If you’re taking a road trip to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, I encourage you to create not just a packing list but also a “loading list” for the car. Figure out all the things you want to take, and, more importantly, how it will all fit into your vehicle. Doing this now will save you holiday headaches later.
I have a client who road trips to her family every summer, so she thought she knew exactly how to pack the car. But when it came time for her Christmas visit, she forgot to leave room for all the gifts! She had to purchase an expensive roof rack at the last minute as there was no time to mail the haul. The lesson in this is to anticipate leaving extra space—both for the gifts you’re bringing and for the ones you’ll receive from others. Wait to box and wrap the gifts until you get to your destination—they will take up less space and you won’t have to worry about beautiful bows being squished in transit. Or, if you are shopping online, have the gifts shipped directly to your destination.
Remember to plan space for your pets and their favorite items (toys, food, bed) if you are bringing them along for the journey.
And if you are bringing food, plan for the space a cooler will take up. Even if you are not bringing food, you may want to carry a cooler to bring some special leftovers home.
Soft duffel bags are the best choice for packing clothes as they fit into odd car nooks better than rigid suitcases do. And, if you are like me, you don’t travel ANYWHERE without your own pillow, so plan for that as well.
What other tips for road trips can you think of? Share them in the comments below!