Road Trip Prep

We might be a little weird, but my family loves a good road trip. We even love packing for a road trip. The anticipation of the unknown builds with every piece of clothing we fit into the bags.


I’m a horrible packer. Same for my husband and a couple of the kids. We pack far too many things- thinking that we might need those extra shoes or five more shirts. What if we spill something? What if the weather is warmer than expected? Colder? Our youngest daughter has packing down to an art. She decides what she will wear on which days with little to no room for error all the way down to the socks and hair ties! I have a general idea of what I’ll wear, but there are definitely options in my bag.

How about the strategies for packing the luggage? It resisted the whole Roll-Your-Clothes trend for quite a while. I just didn’t see how the way I put clothes into the bag mattered. I’m here to tell you that I was wrong. I’m fairly certain that my clothes are less wrinkled from the rolling, but the best thing is the volume of clothes that fit when rolled. This definitely feeds my over-packing obsession.


There are always lots of bags stuffed in the back of the vehicle. Not only do we need clothes for different activities, but we also need clothes for running. Yes- even on vacation, we find time for exercise. Some trips are even centered around fitness events, like marathons. For us, vacation doesn’t just mean relaxation.

I’m a snacker in the car. I bring food and drinks that we don’t even need. Every gas station has a buffet of chips and candy and drinks that I didn’t even know existed before the stop to fill up! Having too many treats isn’t a bad thing, right? We can always get bananas, but road trips also mean junk food.

So- how do we pass the time together in a vehicle for hours? You’re only bored if you choose to be bored! My kids have heard that line since they were tiny. Even in a car, there are plenty of things to do:

  • Talk– Have those conversations that you never seem to have time for during real life- the serious and the silly ones.
  • Check out the scenery– Look for those unique spots as you drive. We love to find cool bridges, rolling streams, interesting architecture,  or wildflowers. Chances are that you’re going to see something you’ve never seen before! Take a look at this pic of fog as we drove through the mountains around Chattanooga on a December night.img_5794
  • Listen– There are lots of options with this. Playlists. Talk radio. Podcasts. Soundtracks.
  • Read– I love to read in the car. I know some people can’t handle it. My mom says it makes her dizzy.
  • Clean up your devices– I use the time to delete photos on my phone or downloads on my laptop that I no longer need. I never seem to find time for that!
  • Play games– Yes, we love to play the old ABC and License Plate games. You might choose something on your phone, which is not nearly as fun as playing the Sign game with your loved ones if you ask me.
  • Write– Maybe you keep a journal. Maybe your kid has an assignment. Maybe just write a list of things to do on the trip.
  • Watch videos– With access to accounts like Netflix, Prime, or Hulu, it’s never been easier to binge-watch while crossing the countryside.
  • Sleep– There’s nothing wrong with catching up on some rest while the driver cruises down the highway. When you wake up, you could be halfway to your destination!

Long road trips are intimidating to some. Many folks would rather fly than pile the family into the car. I get it. We love to fly, too. But- there’s just something about a road trip. Our next adventure is only hours away!

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