It’s that time of year! More than 80% of people who travel in the summer will do so by car. What can you do to be organized for these trips? Here’s some tips to help you prepare, organize and pack for your summer travel.
- What car trips will you need to make this summer? How long will you be driving? How long will you be away? These answers can guide how much you will need to prepare ahead of time.
- For each trip, make a list of what you will need (clothing, accessories, electronics, and toiletries, entertainment for the kids, food and drink.) There are great online resources for checklists such as packing for your trip and another for your car.
Print them out, cross off what you don’t need, and then keep that list throughout the trip so you can be sure to take home what you brought!
A Week or so Before Each Trip:
- Double check your list and purchase or borrow any items you may not have.
- Buy food and drinks – Non-perishables are preferred unless you plan to keep a cooler in the car. There are even coolers that plug into the auxiliary power source to stay cold.
- Pack ahead of time as much as possible – I would usually set aside some space in my living room for the kids and I to begin a pile of what we needed to bring.
The Day or Night Before:
- Finish packing – older kids can often pack their own luggage using a checklist. I would usually double check the list with them when they finished.
- Make sure the car is cleaned out of all non-essential things and has a full tank of gas, as well as any other items on your car prep checklist.
- Fully charge your electronics.
- Refrigerate and/or freeze items so they stay as cold as possible during the trip.
The Day Of:
- Pack the car – Heaviest items would usually go in first. Be sure there aren’t loose items on top in case you have to come to a sudden stop! When possible, leave space on top so you can see out of the rearview mirror if you have an SUV. If there will be multiple stops and you will need to access a specific bag, put that near the top so you don’t have to unpack the whole car.
During the Trip:
- Use your checklist when re-packing to go to the next place or home to be sure you have everything.
- When you stop to refuel and/or eat – clean out any trash (wrappers, cans, etc.) You may want to have handiwipes on hand to wipe down seats or dashboard in case of spills. Bring extra trash bags.
Do you have tips that work for you? Please share your tips and tricks in the comments.
Happy safe traveling!
Image courtesy of flickr/Sean Freese