Travelers' packing checklist: Top 10 things to do before your road trip

Before beginning any road trip, take time to review this top ten packing checklist.

Nearly everyone can relate at least one tale of an unexpected travel nightmare. The narrate may detail an incident as simple as failing to pack prescription eyeglasses, or it may feature a complex story of extended delays due to car troubles, a shortage of motels and an overpriced garage.

Before beginning any road trip, take time to review this top ten packing checklist. You can't prevent emergencies from happening, but you can reduce the possibilities.

Top ten things to do list for any road trip

Road trips provide individuals and families with an opportunity to get away from the stress of daily living. But they are not so complex as journeying across country, taking an ocean cruise or lifting off into a foreign land. A road trip packing checklist should be simple and easy to follow.

Put the following items on your pre-trip things to do list:

1) Service your automobile -- Check the air filters. Change the oil. Check the brake and transmission fluids. Don't forget to top of the windshield cleaner solution. Cost: $30.00.

2) Tires -- Go beyond taking a quick look at the current running tires. Pull out the spare. Check the air pressure. Ensure that the condition of the spare is sufficient to see you through a long night on a desolate Florida highway. Cost: Fifteen minutes.

3) Tire repair readiness -- Make sure vehicle contains a working auto jack, a tire iron and any special tools necessary to unlock your lug-nuts. Cost: Ten minutes.

4) Mechanic tools -- Pick up a basic homeowners toolkit. It's light weight, low-cost and designed for tight storage. A $20.00 kit will address simple home or auto repair tasks.

5) First Aid Kit -- Go from something small and easy to pack that includes the likes of Aspirin, band-aids, Neosporin, peroxide and other fundamental emergency items. Spend $18.00 at Walmart for a 9.5-oz LifeLine Trail kit and take it hiking too.

6) Emergency Survival -- Think about where you are going and what disasters might overcome a stranded motorist. Walmart carries a Stansport Emergency Survival Kit designed for campers and hikers. Weighing in at less than a pound, this $14.00 kit contains all the essentials, including a blanket.

7) Fire extinguisher -- Reported incidents record around 400,000 car fires every year, so login at Amazon or Ebay. Order a First Alert Auto Fire Extinguisher. They weigh a bit over two pounds, and provide effective control over gasoline, grease, oil and electrical fires. Cost: $15.95.

8) Roadside flare kit -- This is another Amazon item that can be ordered for less than $20.00. The flameless First Alert FlareAlert kit contains three a no fuss, no fumes electrical flares that provide up to twenty hours of roadside safety.

9) Travel map -- Don't get lost. Find Restaurants and rest areas. Map the route before leaving home. Download a free app for your Android or iPhone, but be sure to pick up a paper map as well. Cost $3.00.

10) Child kit -- Children and even adults get restless. Pack a snack bag, a few electronic gadgets and a few caffeine-free drinks. Cost: Use common sense.

Proper preparation can make any trip more enjoyable. Use the above tips as a starting point for a customized packing checklist, and then go pleasure from a simple road trip.

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