Monday, July 11, 2016

8 Road Trip Packing Tips

I've taken a lot of road trips in my life, including trips to New York, San Diego, and Mexico City. That's a lot of car hours. Whether you're traveling 200 miles or 2,000, packing can sometimes be tricky, especially when the vehicle is packed to the max. So here are my 8 road trip packing tips:

1. Consider Packing Destination Specific Bags
Unlike flying where you want to pack as much as you can into one bag, you have the freedom to take multiple smaller bags. Taking 2 or 3 bags can be helpful in a variety of ways. First, small bags tend to fit into nooks and crannies left by bigger items. Think about the rocks in a jar example where you can fit a lot of small rocks in a jar when only a few big ones will fit. Secondly, you can pack destination specific bags that only have what you will need for that specific place. Say you will be driving over mountains to go to the beach. You might need hiking shoes, jeans, and a sweatshirt while you are in the mountains where it can get chilly but you'll probably only need shorts and t-shirts while at the beach. In that case, you could pack a mountain bag and a beach bag. This method takes a little more planning but will help you not run out of clothes and ensure that you have what you need when you need it without adding extra bulk. Trust me, when you're traveling for several days and staying at a different place every night, you'll be happy to be able to just grab a backpack and get to bed rather than digging out a big suitcase after a long day of driving.

2. Pack an Essentials Bag
This is especially important when packing multiple destination specific bags. This bag includes all the things you will need  for every day of your trip such as your tooth brush, medicines, and other various necessities.

3. Narrow Down Beauty Products to Essentials Only
Sometimes you don't realize how many beauty products you use until you have to pack them for a trip. And putting them into tiny bottles only goes so far. Pack items that you need the most and leave the ones you don't. You can also combine some products or take multi-purpose products. For example, I use a few different products in my hair so sometimes I will mix several into a single bottle to be used all at once, or I typically use Aussie 1 Minute Miracle as my leave-in conditioner so when I travel I use it for both my in-shower conditioner and my leave-in conditioner.

4. Make a Detailed Packing List While Going Through Your Morning/Nightly Routine
This is a great way to not forget essential things that are easily forgotten. Toothbrushes are one of the most forgotten items when traveling because they are one of the last things that you use before you leave. Avoid this by making a detailed list as you go through your routine, writing down everything that you use that you will need to take, including your phone charger. Make sure that list is crossed off before you head out the door for your trip.

5. Try On Outfits
Trying on every outfit you take in it's entirety, including accessories, as you put them into your bag will prevent any surprising clothing features you might overlook such as packing white shorts and hot pink underwear. That is a very unfortunate situation.

6. Pack Re-Wearable Clothing 
Pack clothes that you know can make it through at least 2 days of wear. This means not taking that pair of jeans that stretch out as you wear them, making them unwearable the next day. Also consider taking clothes that are made from quick drying fabric in case you need to wash something in the sink and have it dry by the next morning.

7. Pack Coordinating Clothing When Possible
Try to pack clothing that is easily mixed and matched because you will most likely be re-wearing clothes at some point. Having a pair of shorts or pants that match all of your shirts can be very helpful.

8. Downy Wrinkle Release Spray
Buy some. It's amazing.


Lauren said...

I love the idea of packing a few smaller bags instead of one big bag! I'll have to keep that in mind for my next road trip.

Grace Anne said...

These tips are so great! I'll look back to this post for my next road trip!

Grace H. said...

These tips are invaluable! Thank you, Sarah, for another amazing post! I can't wait for vacation now!

Sarah said...

Great tips Sarah! I'm from Brazil and I love reading your posts.

Mary Rose said...

Reading your blog is a highlight of my day! Where is your backpack from? I love it!