Preparing for Your Next Road Trip
Getting ready for a big road trip is a very exciting time. Plan well in advance and pack with care and everything should go off without a hitch. Rush at the last minute, however, and a fun getaway can turn into a living nightmare. To make sure everything that must come along actually does, it is always a good idea to make a list, check it twice and take the time to pack early.
Use a computer or just grab a notebook and start writing down must have-items for each member of the family. Do not forget important things like medications, special bedtime toys or blankets for the children and recreational gear.
If there are items on the list that will require cleaning or special preparations, such as ordering extra medications, take care of these early. It is best to have these preparations well out of the way before the day you leave.
Some of the things to be sure to put on the list include:
Clothing and shoes – Make sure to pack appropriate attire for each member of the family for the conditions you intend to travel into. Packing summer clothes to head to the mountains for a ski trip is a huge mistake even if you are heading out from the balmy south as your starting point. An outfit a day for each member of the family should suffice. Remember, most hotels do have laundry facilities available.
Snacks and related essentials – It is always a good idea to pack up some snacks and drinks to take on the road. This can cut down on the need to make stops and will simply make everyone more comfortable in the car. Also jot down cleanup supplies like hand wipes, portable litter bags and hand sanitizer.
Diversionary gear – Taking along the right electronics can help make the miles go by much faster, especially if children are going along for the ride. Portable DVD players, MP3 players and even hand held video games can keep passengers occupied and happy.
Nap time gear – It is never a bad idea to pack extra blankets and a pillow or two to toss in the car. These will help passengers ride in greater comfort and can make a trip more enjoyable for everyone.
Important papers – Line up maps, check on insurance cards and registration information before leaving. Make sure these are all located in the car in an easy to find spot. It is also a good idea to make sure an emergency roadside assistance plan is in place before pulling out.
Toiletries – Make sure your list includes the special toiletry items family members require. Hair brushes, shampoo, tooth brushes and more can be replaced on the road, but it is easier to have them ready to go.
Once your list is organized and complete, start packing up the things you need early. At the very least, pack the night before and go over the list carefully to make sure each item is checked off. The more time you give yourself, the less of a rush you will be in when it is time to go.
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