My Journey To Mount Rushmore

My Journey To Mount Rushmore

Most of my recent travels have been to smaller, lesser known destinations like Greenville, South Carolina, and a random, rural town in southern Illinois. As much as I enjoyed experiencing those places, I was beyond excited when my Godmother invited me to come along on a trip to Mount Rushmore.

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A Weekend In Greenville, SC

Just a five and a half hour drive from Nashville, Greenville is the perfect choice for a couple and their dog to spend a quick weekend. I hadn’t been to South Carolina yet, so it allowed me to check a state off my list for my 50 States By 25 goal, and it’s close enough that we were able to drive up on a Friday night, see the city, and head home on Sunday afternoon.

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Packing a Small Car

I’ve done enough moving and road trips in my Honda Accord enough times to call myself an expert in the art of packing small cars (and leaving enough room so you can see out of the back windshield).

It really is like a game of Tetris and I have to thank my parents and friends for playing with me.

Here are some tricks that I wish I had known sooner:

  1. Stuff smaller shoes like flats into bigger shoes like boots. You can also stuff boots and shoes with things like scarves, socks, hats, etc.
  2. SPACE SAVER BAGS – don’t overfill them because it will end up defeating the purpose,  but they will be life savers if you use them right.
  3. If it all possible, don’t use suitcases. They’re bulky and take up space that could be used for something else. If you have to, ROLL, DON’T FOLD!
  4. If you have the ability to take out your back seats and leave them behind, do that. If not, leave them UPRIGHT so they create a sort of shelf for any boxes/stackable items. They also serve as a general sight line for your back windshield view.
  5. Stuff any pillows/blankets/extra clothing in the spaces between the doors and back seats. Use plastic bags to protect them. This is also a good space for books.
  6. Don’t overlook the seat back pockets for books, movies, socks, anything else you can squeeze in there.
  7. Things usually kept in your trunk (first aid kits, ice scrapers, jumper cables, etc.) can be moved to the floor of the front seat so that the trunk can be left for bigger things to lie down.
  8.  If your glove box and other closed compartments aren’t already full, fill them. It’s easy to forget those spots exist.
  9. Find things to clip important documents to the sun visors. It’s one less thing to shove into the glove box.
  10. This might be an obvious one, but pack all the big things first. You never know what little crevices your bigger items will create. Then you can fill them in with all your little knick-knacks.


Most important tip: Nothing you’re trying to bring with you is worth sacrificing the safety that comes with being able to see out of the back window.

Safe travels, friends.

Packing For a Cruise

Cruises are probably the most difficult trips to pack for. In most cases, you have to fly to the port that you are leaving from, so you have to pack lightly to get all your stuff on the plane. Plus, your state room on the ship is probably going to be the size of your bathroom at home.

Putting size to the side, you have to bring formal wear on a cruise. Well, maybe you don’t HAVE to, per say, but you do if you want to dine in the formal dining room on certain nights – especially if you choose a seven day cruise or longer.

Then, whether you’re taking a December cruise to Alaska or a July cruise to Bermuda, you’ll want to bring enough bathing suits for every day on the ship (hot tubs are usually a thing).

The same goes for the amount of outfits you bring. You’re not going to have a chance to do laundry.

Given all of this, here is the list I use for a seven day warm weather cruise. Note that this is based on my experiences with several Royal Caribbean cruises and one Disney cruise. Feel free to download it (link below) and adjust it accordingly.

If you’re looking for something new to bring, consider this awesome t-shirt.

Packing for a 7-Day Cruise

Category Item #
Clothing Casual Top 7
Clothing Casual Bottom 7
Clothing Exercise Gear 2 to 3
Clothing Semi-Formal 2
Clothing Formal 2
Clothing PJs No more than 7
Clothing Underwear 10 to 12
Clothing Bathing Suit 3 to 5
Clothing “Cover Up” 1
Shoes Casual 2
Shoes Semi-Formal 1
Shoes Formal 1
Shoes Flip-Flops 1
Shoes Sneakers 1
Accessories Makeup As little as possible
Accessories Jewlery As little as possible
Accessories Hair As little as possible
Accessories Shower Only what you wouldn’t find in a hotel
Accessories Purse 1 Small – you won’t need to carry much
Accessories Sunglasses You can buy sunscreen on the ship
Other Leisure Books 2
Other Laptop Unnecessary unless you will use it w/o wifi
Other Headphones 1
Other Money Remember that purchases made on the ship will go straight to your account (no cash or card accepted)
Other iPod if your music isn’t on your phone
Other Camera/GoPro Unless your phone is your camera
Other Texting App if you don’t have an iphone and don’t have wifi

Things to absolutely not bring:

  1. Towels – unnecessary and space consuming. Trust me, they have plenty (even for when you leave the ship and go to the beach).
  2. The obvious – anything dangerous or flammable. You will walk through a metal detector every time you enter or leave the ship.
  3. Anything valuable – when you board the ship, you hand over your luggage and it is delivered to your door. Unless you overly trust the other guests, I wouldn’t recommend, say, leaving your diamond earrings in an outside pocket.
  4. Food – there is absolutely no reason to bring any food with you. Obviously, if you have any medication or supplements that you need with you, add those to your list. The ship will meet any dietary need you may possibly have. Their food supply is incredible.
  5. Your Hawaiian shirt – Just kidding. Kind of. This is the one time where it might be acceptable.


As always, contact me if you have any questions by visiting the “About” page!