You're trying to get away, relax, and let the worries of the daily grind melt into the wide-open sky. There is something that could wreck those plans before you've even reached your destination, however: a cluttered car. A messy vehicle can increase stress and tension, says Julie Morgenstern, author of When Organizing Isn't Enough, Shed Your Stuff, Change Your Life. To avoid a trash pile in the back seat (and squabbles over the mess), toss garbage into a designated trash tote. Empty it at each rest stop to prevent overflow and funky smells from food wrappers.
Once you've cleared your car of trash and organized your trunk, do you think your car is road-trip worthy? Maybe not yet. A recent study out of England found that the average car has nearly 300 types of bacteria in just one square inch. (Yuck!) Wipe down all surfaces with an antibacterial wipe, and vacuum carpeted areas. And wash hands often on the road. "I use hand sanitizer after visiting the gas station. Hundreds of people before you have held those gas pumps and opened the doors," says Cara Dennis, an expectant mother from North Las Vegas.