My Travel Checklist for a Great Road Trip
When I think of road trips, my heart skips a few beats. It’s all for good reasons because I love a great road trip! The thrill of waking at the crack of dawn, silently packing the car to avoid waking the neighbors. Signaling to the dogs that they are actually getting to join us on this journey – Bella hates driving in cars and only wants to be at the destination, but Eddie is simply thrilled he’s not being left home. That guy would follow us any and everywhere if he had his way.
Once you’re on the road – coffee in hand – I love to sit back and take it all in. The mountains, the trees, the cities, the farms, the water, and of course the vineyards. Each place we’ve traveled to is so unique and ethereal. It’s hard to imagine how so much fits into one country.
Adam and I have traveled multiple time across the country and I would do it a hundred times again. Though it takes far, far longer, I’m more fond of road-tripping vs flying. You lose something when you are tucked up in the clouds, away from the majestic world below.
After years of road tripping, we’ve definitely learned a great deal about what and what not to bring along. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat in the car, losing my mind because I didn’t have something I needed.
This may make us sound like alcoholics, but we’ve also learned never to leave home without a bottle of wine and a wine opener in tow. After a very long day of driving, all we want is to decompress at the hotel with a yummy bottle of wine. It’s become our tradition to have some wine and cheese and overdose on reality tv shows… it’s fine, you can make fun of me all you want, but I love it!
On one road trip, we ended up finding a hotel in what they call a “dry state”. That means no wine for miles!!! I about had a stroke! Who wants to live in a place where you can’t enjoy a good glass of wine. Not me, that’s for sure. I vowed, never to travel without a bottle of wine again!
And that is why I decided to create this list, so that you can be prepped and set for your journey without making the same packing mistakes we did. I hope you enjoy!
My Travel Checklist for a Great Road Trip Download Checklist
In the Car Necessities
Plastic bag for trash
Napkins or paper towels
Nail file or nail trimmer
Face cleansing towelettes
2 phone chargers
Car Power Inverter
Cash for tolls
Stain remover pen or wipes
Food & Beverage
1 water bottle per person
Snacks or light lunch
Cooler + freezer packs
Energy drink for the driver
Plates, cups and silverware
For overnight trips
Hotel reservation + confirmation
Wine for the hotel room – trust me, after a full day of driving,
the last thing you want to do is head out to find a store that
Dramamine – if you tend to get car sick
Backup payment option
Spare set of keys
Camera, charger + memory cards
Laptop + power cord
Extra clothing, if you are taking a day trip
Have car checked by a mechanic – if you’re going longer distances
Spare tire and jack
Proof of insurance
Traveling with dogs
Blanket for dogs
Dog waste bags
2 Tupperware with lids – I like to use these for food and water
List of restaurants that allow dogs
Finding a hotel that allows dogs is harder than you would think. My go-to hotels are:
Four Season Hotels – not all locations allow dogs, so double check
Loews Hotels and Resorts
Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
Red Roof Inn
Aloft Hotels – not all locations allow dogs, so double check
Essential travel apps and websites
There are a lot of great apps and website dedicated to travel and exploring the areas around you. These are some of my favorite. Download them before you head out on the road to experience a truly great road trip. One that you will never forget!
Hoteltonight – IOS, Android
Roadtrippers – IOS, Android
GasBuddy – IOS, Android
PlugShare – IOS, Android for electric cars
OpenTable – IOS, Android
ParkMe – IOS, Android
Waze – IOS, Android