Essential Road-Trip Checklist For 2020 Travel

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Road Trip Checklist

Check List of Essential Items To Bring On 2020 Road Trips

With worldwide shutdowns caused by the Covid19 virus, travel enthusiasts are definitely getting stir-crazy!  As most people have a trusty vehicle available and the urge to get out of the house, it’s no surprise that 2020 has turned into the year of the Road Trip.  But like any vacation, some advance planning will go a long way to guaranteeing a trouble-free journey.  Here’s our essential road-trip checklist to assure that you have a fun time out on the road.

Road Trip Checklist

Apps That Make Road Trips Easier

Apps have become essential for smooth navigating on the road.  Here are ones that we have found to be indispensable for road trip travels:

Mapping – we love Waze as it warns you in advance of road hazards, accidents, speed traps, etc.
Where To Stop – iExit is our go-to app for finding a great exit that has access to gas, lodging and good restaurants
Weather – Check the weather ahead to be sure you are not driving into a big storm!  Our go-to app for this is My Radar.
Rest Stops – Sometimes you don’t need services but do need a quick rest stop with bathrooms.  Use USA Rest Stops
Lodging – Some good choices to search for hotels are Kayak, Priceline and Hotel Tonight.
Gas Near Me – We love Gas Buddy with the mapping function so you can see if a gas station is right off the exit or further away, and what the prices are.

And don’t forget the old-fashioned tried-and-true paper map.  Sometimes connectivity is not good or you think the navigation guidance has gone crazy, so it’s always important to have a printed map along.

Waterbottles For Everyone

Staying hydrated on the road is one of the most important health practices to adopt.  Take a moment to research the best types of water bottles available and select the perfect portable water bottle for everyone on your journey. While you could bring along throw away bottles of water, it’s much more practical for everyone to have their own insulated water bottle for the trip.  This way bottles won’t get mixed up, you can refill with hot or cold beverages, you can bring them into the hotel to stay germ-free from hotel glasses and cups.

Snacks To Go

Nothing breaks up the boring road ahead than a great little snack.  Treat yourself to items you wouldn’t normally eat – maybe a snickers bar, bag of chips, or your favorite chocolate chip cookies.  Then add in some practical snacks like granola bars, breakfast bars, fresh fruit like bananas, apples and grapes, chewing gum, peanut butter crackers, etc.  Just keep crumbs and messy fingers in mind.  We usually plan to have a snack for every 2 hours of driving.  Have those wet wipes handy.


Personal Protection Devices are essential this year.  These items should include disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, disposable gloves for pumping gas etc.  Consider ordering no-touch door opener tools for accessing your hotel room etc.  Face Masks, of course, are essential – make sure everyone has more than one to bring along.  I place a small microfiber towel in a sealable plastic bag with alcohol to have DYI disinfectant towel always available.  You might consider taking along a small spray bottle of 70% alcohol to quickly disinfect surfaces.

Onboard Entertainment

Nothing keeps you in a good mood than listening to your favorite tunes.  Be sure to tune in music that’s compatible with everyone in the car.  For back seat passengers, encourage earbuds and private media players.  If your car is equipped with a DVD payer, line up some fun movies in advance.  Mix the music up with entertaining podcasts and audiobooks – they make kids audiobooks as well.

Sun, Wind and Rain

If there’s one thing for sure, it’s that the weather is going to change and it won’t always be a glorious day.  Be prepared with a car windshield sunscreen for when you’re parked in a sunny spot, suntan lotion, and sunglasses for all.  Likewise, rain hats and rain jackets and perhaps umbrellas are a must.  This is a great time to get new windshield wipers before taking to the road so you have a streak-free view of the road at all times.

Medical Kit

An emergency medical kit is essential, especially this year.  Be sure to bring along a travel thermometer along.  The first thing any medical professional will ask is, “have you had a fever?”  You might want to check in advance what walk-in medical facilities are available in the area you will be traveling to.  A good emergency medical kit should be part of your travel bag whenever you travel!

Car Kit

You may travel for thousands of miles without a car malfunction, but a blinking dashboard light can cause alarm at any time.  Be sure your car’s manual is in the glove-box, as well as your registration and proof of auto insurance.  Charging cables, flat tire fix, road hazard blinkers, and a good spare tire are all recommended.  In addition, you should travel with electronic device car chargers, portable radio in case you are without power, flashlights, and extra water.

Now that you’re all prepared – get out of the house, out on the road and enjoy a change of scenery!

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