For any road trip, the most important factor isn’t the destination or how long it takes you to get there, but what you make out of the ride. The lovely people at RelayRides inspired us to be part their road trip essentials campaign going on right now and share with you the key things we make sure we bring on every trip, so here goes nothing! If you haven’t heard of them and are young and poor and/or car-less across the country like we are, make sure to check out their rental services before heading on your next adventure!
Hopefully our ideas will give you a good place to start when you go to pack the car, and maybe spark new ones of your own. There are so many ways to make the most of your time on the road, and if you think we missed anything make sure to let us know in the comments!
1. Great people. Having great people along for the ride can single handedly turn a nightmare of a drive into the best time of your life. Make sure you pick the right ones for the trip, whether you need friends who value silence or ones who won’t mind singing at the top of their lungs with you.
2. Great playlists. No matter how long the drive is, great tunes are the backbone next to great people when it comes to epic road trips. If you need some inspiration, check out some of our past road trip playlists on Spotify. Carisa suggests a variety of playlists from more mellow looking out the window ones to dancing in the car or sing-a-longs and we couldn’t agree more. Variety is key.
3. Great snacks. My personal go-tos are red delicious apples and almond cashew flaxseed KIND bars. Crystal’s all about the carrots, grapes, wheat thins and pretzels, and Carisa agrees; Grapes and wheat thins are fun to feed people, while carrots are healthy and great for munching. Plus cookies and sweet potato chips. Oh and oreos, so you can give people dare’s to do for whoever gets the side with least frosting.
4. Drinks on drinks on drinks. It’s easy to forget about staying hydrated on long drives,so make sure you pack a reusable water bottle or your favorite tea or healthy, flavored drink to help keep your energy up.
5. Pillows + blankets. Because getting cozy on a long drive is essential. Take a cue from Crystal and pick up a Mexican wool blanket for the ride.
6. A general itinerary. It’s fun to drive with no destination in mind, but for most of our trips that’s not the case. At least start out with a general itinerary and plan for where you’ll stop along the way and work from there.
7. Some sort of GPS. Getting lost may be the marker of a true adventure but trust us, that’ll most likely happen anyway. GPS or not. Of course you can always ask people for directions along the way, but having some device that can at least tell you where you are is a good start.
8. A camera. As you can probably tell from our Instagram, we love pictures. Make sure you’ve got some sort of device to capture the memories with if inspiration hits you.
9. Chargers. It’s 2014. If you’re not already thinking of packing the chargers for you phone/camera/laptop you’re crazy.
10. Cash. You never know where there will be atms along the way so plan on starting out with a good chunk of cash to help you along. Believe it or not, there are still places that don’t accept card out there.
11. Sunglasses. Driving into the sun is no joking matter, so make sure you bring some cute shades to protect those peepers with.
12. Hand sanitizer. Especially important for right after every time you fuel up. You don’t know who’s touched those things.
13. Bubbles. For traffic/general entertainment. Just make sure it’s legal where you’re going.
14. Layers. Depending on the time of year you’re traveling you’re going to need sweaters, shorts, pants, tops, tanks… the whole nine yards. Pack multipurpose pieces so you can change it up at the opening of a car door.
15. Appropriate shoes. Depening on where you’re going, you might need anything from sneakers to heels to rainboots. Crystal especially recommends flip flops–the easiest to take off for sitting in the back seat.
16. Toothbrush + toothpaste. Fresh breath and good oral hygiene is also pretty important to keep in mind for the trip. It’s easy to feel gross after a couple hours’ drive in the car, so brushing your teeth every now and then can help you feel like a new person.
17. A hairbrush. Because you don’t want to scare people when you stop and get out of the car.
18. Lotion. For some reason car air gets super dry so pack some hydrating lotion to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.
19. Chapstick. A little chapstick also goes a long way for helping you feel refreshed and put-together.
20. Entertainment. Whether it’s an audiobook, guitar or car game ideas, make sure you’ve got something you can pull out when boredom hits. Conversation is a beautiful thing but unfortunately you can only talk for so many hours.
So tell us! What are your road trip essentials?
Hannah, Crystal & Carisa