How To Prepare for Traveling

This weekend, I will be hitting the road, and heading to Lake Placid, New York! I will be figure skating at the Olympic Center Rink at the Lake Placid Figure Skating Program, and will train with some amazing coaches. I should say I am quite excited for this. Follow me for pics and updates!! @YoungFreeME on Instagram/Twitter.

Anyway, not only am I excited, but admittedly, nervous, too. I have never traveled this far, in the car, out of state, alone. I am getting prepared, and have come up with a travel checklist to make sure I don't forget anything important, because, leave it to me to forget something like my figure skates. Whether you're taking a last-minute-before-school-vacation, or going back to school, here are some travel tips to keep in mind!

Your Travel Checklist

Clothes (for any and all weather). Be prepared for unexpected weather, especially if you're leaving for more than a day. Bring a variety of clothes, and if you're going somewhere specific, like the beach, make sure you pack the right clothes so that you can participate in that activity. For example:  a bathing suit.

Snacks/drinks for the road. A case of water and gatorade are much cheaper in bulk, at the store, than individually from a gas station. If you're going to be on the road, and in a hotel for a while, I suggest buying snacks and drinks at a store in bulk before leaving. Frequent gas station stops will get expensive, and will also cost you more time on the road.

Cash. Cash is good in case of the unexpected. If you encounter tolls, or cash-only stores, you won't be left stranded, or unable to pay. What if you need to take a taxi that doesn't accept a credit card, or what if you're out in the middle of nowhere, starving, and the only way you can buy food is at the lonely little store that only accepts the precious cash you brought along with you?! You will thank yourself then. (Not like that will actually happen, but you never know.) Another good thing about having cash is you can limit how much you spend. 

Fill your tank plus oil change. Fill up your tank before you head out. That way, you don't have to worry about making an additional stop, or finding a gas station in an unfamiliar place. Also, make sure that your car is good to go for the trip. Check the oil, and get an oil change if necessary, check the tire pressure, too. If you are a messy traveler, clean it out before you go. Extra weight means more in gas! 

Phone/phone charger/other technology. Don't forget them! The phone is hard to forget because it has become a habit to grab it and go. The charger, on the other hand, is not so easy to remember. Make sure you pack it up. Having a phone-charger for the car can be a life-saver.

A really good playlist and/or podcasts. There is nothing worse than a long road trip, listening to bad music, silence, or yourself talk. That's why having a good playlist is REALLY important, and in my opinion, should be top of the list. 

A call to your credit union. Let your credit union know that you will be traveling if you're going out of state (or country). That way, they know you are making out-of-state purchases, and it's not fraud.

The essentials. Toothbrush/toothpaste, hairbrush, makeup, hair ties, face wash, shower stuff, razor, contacts/contact solution, deodorant, etc. Getting a bag for all of these "essential" items can help you stay organized in the packing and unpacking process.

Print out a map and bring your GPS. Know how to get where you're going, and have a GPS with you in case. Planning your route beforehand will help relieve stress while you're out on the road. The GPS can be useful if your phone loses service, for instance. A map also wouldn't be a bad idea, if your technology fails you, you're covered.

Safe travels everyone! See you from Lake Placid! 

Mallory