Holiday Road Trip Tips

As we deal with this pandemic, many families are opting for road trips this holiday season as opposed to air travel. I’m all about getting organized in advance to cut down on last minute travel stress.

Thanksgiving Day Table via @KristyWicks

Tip 1 – Get Road Trip Ready

An organized car is a major sanity saver while you’re on the road with your family.

Keep pre-portioned snacks in a grab and go bin that everyone can access. Pack a refillable water bottle for every family member. Hold space in the car for a cooler with healthy snacks like string cheese and fruit as well as cold drinks.

Pack an on-the-go medicine cabinet (love this Welly one!) that is always easy to access when you’re driving. Pack a small supply of bandages, pain reliever, motion sickness pills, stomach medicine, first aid ointment, and sunscreen, along with a stain removal pen and a small first aid and sewing kit. Now with COVID concerns, you should also include supplies like hand sanitizer, masks and Clorox wipes. Always bring along paper towels, tissues and gallon Ziploc bags in case of carsickness.

For younger children, keep electronics and toys under control with a back of the seat organizer for quick access. It has deep pockets to store iPads and other essentials.

For teens, the travel GRID-IT organizer keeps chargers, earphones, and personal items under control. Plus you can easily drop it inside a handbag, backpack, or tote.

Plan ahead for activities to keep everyone busy throughout the trip to cut down on screen time a bit. Download audio books and podcasts in advance. Remember old-fashioned games as well: 20 Questions, the License Plate Game, I Spy, Car Bingo, and the Alphabet Game. Make a quick list before you go so you have options at hand.

A travel-sized trashcan is a must have for all the stuff that is accumulated along the way. 

Tip 2 – Create a Trip File

As soon as a trip is booked, create a file with the name and dates of your upcoming travel. You can also do this electronically by creating a folder in your email inbox. Then you can access it from anywhere.

As you book hotels and other reservations, save confirmations in the file. As time passes, continue to include list of restaurants, sites to see, maps, and interesting articles about your destination – anything of interest you come across.

If you have some old school paper notes, a document bag is perfect to keep all travel documents organized and in one place.

Thanksgiving Day Table via @ABeautifulMess

Tip 3 – Create a Travel Staging Area

Even though you’re going on a road trip, over-packing is still an issue. You’ll be surprised how quickly the car fills up especially once you add holiday gifts!

Packing an entire family can be a complicated process. Stuff ends up all over the house and can take several days to complete. You want to make this process as efficient as possible.

Clear and designate an area in your home that can be used to prepare for trips and on return from trips. Use bins, one for each family member, to hold items as you begin the packing process.

Keep any other items you commonly need for travel in this area – travel size toiletries, chargers, packing checklists, shoe bags, packing cubes, jewelry cases, laundry bags, and toiletry bags. When you’re ready to finally put all items in the suitcase, you’ll have things in one place.

Tip 4 – Contain Your Stuff

The other big secret to packing is containment. The big mistake is throwing everything into a suitcase and hoping you can find what you need. Like all organizing you want to group like with like.

When you can, designate a travel bag for each older child and adults so they are responsible be packing and repacking as you go. Group younger children in one travel bag. Consider packing outfits for each day of the trip in Ziploc bags.

Packing cubes keep like with like in your suitcase. If these aren’t in your budget, Ziplocs or even shoe and purse bags work just a well.

Tell US! Are you taking a road trip this holiday season?