How to Pack Your Bags and Go on a Road Trip (with a free printable!)

How to Pack Your Bags and Go on a Road Trip Fall is the perfect time to plan a road trip. Cooler temperatures, less tourists, and so many free outdoor activities make late September, October, and early November the perfect time to pack up a weekend bag and go explore. Unfortunately what stands in a lot of people's way is getting themselves packed up and out the door on their way to somewhere fun. But packing for a weekend road trip or any vacation for that matter does not have to be a chore. Today I'm going you my simple tips and tricks for packing for any trip without a hassle.

  1. Look up the 5 day weather forecast. Knowing the weather not only makes planning your road trip activities that much easier but it can make planning what to wear to those activities easier too. Road trips get ruined when you forget to pack your rain boots and there's a pop up thunderstorm or you're sweating buckets bundled up during in Indian summer weather. Now no weather forecast is perfect but at least you'll be somewhat prepared for what's to come.
  2. Choose two pairs of comfortable shoes. My biggest weakness is shoes. I have shoes for just about any occasion and I'm always looking to wear them. My road trip vehicle happens to be a two door hatchback and no matter how hard he tries, my husband just cannot force an over-sized suitcase into the trunk. I have forced myself to choose exactly two pairs of shoes to sustain me through a three to five day trip. Usually I throw in my trusty white Converse sneakers since they're great for walking around cities and out in the country. My other choice in footwear depends on the weather: simple brown boots work great in the fall and a pair of strappy leather sandals are perfect for the summer.
  3. Layer with cardigans, light jackets, and scarves. Repeat after me: layers are your friends. Even if you check the weather for your trip once, twice, three times over, things can change quickly. I also have trouble remembering what sixty degrees feels like after a summer of ninety degree temperatures. Packing a versatile jacket, like a fitted jean jacket, can layer over most outfits. Scarves are also great for layering and packing, especially this season's favorite, the blanket scarf. They can be draped over an outfit and fold up small to fit inside a stuffed suitcase.
  4. Create a packing list. I am a list maker who likes to be prepared. For as much as I want to be spontaneous, throw together my suitcase, and get in the car, I have to have a plan. So while I plan what we'll be doing on our fun road trip, I also plan out what I'll be wearing. My packing plan is always to have a few tops and bottoms that can be mixed and matched. My rule of thumb is never to pack something that has only one purpose, unless it's an outfit for a specific occasion like the dress you're wearing to your friend's destination wedding. All pieces in your suitcase should work together to create easy outfits for your trip.

To help you get your bags packed up and on your way with your weekend road trip, I'm sharing a printable packing list I use to get my bag organized for a trip. It is set up for five days with spots to write down tops and bottoms and your outfits depending on what you'll be doing each day.

Download the free packing printable HERE

Road trips are my favorite part of the fall season and I can't wait to head down to Virginia later this month. I hope you pack your bags and head out on the road this fall!