Organizing for Car Trips

When my family set out on our drive to see relatives for Thanksgiving, we actually left on time! Exactly on time, not 10 or 30 or 60 minutes late, which is usually what happens. We sailed along traffic-free and had a great drive to grandma’s house.


What happened so that we got out of the door at the appointed hour?

  • Got out our bags a few days before the trip.
  • Made a list of random things we had to bring – a wedding gift, a stack of books to return to my mom.
  • Packed as much as possible the night before; generally I say I will do this but don’t really pack everything – this time I did it!
  • Used bags to organize: I created a “car” bag for all the random last minute things that need to go in – GPS, camera, snacks, baseball hat.
  • Set up the cereal, bowls and glasses on the counter the night before; this made breakfast easier in the morning.
  • Let everyone in the family know my expectations: when we planned to leave, that we’ll need your help packing the car, etc.

What are your secrets for starting a car trip on time?