Car Travel: Packing


My family 16r8s5and I are getting ready to take our summer vacation to one of our favorite places: Gatlinburg. To get there, of course, we drive. First because there are no close airports to our destination. Second, we are only about 5 hours away. And third, because we can simply take more stuff with us. Below, you will find my “Road Trip Packing List” and my “What Actually Gets Put in the Car Before We Leave” list.


Road Trip Packing List:

  1. 2 total suitcases for all clothes
  2. Toiletry Bag/Carry On
  3. Hiking Gear (sticks, backpacks, boots, etc)
  4. Small cooler for cold food
  5. 2 cases of bottled water
  6. Pets
  7. Pet necessities (food, treats, toys, etc)
  8. Deck of cards and 1 game


What Actually Gets Put in the Car Before We Leave:

  1. 3 suitcases with random clothes thrown wherever
  2. Toiletry Bag + Carry On + Medicine Bag
  3. Hiking Gear, which now includes hiking sticks, backpacks, boots, hats, guide books, canteens, first aid kit, etc)
  4. Large cooler with enough food to feed 2 families + a month’s worth of groceries scattered through the vehicle
  5. 2 cases of water, some soda, and lots of adult beverages
  6. Pets
  7. Pet necessities
  8. 3 board games, 2 decks of cards, and a handful of movies
  9. Coats, sweatshirts, or the like in case it gets chilly at night
  10. Keurig coffee maker with coffee (enough for 2 weeks)
  11. A second cooler filled with more food
  12. Gaming system (in case the kids get bored)
  13. Camera + tripod + multiple lenses
  14. Snacks for everyone
  15. All Electronic devices we have ever purchased + chargers

Each and every time, I swear that I will cut down on the amount of items I pack, and that we will be able to see out of the back window. But it hasn’t happened yet. Maybe, just maybe, this will be the trip.

What about you? As you head out to visit family for the 4th of July or on your own summer road trip, what unnecessary items do you find yourself throwing in the car before you leave?


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