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othing says “summer” like a good road trip, and they are definitely one of my favorite seasonal pastimes. It’s not quite summer yet (even though the few 80 degree weekends we’ve already have almost have me fooled) but it’s definitely time to start planning. NP and I are hitting the road in a few weeks to visit our grandparents in the Mitten, so I thought I’d share a few of my road trip essentials today!
Organization is paramount when you’re on a long haul trip. There’s nothing worse than having to fish your phone out from between the seat and the door when it slips off your lap at 70mph on the highway, so it’s important to have easy access and give everything its own place. I have one of these helpful little friends to help me keep tabs on my phone and easily be able to see my GPS map. It’s also great to utilize any nooks and crannies your car has in order to stash things you need easy access to – your wallet for a gas station stop, or Kleenex and meds you might need along the way.
For a long time, I didn’t have a phone charger that worked reliably. I finally got one recently ($5 at Target checkout, holla!) but I would instead use my juice pack. I have a Jackery External Battery and it’s compact, portable, and holds two full charges. It does take awhile to recharge, though, so I plug it in overnight next to my door so I remember to grab it on my way out!
Of course, you have to have the basics: plenty of snacks! I always keep my car stocked with boxed water, snacks, and the saving grace of my last marathon drive to Michigan – Surge! I also make sure to start the trip off right and make a Shakeology shake as I’m leaving the house so I have energy and nutrients for the drive. My snack bag is always stocked with trail mix and snack size chocolate bars when my sweet tooth kicks in, but almonds, carrots, apples and peanut butter are always along for the ride as well.
No matter what, I am always freezing cold. (Unless I’m parked next to a pool in a bikini with a fruity drink in my hand, anyway.) I’ve taken to always having a blanket with me – if I’m working from an office, if I’m at a friend’s house, I just like to be prepared. For road trips, that means my trusty Snuggie gets taken along. (I can even wear it if I’m cold while driving…… not that I ever have.)
Over the last year I’ve really been getting into apps more and more – some of my favorite travel ones are GasBuddy, which will tell you where the cheapest gas in your area is, and Along the Way, which shows you fun attractions on your route. As far as GPS, I much prefer Google Maps over Waze or Apple Maps. Apparently Waze is much improved since being bought by Google, and I do love the collaborative nature of it (the accident notifications were great,) but I used it twice on long-distance trips and both times it took me a significant distance out of my way, so I just stick to straight Google Maps now. Don’t leave home without a great plan (I’m partial to this “Ultimate” road trip of my home state) and of course, you have to have the perfect playlist!
If your primary mode of travel this summer is by airplane, you can still have a great road trip! Relay Rides offers airport car rental so you can get where you’re going on vacation in style.