Packing for a road trip in California can be a bit tricky. I suppose that goes for any destination or road trip but I know this to be true from much experience on California road trips. The weather can be quite varied, especially if you’re going from inland to a beach city or the mountains, and so on.
I did so many trips up and down California when I was in my formative years that I’ve lost track of how many exactly.
I remember my middle sister and I going on our trip with or parents to see the Sequoia National Forest when I was a surly pre-teen. I went up to Sacramento twice to visit family around the same time period. My family went on several trips to visit my brother in Washington when I was in junior high and high school. Most were by plane, but I once road-tripped it up with my parents in a car.
The year I graduated high school, my oldest sister also graduated college, and my aunt took us on a road trip up California as a gift. We went as far as Santa Cruz, and then back down from there.
The most recent road trip I was on was about two years ago when one of my aunts drove us from Covina, California to Boise, Idaho, by way of the 5 freeway to the 80, if I’m remembering correctly. We went up California with a stop near Berkeley, through Nevada with a stop in Reno, zoomed past Oregon and into Idaho.
Before I go on what may be my 7th California road trip, I thought I would share some of the packing tips with you.
Pack for adventures
The unexpected may happen. I’m not the most active person when I’m at home. But on vacation, I do more. I’ll go on long walks, short runs, impromptu bike rides, or even raft along a river. So, I always, always take running shoes, active wear, and a swim suit with me on every trip.
Plan an outfit for a nice place
My road trips don’t require me to be fancy most of the time, but I like to bring along at least one nice pair of shoes and either a skirt or dress. I might decide to go to church with family or to a wine bar with some young people. I wouldn’t want to only have shorts, jeans, t-shirts and Vans.
Keep the weather in mind
On that road trip to Boise I mentioned, it started raining not long after my aunt and I had arrived at the Donner Memorial State Park. I was wearing a skirt, t-shirt, and flip flops. Thankfully, I had a sweatshirt and umbrella in the car.
I find layers are key for me when traveling. I like to pack leggings and scarves on road trips even though I don’t wear them often at home because they are great for layering. I also like to bring thin long sleeve shirts that can be worn oven tank tops. The weather can be hard to predict, so it’s good to be prepared.