Preparing for a Road Trip by Making a Planning Folder

Road Trip Planning Folder

We’re going on a nearly two-week long camping road trip, and there is simply no way that I could stay organized without having a planning folder. In a day of digital technology, I could just keep track of everything with a great app like TripIt on my smartphone, but I’d rather be prepared for the worst that could happen: my phone could die, fall in the lake, there could be no signal or no internet available to me.

So here’s our Road Trip/Camping Planning Folder.

Meal Planning for a Trip

Car Activities for the Kids

Key Things in My Folder:

  1. Restaurant vouchers and gift certificates (ie. Groupon, Living Social, vouchers, and Valpak Coupons).
  2. Directions to each place we are visiting (just in case the GPS fails).
  3. Lodging confirmations and receipts.
  4. Crafts, creative ideas and coloring pages for the kids to do while we are in the car.
  5. Our meal plan for the entire trip. In order to save money, I’m trying to plan out our stops, and the meals we will make while at the campgrounds.

Keeping this planning folder is just a way to take out  a little of the stress. While I am one to enjoy taking a side road, and enjoying a spur of the moment stop to see something neat along the way, I do know that things will go easier (and cheaper!) with a plan.

What are some of your tips for preparing for a road trip? Do you keep a planning folder, or are you just a “wing-it” kind of person? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Valpak is my awesome partner for our family road trip. They have great coupons that you can find by location online, and even with a smart phone app. Be sure to visit their website here. All my opinions regarding my partner Valpak are my own.

  1. I agree! Way better to be prepared ahead of time- curbs the amount of random/spontaneous purchases! Great idea, thanks for sharing!

  2. I always make an itinerary when we go on vacation. Can’t sit around all day wondering what to do.

  3. I actually prefer to read things like what you are doing on paper. I don’t think it is weird at all to have a binder for it because it can be difficult to look at everyone on a phone or laptop in the car. :) I attempted this with my Disney vacation…

  4. I would love to hear where all you are going, we love taking road trips! We are headed from OH to CO in a few weeks. I have a lot of lists in my head at the moment. I have been buying small trinkets, toys, activities and books wherever I can find them for my kids to keep them occupied on the 24 hour each way drive.

    I keep a 3 drawer storage container in the back of my van when we take road trips, especially camping ones. I keep snacks in one drawer, activities in another drawer, and any essentials we might need like medicine, wipes, napkins, suncreen, etc in the last drawer. It makes things reallly accessible and you don’t have to either frantically search for something or buy it at full price somewhere.

  5. I do the same thing. I put togeather a notebook. with coupons, directions, confrimations and ideas for everyplace that we are going to stop. We always do a road trip every year. It is just the two of us and we do not camp, but I spend the time and research for the best places and prices to stop.

  6. I’m disorganized in many areas of my life, but I always make a road trip binder — it’s so easy to have directions, reservations, etc. in one place and makes everything so much less stressful. Your kids might enjoy some of the printable games on and some of the printable Highlights hidden pictures here: We use these a lot on road trips. Have a great time!

  7. I love folders! I get a new notebook for any new project i have.

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