Guest Post: How To Become A Pack-Rat (Road Trip Edition)

Hi everyone! As I mentioned, a few of my friends were awesome and drove cross-country this summer! They documented it all via blog, but they also wanted to share some tips here! (See another guest post from them here.) ~ Sarah


Greetings again Shades of Sarah readers! Sarah asked us a while ago to write another guest blog post for her about the ins and outs of packing for a road trip, but we waited until the end of our trip in order to have full knowledge of the situation.

First things first, we are not uber-girly girls so we didn’t concern ourselves too much with accessories and makeup and coordinating outfits because well, we’re in a car with only each other for 25 days. That being said, it’s still hard to know what will be useful and needed for different climates and situations.

We made the semi-executive decision to only pack for about 10 days because we knew we were going to be stopping at friends’ and family’s houses to take over their laundry rooms. However, we packed pretty much all the underwear we own because you can re-wear shorts and t-shirts but not that stuff. Packing really all depends on what you’re doing; we knew we were going to attempt to be athletic in the national parks, so packed lots of t-shirts and athletic shorts and sneakers, plus a bathing suit or two just in case. Speaking of just in case items: sweatshirt and sweatpants or leggings, and a jacket. Necessary items unless you’re only going south during the summer months.


But we also went to many cities and needed to not look like the orphans from Annie (Miss Hannigan’s kids, not the Daddy Warbucks makeover). So we packed some nice shorts and regular shirts. Katie also knew she was going to her cousin’s wedding so packed a nice dress and shoes for that, but packing some nicer outfits will always come in handy for going to dinner or out at night (but don’t overdo it).

Long drives always include…well, long periods of driving. And this means you need comfortable good shoes for driving, otherwise your shins, calves, and toes start to really kill. Anything with a back is good, Sperry’s, Toms, sneakers, Keds, Converse, all of these work; we know this because we brought them. But we also brought flip flops and flats for those situations that needed it. OH, we almost forgot about the socks. Socks people. Bring them for all situations, not just for wearing with sneakers; go to Kohl’s or somewhere and buy the “not-socks”, kind of shoe inserts that you can wear with Toms and Sperry’s, because walking around for 10 hours in shoes without socks (unless they’re sandals) is just NOT a good idea for a plethora of reasons, trust us.

All in all, we’re fairly chill packers (read: lazy and put off packing until the last minute so just threw things in a suitcase), so we didn’t really overpack. We don’t regret packing anything clothing-wise and wore almost everything (we think, we’ve kind of lost track of what we have and have not worn). The last really important thing we didn’t think of, but are glad we had, is a duffel bag each. At first it was great for extra storage, and then it was the best thing ever for storing dirty laundry (see above for the not-sure-of-what’s-clean situation).

This is our last day of driving together, so writing this is a little bittersweet but we had an amazing time and encourage anyone with the time to go on any kind of long trip like this. If our posts inspire you to go write the next “On the Road”, we’d like a shout-out;  just kidding (not really), but we hope this has been a little helpful — even if it’s packing for a week to the beach!