“Mission Inspiration” – Part 1: Road Trip Preparation

MISSION INSPIRATION is a GO!!! Our focus at nluv Studio is spreading positivity, treasuring special moments & just trying to make the world a little better each day through our designs. Most of our imagery come from inspiration around us. It could be someone new we meet or an old friend. Mother Nature is also one of our biggest inspiration points. We are ‘outdoorsy’ people for sure, so the more time spent exploring among the trees, the more inspiration we gather.

Winter is a wonderful time of year to set out on the road and scoop up all the inspiration we can grab. We are about to embark on a snowy road trip with Local Freshies® and decided to name it ‘Mission Inspiration’! We’ll be out and about for a couple weeks, so proper road trip preparation is mandatory for a stress-free, productive trip (with a little fun of course). Let’s get prepping and packing to make the most of our time!

Road Trip Preparation: Back-to-Basics

As with any design or project, prep is key! Unless you’re one of those people that is crazy spontaneous & just jumps in the car driving off to wherever the road takes you, you will want to carefully prepare for the trip. Why? Because you don’t want to miss out on anything!

Don’t skip the Prep

The idea is simple. A little prep goes a long way and if maximum inspiration is your goal (which it is for me), you’ll do it and do it well. Hold up on those suitcases! Road trip preparation isn’t packing. We haven’t even gotten close to actual packing yet. The act of packing is literally the last step of all, besides putting yourself in the car. All the hard work and ‘prep’ as I call it is before any socks hit your bag.

So why should you care about the preparation step? Well, it will serve to accomplish three really important things. Are you going to argue with a process that saves you money, time and most critical… ensuring you don’t miss the perfect idea?

Top 3 reasons to prep for your trip

Tip 1: Save money.

I don’t like to waste money so if I don’t properly prep for a road trip, I’m guaranteed to waste money along the way. If you are constantly buying things on the road, you’ll spend more when you could have efficiently brought it from home to start. Don’t fall prey to the idea of ‘travel size’ items either. Sure, they come in cute little packages and seem perfect for your bag… but they are so much more expensive!

save money road trip preparation
Instant coffee & laundry supplies will help save money.

Here’s a few ideas to think about. Planning on any laundry loads while traveling? Throw a few detergent pods and dryer sheets in a plastic bag. Take supplies right out of your own cabinet! No extra trip costs with that. What about those moments when you need a bite to eat but it’s not meal time? How about a big bag of granola bars, nuts, crackers and a loaf of bread & some PB&J? It’s cheap, easy and all travels well. What about hydration? We are spoiled with delicious Lake Tahoe tap water but everywhere we go isn’t as lucky. Our water bottle with filters are always in our bags so we can take water from anywhere and enjoy drinking it. Water is free so why pay for it and create more trash with empty bottles?

Be smart in balancing what you bring and what you REALLY need. Who isn’t guilty of over-packing, especially for a road trip? Without any weight or bag limitations, you can easily bring your whole house if you aren’t careful. If the item isn’t something you normally use, wear or eat, odds are you don’t need it for your trip either. Though you might not get charged a bag fee, your gas mileage will sure suffer if your car weighs an extra 500 lbs. from all your ‘extra’ stuff.

Tip 2: Save time.

The true time saver is THE LIST. And I mean a list of everything you need to take. So, when it comes to actual packing, you don’t have to think about anything! Just pick up the list and pack everything on it… period. You will save so much time when it’s time to actually get moving. So sit down and write that list!

road trip preparation make a list
One of the LIST subsections & all items written out.

A road trip is more than just clothes. Depending on what you are going to do, your list needs different sections so it isn’t just a hodge-podge of stuff. How you pack is just as important as what you pack. The last thing you want is to throw everything together so every time you need something, you literally unpack your whole life! That is NOT a good way to save time.

Create a list with sections. This will then make the act of packing easier as you can go by each group of items and pack them together. Your list should be very detailed. Think of it as, “If something isn’t on the list, it isn’t going on the trip.” Don’t break this rule! Our trip is a winter, action sport & Mother Nature filled inspiration trip. Our list has six categories: Car-related; Electronics; Toiletries; Edible; Clothing/Shoes; Snowboard/Outdoor Gear. Everything we take fits into one of these categories, and if it doesn’t, then I either need another category or don’t need the item. Don’t underestimate the list. If you really follow through on creating it to 100% completeness, packing will be a breeze and literally an exercise in just grabbing items and crossing them off! You will leave the house with confidence that you didn’t forget something.

Tip 3: Never miss an opportunity.

Road trips are amazing but can also be exhausting especially if you have lots to do in a short period of time. Our trip is more work-related than vacation so accomplishing what we set out to do is important.

road trip preparation itinerary sketch book ideas
Sketch book, itinerary, inspiration ideas and a plan!

Each trip you take is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience because you can never repeat a trip. Sure, you can always visit the same location more than once, but each trip will be different. You can’t replicate every single thing you ever did so each trip really is special. I will be spending every moment outside, meeting new people, seeing new sights, taking photos & filming… it’s about to be non stop action and I don’t want to miss anything!

Just like making a list to pack, build an itinerary of what you will be doing & sketch out a general idea of what kind of content you want to come home with. Is it color inspiration, outdoor photos, furniture ideas, action shots? This will help you keep track of what you are or aren’t gathering along the way so when you get home, you have everything you set out to get. No road trip remorse here!

Our itinerary also helps us keep track of reservations, meetings, specific places to go, contact names & numbers and anything else that might be needed quickly along the way. Don’t rely on your cell phone to just pull up an email. What if you don’t have service? It will add unnecessary stress to your trip. For each destination, map out what you want to gather there. Is it photos, create a short video, visit a specific antique store or monument? Whatever it is, write it down now so when you are actually there, you don’t forget or get caught up in doing other activities. Remember, don’t miss an opportunity!

Get those bags ready!

Our list is complete and itinerary built. We reviewed it twice so we’re confident it’s done. There’s only a few things left to do before we set off. A shopping trip & a little packing and we will be cruising on MISSION INSPIRATION! If you wrote your list like I did, consider typing it into a document so the next trip you take, you already have a template. You just put in all this effort for a great road trip so don’t make it a one time only event. And, don’t torture yourself by having to start from scratch ever again.

Stay tuned as we get packing, which also is an art in itself. An efficient packer is an invaluable travel partner. The point is to have fun and gather lots of inspiration, not dig through 20 bags of ‘who-knows-what’ because you threw everything in the car… literally. The Art of Road Trip Packing is about to begin. Follow along next week as we share our secrets.

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