10 Essentials to Pack in Your Car – Moving Cross-Country

When Disney Pixar released its new film “Inside Out,” parents and children alike learned about the complexities of emotions and how they impact us on a daily basis. But this incredible movie teaches us something else: cross-country moves create fun memories-and sometimes drama.

If we have to move across the nation, we probably feel a little apprehensive at first. So many things could go wrong, but dozens of things could go right. Unlike the family in “Inside Out,” most people don’t usually have to worry about their moving van ending up in the wrong state. However, they do need to consider what items to pack in their cars for this long drive.

Read on to discover which ten essential items to pack in your vehicle as you prepare for your next cross-country move.

1. Spare Key

No matter how hard you try to avoid them, lock outs happen. Whether you lost your car key in the gas station parking lot or locked it in the ignition, this situation causes stress you’d rather avoid. So to circumvent this scenario, pack a spare car key in your wallet or purse and keep it there at all times.

2. Extra Clothes

As you box up your dresser and closet, remember to leave out a few changes of clothes and pack them in your car. Whether you arrive at your new home well before the moving truck or your travel outfit becomes dirty, you’ll need extra clothes easily on hand, including:

  • Undergarments and socks
  • T-shirts
  • Jeans
  • Pajamas

You should also consider bringing a work ensemble in your vehicle as well. Just make sure to pack this outfit in a garment back to prevent wrinkles and stains.

3. Light Bedding

Depending on the length of your journey, you might have to stay in a hotel. However, passengers in your car might want to take a daytime nap during the drive. Bring a few pillows and light blankets along so they can sleep as comfortably as possible. Avoid large, bulky bedding so you don’t accidentally obstruct the driver’s vision.

4. Shower or Bathroom Pack

If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel before, you know that the shower supplies they provide don’t usually last long. Pack a small bag of bathroom essentials for you and your family, such as:

  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Soap or body wash
  • Face wash
  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Mouthwash
  • Lotion
  • Razors

Store these items in a plastic bags, or put plastic wrap over the caps, to reduce leaks during travel.

5. Snacks and Drinks

No road trip would be complete without good food. But cross-country moves offer a different kind of adventure. These drives last much longer, so you’ll want to eat healthier snacks to avoid feeling sluggish along the way.

Invest in a cooler and pack the following foods inside:

  • Carrots
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Strawberries
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • String cheese
  • Cucumbers
  • Pepperoni or salami

Don’t forget to add dipping sauces-like ranch-for your veggies. And remember to drink lots of water on your trip. You can indulge in other treats and drinks, such as chips and Coke, but you want to keep your sodium and junk food intake to a minimum.

6. Cleaning Supply Kit

Messes happen-even if you try to avoid them. Combat any spills with an on-hand cleaning supply kit. Go to the store and buy a small plastic storage tub, as well as the following materials:

  • Tissues
  • Floss
  • Paper towels
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper
  • Wet wipes
  • Lip balm

You can also bring Febreze or another odor eliminating spray with you to rid your car of any smells caused by messes.

7. Music Devices

Entertain yourself and your passengers with audiobooks and music. Preload your iPod or mp3 player with your favorite tunes and put this device in your car. For variety, download a few lyricless songs and sing karaoke on the road.

8. First Aid Kit

If someone accidentally gets hurt during a stop, or even in your car, you want a first aid kit on hand. Make sure to include a small pair of scissors, tweezers, alcohol pads, and extra bandages along with traditional first aid kit supplies.

9. Emergency Kit

Roadside emergencies happen when you least expect them. Prepare in advance and pack the following items in your trunk:

  • Flash light
  • Gloves
  • Spare tire and lift kit
  • Roadside flares
  • Folding shovel

As an extra precaution, have the following phone numbers programmed into your phone:

  • Highway patrol
  • Roadside assistance
  • Police and emergency services

Should a roadside emergency occur, you’ll be well prepared and know who to contact.

10. Trash Bag

Keep your car clean from food wrappers, paper towels, and other garbage-and bring a trash bag with you. To conserve space in your vehicle, consider using a paper or plastic bag from the grocery store. And don’t forget to dispose of full trash bags appropriately.

Start your cross-country move off right and remember to pack these essential items in your car. Let your moving professionals handle the rest of your belongings. If you have any other questions about packing or moving, consult the rest of our blog.

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