

Classic Road Trip Games

More Road Trip Games

All Things Portable

Although you want to engage your kids, sometimes they need some down time, especially on longer trips in a packed vehicle. Bring along those music players, portable digital games, and DVD players with some movies or favorite TV shows. If your GPS system is not built in to your vehicle, make sure that you bring a portable one with you. A wind-up alarm clock is another good item to bring as well as any portable medical devices you might need. And don’t forget the digital camera to record your road trip. Don’t forget that portability doesn’t end with electronics. Keep at least a gallon of water in your trunk!

Keep Your Tunes Moving With You

Portable GPS Reviews

Road Trip Safety

Making sure your vehicle is properly set to go on your road trip is just part of keeping you safe. Have maps and GPS systems handy and in good working order. If it’s summertime, never leave pets or children in the car, even with the air conditioning on while the windows are rolled up. Never leave them alone in the car period. If it’s winter, keep blankets with your emergency food. Remember that road trips can lead you to climate extremes very quickly, so plan your trip carefully. Getting lost can be fun, but it can also be dangerous, so use common sense when setting off into the unknown.

If your road trip means travel from point A to point B on a well-known or well-traveled route, make sure you keep abreast of the laws of the state you’re in. If you are traveling where children must be in booster or car seats, make sure that they are, since fines can be heavy and improperly usage can result in injury. Other things to remember: never text and drive and stop to use your cell phone GPS or to look at maps. And if you have a blow-out, get into the right lane and eventually off the road.

Summer Road Trip Safety Tips With Little Kids

Vacation Road Trip Safety Tips

ATM/Bank Locator

National Traffic and Road Closure Information

NOAA State Weather Data

Although you want to engage your kids, sometimes they need some down time, especially on longer trips in a packed vehicle. Bring along those music players, portable digital games, and DVD players with some movies or favorite TV shows. If your GPS system is not built in to your vehicle, make sure that you bring a portable one with you. A wind-up alarm clock is another good item to bring as well as any portable medical devices you might need. And don’t forget the digital camera to record your road trip. Don’t forget that portability doesn’t end with electronics. Keep at least a gallon of water in your trunk!

Keep Your Tunes Moving With You

Portable GPS Reviews

Road Trip Safety

Making sure your vehicle is properly set to go on your road trip is just part of keeping you safe. Have maps and GPS systems handy and in good working order. If it is summertime, never leave pets or children in the car, even with the air conditioning on while the windows are rolled up. Never leave them alone in the car period. If it is winter, keep blankets with a source of emergency food. Remember that road trips can lead you to climate extremes very quickly, so plan your trip carefully. Getting lost can be fun, but it can also be dangerous, so use common sense when setting off into the unknown.

If your road trip means travel from point A to point B on a well-known or well-traveled route, make sure you keep abreast of the laws of the state you are in. If you are traveling where children must be in booster or car seats, make sure that they are, since fines can be heavy and improperly usage can result in injury. Other things to remember: never text and drive and stop to use your cell phone GPS or to look at maps. And if you have a blow-out, get into the right lane and eventually off the road.

Summer Road Trip Safety Tips With Little Kids

Vacation Road Trip Safety Tips

ATM/Bank Locator

National Traffic and Road Closure Information

NOAA State Weather Data