My friends, my husband and I decided to go to Big Bear right before Christmas to celebrate a birthday and just have an awesome time with some beautiful snow, but planning a trip right before Christmas and going to Chicago to see our family as well a few days after can certainly be a little crazy. There’s driving in the snow, a lot of activities and packing to do. Thanks to my past experience and also having a cross country road trip under my belt (plus many other road trips-I’m kind of a fanatic) I thought I could share my tips and tricks for planning a fun and adventurous road trip – while still being super organized.
1) DECIDE ON A ROUTE. The evident first step to road trip planning is deciding where you want to go. Obviously this will depend on your time frame and your interests. It’s best to start brainstorming places that you might want to be your final destination (this specific trip for me is to Big Bear.) You can also decide if you want to stop in some places in between.
2) MAKE A LIST OF ATTRACTIONS. Once you have a route determined and accommodations lined up, it’s time to decide what you want to see. Look into local tourism websites, or the official websites of the province or state. Better yet, check out what travel bloggers have to say! I’ve found some really great round up posts through Pinterest of locations of interests all over the place.
3) DON’T FORGET YOUR SENSE OF ADVENTURE. As much as it’s important to budget your time, and have a solid plan before you set out, it’s also essential that you don’t become overly focused on following your plans. Leave room for inspiration! If you change your plans last minute, it’s no big deal. In fact, you’re more likely to learn more and have more fun if you take ideas and inspiration from interesting locals and quirky places you find along the way.
4) GET PACKING!
The final step, and probably one of the most important, is to pack! I could write an entire new post about this topic... But really it’s quite simple: think about what you will actually need - literally. We all like to over plan and overestimate, but really try to keep it simple. There’s no need to be stressing about it because it will take away from your experience.
My quick guide is to...
- Bring Collapsible bags to put our food! They take no space, they're reusable and friendly to the environment, super practical and you can bring a lot of them since they fold! That way you can keep buying snacks/food, presents, etc. without worrying about space. My favorite ones are the Clevermade EcoBasket
-Beverages... if you are like me, you need options and lots of water! So I definitely need to bring a cooler. We brought the Clevermade SnapBasket Cooler which keeps beverages cool for 24 hours, yes please!
-Since we are going to the cold weather, we are bringing huge jackets, gloves, scarves, beanies, etc., so it's super practical and easy to keep all of these items neat and organized in the trunk! I love to use Clevermade SnapBasket TrunkCaddy , that way every time we are about to do an activity outside, our winter attire is all organized just waiting for us.
-Now Clothes! Suitcases take a LOT of space for road-trips, so I decided to keep things practical and easy, so I packed everything on the Clevermade SnapBasket LUXE bag, which is a collapsible yet durable, fully folding, carry-all, perfect for anyone on the go.
And that’s it! Now you’re ready to embark on your adventure. Remember there’s always a lot to see, even in our own backyards. I hope your future road trip is as wonderful and en-lighting and adventurous as you have always dreamed of.