Last week the Mr. and I were on vacation. Va-cay-shee-on. It was a visit-family-and-see-the-sights combo,  with a 20-hour-one-way-road-trip thrown in.

As I’ve been on my fair share of long road trips, I thought I’d share a few tips for packing. I always overpack, no matter what. Never fails. The very idea of not overpacking nearly gives me an apoplexy, so I’ve discovered a few ways to cram a lot of stuff into just a little bit of space.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to get thee to the nearest farm and feed or outdoor hunting and fishing type store. Thou shalt purchase:

A tackle box. I know it’s strange, but bear with me. Instead of hair stuff, makeup, jewelry, and who-knows-what-else being crammed into 3 different bags, it looks like this:

Be still my beating heart. I loves me some organization. This particular box was around $8 and came with lots of little plastic dividers. Jewelry in one, makeup in another, etc.

Bobby pins and alligator clips?

Easy peasy. I actually store them like this all the time, not just for travel. Neat and tidy.

Tackle boxes come in all shapes and sizes (these are made by Plano) and this one works pretty well for me. It’s small enough to fit into an overnight bag, but not so small that I can’t fit most of my crap into it. When I travel, I do take the bare minimum in makeup and other toiletries; if you like to take everything but the kitchen sink a train case or larger tackle box would be a better idea for you.

A few other pointers:
– Duffel bags can be much easier to deal with than suitcases, as they can be smushed and fit into tighter areas.

– If you’re staying at a hotel, PACK AN OVERNIGHT BAG! Instead of lugging all your suitcases and bags into a hotel room, just pack a small bag filled with only what you need – which is generally just a change of clothes and toiletries. That way, you grab one bag from the trunk and you’re on your way.

-Stop at a dollar store and buy yourself a mesh laundry bag. It folds up flat and will fit right into your overnight bag. And then you’re not standing in your hotel room wondering if a hotel-trash-can-sized garbage bag will hold all your dirty clothes.

– Do yourself a favor and pack a small cooler with snacks, healthy(ish) food and bottles of water. Stopping and eating all the time or eating gas station junk food can lead to all sorts of gastrointestinal upset. Ask me how I know this.

In a few days I’ll put up some vacation photos…including some ghost town pics. Don’t miss it!