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ROAD TRIP PREP! Packing, Driving + What's In Our Car!

ROAD TRIP PREP! Packing, Driving + What's In Our Car!

Hi Guys!

We’re in the home stretch now with about 1 day out from our move to Houston and we are feeling the heat. (would be literal, but Houston is actually flooded right now.)

With our journey fast approaching, I thought I’d give you all the juicy details as to what in the world we’re doing over here!

Our move is broken down into a few different chunks for us, with the first part being moving out of our home base in Cincinnati and driving up to Columbus and staying with our families until it’s go time, and this part happened this past Wednesday. The second half being this coming Tuesday, when we actually start the drive down south.

Today I thought I’d let you guys have the scoop on all things R O A D T R I P as we get ready to head to our new home + addressing a lot of talking points that you all have been asking about in regards to the “how” of our trip.

Hopefully hearing what our plans are and what we’re doing might help any of you doing a super long road trip or move like this anytime soon!


Okay this one is kind of a crap shoot if we’re being honest. Have you ever tried to condense down your 2br/2 bath down to fit in the innards of 1.5 cars? Yeah, me neither.

No but for real, packing this thing has been completely Lance’s reign to be honest. In our marriage I’m the creative half and he’s the logical half, and we’re always balancing each other out in one way or another. With that out in the open, he is 100% better at packing the car. It’s like he can see it and picture where it’ll fit best before he even gets it in there. I have no clue how he does it, but honestly I like that, because he does a lot better job than I think I would. Or that’s what I keep saying to get out of it.

The two biggest tools we’ve utilized during this process were:

  • V A C C U M S E A L E D B A G S. Vacuum sealed bags. T H E S E are legit. We now can fit almost our entire closets in these bags into 1 seat in the Civic (car that’s being shipped) and that is L I F E C H A N G I N G. If you’re moving where every inch of space is valuable, check these out. We found ours at Walmart and paid $37 for about 15 bags ranging from medium-XL and that was the perfect amount for us. Here’s a link to a similar style that I found on Amazon: here that also have a 5% off coupon #win

  • “I M M E D I A T E N E E D S” B I N. I’ve been calling it this but it’s really just our must haves. This bin will be making the drive with us and has just about everything we will absolutely need in the first week of being there, that isn’t too big, or would be necessary to have there immediately. Really this is a huge catch all that I’ll get deeper on later in this post, but it’s helped make sure everything we need makes it down there and isn’t scattered all over.

Let’s be honest here for a second: we have definitely sold, donated, thrown away and stored well over half of all our belongings and are taking no furniture with us (with the exception of a desk lamp if that’s even considered furniture). So we really only had to focus on kitchen items, bathroom items, bedding, dog supplies and minimal decor, followed by what was left of our clothing that fit all of our stipulations. Meaning: items that were currently in season (so no Ohio winter-level-tundra clothes), clothes in good condition that fit, and that weren’t taken to Plato’s closet—which has honestly been an awesome resource for us to make some coin during this process.

W H A T ‘ S I N O U R C A R ?

So first thing’s first:

If you’ve read my previous post about our moving announcement, you’ll know that we’re packing everything we need in between Hubby’s Civic (which is getting shipped + will meet us in TX the following week) and my Corolla. Meaning, all of our needed items will be down there, but only the items in our car will be down there with us immediately since that’s what we’re driving, and all the items in the Civic will be down there shortly after. Hopefully that makes sense.

(I’m only really going to be talking about our car we’re driving down there today, because the car we’re shipping there is just plain and simple packed to the brim.)

In addition to that, in the backseat of my car, we’ll have company: our two huge puppy friends, who will have to get pretty cozy during this trip considering the size of their bodies in relation to the size of the backseat.

Okay here’s what our car will be strapped with (for the most part):

2 suitcases, rubbermaid container with immediate needs + cleaning supplies, small box of kitchen supplies, tote bag with shower + beauty supplies, bag with snacks + drinks, bedding (in a vacuum sealed bag), dog supplies (cage, food, leashes, toys, dog bed + sling hung in backseat), supplements + protein powder, gym bag and random nick knacks that have no other home.

If you’re thinking that there’s no way that can fit in our car: trust me, same. But everything else we’re keeping, daily use items, bedding, towels, kitchen utensils etc, will be in the Civic + be shipped to us within the first week of our arrival—fingers crossed!

So that’s our overview of what all is going on in our compact car, but if you want to know all the details on this Tetris situation; they’re all down below. + in true OL fashion, I’ve broken this down into even more categories. Yawn. We all knew it was coming. Lets continue.


For us this is everything that makes this whole operation run smoothly. Here are some of my favorites:

Phone Holder with Suction Cup base:

Having this thing in my car makes me feel like an Uber driver and feels very nerdy. BUT I’m a horrible driver + honestly need both hands on the wheel as often as possible, so for the price this was my best option. (also this is a comparable model to mine, that I purchased at TJMaxx for under $7)

Travel Neck Pillow:

Contrary to popular belief, these aren’t just useful for airplane travel! I’m not a car sleeper but my husband sure is and he is a huge huge fan of these little things.

Hand Sanitizer + Baby Wipes

Regardless of if you have kids or not, these are two essentials when you’re living out of your car for a couple days. Spills, cleaning up miscellaneous stickyness, wiping doggie paws, taking off makeup, I can’t name something these two heroes can’t accomplish together. Try me.


This is a shoe in, especially if your eyes are as light sensitive as mine. Keep those baby blues or whatever you’re equipped with, from being blinded by the light and bring your favorite sunnies to the party. Linking my all time favorite Ray Bans above that I purchased almost 4 years ago now. They’re amazing and such a deal from the name brand site. BUT any will do to save you from squinting.


Here’s some of my die hard doggie parent supplies for a day in the life of a corolla:

Doggie Backseat Hammock/Cover:

If you’re a dog mama/dad you totally need one of these. If you throw your pups in the back on the daily, or often whatsoever—this is a game changer. I love having this install and detach so easily, where we can throw it in between both cars so easily. Also we wash ours in the washer and have had zero problems with that. Highly highly highly recommend this gadget! (this is a dupe we paid a lot more money for $$$)

Doggie Bags:

TBH we took way too many dog bags from our last apartment complex before moving out, so we’re extremely stocked up on these. Also Kroger bags are a crowd favorite + free alternative to these guys. BUT nevertheless it’s a need when traveling with horse size dogs who also drop horse size poop. Yikes

Dog treats + Chew toys

If you have “tough chewers” like we do, you know any chew toy is pretty much a waste of time since it gets destroyed and inhaled within the same 10 minutes. This long car ride is justifying the little break in their boredom by giving them the occasional toy + treat to help make this ride bearable.

Dog Bowls:

I’ve seen the coolest travel water bottles for dogs to utilize while traveling, but in all honesty I’m not sold that that’ll be enough for my thirsty doggos. SooOooO in stead I’m sticking with regular bowls and shaking them out each time we get back in the car, so yeah do whatever works for you.


I’ve been talking a lot about this guy, so lets dig into this little deeper: this is a huge clear Tupperware container filled to the brim with items we will need right when we arrive to our new home (since everything else is getting shipped), odds and ends we’ll need while driving and cleaning products for the most part

  • Towels, shower liner, shower curtain, shower curtain hooks, wash cloths

  • dish towels, paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning rags, hand soap, dusting fluffy tops and handle, swiffer mini mop thing

  • lysol wipes, dishwasher pods, laundry pods, dryer sheets, brillo pads, dish sponge, scrub daddy, dish liquid (now that I’m typing dish liquid I think I forgot it…..), air wick and pods + febreeze spray (incase it smells closed up)

  • band aids, tylenol, cold medicine, cough drops, neosporin, midol

  • extension cords, multi plug plug ins (you know what I mean), tools, scissors, tape

And I think that’s just about it! We also have a toolbar that’s in this category but just is lumped with it, not actually within it. But that’s really what’s in this bin. In case we need to do laundry, take a shower, tool anything together, (idk) we can 100% do what we need to do to survive with this bin. Or at least I hope I didn’t overlook anything else we need need. Ya know?

At this point we’re going to just cross our fingers and hope we can shut the doors. Maybe we should start visualizing?…….



I have gotten so many questions about our drive down so far, so I thought I’d do a little blurb about the low down on the way down:

  1. We’re splitting our driving up into 2 days, since the drive is roughly 17 hours and 1,100+ miles down there. With the dogs in the back, and hubby and I not having too much long distance driving experience it was unanimous that this would be the best for everyone. Day 1 we’re driving from Columbus to Little Rock, and then day 2 from Little Rock to Houston.

  2. We’re staying in Little Rock overnight, where we’re staying in a pooch friendly Airbnb with a big backyard where the puppies can play and run, and get rid of some of that pent up energy. Thank goodness.

Pretty cut + dry about our drive, but I thought I’d write it down just incase any of you guys were curious too!


Some of the coolest apps I’ve found through my road trip research are here':

  • WAZE: I’m a waze user, lover + fan. I love being able to see how traffic is moving, if there’s a wreck, cop on the shoulder, or the reason for the standstill I’m currently in. Also it’s integrated with Spotify now which is amazing and my favorite thing ever.

  • GAS BUDDY: Unless you live under a rock I’m sure you know about gas buddy. This app has been on my phone since I was a little old freshman in college + trying to pinch those pennies. This app shows you the cheapest gas prices around you, and honestly $.50 a gallon will definitely add up when we’re filling up3-4 times in the matter of two days. Lets not think about that.

  • iEXIT: This guy is so cool. Especially since we're driving a route neither of us have literally ever been in by car, this is going to be a life saver. What this guy does is essentially uses your location to let you know what exits are around you + what they offer. In case of emergency bathroom breaks, gas, food, etc, you can find out what’s by you without waiting and reading exit signs. Genuis.

  • ROADTRIPPERS: I just found this app out through my research for this post and holy moly this might be my new ride or die for this long drive. It shows you route information, integrates music + controls, and most of all shows you cool landmarks, points of interest, restaurants, outdoorsy spots + honestly whatever else you’re looking for. This is such a cool idea + makes planning a road trip way easier than it once was.

  • SPOTIFY: need I say more? I am totally a stan for spotify and listen every single day. Are you team #applemusic or team #spotify?

I’m pumped to test out these apps + let you guys know which ones we actually used while driving and give you our honest opinions on what was awesome + what was not worthwhile during our drive. I can’t believe this move is less than 48 hours away and that I’m actually typing this post. This is so surreal!

Alright friends, I think that just about covers it! I know this post was all over the place, but there’s so many weird aspects to this move that I wanted to clear up and get out there before we took off this Tuesday! If there’s any more moving posts or travel questions you have, send them my way + let’s chat!

In the meantime, I hope you all have an awesome start to your week + I’ll talk to you guys very soon!


OOTD: Easy Breezy Springtime Look

OOTD: Easy Breezy Springtime Look

Favorites Friday: Spring Trends

Favorites Friday: Spring Trends