Road tripYou know that sinking feeling you sometimes get just after leaving for vacation? It’s that moment of panic when you realize that you forgot something important. To make sure you have everything you need on your next road trip, just use this road trip checklist and ask yourself these five simple questions before leaving the house. Leaving for vacation not feeling like you’ve forgotten something is such a great feeling!

1. What do I really need?

There are only a few items that will be irreplaceable during your road trip. Forgetting a toothbrush is inconvenient, but they’re inexpensive and can be purchased almost anywhere. Be honest about your “needs” and create a short road trip checklist. Items such as cell phones, wallets (containing credits cards, bankcards and cash), keys and prescription medication would be difficult to replace while you’re traveling, and should be included on your list of needs.

2. What will we eat?

Finding regular meals can be challenging during a road trip. Restaurants can get expensive and don’t always offer healthy options, while perishable store-bought food will spoil if left unrefrigerated. Consider what you and your travel companions like to eat and pack healthy travel snacksand non-perishable staples, such as peanut butter and dried fruit, before leaving.

3. What if we have car trouble?

Car trouble is one of the fastest ways to ruin a perfectly good road trip. Make sure to have your vehicle serviced shortly before starting your trip. This will allow you to catch up on scheduled maintenance and make sure the car is road-worthy. Before you leave, put together a “breakdown kit” containing supplies that you may need in case of emergency. The kit should contain a spare tire, carjack, tire iron, jumper cables, an extra quart of motor oil, an extra spark plug and any other car part you would feel comfortable changing in an emergency situation. It’s also a good idea to make sure you have car insurance coverage. To find an online car insurance quote, visit a few insurance company websites and compare your options.

4.Where are we going?

Whether it’s a smartphone app or GPS device, you’ll likely have access to some satellite navigation system during your trip. Although these tools are very reliable, it might be a good idea to have a road atlas on hand in case batteries die or cellular service is lost.

5.How will the house look when we get home?

When packing to leave on a road trip, it can be easy to forget that your home will be empty while you’re away. Don’t forget to take out the trash, turn off lights and stove, and lock up your house or apartment. And leave a penny in your freezerso you’ll know if you lost power while you were away.

By asking yourself these five questions before leaving on your road trip, you can prevent potential frustrations and set off on your adventure with peace of mind. What do you think of our road trip checklist? Did we forget to include anything? Leave your suggestions in the comments!