Hey Kids

It’s that time of year–time for vacations–whoohoo! Road trip!! Here are some tips to make traveling (by car) fairly stress-free. Get organized, pack it up and then go feel the wind in your hair (or on your scalp).

1. Create a list. Make a list by writing down of all the activities that you will be enjoying, thereby creating categories of things that you will need, such as: beach items, casual wear, dinner wear, sports items, food and cooking, sightseeing. Preferably, create this list as a file on your computer and save it for next year.

2. Lay out all your clothes on your bed. Pick clothes in a neutral palette and make sure that you can put several outfits together by mixing and matching. Edit if necessary.

3. Use a suitcase for your clothes. Sounds like a given. A constructed suitcase is better for clothes than a duffel bag. Now loosely roll all clothing and place in suitcase, placing heavier items on bottom, and possibly creating two layers.

4. Use different totes/bags/containers for everything else. Use tote or duffel bags for various activities, so you can grab and go, e.g.: sports gear (workout clothes, running shoes), sight seeing (binoculars, cameras, maps), beach gear (swim suit, sun block, hat, sunglasses, reading book).

5. Invest in a good toiletries bag. It makes a world of difference to have a good toiletries bag with several compartments. Pack all your essentials in leak-proof containers.

6. Scan this “Don’t Forget” list. Since you typically have the luxury of space when traveling by car, you can afford to pack essentials and a few extras. Scan this list to see if you forgot anything:

  • a. iPod, cell phone
  • b. alarm clock
  • c. books, magazines
  • d. phone charger
  • e. hair dryer
  • f. sunglasses, eyeglasses
  • g. spare contact lenses
  • h. medications and supplements
  • i. beach chair and umbrella
  • j. cooking supplies and food
  • k. rain gear (cringe)

7. Have your car checked over by a professional. It would really stink to have something go wrong with your car on your vacation. Have your garage/mechanic give your car a look over to see that all the fluids are full and belts look tight. Also, check the pressure on your tires so that you can get good gas mileage on the trip. BTW, do have AAA or something like it?

8. Pack some emergency supplies. Not to sound like a Nervous Nellie, but it would be wise to have some emergency supplies on hand, like: a first aid kit, flashlight and batteries, some emergency contact numbers.

9. Have some back up plans. Just in case the weather doesn’t cooperate during your vacation, do a little research before hand to see if there are some local sights that are conducive to indoor exploration. You could avoid “I had a crappy time on my vacation” response to all your friends after the trip.

10. Suspend your newspaper and mail delivery. You don’t need your local crooks and thieves knowing that you are out of town.