With Spring Break just around the corner for us, it’s the time of year that people are talking about vacations and road trips. As much as I love travel and a chance to get away, the prep work involved can make my head spin. Anyone with me on that?
We have a big travel season this spring and summer with a few road trips sprinkled in. To feel a little more on top of things, I like breaking things into doable, easy steps. I’m here to help you with that too. Ok so the checklist has more than six things to do before you go on your road trip, but there are six areas that I want to address. Are you with me?
The Knitty Gritty
Make sure that the things that you are leaving behind are taken care of. Do you have pets that need a place to stay? Set that up at least a few weeks in advance (more if you’re traveling over holidays). Do you have bills that will be due while you’re gone? Either pay them before or set up bill pay for while you’re away. Let your neighbors know that you’ll be gone and to keep an eye out for your house. Depending on how long you’ll be gone for, have your mail forwarded at the post office.
Car Care Before
Before setting out on the open road, make sure to get your car taken care of. Get the car cleaned out and washed. It’ll set the tone for the start of your trip. Make sure the oil is taken care of and the tires are at the right pressure. If you’re going really far, it’s a good idea to drop your car off at your dealer or mechanic to make sure that there will be no issues before you leave.
Another thing to think about is in case of an emergency. Add an emergency kit. Have things on hand that you don’t anticipate using, but that are there just in case. Danielle made a super cute travel emergency kit with free printables to use.
In the Car
Once your car is all fresh and clean, get it set up for a road trip. Make a snack basket to cut down on having to eat out and give some healthy choices. Use the checklist below to make sure you have things that you need- trash bags, wipes, water bottles and drinks.
I love this post from Becky (the organizing queen!) about how to make travel with kids more organized. She travels a lot and knows what she’s talking about.
It’s funny how when I was a kid this wasn’t a category. We were super excited when VHS came out so the idea of having portable devices to take ANYWHERE would’ve blown my mind way back when. I’ve heard countless stories of long flights and car rides from the good ol’ days. And while technology isn’t always great, it does come in extra handy with travel. The biggest thing with getting ready for a road trip and the tech stuff is to make sure you have all the cords and they are charged all up. We have used lots of different kinds of devices over the years (as technology has advanced) and now that my kids are older they all have their own things. It’s great that they have their own things, but it also means more to pack, keep track of and kept charged all the time.
Packing for 5 people can be overwhelming. I need to be better about delegating when it comes to this one for sure. But it has always seemed “easier” to do it myself. (really it’s easy for everyone else but me!) Using my list below, make sure that you have everything packed the week before you leave (minus things like toothbrushes and toothpaste). Depending on the size of your car and how much you have to bring, you can allow each of your kids to have a backpack for their personal stuff. If something doesn’t fit in their backpack, it doesn’t go on the trip.
To cut down on confusion or 5 million questions or 100 fights with your kids on the drive, discuss it. Talk about who will sit where, how long it will take, what you will be doing and when you will be stopping. Things won’t go 100% according to plan but if they know what to expect in general, the drive will go much smoother. Set boundaries and discuss what will happen if there are arguments. Let them know the fun stuff that will happen along the way, etc.
Download this Printable Road Trip Checklist.
Looking for other travel ideas? Check these out: