I keep a Master Packing List [you can find a version of it from a previous trip HERE], which makes packing so much easier. Each time we have a trip planned, I pull out our master list and modify it as needed for the particular time of year and circumstances under which we’re traveling. It helps me to feel confident that we’ll always have the basics packed, and it definitely makes packing faster and simpler.
I also put together a bag of things to entertain our two boys in the car. We have a 21-hour drive to Michigan, and I try to keep a few fun things up my sleeve for when everyone gets tired of being in the car. On a prior trip, I packed as like THIS.
Meal planning is another big must for our trip. Food in Northern Michigan tends to be more expensive than it is at home, especially for the organic/pasture-raised foods we prefer. So we pack up a cooler full of natural meats and a bag of basic ingredients that I use every day (such as coconut oil, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, etc.) and bring it along. We buy fresh produce while we’re up here. This helps us to keep the costs of our trip down, while still allowing us to eat the foods we choose.
With a little bit of advanced planning, getting all of us out the door for a 1.5 week trip feels much less daunting.
How do you prepare for a big trip? Do you keep a packing list?