Road Trip Check List

RelayRides blogger Brad Iger has planned enough road trips to have come up with the perfect road trip checklist. Before your next adventure have a read

With the Winter Holidays over, we have had time to reflect on all of the awesome things that make the holidays great–family, friends, great cooking, time off from work–and we also had time to reflect on what we can always improve upon, including holiday road trips. No matter how much you prepare, it seems like there are always things we could have done a bit better. We’ve come up with the checklist to make sure your next road trip (holiday or otherwise)doesn’t turn out like a Griswold family vacation. So, planning a ski trip for the long MLK, or Presidents’ Day weekend? Start your trip here.

Thinking of embarking on your next road trip? Get it right with these tips


Before embarking any significant distance in your ride, you want to make sure it’s safe and road-worthy, to avoid being stranded along the way. Check out our tips for winterizing your car; check your fluids, electrical system and tire pressure, replace your wipers and get together a roadside preparedness kit. Don’t forget the snow chains, especially for a winter trip.


If your car isn’t equipped with a GPS system, now is the time to get one. We like this Garmin 2555LMT, which comes with a 5” touch screen and tells you which lane you need to be in at interchanges. If you already have a GPS, make sure to update the maps before you leave to help keep your unnecessary U-turns to a minimum.


However your car is equipped, you’re going to need some tunes on the road. If you don’t have an eighth inch auxiliary port on your stereo, you can still hook up an MP3 player through either a cassette adapter, or FM transmitter. If you’re old-school, make sure to have plenty of CDs or tapes handy, and come up with a system for who will choose the music to avoid arguments at 65 mph.

Give Yourself Plenty of Space

So, you have a nice peppy city car like a Prius, or a sweet Mini, but you want to get your friends together for a nice trip to warmer climes during the winter and wished you had more space? Why not rent something a little more spacious from a peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace like RelayRides? Sure, your economic, green ride is perfect for your normal life, but wouldn’t the space of a sick Caddy, or style and leg-room of a BMW X3 Sport be awesome for your road trip?


If you’re bringing kids along, you’ll want something to curb their urge to ask, “Are we there yet?” countless times. Consider investing in some DVD player headrests, a Nintendo DS, or simply a puzzle book to keep your passengers occupied. To get everyone involved, print out this list of road trip games, like I Spy and 20 Questions, and have some old-fashioned family fun.


For a tech-addict, being on a long road trip could be torture. If this sounds like you, we recommend packing a mobile WiFi hotspot so you can use your laptop, tablet or e-reader while sitting in the passenger’s seat.


Being comfortable for your road trip is important not only for your happiness but also for your health. If your car has uncomfortable seats, these sheepskin seat covers will cushion your tush. Don’t forget to bring a blanket in case it gets cold, and some pillows are nice for backseat passengers on overnight drives. If possible, switch driving duties with another licensed driver every few hours to avoid road fatigue and possible accidents–just remember that all RelayRides cars must be driven by approved RelayRides members!.


Though we don’t typically condone eating in your car, it is important to keep up your energy on long drives. Have an eco-friendly water bottle on hand, along with some easy-to-eat healthy snacks like beef jerky, pretzels or grapes. While coffee or an energy drink may help you stay alert on long stretches, drinking too much will increase your number of bathroom stops and, ultimately, your time on the road.

Whether your packing up your own car, or someone else’s for your next road trip, take our list and check it twice to ensure a fun time!

Photo Credit: Col&Tasha