Preparing for a Road Trip

Road Trip Ready

You just entered the ramp to the freeway, running a little behind, and suddenly you realize that you left your luggage sitting in the garage.  Definitely not the way you wanted to start your trip to visit Aunt Jean who lives 3000 miles from your home.  Following some simple, logical and progressive steps prior to your trip can prevent such delays from ever happening.

Consider your destination and its’ climate.  Pack clothing suitable for that climate but remember that it never hurts to include a heavier jacket as well.  You can fit more in a suitcase by neatly rolling items of clothing such as dresses, skirts and pants. By knowing how long you will be away, you can determine how many changes of clothing you will need for the trip.  If you know that there are laundry facilities available you may be able to pack a bit lighter. If you need to take bedding, pillows, or towels with you, it’s handy to have one of those tough plastic, zippered wraps that comforters are packaged in. A heavy duty plastic tote with a lid also works for this, as well as for many other items you might need on a long road trip.

Think about your trip well in advance, and wherever possible, start preparing for it.  There are quite a few ways to accomplish this.  You know you will need certain items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, etc.  Purchase these ahead of time and stash them in your suitcase. Make a list of everything you will need, including items of clothing and put the list in the suitcase.  As you add the items, check them off on the list.  Do this for each person you are packing for.  Preparing in advance rather than packing at the last minute helps insure that you will not forget something you will need.

Knowing full well that any trip you take is going to cost money, plan in advance as to how much cash you will need.  It is wise to plan for more than you are certain that you will need.  Will you need Traveler’s Checks? Those can be purchased in advance.  Taking a credit card is pretty much a necessity if you plan to stay in a motel as many will not let you register without one. 

If you have pets that will not be traveling with you, make arrangements ahead of time for them.  If someone will be coming to your home to care for your pets while you are away, make sure that person is familiar with your pet and that your pet is familiar with them.  If your dog won’t let the person in the door to feed him… he just might not be there to greet you with tail wagging joy when you return from your trip. Make sure that you have plenty of pet food on hand.

Print out the directions to your destination ahead of time and put them in the glove box of the vehicle you will be driving for your trip.  If you forget this step, and are unfortunate to be traveling with someone who refuses to ask for directions, let’s hope you brought enough spare cash to purchase a GPS. 

Back to that luggage you so carefully and painstakingly packed- don’t forget to put it in the car.