Do you have a spare car key tucked away in your wallet? Is your perfect road trip playlist curated yet? Set yourself up for a successful cross-country move by including these crucial items.
Cross-country moves can be difficult. However, they can also create fun memories! Before you worry too much, remember that most cross-country moves go perfectly well. Being prepared is the best way to ensure a smooth move. That’s why the experts at Bekins put together this list of ten essential things to pack in your car for your cross-country move.
What should I pack in my car for a cross-country move?
We know, we know—the to-do list for moving cross-country can feel daunting. However, it’s important to relax and remind yourself to take the process one step at a time. Begin by planning what you’ll pack in your car (and not the moving van) during your trip across the country. Not sure where to start? Try this list out for size:
1. A Spare Key for Your Car’
Whether you lost your car key in the gas station parking lot or locked it in the ignition, lock-outs happen, no matter how hard you try to avoid them. To circumvent these unfortunate scenarios, pack a spare car key in your wallet, purse, or super cool fanny pack at all times.
2. Extra Clothes
As you box up your dresser, leave out a few changes of clothes. Whether you arrive before your moving truck, you need another layer, or your travel outfit gets dirty, you’ll want extra clothes on hand. Depending on your work situation, consider packing your work ensemble in your vehicle as well. It is especially important to pack extra:
- Undergarments and socks
3. Pillows & Blankets for Napping
Driving cross-country takes a long time. It’s likely your passengers will want to take naps during the drive. Avoid crabby passengers by bringing a few pillows and light blankets along so they can sleep as comfortably as possible. If you have children, you’ll want them to each have their own blankets – you won’t be in the mood to manage arguments! Avoid bulky bedding so you don’t accidentally obstruct the driver’s vision.
4. Bathroom Pack
Pack a small bag of bathroom essentials. Store the following items in individual plastic bags or put plastic wrap around the caps to reduce leaks during travel:
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Body wash
- Face wash
- Toothpaste and toothbrushes
5. Road Trip Snacks & Drinks
No road trip is complete without quality road-trip snacks! The trick is finding the perfect balance between delicious and healthy. You can indulge in some treats, but you’ll want to keep your sodium and junk food intake to a minimum. Plus, remember to drink lots of water! Invest in a cooler, and pack the following foods inside:
- Veggies, crackers and hummus
- Cherry tomatoes
- Pepperoni or salami
6. Cleaning Supply Kit
With the pandemic still spreading throughout the country, different hotspots pop up every month. Many of the road-trip stops you’ll need will require that you wear a face mask. Bring several extras in the car in case a mask gets dirty or someone leaves one behind. Besides avoiding germs, messes happen even if you try to avoid them. Combat any spills with a cleaning supply kit. Go to the store and buy a small plastic storage tub and fill it with the following materials:
- Face masks
- Paper towels
- Hand sanitizer
- Toilet paper
- Wet wipes
- Odor-eliminating cleaning spray
7. Music & Audiobooks
Entertain yourself and your passengers with audiobooks and music. Create playlists and download tunes, stories and podcasts ahead of time. Consider who is in the car before setting your podcasts to random mode: there may be some you only want to play while the kids are asleep!
8. First Aid Kit
Along with traditional first aid kit supplies, make sure you include:
- A small pair of scissors
- Alcohol pads
- Extra bandages
9. Car Emergency Kit
Roadside emergencies happen when you least expect them. Be prepared by packing the following items in your trunk:
- Spare tire and lift kit
- Roadside flares
- Folding shovel
As an extra precaution, have the following numbers in your phone:
- Highway patrol
- Roadside assistance
- Police and emergency services
10. Trash Bags
Keep your car clean from food wrappers, paper towels and other garbage by bringing a couple trash bags with you. Conserve space by using a paper or plastic bag from the grocery store. Remember to dispose of full trash bags appropriately!
How do I get started with my cross-country move?
Packing the essential items on this list in your car is a great way to start your cross-country move on the right foot. Set yourself up for success by getting in touch with the professionals at Bekins Van Lines! We’re happy to help with your move from start to finish. Contact your local agent to get started or read up on more packing and moving tips on our blog!