If you’re taking a road trip during Covid-19 restrictions and closings, you’ll definitely need the Ultimate Road Trip Checklist!  It contains the “Covid Quarantine Log for Travel” you’ll need too!

ultimate road trip checklist cover

ULTIMATE ROAD TRIP CHECKLIST – Your Comprehensive Planning Tool

I love road trips!  No late or cancelled flights, weight restrictions or a youngster that thinks my seat-back is a soccer ball.  And with health conditions around the world unstable, we aren’t considering hopping on a plane to a faraway locale any time soon. That’s why we all need an Ultimate Road Trip Checklist!

So, road tripping it is for the Traveling Wolves, which is our name on TripAdvisor.com.  Someday soon I’ll have to regale you with some of the benefits of using Trip Advisor for researching upcoming travel destinations.

We recently returned from an incredibly fun and relaxing “Ultimate Road Trip” vacation to the Massachusetts coast.  It took some real effort to plan and pack for a 9 day road trip.  We had hotel stays on 2 travel nights, and a lovely Vbro rental the rest of the time.

I’ll be telling you about our stays at Hilton Hotels along our route, and how they’ve changed their protocol to address the COVID health crisis.  As Hilton Honors Diamond Members, we were impressed with their policy changes.


ultimate road trip checklist


In the upcoming months, road trips are on the agenda for many of those considering holiday travel this year.  I just read a recent survey by the U.S. Travel Association in partnership with MMGY Travel Intelligence. 

It found that 68 percent of travelers “continue to feel safest when traveling by personal vehicle and when visiting outdoor destinations such as parks and beaches.” 45 percent of the respondents said they are likely to travel more by car.

  • Traveling with family and friends limits contact with others
  • Your travel companions are likely to be the individuals you’ve been in quarantine with 
  • If any of your passengers have had outside contact, it may be advisable to wear masks inside your car
  • Otherwise, experts caution against wearing a mask when driving alone because of a potential reduction in oxygen and possible lightheadedness


In the era of coronavirus, avoiding public transportation, crowded waiting areas, and strangers is considered the best way to stay safe.  For overnight stops, plan ahead so you can choose a property by price as well as by their COVID cleanliness standards. 


beachside rental on ultimate road trip


What about your Vbro/Airbnb Rental? covid quarantine log for travel

Some state, local, and territorial governments have requirements or restrictions on those traveling to their areas. Some require people to wear masks indoors and some even outdoors, like Gloucester, MA, which I recently visited on a safe-road-trip.  Others might require those coming to stay home for up to 14 days before arriving in their community.  Check state, territorial and local public health websites for information before you travel.  

Here’s the Covid Quarantine Log for Travel that you’ll want to fill out before leaving on your trip.  It’s on the last page of the Ultimate Road Trip Checklist PDF.



Part of the fun of a road trip is the planning, so get out your maps, guidebooks, magazines, and decide on your route and destination.  Make sure you’ve got your GPS system updated with the latest software updates to keep you apprised of road closures, detours or unexpected traffic.

Although it’s always fun to stray from the beaten path to find new nooks and crannies along your journey, resist the temptation this time around.  For the present time and foreseeable future, it’s safest to stick with your planned route.

This year is a bit different from others as far as travel, so I’m advising you to take extra care when planning and packing for your ultimate road trip.  


how to plan the ultimate road trip


This is definitely the  most comprehensive Ultimate Road Trip Checklist!  If you’re planning a road trip, you’ll need to print out this incredible 6-PAGE PACKING CHECKLIST to help you get ready to hit the road. 

It’s even got a COVID QUARANTINE LOG FOR TRAVEL FORM to take with you to attest to your “quarantine status” at your destination or vacation rental.


ultimate road trip checklist pages graphic


I’ve taken many road trips in my years of traveling.  So it’s no wonder I’ve come up with a comprehensive list that even gives me a bit of travel “luxury” along the way. 

Here’s the topics that are covered in my Ultimate Road Trip Checklist:

  • Pre-Trip Car Checklist – Get your car ready for the trip
  • “Must Have” for Car Travel required items
  • Tech “On-the-Go” suggestions
  • Personal care stuff for your purse
  • Travel in Comfort “Essentials”
  • “In-Car” / “In-Hotel” Dining Needs
  • Safety and Emergency Items
  • COVID Safe Travel Supply List
  • COVID Quarantine Log for Travel form



covid travel safe kit


I tucked everything, except the water, into a small shopping bag with handles and it worked great! 

  • Disinfectant Wipes
  • Disinfectant Spray
  • Gallon jug of water (next 3 items for washing hands/unexpected possible contamination of belongings)
  • Antibacterial Liquid Hand Soap
  • Dr. King’s Hand Sanitizer Spray
  • Paper Towels
  • Face Mask and spares
  • Latex gloves (optional)



As you probably already know, many of today’s “so called” hand sanitizers now being recalled by the FDA. You really need to pay attention to what’s in the bottle to have the assurance that what you are using is both safe and effective.

I’m not one to tout products as a rule, but this one is different.  I’ve found a fabulous brand called Dr. King’s Hand Sanitizer, that’s safe and effective.  It’s FDA approved, with an 80%  alcohol content, and just the right amount of glycerin to keep your skin from drying.  

And with the convenient 2 oz. sized spray bottle, no more sharing for me!  I keep my own bottle tucked in my purse and another in my car.  It’s the only hand sanitizer we’ll use going forward.  I won’t waste my money on sub-par products, especially since every Tom, Dick and Harry are making it now!    

Click here to find out more about Dr. King’s Hand Sanitizer and full line of homeopathic products:



washing hand often to keep safe while road tripping

During your trip, take steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:

  • Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when in public settings
  • Avoid close contact by staying at least 6 feet apart (about 2 arms’ length) from anyone who is not from your household
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 70% alcohol)
  • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Use a paper towel or disinfectant wipe to open doors in public rest rooms or travel rest stops and discard before getting into your vehicle


I’ll tell you how to download your copy of the Ultimate Road Trip Checklist at the end of this post.


car towing a trailer on the ultimate road trip


Low gas prices are another benefit of taking an ultimate road trip this year. With per gallon averages just under $2, it’s the lowest it’s been in the last several years.  If you are the “App” kind of person, try  GasBuddy.   It helps road trippers with fuel prices, routes, and even with a little budget planning too.

Here’s some general safe-travel guidelines to follow while enroute to your destinations:

Bathrooms and rest stops: 

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds after using the bathroom and after you have been in a public place
  • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 70% alcohol.  Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry
  • Use disinfecting wipes on handles of doors in public rest rooms


Getting gas:

  • Use disinfecting wipes on handles and buttons at the gas pumps before you touch them 
  • After fueling, use a hand sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol. When you get to your destination, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds


Overall travel costs can be managed more easily on a driving trip, too. For example, a well-stocked cooler will help you save a significant amount on purchasing water, soft drinks, snacks, and meals.


cooler using frozen water bottles for ice


NAN’S TIP: FREEZE SOME OF YOUR WATER BOTTLES TO REPLACE SOME OF THE ICE. They’ll melt enough to drink along the way, but will help keep your cooler contents chilled too.

The ultimate road trip packing list is the key to a vacation that feels luxurious and can be much less stressful than flying.  Even under the current travel situation, I pinky-promise!


BEFORE YOU EVEN LEAVE THE DRIVEWAY – Pre-Trip Car Check(up) Checklist

While researching  my Ultimate Road Trip Checklist, I checked out what is floating about the web.  I was surprised no one covered getting your vehicle “road ready” for a long trip.  I  truly believe it’s an essential step before taking off on the long and winding road.  

road trip packing list

Giving your car a once over can make the difference between going the distance and adding unnecessary stress to what can be a fabulous and relaxing adventure. 

Here’s a quick list of things that you should do to make sure your trip and car run smoothly:

  • Check all four tires – air pressure and tread depth/condition
  • Look at oil and fluid levels – fill as necessary
  • Check windshield wipers for wear or tearing; replace if necessary
  • Giving our car a good cleaning out will help make your trip more comfortable
  • Wash exterior and detail interior for a much more luxurious road trip. It’s the only way the Lifestyle Diva rolls!



As I mentioned earlier, there have been considerable changes in policy and protocol at hotels since the advent of “the new age”.

You’re going to be required to wear a mask to enter almost any hotel.  Plus, you’ll likely be required to have a mask on any time you’re in a public area.

Here’s a list of changes or new protocols we noticed in place at two Hilton Hotels on our September 2020 trip:sanitized toilet in hotel during covid 19 outbreak

  • “Masks Required” signage on front doors and in all public areas (no mask, no check-in!)
  • Hand sanitizer in the hotel lobbies and various public areas
  • They sanitize the luggage carts regularly during the day
  • 6-ft. social distancing signage in communal areas and near elevators
  • Each hotel room is “sealed” with a two-part sticker after cleaning/sanitizing that “breaks” when you enter your room
  • Our television remote was in a wrapper that attested it had been sanitized  (finally!!!)
  • The toilet tissue roll was still in its wrapper on the dispenser
  • Pads and pens are no longer provided  
  • Laminated television station “guide” was sanitized
  • Daily maid service is no longer provided during your stay; towel/supplies are available upon request  (they only clean/sanitize between visitors)
  • In our “suite” room, the dishes and glassware were washed and left in the dishwasher to ensure they were sanitized and untouched
  • Bagged breakfast foods or limited breakfast offerings were prepared to order and handed to you  


Pretty wild list, huh?

I can honestly say we felt reasonably safe while staying at the Hiltons along our travel route.

Take the time to check out your favorite hotel chains specifically. Make sure they’re stepping up their cleaning/sanitizing and enforcing safety protocols in common areas.

Your life, and those of your loved ones may depend on it.  (Sadly, I’m quite serious!)



H.H. and I make the drive to South Florida from the mountains of Western North Carolina several times a year.  Both our adult sons live there and we used to be frequent cruisers.

In the past, I could ignore those pesky weight requirements and take one more bag if we road tripped instead of flying.  But for now, and the foreseeable future, we’ll be taking Ultimate Road Trips! 

Just how you “road trip” really depends upon a host of circumstances and conditions.


couple sightseeing on a road trip


  • How Many:  Days will your trip be?  Destinations?  Number of hotels?  Number of rentals?
  • Seasonal and weather conditions (seasonal road closures/bad weather reports/holiday traffic)
  • Type of road trip (family vacation/business/vacation for two/pre or post cruise)
  • Special needs considerations
  • Will you want to eat breakfast/lunch/dinner in the car?
  • Will you be using the kitchen facilities in your hotel room(s) for any meals/snacks?
  • How many hours per day are you willing to drive?  Plan your travel days accordingly.


must have items for a great road trip

“MUST HAVES” FOR YOUR CAR TRIP – Don’t leave home without them!

This portion of the Ultimate Road Checklist includes items like a spare tire (inflated) and tools, a flashlight, your auto insurance card and roadside emergency kit.

I was amazed at the array of roadside emergency kits I found on Amazon aloneThe contents and prices ranges of the kits varied widely, so it’s easy to choose one that fits your needs.

I found one that seemed to have everything I would need priced $65.  But, you can find a roadside emergency kit starting at $33 and as high as $149. for a “Blizzard Roadside Emergency Kit”.


roadside emergency kit for automobile travel

Roadside Emergency Kit – The “Bare Minimum” Content Requirements:

  • Carrying bag
  • Heavy duty jumper cables
  • 1 heavy duty flashlight with 2 AA batteries
  • Emergency poncho
  • Roll of duct tape
  • 2-in-1 screwdriver
  • Bungee cord
  • Shop cloth
  • 6 cable ties
  • First-aid kit
  • Folding shovel
  • Roadside flares


Needless to say, there are kits like the blizzard roadside emergency kit that include everything except the kitchen seat belt cutter and window breaking toolsink.  Not many people need a snow shovel and de-icer spray!  I think most people will find that a mid-priced kit will include what they feel sufficient for their needs.

CAVEAT:  There are two items that are not included in a standard roadside emergency kit that I really feel you should have.  I want you to include a seat-belt cutter and window breaker in the list of items to take with you on your road trip. (this is a 2 pc. unit from Amazon that contains both)

But the key is to not keep them inside your roadside emergency kit.  They should be easily accessible to you inside the passenger compartment.  Both items are useless if you can’t reach them when you need them!



Yes, you’ll still need some basics when it comes to safety in your vehicle while traveling.  I’ve included this list an ancillary to your emergency road side kit, as these items are generally not included.

  • Bug Sprayswiss army knife
  • Lantern/Flashlight
  • Gallon jug of H2O
  • Swiss Army Knife
  • Bag of sand
  • WD40
  • Plastic gas can
  • De-Icing Spray
  • First Aid Kit
  • Ice Scraper
  • Emergency Donut tire (inflated)
  • Folding Shovel



You’ll need to take some of your “techie” stuff to keep you in touch with the outside world. 

I put together a list of things like downloading your favorite playlist and taking a hands-free phone mount.  Another fabulous tip is to download the Maps.Me App  It’s a free app that allows you to download detailed maps which can be used offline and without cell service and acts as a GPS. 

road trip essentials


I always toss a few personal care items in a cute little zipper tote to throw in my travel purse.  It’s always nice to be able to use some hand cream or lip balm when you need them.  The list is short, but sweet, and includes what I think you’ll need to be comfortable.



Now, this list is quite comprehensive.  I’ve included every single thing I think you might need under various circumstances and/or conditions of your road tripYou can pick and choose as your travel style and specific plans dictate.

I love to include the little “creature comforts” that make my travel more pleasurable.  Some of my favorite things to tuck into our car are a travel pillow, box of tissues, garbage bags, car blanket and my cabin socks.  

I am a firm believer that you need to be comfortable while traveling by car, and that includes your feet!  Warm and cozy, I love to slide my feet into a pair of cabin socks and give my feet a break from my shoes.  I do the same thing when I travel by plane.  Comfort is comfort, right?



If you like take your own food, snacks and beverages with you, you’ll need some basic paper/plastic goods.  My checklist of items is for a road trip that includes eating a few meals in a hotel room that has basic kitchen facilities. 

During COVID 19 restrictions in different , it’s wise to plan to take a few of your meals with you. 

Otherwise, you’ll want to try to plan ahead to locate restaurants that are offering “curbside service” or outdoor dining opportunities. 



  • Prepare sandwiches and prepared snacks the night before you travel so that they will be well chilled when put cooler packed with foodinto the cooler.
  • Cool your first day beverages in the refrigerator; warm beverages melt the cooler ice at a faster rate.
  • If you prefer soft drinks, take a few 6-packs in the car; you’ll find that your Coke from NC will not taste the same as the Coke bottled in New York.  The water in different localities affects the flavor.  Who knew!
  • Wrap individual sandwiches in plastic wrap, label with initial of person (I hate yellow mustard!) and put wrapped sandwiches into cooler filled with foodgallon ziploc bags to keep dry.


  • When filling your cooler, place your beverages on one side, standing upright;  pour ice over beverages and onto the empty bottom portion.  Cover the iced side with a double-layer of heavy duty aluminum foil to keep the food dry, but well chilled.  (It’s an old professional catering trick from South Florida!)



  • Repackage any snack items that come in packaging that cannot be resealed.  Label accordingly.  
  • I will slide a ziploc bag into the inside of a box of multi-portion graham crackers to keep the open portion fresh.  The bag is right where you need it when you open the package.
  • Attach a “chip clip” to the top of your bag of potato chips, pretzels, etc., so you’ll have it to close the bag after opening.
  • Pack a pair of old beach towels in the car to have for spills, padding, outdoor seating, etc.  So simple, so useful!
  • Pack a wet washcloth in a ziploc in your paper bag to use for sticky messes while on the move.
  • I like to wrap a small serrated knife in foil with a small cutting board to give me versatility when choosing on-the-go food.



I’ve devised a method of taking the myriad of snacks and paper goods that I can’t help packing as I prep for one of our road trips.

Here’s what our many trips to South Florida for cruise departures has taught me:groceries for a road trip

  • Hotel luggage carts are various sizes and shapes, but most have some type of hooks for hanging things
  • Use large brown paper bags with handles, double them and then cut a piece of cardboard slightly smaller than the flat bottom of the bags.  I insert the cardboard to form a strong, solid base for our supplies.  (you recognize this trick from your Chinese take-out order, don’t you?)
  • I use the bags to carry our snacks, paper goods and small items that need to be accessible while driving.


What do you take on a road trip that makes it a little more fabulous? 

Comment below or post a pic over at The Fab Life Facebook Group.  I’d love to see how you “road trip”!

As you use your Ultimate Road Trip Checklist, you’ll want to read this fabulous post on doing your laundry while traveling! 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE POST:  Psst! It’s My Dirty Little Secret, I Do Laundry While Traveling



ultimate road trip checklist coverThis is definitely the  most comprehensive Ultimate Road Trip Checklist out there!  It even includes a printable COVID QUARANTINE LOG FOR TRAVEL for you to take with you!

If you’re planning a road trip, you’ll need to print out this incredible FREE 6-PAGE CHECKLIST to help you get ready to hit the road. 

Especially if you want to travel safely during a time when the proper preparation BEFORE you leave can make a huge difference.

 If you want to come back from your road trip healthy and safe, you need to take the proper care in preparing for your ultimate road trip!


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