Map your Road Trip Escape Plan

There are various stages of planning when it comes to executing the perfect road trip. The sooner you start the planning, the more likely you will have a successful trip.

3 Months Before You Go

  • Start daydreaming about where you like to go.
  • Get roadside attraction apps, park guides.
  • Research parks, monuments, and attractions before you go.
  • Define the purpose of your trip (visit, attractions, roaming).
  • Use Google Maps to calculate the driving distances.
  • Arrange annual vacation time, or leave of absence from work.
  • Renew the passport if you have less than six months remaining.
  • Get another credit card, from another vendor as a backup.
  • Scan important documents into your computer.

1 Month Before You Go

  • Check your insurance coverage and make sure that it meets your coverage needs; see if roadside assistance is included.
  • Create a budget for this trip.
  • Purchase special event tickets.
  • Decide on which towns you’ll be exploring.
  • Notify the day care, school, etc., of away time.
  • Go to the dentist for checkup and cleaning.
  • Get an international driver’s license if required.

2 to 4 Weeks Before You Go

  • Set up automatic bill payments if you have not already.
  • Buy collapsible bowls and eating utensils.
  • Buy food coolers.
  • Get travel and medical insurance.
  • Set up a post office box
  • Buy a postal mail redirect to the box.

1 Week Before You Go

  • Do a visual inspection of the car tires and engine.
  • Fix any windshield chips or cracks.
  • Get the routine car maintenance done.
  • Enter important phone numbers into mobile.
  • Put valuables in safety deposit box.
  • Tell your financial institution about your trip.
  • Enter medial info into cell phone notes.
  • Put valuables in safety deposit box.
  • Get spare home keys made.
  • Plan your final itinerary for time limited vacations.
  • Put regular deliveries (newspaper, grocery, etc.) on hold.
  • Place utilities on hold (water, internet) for long trips.

1 to 2 Days Before You Go

  • Take out at least $200 in cash from an ATM.
  • Check bank account balances and transfer funds
  • Clean out the car interior of non-essentials.
  • Load the “stay in the car” items including car chargers.
  • Check for the spare tire, jack and essential tools.
  • Get gas and top up the window washing fluid.
  • Buy snacks and food for the day and next morning.
  • Prepare music playlists, and eBooks or podcasts to listen to.
  • Charge up the cell phone and all electronics.
  • Start packing by organizing stuff into piles.

The Day Before You GO

  • Pack your overnight bag. Check out this Rolling Duffle Bag. 
  • Pack the non-perishable storage cooler.
  • Turn off the clock radio.
  • Pack the toiletries into a zippered container. This 13 piece travel bottle set is perfect for the road.
  • Turn off any electric heaters.
  • Turn off furnace, water heater, fireplace, pilot lights.
  • Water and feed all the plants.

Just Before You Go

  • Get changed into comfortable driving attire.
  • Listen for traffic closures or construction.
  • Do one final inspection of your car.
  • Fill up jugs and bottles.
  • Empty, clean put away water filter.
  • Pack the main cooler around the ice packs.
  • Check that all doors and windows are locked.
  • Take digital photos of your home.
  • Set the home security system.

Have Fun!