Top Tips For Preparing For Your Road Trip

As some of you may know, I found out recently that I would be moving back to Florida in the next few weeks (I will post my journey throughout the course! Be on the lookout!), my Oregon winter will be cut short and I am already just as stressed out as I was the first time around. I will be driving over 3,000 miles with a car full of my belongings and two dogs who cannot stand each other, all stuck into one small Camry.
Knowing this will be the second time I make this trip, I consider myself to be quite the pro this time around. My life has consisted of many road trips, through trial and error I have found the best and worst things you can do while planning and learned how to execute such a trip without losing my sanity.

Here is a list of my must-do's for planning a successful road trip! 

1. Plan your hotels ahead- You need to plan where you are stopping, make sure to have the rooms booked, make sure they accommodate pets if you have any, and anything else you may look for in a hotel. Personally I prefer a Laquinta all the way, I have found that they have the most lenient pet policy and don't charge extra for you bringing your furry little family with you. I also made the mistake while driving here to Oregon to not start looking for a Laquinta until we were a few hours away from being ready to call it a night. Not only was this very counterproductive for finding a cheap rate but I also found myself one night in the parking lot of a McDonald's at 2am cursing my stupidity after I realized that the nearest Laquinta would not be for another two hours... 

2. Pack your car ahead of time to make sure everything fits- You might just be overestimating your cars space, once you have all your stuff packed, take a moment and play some Tetris inside your car to make sure that stuff fits. There is nothing more annoying than on the day of you depart, realizing that you cannot fit all of it in your car. Do yourself a favor and check it out well ahead of time.

3. Make a shopping list for everything you may need throughout your trip- Personally for me that included: vacuum sealed bags for clothes, a netting to separate the pups in the backseat, getting one of those phone mounts that connect to your car so you can have your GPS right in front of you without having to look down at your phone. So take about a week and start thinking of things you will need. There is no such thing as overdoing it.

4.  Set a budget for your trip- Include food cost, gas, hotels, and snacks. All of this will add up quickly. You don't want to find yourself halfway through your road trip with only 2 dollars left in your pocket because you did not envision spending this much money. Expect the unexpected, take note of Murphy's law "What can go wrong, will go wrong." and prepare.

5. Bring a cooler in your car- You can pack your own drinks and snacks and not only save money, but have everything you need within an arms reach. You can decrease the amount of times you would be stopping and never will you have to settle for a warm drink again. The ice will usually last all day and the next morning you can refill it with ice from an icebox that most hotels have for free!

6.  Have an entertainment bag packed and ready- Whether you are traveling with kids, friends, or your partner, you are bound to have some mindbogglingly boring moments. The last thing you want to do is be stuck digging through your stuff for something to eat up your time. Make a bag of electronics, music, drawing stuff, cards, etc. to help you get through these tough times!

I hope that some of these tips help you plan for your next road trip, and remember it is all trial and error and no matter how much you plan, you cannot always plan for everything. Just remember to keep an open mind and a happy mindset and you will be fine