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How to Stay Organized on the Road

At some point we all either need or want to hit the road, for whatever purpose.  For example, if you’re a college student, road trips are a time-honored tradition that pretty much everybody will experience at some point or another.  However, wild spring break excursions aren’t the popular highway excursions to take note of, there’s also the “family vacation” as well as the “business trip” which are quite popular.  Regardless of purpose of your road trip, you’re going to need to be prepared, right?  In order to help you out, we present to you this handy guide for staying organized while on the road.

For starters, give yourself at least a month to a few weeks advance to start planning.  There’s nothing worse than waiting until the last moment to prepare for a lengthy road trip, and this is the perfect way to ensure that you’re probably going to forget about something too.  Consider the following factors well in advance of packing or leaving:

  • Number of people traveling with you vs. the size of the vehicle(s) you will be using

  • How much luggage everyone is going to be bringing with them

  • Will there be enough room for everyone to rest comfortably and/or access personal items while en route?

  • What are you really going to need?  – There’s no need to pack things that won’t be useful is there?

  • Where are you traveling to?  – Dress and pack clothes which are appropriate for your destination

  • Remember to pack all relevant maps and / or GPS-related devices (including batteries and/or power supplies)

  • How long is the trip actually going to take?  – This is very important and in some cases might mean the difference between being safe or getting stranded somewhere

Next, it’s probably a good idea to inform everyone who will be traveling with you of a few basic rules well in advance of the actual date of departure.  Sure, this might make them think of you as being a “bummer” or “overly controlling”, but consider the alternative (chaos, discord and discomfort).

  • Use trash bags to collect all waste immediately

  • Every time you stop, make it a point to have everyone get rid of any trash and / or use the bathroom as well as make any food purchases as necessary

  • Have everyone mutually decide their spot(s) and ensure that there’s enough individual space as well

  • Keep telling everyone to check the location of their valuables at all times, particularly after making stops and before departing

  • Do a head count or passenger manifest list before departing after each stop (wouldn’t want to leave anyone behind)

Lastly, make sure that you have some vital emergency supplies on hand just in case something bad was to happen.  You should bring the following items with you:

  • Destination-specific items (for example, if you’re traveling to a hot, sunny beach, sun-block should be included in your kit)

  • Antibiotic creams

  • First-aid kit

  • Band-aids / cloth bandages

  • Basic over-the-counter medicines like painkillers, allergy pills, etc… (also, make sure that your other passengers don’t require any specific medicines before departing, and if they do, bring an ample supply with you – for example, if they’re diabetic, having a decent supply of insulin is extremely important)

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • Insect repellant

  • Thermometer

  • Batteries

  • Sealable plastic bags

  • Air freshener sprays / odor eliminators

  • Several cases of bottled water

  • Emergency food rations

Have fun, stay safe and good luck!


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