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Most of my family lives out-of-state; consequently, I need to be able to pack up for weekend jaunts to visit them.  Often, I am in the car for 4-6 hours to reach my destination.  This takes up a lot of time in a short weekend, so to save myself headaches; I invented a few tricks to make my traveling easy and uneventful.

1).   I have designated a toiletry bag (purchased from LL Bean) to be ready to travel.  In the bag I keep small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash (much easier than bars of soap), and lotion.  I have a travel toothbrush that I keep in its travel case, and travel sized toothpaste.  Basically, all of the toiletries you would want away from home should be purchased in small sizes and stored in your toiletry bag.  When supplies run low, be sure to fill them up immediately.

2). Add a sewing kit to your bag. Wrap some white thread around a small piece of cardboard.  You can add any color thread you think you might need.  Stick a sewing needle in the cardboard with the thread.  Add a couple of shirt buttons and put it all in a plastic baggy.  Now you will be ready for a clothing emergency.

3). A first aid kit can be made in a similar way.  In a plastic zip baggy, at a few Band-Aids, a couple of alcohol wipes, a tube of triple antibiotic ointment, some aspirin, Tylenol, or ibuprofen, and a couple of benaydrl tablets (for allergies, bee stings, or sleep aid).

4). I always pack a small bottle of Downey Wrinkle Releaser to help get the wrinkles out of my packed clothes.  It saves time and you do not need to ask your hosts for an iron. I put this in a zippered baggy in case it leaks.

5). Pack one or two 30 gallon garbage bags in your suitcase, the new scented bags work great!   Use them to put in your dirty clothes.  This way, when you return home you will not have to wash the clean clothes, too.

6). Throw a couple of dryer fabric sheets in your suitcase to keep your clothes smelling fresh.  If you are packing extra shoes, add the dryer fabric sheets to each shoe to keep them smelling good.

7). Pack a small tote or cooler with water, juice or soda so you do not have to stop while on the road.  Add a few snacks like grapes, or trail mix in case you get the munchies.  If you are traveling with children, this is necessary item.

8).  I keep a roll of duct tape, some change for vending machines,  and a flashlight in the car in case of emergencies.  I once needed the duct tape to hold my broken suitcase together so do not underestimate its uses.

9). A good map or GPS system is invaluable when traveling by car.  You never know when you will need a rest stop or a detour because of traffic.

10). Finally, the trip will go by quicker if you have some entertainment.  Be sure to pack a book on CD, or on your iPod/Zune, or download your favorite radio show or podcast.  Do not forget the music.

A little preparation and planning can make frequent road trips a breeze.  You may actually look forward to the trip if you make it easy and relaxing.

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jamie Nowinski – Grandmother Wisdom/Grandmother Musings with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About bigsmileu1

What good is living life if you don't share all the experiences, mistakes, and knowledge you have gained? I am a grandmother, a wife, a mother of two grown children, a Jr. High Teacher for almost two decades, an elementary principal and I want to share my experiences.

4 responses »

  1. Good advice as we have out-of-state relatives as well–the dryer sheets can make even my stuff smell good.

    With little kids, we even have an emergency little toilet for trips which has been a lifesaver more than once on a real busy road or in a desolate area.

    • I have a friend who swears by her travel toilet for her kids. She has six of them, so stopping for each of them could really get out of hand. Thanks for commenting. Happy travels. 🙂

  2. My family all live a long way away, too 😦 You are so right – a few preparations can make the trips much easier 🙂

    • Especially when they are only weekend trips. I don’t want to spend the time packing; I wish to spend it with those I love. Thanks for commenting. It is always appreciated. 🙂


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