Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

With three cross-country moves and a shorter move from Reno to Boise somewhere in the mix, our family is used to, if not good, at travel. This summer, we’re taking a 33-day road trip (34 if you count the last day, where we’ll be driving home from Toledo, Ohio back to Bath, New York).

There are advantages to road trips over cross country moves: This time, we don’t have to pack the whole house (or try and sell it!) and because one of us isn’t driving a moving truck and we actually get to be in the same vehicle, it’s a road trip we’re looking forward to.

In preparing for this trip, we learned a few things:

  • When you’re traveling by car and have limited space, plan ahead.
    • Take the empty suitcases, cooler, and other bags to the car to see whether or not everything will fit. We thought we would need a $400 rooftop carrier, but it turns out that by removing a seat in the van, we could fit everything inside – improving aerodynamics for better gas mileage and preserving that money for fuel costs.
    • Plan well in advance to be sure you’ll have all the medicines you need to last through the entire trip. It took us nearly a month to jump through hoops with doctors and insurance companies to obtain enough of our son’s seizure meds to last until we could get home.
  • Put a bin or box in a strategic spot and as you think of things you know you must have for travel, add them to it.
  • Half of what you think you need you won’t, and there will always be something you wish you’d brought. Be mentally flexible.
  • Bring that spare pair of glasses you replaced last year. The prescription might not be perfect, but it will be much better nothing if your glasses break.
  • Put together a 3-ring binder with printed maps to your destinations or bring a road atlas. You never know when you’ll need something more than a GPS to figure out where you are.
  • Even though it may take up precious space, don’t travel without a roadside kit that contains flares, chains, and a first-aid kit.

Share your travel tips with us! What do you do to ensure you’ll have a great trip?