Okay, let's get down to the nitty gritty of making checklists. If you're professionals like us, you'll have the checklist memorized. Just kidding! Always write your checklist down and remember the most important step: don't lose your checklist. Here are your do's and don'ts for making the most important document of your life (okay, maybe that was a little dramatic).
DO'S (AKA MUST HAPPEN)
- Make a checklist well in advance. Rushing to make and complete a checklist is no better than not making one at all. You'll probably leave something out, and it will probably be something very important like your toothbrush or underwear. Don't be without underwear.
- Use free checklists as a guide. These aren't the bibles of RV checklists, but it's a great place to start. Your family has specific needs, wants and desires, so your checklist should reflect that. It should be a comprehensive list of your hopes and dreams for vacations, or at least the essentials you'll need to survive the trip. See: underwear.
- Get packing. Anything you aren't using every day can be packed up and set aside. Buy nonperishable food items and supplies while they're on sale, too. Getting things ready in advance will give you a good idea if your wife can bring her curling iron, blow dryer AND straightening iron on the trip.
- Check things off as you go. While it can be satisfying to check off everything at once or rip up your list when you're done, check things off as you go. It will help keep or organized and on track. As a side note, it might be a good idea to save your list (or a master copy) for future RV trips. It will be your guide.
- Let other travelers add to your list. After all, two heads are better than one. Just be sure you actually NEED everything being added to the list. If you have small children coming they may try to sneak in their doll collection, Lego set, pet hamster or other excitement. In any event, allowing all travelers have their say can prevent issues later on. This is a democracy, right?
DONT'S (AKA MUST NOT HAPPEN)
- Rely too heavily on the free checklist. Remember the old saying you get what you pay for? Well, it applies here. As we mentioned above, free checklists are a great starting point, but they won't cover everything your family needs.
- Lose your checklist. Really, this is pretty obvious, but we're making a list here! Take a picture of your list with your cell phone, just in case. You're a lot less likely to lose that. If you're really tech savvy, create a Google Document and share it out with all your travelers. It's editable, searchable and can be changed in real-time by any traveler. Hello technology.
- Stress out. This list is meant to be a guide, not a list of reasons to stress out. Start early and take it one item at a time. Before you know it the last thing on the list will be to leave for vacation!
What's your RV travel checklist? Share it with us in the comments below.