Packing for a Road Trip

February 27th, 2013 by

road trip There are few joys greater than hitting the road in a trusty vehicle with your family or a group of friends, knowing that you’re going to enjoy the journey as much, or more, than the destination. The camaraderie and bonding that comes from being cramped into a small space together can’t really be duplicated in many other ways.

Of course, one of the biggest ways to sour a road trip is poor packing, so I’ve got some tips for you that I’ve learned over my many road trips:

  • •   Pack light. If you’re going to be gone for a week and you pack seven days worth of clothes, ask yourself if you’ll have access to a laundromat or a friend’s washer and dryer somewhere. Being able to cut your packed clothes in half saves space and hassle.
  • •   Don’t skimp on important things. Although you should pack light, be sure to bring anything you know you’re going to need. Obvious things include medicines and toiletries, but double checking things like cell phone and iPod chargers (and figuring out if you can share with others) is recommended.
  • •   Discuss hygiene with everyone going along. Hopefully if you’re out of school, this isn’t too necessary of a point, but it goes hand in hand with the first two points, as the last thing you want is to have someone in the vehicle opt out of clean clothes or bathroom supplies to save space. You also don’t want to accidentally be that person, either. Your family members might put up with you, but your friends may not.
  • •   Finally, and arguably most importantly, bring cash, because anything else you’ve forgotten can most likely be picked up as needed.

Beyond this, remember that you’re probably going on this trip with people you care about and are going to have fun. It can be really easy for people to get at each others throats in a cramped space. For this reason, it’s great to stop every so often (more often than you need to refuel) to let everyone stretch, get some fresh air, and generally relieve tensions.

If you’re in charge of the vehicle, don’t forget to get your oil changed too. Maybe get an engine tune-up while you’re at it. Nobody wants to get stranded halfway to a destination.