Making a road-trip comfortable can be tricky with most of the time you being on the move. Hence a road-trip needs to be planned carefully, so that you don’t miss on some of the important things. I have been doing regular road trips for a decade now. Some I did with my friends, some with spouse and my now 2-year-old daughter. After some due diligence and my personal experience so far here are the tips to plan a trouble-free road-trip.

Conceptualizing the trip

The idea of traveling to a place might be in the back of your mind for quite a while now. This idea needs to be thought deeper and conceptualized to further give it a shape of a road-trip. Once you are able to convince yourself that you can actually do this road-trip, you need to start planning about it.

Preparing the itinerary

You need to chalk out the route and you can very well take help of Google Maps to do this. Do consider doing research on the internet by reading some of the blogs written by other bloggers on the same destination(s). This would give you some good pointers and tips. Prepare a high level day-wise plan and think of the places you are going to visit on each day. You will have to plan the places to halt basis the maximum distance you can cover in one go. I don’t advise to drive for more than 8 hours, that is the maximum time human mind can concentrate and driving is a high concentration job. This will help you in further identifying the places you are going to halt and plan for accommodation accordingly. Making the reservations for accommodation well in advance would give you a definite cost advantage. I have put a sample format below which I use for planning my itineraries.

Date From To Distance (kms) Accommodation at To Do
DD-MMM City A City B 123 Hotel Name Leave from City A by HH AM, Reach City B by HH PM.
Places to be visited.
Things to be done.
Things to buy etc.

Preparing your most important companion for the trip

The first and foremost important to do is to pamper your ride for the roadtrip. By pamper I just don’t mean giving your vehicle a shampoo bath or polishing it and making it shine like a diamond. What I also mean is the vehicle has to undergo thorough service and inspection by an authorized or trustworthy service center. Also, I additionally do the following:

  • Re-fuel the vehicle (Carry extra fuel tanks if you are going to remote place)
  • Get the tyre pressure checked and corrected including the spare tyre
  • Fill the windscreen cleaner (mix a little shampoo in the water, this would give you better cleaning)
  • Carry tyre inflator, this comes in handy when you are in the middle of no where you end up with a flat tyre
  • Towing rope
  • Extra pair of car headlamps
  • A good torch
  • A good neck supporter
  • Lumbar cushion

Other things to carry

  • Passport(s) and visa(s) if traveling across countries
  • Other relevant documents like Driving license, accomodation reservation slips
  • Wear and carry comfortable clothing
  • If its cold then appropriate winter wear needs to be carried
  • Swimming costumes/towels if you plan to take a dive
  • Medical kit with common medicines/crepe bandage/pain relief spray
  • Phone and charger(s)
  • Camera with Charger and extra memory card(s)
  • Laptop/Tab with charger in case you plan to document your trip on the go or get connected to the internet
  • Music (update your phone/pendrive with the music of your choice)
  • Powerbank
  • Selfie stick
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hats/Caps
  • Good sunscreen
  • Adequate currency/cards (Don’t keep all your cash and cards at one place)
  • Adequate drinking water bottles, snacks and ready to eat stuff
  • Vanity kit
  • Insect repellent
  • Laundry bag
  • Paper soap/Sanitizer
  • Rope comes handy sometimes
  • Matchbox/lighter
  • Camping kit if you plan to do some adventure along the way

Specific points if you are traveling with a kid

If you are traveling with kid(s) then there is no room for miss-outs. Your planning has to be impeccable. Things I recommend to carry are below:

  • Common pediatric medicines
  • Your kids favorite toys
  • Baby food
  • Baby blanket
  • Baby car seat
  • Diapers
  • Potty seat & wipes/tissue paper
  • Bottle sterilizer

I have tried to make the list comprehensive. If you think I have missed something important, please feel free to share feedback and i would respond to it quickly.

Thanks and happy riding!