This weekend I drove from New Orleans to Birmingham. One of the great things about driving to your destination is that there are no baggage restrictions or security lines to limit your packing potential. On the other hand there’s a whole other set of things to worry about. Friday morning I woke up to the reality that I was utterly unprepared for my trip. And since hindsight is 20/20 I am here to help you avoid all my errors for a smooth roadtrip experience (at least in the beginning) with this day of departure checklist.
Set a departure time and your alarms in advance
Yes, you read that correctly. That is alarm in the plural form, as in set more than one. In order to get things running smoothly on the day of departure, you’ve got to get started on time and having a departure deadline will help keep others on pace.
Bags are packed
Make sure you have one bag or purse filled with all the things you will need easy access to during your drive so you don’t have to waste time and stop to find your charger or toll money during the trip. It’s also great to pack bags (toiletries, jewelry, electronics) inside of bags, so you can easily find what you are looking for when you reach into your big bag.
Car cleaned out, organized and loaded
Make sure to throw a few shopping bags in there so you can use it as a trashbag during the trip. This will save you from scrambling around the car later to pick up trash. Also have a roll of paper towels to save you from messes and moments when they don’t give you enough napkins at the drive-through. If your own vehicle is not particularly comfortable, or you just want to try something new, why not lease a car from a Conklin Chevy dealership to make your trip that extra bit special?
Gas in the tank
This will prevent a time-consuming stop from occurring early in the trip. Think: gas stop becomes snack and bathroom and ‘ooh, Starbucks is over there’ stop. Save that for later in the trip.
Service your car
You can never be too careful before a road trip, so if you have time I would definitely recommend taking your car for a service. There is nothing worse than encountering an issue with your vehicle when you are miles away from home after all! One of my friends who lives in Georgia is currently planning a road trip and she drives a BMW so she has booked her car in at her nearest garage. Apparently, if you need a BMW service Duluth has a few garages on its doorstep that can make sure your vehicle is in its best possible condition.
Dash cam primed and ready
If you’re going to be driving for a long period of time, a dash cam could be incredibly helpful. No one likes to think that they might end up in a car accident, but if you do, a dash cam can help to identify who was at fault. If you don’t already own one, websites like blackboxmycar offer a variety of different types to suit your budget.
Take a shower
Do this after you’ve finished the heavy lifting and shoving of packing the car.
Directions printed or programmed into the GPS
You just might want to do both in case. Plus, having a map never hurts.
Road snacks packed and ready to go
On one hand, bored people love to snack. On the other (more reasonable) hand, packing snacks could not only save you money but some time along the road. Check out this list for some healthy road trip snacks.
And off you go! For more tips about how to have a well prepared road trip experience check out this list here.