Preparing for the Trip of Any Lifetime

Whenever I go away, there’s typically a ritual I follow of preparing for a trip.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a weekend trip, like the one I leave for tomorrow morning (Polkafest here I come!) or like last year’s venture to Costa Rica when I had to worry more about everything on the checklist.

9 time out of 10 my trips are on the road.  I love road trips because I feel the most prepared for them.  I can keep my life in my car and I can easily stop along the way if I forget something.  When I have traveled by air, I tend to feel more anxious as I have to limit what I can bring with me, and me without a car just feels wrong.  I’ll just say it – I kind of hate air travel.

I typically will do my laundry 2 days before or the night before.  I want the optimum amount of options in being able to choose what I want to wear.  It also helps that when I’m packing, I can fold my laundry right into my suitcase so I can even skip the dreaded “putting away” of the laundry!

I keep a stock of travel sized toiletries and I reuse them whenever possible.  For reference, Christmas Tree Hill has the most amazing selection of travel sized items I have ever seen!  I was so impressed.  However, I try to buy only what I need in those items since they add up quickly.  For shampoos, conditioners, and body wash, it just makes sense to refill and reuse.  I also purchase pre-moistened towelettes to wash my face on trips.  These are especially nice when camping with limited access to water.  I keep an extra brush and body poof on hand so that I never have to pack up my regular items, I just have them all ready to go.  It just makes things easier in the long run (if you travel often).

Over time, I eventually accumulated a double stock of makeup.  But I keep it simple – tinted moisturizer, mascara, and maybe powder and eyeliner.  Nothing more.  You really don’t need it.  My supply has dwindled, but having duplicates of everything means that you’re less likely to skip packing your daily use items and being without something you really need (don’t forget your contact case & solution!)

Road snacks.  Fuel.  If you can, fuel up before the trip rather than the morning of.  That way, you can set off at the appropriate time without any wasted minutes.  Prepare road snacks that are healthy so you save money instead of purchasing convenience store food and take out.  Plus, you’re eating healthier.

Make sure you have the appropriate gear for a breakdown, including your AAA or roadside assistance cards.  Yes, I have used up my maximum number of tows in a years time, so this comes in handy.  Have a small tool kit, something fluorescent, a flashlight.  Be prepared.


Freshening wipes.  Not to gross you out, but these are great!  Sitting in a car for hours (or a plane) and you feel like you need a shower 3x over.  Bring freshening wipes for your whole body to spritz up throughout the trip.

Road music – download a new track the night before so  you have something fresh and fun to listen to.  Make sure your hands free set is charged up, you have all the proper plugs and power cords, and you’re set.

What are you tips for trips?  I’ve love to learn more.


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Comments 2

  1. This is great, Brenda! We are fairly regular travelers since we live 1.5 hours from family, so I’ve found it’s really smart to do some of the same things you do. I basically have a duplicate of all my toiletries (in small containers) and they stay in my toiletry bag permanently. Contact solution, contact case, toothbrush, toothpaste, spare contacts, deodorant, etc. Since having kids, I do the same for them, so that when it’s time to go away for the weekend, I don’t have to think about packing all the little things each time. It really helps cut down on packing time and forgetfulness.

    I also limit my earring stash when I travel. And I’m trying to get better at making sure the clothing I take coordinates so I have more options. Ditto w/ shoes.

    Even so, I feel I have a ways to go before I get to packing as lightly as I’d like!

  2. Color coordinated items and limited jewelry helps too, totally forgot about that! I try coordinating with no more than 2 pairs of shoes, however, this time I packed 3, oops!

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