The Perfect Road Trip Planner & Checklist

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road trip checklist

The Perfect Road Trip Planner & Checklist

It’s summer and the perfect time for family road trips. When I was little my parents drove us everywhere. I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to do that. By driving we were able to visit so many states and see many amazing places. I learned so much about history and the different parts of the United States. I love being able to share these road trips with our son now and create new road trip memories with him. So, to keep everything organized and easy for our road trips I created the perfect road trip planner. I’ve outlined my tips below but you can also print it for easy use.Walmart Oil Change

While I was at Walmart getting the oil changed in my car I had time to stock up on all the essentials for our family road trip. It’s perfect for getting everything done in one stop.

Your Car

When going on a road trip your car is one of the most important things to check off your list. If your car is a few years old I suggest taking it in for routine maintenance before you leave. Have them check the oil, filters, tire pressure, water, etc. I took mine to a Walmart Automotive Care Center. Since my car is a BMW I have to use synthetic oil and Walmart is offering an awesome deal for Pennzoil oil changes. Platinum (synthetic motor oil) offers the best cleanliness and protection in the Pennzoil line-up. It keeps pistons up to 40% cleaner than the toughest industry standard.road-trip-planner-3

From June 10th – September 9th, Pennzoil oil changes will be on Rollback at Walmart ACC {Automotive Care Center} stores.

  • High Mileage $35.88, compared to the regular Walmart price of $39.88. {Industry standard price is $46}
  • Platinum Full Synthetic $45.88, compared to the regular Walmart price of $49.88. {Industry standard price $66}

I love that Pennzoil products help clean out sludge lesser oils leave behind. It definitely gives me peace of mind when we are on a long road trip. Plus, it’s designed for complete protection and no other motor oil provides better protection from friction. Pennzoil offers an amazing free warranty that covers 15 engine parts that may fail due to engine wear.

Be sure you don’t forget fill up your car with gas before you leave! That’s one less stop you’ll have to make with the kids.

To Pack In Your Car

Be sure you pack your car with all the essentials. Don’t leave home without packing a map or your GPS. If your car has one built in then you’re all set. I tend to use my phone a lot but I’m a sucker for an old school atlas. Be sure you have your roadside assistance information too. I never leave home without my AAA card. Here’s some more important things you’ll want to pack in your car:

  • insurance papers
  • car registration
  • car emergency kit
  • first aid kit
  • change for tolls
  • car chargers (for your phone and other electronics)
  • clothes
  • trash bag
  • camera
  • wet wipes
  • tissue/toilet paper
  • sunscreen
  • bug spray
  • blanketroad trip planner

For Your Kids

First of all, let’s not pull a Home Alone and forget the kids all together. Pack them and all their favorite road trip essentials. Be sure to pack a few of their favorite toys especially if they are little. My son is at the age that he can pretty much talk nonstop for a thousand miles and be happy without skipping a beat. Over those thousand miles he can talk about the same thing too. haha!

I always like to pack some fun road trip games that aren’t related to electronics. Get your kids involved in the scenery and the history of where you are driving. You’ll want to pack a notepad, coloring books, coloring pencils, cuddle toys or whatever pertains to your child’s age. Electronics are also great for long road trips. Just keep them to a minimum. They can keep your kids entertained for hours but I like my son to see the sites too. If your car doesn’t come equipped with one you could also throw in a DVD player. Make sure you pack those electronic car chargers. Also, we don’t leave home without our blankets and pillows. My son loves using my neck pillow I take with me on flights.

My son is always excited about a fun road trip.road trip planner

Food for the Car

We always like to pack a cooler and car friendly snacks. This makes for stopping less at gas stations or a drive thru and unnecessary spending. I got all of our snacks while getting my oil changed at Walmart. I like to bring snacks that won’t get hot and melt. We always pack plenty of water. Make sure to bring some of your kids favorite snacks so they won’t be asking to stop every few miles. It makes for less stops and more money in your pocket for fun road trip stops. If you’re on a short road trip for the day you could pack a cold lunch and stop for a fun picnic at an area park.

Click the image below to download and print our road trip checklist for your own use.

Printable road trip checklist

You tell us: What’s your must have road trip item?

The Perfect Road Trip Planner & Checklist

Melanie Kampman

Melanie Kampman is a web designer, developer and owner of Giveaway Bandit and Farm News for Kids. She lives in Northwest Missouri on a large family farm with her husband and eight year old son, the Giveaway Bandit. They raise cattle with a variety of pets including horses, chickens, ducks, and a slew of cats. By Melanie Kampman If you are interested in writing a sponsored post on Giveaway Bandit please email me at melanie (at) giveawaybandit (dot) com.

  • What a handy checklist! I’m all about making lists…especially when trying to stay organized for an upcoming roadtrip. Thanks for sharing! #client

  • desiree

    if you have aaa or aarp you can get free maps and they will tell you have your list they have the stuff printed out and then they give you if your member the road orange signs

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