Load up the day before.
For example, we like to get the bikes put up on the back of the trailer the evening before. It makes one less thing to do in the morning. Get your vehicle gassed up as well. It stinks to get started in the morning only to have to stop for fuel.
Predetermine a Starting Time.
Know the day before what time you want to leave, so you can do a countdown to when you need to get up. This allows you to pace yourself throughout the morning. It also gives you the ability to manage expectations. This is especially important if traveling with other families. Everyone seems to get ready at different speeds, so it is nice to know a targeted departure time.
Use a Checklist.
This is indispensable when you are first starting out. We wrote an indoor routine and an outdoor one on index cards. I clipped the indoor one (my responsibility) to a magnetized clip and kept in on my oven hood. Every time we moved, I went through that list. Hubby kept the outside list somewhere – well – outside.
- Turn off air conditioner/heater
- Vents closed
- Windows closed
- Antennae down
- Cabinets and refrigerator firmly closed
- Refrigerator switched to gas
- Clothing drawers bungeed shut
- Dog food and water picked up
- Garbage can moved to shower
- Water heater switched off
After we had been on the road awhile, one morning I decided I didn’t need the list. As we were pulling out of the campground, a lady by the office started yelling at us and waving her arms. Sure enough, I had forgotten that darn antennae. Actually, I did not see it get put up, so I did not think it needed to get put down. Use your list.
Prepare Lunch Ahead of Time.
At least, know what you are going to have and make sure you have enough on hand. Otherwise, you will end up eating at a fast food joint or worse – gas station food. Ugh. That is a great way to relieve your wallet of some of that green stuff.
This year we had not planned ahead for our first day on the road. We had been too busy with family obligations and packing up the rv. When we finally got driving, we only got about 15 miles down the road to the local Taco Bell because everyone was starving.
I tried to be somewhat healthy and ordered a taco salad. It was nasty – I don’t recommend them. The shell tasted rancid, like the oil used to cook it had not been changed for a while. That day we ended up eating out for dinner too and basically blew 60 bucks on crappy food for the day.
Take Your Time.
We plan on no more than 3-4 hours on the road, or about 200 miles. We try to be off the road by 3:00, 4:00 at the latest. Most of the accidents and traffic happen after that time.
Plus, if you drive late, you leave yourself no room for trouble. I didn’t mind traveling in the dark before we had kids, but now am a lot more conservative. We give ourselves space for things not going as planned by getting off the road early. Service stations are still open and it is a lot easier to back into a site during the day.
Also, if the campground you had planned on is unsuitable or not open, you still have time to get further down the road before it gets too late.
It is worth your time to figure out a routine for your moving days. By being prepared and following these 5 top tips for moving day, you will be off to a good start.