Preparing Myself for a Road Trip

I leave for Canada and Alaska in just over two weeks.  The time has been zooming by and I feel unprepared, especially since I’m going to be gallivanting around Portland this weekend (another post about that soon).

I already mentioned how I’m preparing my car and my dogs for our upcoming road trip through Canada and Alaska.  It’s about time I mention what I’ll be bringing for myself.

Some Trip Details

I don’t have all the logistics worked out and to be honest I’ll probably be “winging” a lot of this trip and planning as I go.  What I do know is that I’m leaving on May 11th (hopefully at noon) and I have to be in Wasilla, Alaska by May 16th (showered and ready for family photos at 5:00 pm).  The trip there will be grueling, but I’m hoping to have a more relaxing drive back home.

I’ve decided to drive the Stewart-Cassiar Highway (aka The Cassiar) to Alaska and the Alaska Highway home.  Technically The Cassier doesn’t go all the way, so I’ll hit parts of the Alaska Highway on the way to Alaska as well.  I’ve planned my stops along the way, but they are subject to change based on how I feel.

Date Starting Point Ending Point Duration


5/11 Bellevue, WA Cache Creek, BC 5 hours 51 minutes


5/12 Cache Creek, BC Fraser Lake, BC 8 hours


5/13 Fraser Lake, BC Dease Lake, BC 11 hours 15 minutes


5/14 Dease Lake, BC Whitehorse, YT 9 hours 26 minutes


5/15 Whitehorse, YT Tok, AK 8 hours 33 minutes


5/16 Tok, AK Wasilla, AK 5 hours 15 minutes


    GRAND TOTAL 2 days, 0 hours, 0 minutes


Note:  My plan is to get up early each day so that I have time in each location to relax and sightsee.

My Packing List

Back to the subject at hand…how I’m preparing myself for this road trip.  I like to start any trip with a little pampering.  It’s a habit I started a few years ago and I LOVE it.  The weekend before I leave, I’ll be getting a manicure and pedicure.  I know…it has nothing to do with traveling, but it makes me feel good, so why not.

I created my packing list based on traveling to Alaska in the spring/autumn.  Winter and summer will require different lists, which I hope to share in the future.  I prepared my list as if I was flying even though this particular trip will keep my feet/tires firmly planted on the ground.

Alaska (Spring/Autumn) Packing List

Additional Road Trip Packing List

In addition to my regular packing list, I also created a list of items I will be bringing along because I can.  There are huge advantages to having the luxury of a car.  It allows bringing just about anything.  I attempted to be logical and not bring too much.

Additional Road Trip Packing List

Bank and Credit Card Notification

Probably one of the most important steps before I leave will be notifying my bank and credit card companies.  They’ll want to know where I’m going and how long I’ll be gone.  I can’t stress how important this is.

I’ve forgotten this notification in the past and when I tried to fill my car up with gas my credit card was declined.  Fortunately it was a couple of days into that particular road trip and I was in a reasonably populated town in Colorado.  I was able to quickly resolve the problem with a phone call, but had I been in a remote location (maybe without cell phone service) it could have been a real problem.

I take it a step further than I have to by notifying all my banks/credit cards.  Even if I don’t plan to use the card, a last minute issue could change everything.  It’s no extra work to notify them all and could be worth it.

Kinley as My Co-Pilot
Kinley as My Co-Pilot