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What kind of checklist should I have before traveling?
Of course there are many things you can do to prepare for your trip, but here's a comprehensive list that will help you get a good start:
  • Look at maps and plan your route.

  • Research the roads you’ll take. You’ll especially want to know if you’ll be traveling through areas of major road construction.

  • Make estimates of travel times along the route, so you’ll have an idea when you’ll be at certain points on your trip. This will help you to plan rest and meal stops. It will also help you plan to avoid traveling through a major city or area of road construction during rush hour.

  • Get the car checked, especially the filters, belts, fluid levels and have the oil changed. Don’t wait until the last minute, it may take time to get an appointment and parts may need to be ordered. You also want some time to drive around town and make sure that whatever they fixed stays fixed.

  • Check the condition of your wiper blades.
  • Check the operation of your turn signals, brake lights as well as the high and low beams.
  • Examine the tread on your tires.
  • Make sure your car is prepared for the weather it will encounter on your trip. You might need more antifreeze, snow tires or recharged air-conditioning.

  • Today, many cars have fancy wheels instead of hubcaps. These wheels usually have a lock to prevent them from being stolen. If you have a car with wheel locks, make sure you know where the key is stored (often with the jack). Otherwise, a flat tire will become a major problem since you won't be able to get the wheel off the car.
  • Get your car cleaned. You’ll feel better in a clean car.

  • Pack an emergency kit in your car. Include motion sickness medication if anyone in your group suffers from it. Remove any items from the car that you won’t need on your trip.

  • Prepare some on road entertainment for your trip. Include games and CDs of music and/or audio books.

  • Check your plates, registration and insurance information to make sure they are all valid. Be sure to place your insurance company’s emergency contact number in your car.

  • Check with all the drivers in your party to make sure their driver’s licenses haven’t expired.

  • Check your insurance for expiration dates and coverage for your automobile.

  • Arrange for someone to start your other car, if you leave one home, during very cold or very hot weather.

  • Fill the car with gas before you pack the car so all the fumes won't bother your passengers. Check the fluid levels and tire pressure, your tire pressure will effect the ride and gas mileage you get on your trip.

  • Pack the car inside the garage, with the door down, so people driving by won’t find out you’re leaving.


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