Travel Preparation – We All Have Our System That Works

When we are getting ready to take a road trip in our RV, we do things to have the best experience we can without worries. Each family will have its priorities, depending on their needs. Here is our Travel preparation list:

Making sure we have enough medication for the duration of our trip
Making sure oil is changed in our truck
Verifying insurance and driver’s licenses were renewed (summer birthday)
Groceries bought
Make sure the propane bottles are full
Checking tire pressures on our fifth wheel
Make sure bills are set up for payment
Visiting bank for cash and moving funds around
Zipper bag for receipts
Notepad for notes


Depending on if your prescriptions are refilled for 30 days or 90 days, verify you have enough medicine for the duration of your trip. If not, see if you can refill the prescription early or if your pharmacy is a nationwide chain, and the prescription can be picked up on the road. Two nationwide pharmacies are CVS or Walgreens.

Check the last time your oil was changed and how many miles are left before it should be changed. It is better to change the oil early than need to do it in the middle of your vacation. If you are traveling over 3000 to 5000 miles during your trip, keep that on your list of things to take care of during your vacation and put it on your schedule.

Personally, our insurance renews every 6 months, and we always forget to put the new card in our vehicle, so double check your insurance card is in your vehicle. Because our state renews driver’s licenses every 5 years, the last 2 times my driver’s license expired, it took about a month before I realized it. Very annoying and not something you want to find out on the road.

Everyone has a favorite snack or meal they like to eat. Some items you expect to be available in the grocery store but are not always available in other states. So buy extra for your trip. Prices for groceries are usually more expensive in other states, so expect that, too. If you do not plan on cooking while traveling, you may still want to have drinks and snacks. We like to shop at Sam’s Warehouse Club or Costco for items like coffee for our Keurig and cases of water.

Depending on where you are traveling, you may be surprised that you need to run your heater at night. Propane prices can vary greatly depending on the part of the country you are traveling in, so it is always good to have full propane bottles before pulling out.

Checking the tire pressure and tire tread is a must before traveling. Tires go flat due to road debris while traveling, but prevention of problems with standard maintenance goes a long way.

In this age of the internet, online payments or automatic bank drafts for utility, insurance and monthly expenses are common. If you are not comfortable with doing this, make sure you have account numbers, envelopes, and stamps handy to mail in payments from the road. Have someone pick up your mail or have the post office hold your mail for the duration of your trip, so this does not become a problem.

I am very leery of using my debit card while on the road, and I do not have a credit card, so we take cash with us to pay for fuel. You can purchase the one-time loading of Visa/Mastercard at Wal-mart to use for fuel purchases, too. An alternate suggestion given to me by my sister is to have a separate bank account that you use only for vacation, so it is not tied to your main accounts. This way, if the card is stolen, only this account will be affected. A lot of travelers do use a credit card that is paid off monthly for convenience. Choose what makes the most sense to you, but it is always nice to have options. Another consideration while traveling is laundry and toll roads. What do these have in common? Quarters! If you do not have a washer and dryer in your RV, you will have to do laundry and that requires quarters. We have unexpectedly gotten on toll roads and quickly needed quarters for the toll because we do not have the Toll Passes. If you do not need them, all the better.

When traveling, we tend to collect receipts, so we carry a bank bag or a zippered pouch to collect these receipts in one place. This makes it easier to check charges on your bank or credit card or have a record of where you spent your money.

Having a notepad and pen available while traveling is something I have always done to make notes of times we arrived in each state and the start and stop times of our day of travel. When we fill up with fuel, I note the vehicle mileage, how much it cost, how many miles we traveled since our last stop, and how many gallons of fuel we purchased. I also journal the campground we stayed in, what sights we visited and where we ate. While traveling from one place to another over several days, we usually do not cook.

If you have some great ideas to add to this, please let me know. I hope this helps someone, and Happy Traveling!!

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