When I began planning my cross-country move to Los Angeles, packing was something that really stressed me out. I wanted to make sure that I had the essentials covered so I wouldn't run out of things like underwear and t-shirts during the seven day drive, but I also needed to pack the rest of my clothes & moving boxes into the back of my car. I wanted it to be easy to get dressed each day, and I really didn't want to have to rummage through everything I owned to find a makeup wipe.
I am at the end of day one today, and I thought I would give you a few tips and tricks for packing, as well as give you a free printable packing list to use for your next road trip!
How To Road Trip Like a Boss
1. Take your car to the shop before you leave.
A full tune up will provide you with peace of mind on the road. Make sure you check tires, oil, spares, as well as all of the tools & first aid items you may want to keep in your car in case of an emergency. I always throw in an umbrella/raincoat, sunscreen, a hat, and a couple of towels. I'd also recommend checking that you have chargers for your phone/GPS system, as well as an actual atlas or map just in case. I sound like my mom.
2. Pack a carry-on for going in and out of roadside accommodations.
You don't want to dig through everything you've packed each time you need a makeup wipe or pair of jeans. Pack the things you'll need during your drive in a duffel bag or small suitcase so you can easily take things in and out of your hotel, AirBnb, or campsite.
3. Create a spreadsheet with your day-to-day itinerary and print it out.
Creating a customizable place where you can store all of your trip information will help you immensely. I recommend printing this out and putting it into a binder before you leave. Or download the Google Sheets app and keep the document accessible right on your phone. I thought I'd share my document with you, and you can find it in my Road Trip Resources Google Folder here. I print out itineraries for every trip I go on (shockingly I have no Virgo placements). I like to use a binder with dividers for the main itinerary, restaurants and tourist stops along the way, and hotel confirmation info.
4. Check if you have friends in any of the cities along your route.
Chances are, someone you know might live in Checotah, Oklahoma. It's worth doing a quick search on Facebook or Instagram to find friends that you can connect with. Even just to ask them about their favorite coffee shop in town.
5. Use Instagram location tags to find restaurants, shops, and photo ops.
This is one of my favorite things to do when I'm visiting a new city! Searching the location tags for cities can often help you to find awesome cafes, coffee spots, bookstores, and boutiques. You can also search hashtags like #CITYeats or #CITYfood. Replace "CITY" with the place you're going and you are bound to find something! I also love to try #CITYblogger, because local bloggers always know about the best and cutest spots!
6. Search YouTube for videos and vlogs of people driving your route.
Something that helps me to build my confidence before visiting a new place is watching someone else do it. I watched so many cross-country road trip vlogs before embarking on this journey. I absolutely love seeing how people prefer to drive, what they listen to on the way, and where they stop! Finding kindred spirits can really give you peace of mind.
7. Be open-minded and flexible.
My final tip is to be open-minded about your travels. Nothing ever works perfectly, and chances are you will forget something or mess up along the way. Be open to changing the plan, wandering, and going with the flow. The universe has a plan for you, and your itinerary may not be it. Live well and enjoy your travels.
Let me know your favorite road trip tips in the comments below!