Tips & Guides

Seven Ways to Save Time Packing


A task a day keeps the stress away. Plan your next trip with seven steps over the course of the seven days leading up to your departure.

Camping season has arrived and you live for the weekend! You get a bad case of the Mondays, struggle to make it through hump day and have been known to repeat “TGIF” in your head and out loud throughout your Friday. When the proverbial 5 o’clock hits you know you’re outta here!

Image: Airstream-Seven-Ways-to-Save-Time-Packing-1-1024x768.jpg

Open road. Quiet spot. Cold beer. Good book. Fishing. Swimming. Hiking. Campfire. Repeat. It’s the perfect summer weekend or vacation. So when quitting time comes you’ve got to be ready. To-do-list finished, itinerary set, and Airstream packed. Busy with your nine-to-five workweek, it can be it tricky to get everything ready without sacrificing any of the upcoming weekend for your big adventure or quite retreat.

Here’s a weekly list to help you manage your trip preparation so you can take full advantage of the weekend for a respite.

Saturday: Tackle Maintenance Checks

Your tow vehicle and your travel trailer need to be in tip-top shape so you can pull out without any hitches. Saturday is a great day to be in the garage giving your vehicle a once-over. Test the battery, top off the fluids, check your tires and breaks, clean the headlights, and make sure your oil is good to go. (Need an oil change? You’ve got all week to sneak it in on your lunch break.) If all systems are GO in your tow vehicle, move to your Airstream. Just like your vehicle, check the tires and any batteries, but also be sure to check your propane levels and generator and inspect any hoses and valves. Should anything come up amiss, you have all week to take care of replacing or fixing anything that needs attention.

Sunday: Finalize Your Itinerary

You’ve been planning your trip for weeks, even months maybe. You know the main route you’ll take and where you’ll camp once you get there, but it’s a good idea to map out your trip in even more detail. We've got a growing list of Airstreamer-approved travel itineraries in our Round Trip series. Or have a look at the curated travel inspiration from our friends at Roadtrippers. You may even want to consider a special destination stop to see some of the sights as you travel. With the family home for the weekend, this is a great time to take everyone’s input and make it a real family trip.

Sunday is also a great day to start your “don’t forget” list. That way, every time throughout the week you think of something you don’t want to forget you have a place to write it down.

Monday: Gather Entertainment

Perhaps you need an audio book for the long car trip, or a good book to read once you get to your destination. Maybe you want a new deck of cards or some different fishing lures. If you’re traveling with kids, be sure to rent some DVDs from the library for the trip and check to ensure the DVD player is in working order. Are there family favorite board games that need to get put in the pack pile – and do they have all their pieces? Will cycling be a part of your adventures and are the bikes all road-tested and ready to ride? Think of all the fun things you’d like to do while you’re camping and make sure you have the supplies you need.

Tuesday: Do the Laundry and Plan Your Menu

Clean underwear and socks, your favorite t-shirt, and shorts all need to be washed and ready to go. Do a few loads of laundry so all your clothes are ready to pack. While you’re tied to the house switching the laundry, plan out your weekend menu. If you have some favorite go-to camping meals, this will be an easy task. If you’re new at camping, or just looking for some inspiration, now is a good time to get on Pinterest and search for some ideas so you can be ready for shopping tomorrow. And don't be afraid to lean into simplicity: Hotdogs over the fire aren’t a cop out – they are a camping must. 

Wednesday: Get Shopping

If you find you need some supplies to make your camping excursion the best it can be, take some time after work to get some shopping done. A quick trip to a big box store can score you just about anything you might be missing: sunscreen, beach towels, bug spray, frisbee, deck of cards, etc. Groceries are important too. Of course, you need s’mores fixings and all your favorite road trip snacks, not to mention food for your meals. It's also a great time to turn on your fridge to ensure that it's cold enough for food when you start to pack the trailer or camper van.

Airstream S'mores Kit in cupboard

Thursday: Pull It All Together

At this point in the week, you're either feeling frenzied with all that’s still left to do, or fanatical with excitement for the trip. Either way, you’ve got to stay the course and keep crossing things off your to-do list. From putting everyone’s clothes in bags to making sure you’re food is stored properly and ready to travel, all your must-haves need to find a spot in your travel trailer or vehicle. Think of it like an adult puzzle when packing it all in.

Airstream Refrigerator Preparation

And be sure to check your “don’t forget list” and gather up anything else you might still need to pack.

Friday: Do Your Happy Dance and Hit the Road

First, you probably have to go to work. But, no matter what kind of day you’re having, quitting time will eventually come. And when it does, you can smile, dance, or sing a little happy song. And then don’t look back as you ride off into your perfect weekend of camping.

Airstream Hitching and Towing Pin

No matter where you’re headed, or how long you’ll be gone, you can use the week before your getaway to do all the planning and preparation you need to ensure your camping adventures make you one “Happy Camper.”