Road Trip

Making a list, checking it twice – the blessing (and the curse) of checklists

So, we are feverishly getting ready for our epic road trip, which means my “checklisting nerdiness” is in full glory (or perhaps rearing it’s ugly head is a better description).  I’ve got 4 checklists that I’m working with, and that doesn’t include what I’m doing for meal planning and grocery shopping.

I’ve got a Packing Checklist, a Departure Checklist, an Arrival Checklist and a Pet Checklist.  And you know what?  I bet I’ll still forget something … and of course, I’m destined to over pack.  Checklists really are kind of a blessing and a curse.  A blessing because it means I shouldn’t forget anything, but a curse because I keep adding more things to the list which is what will cause me to overpack.

The Packing Checklist includes things like clothing, medications, kitchen items, bath articles, mosquito spray, sun screen, etc.  And a lot of the items that you’ll need in the kitchen, bath, etc.  It’s set up so that there is a section for items you can keep in your RV during the season and then things you should pack every time you go.

While the Departure Checklist lists things you should check prior to leaving … including mechanical items like tire pressure, oil and transmission.  Plus there’s always the ever popular do you have the awnings up and antenna down?  We don’t want to be that RVer driving down the road with his awning open, or his slide out still out.   You get the picture.

The Arrival Checklist is a list of everything you should do prior to and upon arrival, including calling ahead to make sure the campground still has your reservation, checking that the directions to the park are correct and that the camp will still allow pets.  But it also includes things like leveling your RV, connecting electrical and water, making sure your wheels are chocked, etc.  Of course, if you forget any of those, chances are it’s not the end of the world because you’ll just do it when you need it.  But there’s something nice about setting up camp, then sitting down and enjoying your location without having to do any thing else but relax and enjoy that glass of wine you’ve had cooling.

And then there’s the checklist for your pet besides just the obvious, food.  In our case it’s pretty much three of everything.  Three leashes, three dog beds, food bowls, poop bags, and of course, those all important vaccination certificates.  Many parks won’t let you bring your pet in without proof of vaccinations.

Is it possible to over prepare? I don’t know, I don’t think so.  But I do know, I’ve always regretted being under prepared.

Stay safe out there and enjoy making memories.