Tag Archive | travel

SUMMER SERIES: Organizing to Travel – Post 3 of 3

 A Handy Checklist for Getting Your Car Ready to Travel

Labor Day, a holiday that typically signals the end of the summer season, is just around the corner for those of us in the United States. There is still a lot of time to enjoy some travel adventures even if the calendar says it’s the end of the summer! This might even be a good time to take a road trip and enjoy the beauty of late summer or the upcoming fall weather. Before you head out on the road, though, it’s important to make sure your car is ready to travel to ensure a safe and smooth journey. Here is a handy checklist to cover all the basics.

√ Check the Pressure: Poor tire pressure can lead to a rough ride or even a blowout! Use a pressure gauge to make sure all five tires (that includes your spare) are at the same level. Maintaining proper pressure can also reduce fuel costs by up to 3% (according to AAA).

√ Check the Fluids: This check should include the oil, wiper fluid, brake fluid and coolant.  The car manual should include how-to instructions if you want to tackle it on your own; if not, take it to your local automotive shop for a check. Having the fluids well filled will reduce the chances of engine failure or overheating during your journey.

√ Check the System: Make sure there are no warning indicator lights displayed on the dashboard. Refer to your manual for definition of each one and take to your local repair shop to clear before setting out on the road.  Making sure your system is in order will lessen any worries about car performance while on the road.

√ Check Windshield Wipers: Blades that are worn, cracked or aged will not remove rain, dirt or other debris and can hinder a driver’s vision. Ensure that wipers are new or in good condition and replace frequently to maintain the best visual space for the driver.

√ Check Maintenance: Regular maintenance should include a tune up, changing the oil, checking the cooling system, testing and/or recharging the air conditioning and replacing the air filter. Schedule a maintenance at least 1-2 times a year with your local automotive shop if you are not comfortable completing these tasks on your own.

√ Check the Glove Compartment: A glove compartment should always include up to date registration & insurance information, contact information, map, owners’ manual, batteries/chargers for electronic devices, tire pressure gauge, and a pen & pad.  These items could be essential when traveling.

It’s always a good idea to have at least a basic emergency kit on hand to help you through an unexpected emergency. Check out our Resources tab for suggested kits or a list of items for assembling one of your own.

Now that you’ve gone through this simple checklist, you should feel confident that you’ve greatly reduced the chance of having any issue while on the road.  You are now ready to pack up your car, hop on the highway and get on out there to your destination!   Happy traveling!


SUMMER SERIES: Organizing to Travel – Post 1 of 3


Lately, my inbox has been flooded with emails for travel destinations and a myriad of travel products.  This doesn’t surprise me since summer seems to be the quintessential season to travel.  But have you ever felt like preparing to depart makes you too exhausted to even think about going on a trip – I sure have!  If you find yourself losing time preparing for your trip, your stress level skyrockets and you dread traveling, read on for eight, easy steps to solve this problem!

LIST IT OR LEAVE IT: Create a packing list in advance; a packing list will help you to remember what you need to take, prevent you from taking too much and keep you on track.  Think of it as the blueprint for your trip!  Create a master list by writing down all of the things you could possibly need for your trip and review it after each trip to refine it for the next.  After all, you should always pack what is on your list, but you should never pack what isn’t on your list!

CORRAL THE CONTAINERS: Don’t get caught with broken luggage just before packing.  Gather the luggage you will be using ahead of time and check it for holes, rips or broken closures; repair or replace if needed.  Save time and eliminate pressure by setting your luggage out and open in an easy to reach place.  When you come across something you want to take with you, just pop it into the appropriate bag and it’s one less thing you have to remember!

MAP IT OUT & TEST DRIVE: Take the time to lay out what you will wear so you can assemble outfits and accessorize ahead of time.  Once your outfits are all put together, pack it in the luggage that is open and waiting.  You’ll eliminate the last minute decision making that causes so much stress by taking your clothes for a test drive.   Remember that comfort should always come first and sticking with a color theme makes it easier to mix and match with less pieces.

ADD A SPECIALTY BAG: Try using a toiletry bag inside your luggage.  Purchase sample bottles to store your hygiene, makeup or shaving items and put in a hanging bag – smaller, sample sizes saves space and can easily be replenished after your trip.  An extra bonus:  you won’t have to unpack the items individually – just remove the bag from your suitcase and hang it up….more time for you to play!

DON’T FORGET THE MEDICINE: Don’t be caught without your prescription medicine during your travels.  Review all medicines that you will need to take ahead of time, refill any prescriptions and store them in the original containers.  Always keep your prescription medicine with you at all times.  DO NOT pack them in the checked luggage – it’s a good idea to keep them in a clear, sealed bag in your purse or carryon bag.

FIRST AID TO THE RESCUE: It’s always a good idea to take a portable, first aid kit with you when traveling.  This kit can range from a simple assortment of Band-Aids and antiseptic in a travel size pouch to an insulated, lunch bag containing commonly used over the counter medicines and a larger selection of first aid accoutrements.  It can certainly save you a late night trip to a drugstore that might be far away if you get a particularly nasty sunburn or bee sting!

BRING THE GOODY BAG: It’s always a good idea to have an activity bag that you pack with special things to keep you busy when traveling – there’s always a delay somewhere!  If you have children, create a toy bag or backpack that you use only when traveling – this will make the items seem “special”.  Fill it with small, easy to use items including books, colored pencils and small toys.  A goody bag doesn’t just apply to the kids – get creative and make an adult version!

WHO AM I & WHERE AM I GOING: Make sure that you keep your id, credit card, cash and travel information on you at all times.  A small wallet portfolio is great for keeping this information together and a check size accordion file is great way to store it if you are traveling by car.  You could use your phone as a file cabinet, too, for all of your details: leave yourself a message, put the trip details into a text or store it in a password protected document.

As you can see, getting ready to depart doesn’t have to take a lot of time, create undue stress or make you dread your journey.  Your trip can be fun and create lasting memories if you follow the above eight, easy steps.  So go on, dream away and find that fantastic place to travel to this summer….you’ll be able to get ready in no time.

As always, drop us a line and let us know all about your adventures – we’d love to share them with our visitors.   Happy traveling!