Spring is ever so slowly makes it's way to us. We've still had snow, but more often than not, it's puddles instead of ice on the ground. I love that the warmer weather is starting to show it's beautiful face around here because that means road trip season is upon us! Road trip season is pretty limited in the Midwest so that means that once it's warm enough to roll the windows down (sometimes even with the heat on my feet!), I'm in the car and ready to go with our pups.
I grew up taking countless road trips with my parents so it was only natural to carry on that tradition when Nathan and I met. I love sitting in the passenger seat with my shoes off, he likes driving around and pretending he knew where he is so we're obviously a match made in heaven, right? Regardless of that being the perfect match or not, I'm sharing my top ten road trip essentials with you today! And if you're looking for more travel tips, check out these travel posts!
GOOD MUSIC OR AUDIOBOOKS | This one is so crucial to me. While Nathan and I do love having long, important conversations in the car, good music is key for those other moments. I'm a big fan of pop, rock, and 80's music – pretty much anything I can sing along with. Acoustic and jazz put me to sleep in the car so I always opt for something more upbeat. Some of my favorite songs include:
- Journey – Don't Stop Believin'
- Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
- Tenacious D – Tribute
- Golden Earring – Radar Love
- B-52's – Roam
- Maroon 5 – Maps
- Bastille – Pompeii
- Third Eye Blind – Semi-Charmed Life
- Sara Bareilles – Brave
- Florence + The Machine – Dog Days Are Over
- Modest Mouse – Float On
- White Snake – Here I Go Again
- Kings of Leon – Use Somebody
SNACKS | What's a good road trip without snacks, right?! My favorites are cheese and nuts, especially pistachios as they keep me busy. If we've had a chance to get them ahead of time, I'm a HUGE fan of any of the GoPicnic meals. My favorite one is the hummus one, but all the ones I've tried have been delicious. They're super easy to eat in the car (or on a plane!) or even to take to a picnic table at a park on your trip. They don't require refrigeration either which is a bonus for road trips.
BEVERAGES | Beverages are a must-have for any road trip for me, but they're especially important if we're driving during the night and I need to be awake. There's something about regularly drinking something (even water) that keeps me much more awake. I love bringing water and making tea on the road. One of my favorites to make is the Celestial Seasonings Peach Tea. A little bonus is that is has a small amount of caffeine and since I'm easily affected by caffeine, a little goes a long way.
GPS OR MAPS | We don't always use it, but I pretty much always have our GPS or a map handy. Do you know how many times I had the luxury of being taken on the “scenic route” because of a missed turn? No? Me neither. But it's more than I can count. Most of the time, we end up where we need to be no problem. But there's always that one time when you're not prepared and you end up in the middle of the country when you should be in the middle of downtown.
SLIP-ON SHOES | Okay, so maybe this isn't an essential for everyone, but it definitely is for me. I loathe wearing shoes in general so confining my feet for hours on end is pretty much hell for me. (I do keep my shoes on in a plane though. For the most part. Okay, unless I have socks on and then they have free range.) I'm also known to stick my feet out the window if we're on a slow enough road where I'm not fearful that I'll have a smushed bug on them when I pull them back in.
BLANKETS | I can't seem to maintain a normal temperature on road trips and I also am prone to carsickness if it's too warm so blankets are a must-have. I love cranking up the AC and regulating my temperature with a blanket. A pillow is another good addition if you're lucky enough to be able to nap in a vehicle.
CAMERA | I love taking photos on road trips whether we're in the car or not. And I always have it handy because I never know when I'm going to have an awesome photo opportunity. Some of my favorite photos from our trip to California were from a random scenic overlook where I fed squirrels Cheetos.
BABY WIPES OR MAKE-UP WIPES | These are life-savers for those long trips where you need to freshen up, but don't plan on showering any time soon. I've done many wipe-downs with these and while they may not scrub the dirt clean like soap and water, they're excellent easy substitutes. Your fellow passengers will thank you as well.
EMERGENCY KIT : FOR YOUR CAR | You never know what will happen on road trips so doing a little preparation and making sure you can handle some car problems before you go is always an awesome idea. My car knowledge is lower than my sports knowledge so I opted for something already put together like this Emergency Road Assistant Kit, but you can easily make your own, too!
EMERGENCY KIT : FOR YOU | This could include a ton of things depending on where you're going and for how long you'll be there. Extra medications (or extra deodorant if you're me), first aid kit, cell-phone charger, hand sanitizer, motion sickness pills, toilet paper (for the rest-stops that may not be as well-equipped!), etc. I like to overpack and bring enough things for an entire army to survive off of for a week it seems, but I doubt you need to go that far.
do you have any road trip essentials?
or any must-listen to songs while you're on the road?
If you want to prepare for your road trip even further, check these out: