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.
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.
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.
What about your Vbro/Airbnb Rental?
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.
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.
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.
I tucked everything, except the water, into a small shopping bag with handles and it worked great!
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:
LINK IS COMING SOON!
During your trip, take steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:
I’ll tell you how to download your copy of the Ultimate Road Trip Checklist at the end of this post.
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:
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.
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!
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.
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:
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:
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.
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 alone. The 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”.
Needless to say, there are kits like the blizzard roadside emergency kit that include everything except the kitchen sink. 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.
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.
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 trip. You 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.
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:
What do you take on a road trip that makes it a little more fabulous?
As you use your Ultimate Road Trip Checklist, you’ll want to read this fabulous post on doing your laundry while traveling!
This 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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