A Travel Manifesto

The Yolo Babes:

Love this! What’s your travel manifesto?



I will see the world with wonder, with gratitude, with respect.
I will strive to stay, though ever moving, right in the happy middle: the intersection of longing and contentment. I will not close my eyes to the harsh realities of life and will endeavor to respond with compassion and action, but I will keep my rose-colored glasses on hand, in my carry-on, and remember to count my blessings.

I will not count how many countries I’ve been to, though I don’t think poorly of people who do. I will try to resist the temptation to count because I don’t want the number to be my motivation. I don’t want to travel just to tick a place off a list. I don’t want to say: “My name is X and I have been to Y out of Z countries,” though there’s really nothing wrong with that. I…

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20 Essentials for Any Road Trip

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!

20 Essentials for Any Road Trip


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

#50DaysofTravel Contest!

#50DaysofTravel Contest / The Yolo Babes To get pumped with us for our next big trip, hashtag your favorite, wanderlust-inspiring pictures on Instagram with #50DaysofTravel through June 18th!

The finalists will be entered in a drawing for a road trip essentials pack assembled by yours truly, and the winner’s photo will be featured on both our site and Instafeed, so get gramming! Just share where your love for travel comes from and make sure you follow us to be eligible.

Carisa, Crystal & Hannah

10 Things People Always Hashtag with #Roadtrip

10 Things People Always Hashtag with #Roadtrip

It’s no secret that we love Instagram. In fact, sometimes going through the world’s #roadtrip pictures literally makes our day. You people are constantly inspiring us with the adventurous, creative, and occasionally insane stunts you pull off all in the name of a cool picture. So this week, we’re sharing with you the golden 10 types of pictures we always find in the feed.

1. The driving selfie.
Please, never snap and drive.10 Things People Always Hashtag with #Roadtrip
2. Unhealthy breakfast choices.
Apparently redbull and chips are the standard.10 Things People Always Hashtag with #Roadtrip
3. Cheesy quotes.
It’s the thought that counts.

10 Things People Always Hashtag with #Roadtrip

4. Sunsets.
Overdone and we still love it.
5. Their dogs.
Because look how cute he is in the backseat!10 Things People Always Hashtag with #Roadtrip

6. Their babies.
To be fair, if we had nuggets as cute as yours in the backseat we probably couldn’t stop taking pictures either.10 Things People Always Hashtag with #Roadtrip
7. Signs and tourist sights.
Literally, every single one.10 Things People Always Hashtag with #Roadtrip

8. Maps.
On maps on maps.10 Things People Always Hashtag with #Roadtrip

9. Questionable music choices.
Some are truly great. Others, we worry for.10 Things People Always Hashtag with #Roadtrip

10. Jumping shots.
Because why not?10 Things People Always Hashtag with #Roadtrip

Don’t forget to join the 1,600 people already following us on Insta!

Photo credits: @lyssmance, @adre4506, @kaitlinalexandra, @fabiolusus, @raisemeupmississippisouth, @pmc_photography13, @georgiegaynor, @blueflint, @banuushh, @rach573, @withintherose, @ashleighhh0317, @georgialgray, @grownaturally, @infinitymirror, @robsangre, @carrieqberry, @jawsraver, @emicka, @lindsayrussel13

Always Make Time for the Road

Always Make Time For The Road
Road trips seem to encompass all that I believe and love about living. On road trips, I learn about different lifestyles, find beauty in all kinds of places, get to know my friends better, meet new people, share stories, eat delicious food, experience new things daily, make the best out of difficult situations, live spontaneously and enjoy the present moment. This all sounds pretty cheesy, but road trips give me everything I want out of life: love, discovery, relationships, adventure, knowledge, beauty, and excitement.

Always Make Time For The RoadThere’s so much more to see and experience while driving than in an airplane. While I love flying and seeing the formations of the clouds or the miniature landscape below, I find it’s much more enjoyable to gaze up at the clouds while driving across endless stretches of land. I can take a break, stretch my legs, dance whenever I want! You can’t very well belt your heart out to “Benny and the Jets” on Jet Blue now, can you? Out on the open road we can talk freely with friends, sing for hours on end, make up silly stories until our voices go hoarse. Driving somewhere new allows you the freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want, and that’s something worth traveling for.

Road trips are one of those things that make me automatically happy. No matter where I am going or who I am with, road trips are guaranteed to bring excitement and unforgettable memories. This is why the Yolo Babes make it a point to go on a road trip every year. Each trip reminds us of the lifestyle we love to live and never fails to put our own lives into perspective. No matter how our lives may change, how busy we get, or how far apart we live, I know we will forevermore be connected through our travels and vow to always make time for the road.


Epic, Life-Changing Trips on a College Budget

Epic, Life-Changing Road Trips on a College Budget // yolobabes.comIf you’re checking out our site or Instagram hopefully we’ve inspired you to start planning a grand trip of your own. So how do we do it? Three words: BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET.

GAS. For a big trip, you’re gonna need money for gas. There’s no avoiding it. If you can borrow someone’s hybrid you could probably save half your budget right there, but unfortunately we’re fans of hitting the road in our favorite truck that gets less than stellar gas mileage. So what do we do? BUDGET FOR IT. Save up those nickels and dimes until you have a good chunk of change and then you know you’re ready for the next step.

**For reference, for our big trips between the three of us we’ll spend somewhere from $400-800. Obviously, this depends on the distance you’ll be traveling and the number of people coming with. The bigger the group, the lower the costs (just make sure you pick the right people).

Our road trip routes are based off of two very important things:

  1. Where we want to go and
  2. Who we know we can stay with along the way

Epic, Life-Changing Road Trips on a College Budget // yolobabes.comLODGING. Staying with people you know can literally save you hundreds. You might’ve seen some of our tips to being good guests in our videos, but have trouble thinking of who you can even stay with in the first place. Get your group together and brainstorm. Where do you have family? Close friends? Friends you’d like to visit you haven’t in a while? Friends that moved out of state? If you’re still stuck when it comes to a certain area, have friends and family ask around. The world’s not that big a place. Somebody must know someone. And if it just so happens they don’t, camping’s always a fun, low-dough option.

Epic, Life-Changing Road Trips on a College Budget // yolobabes.comChoose your hosts wisely.  Ideally, they know the area really well and can point you in the right direction, making sure you do the important things as a tourist in their area. Hopefully they have an extra bed or couch, but hey, don’t be picky. Bring your sleeping bag if you have to. Bring a tent you can pitch. YOU’RE A ROAD TRIPPER NOW. Road trippers don’t whine because they have to sleep on the floor, or it’s the middle of summer and there’s no ac. They profusely thank their hosts and shower them with adorable gifts and hand-written notes. Be gracious and they might just throw in a hot breakfast, apples for the road or coupons to some awesome local attraction. Never underestimate the power of staying with a good host, or being a good guest.

Most importantly, BE OPEN MINDED. You may want to spend the night in the city but if you have a good friend an hour beyond it that’s willing to open up their home for you, go for it. Save your hotel money for eating out. You’ll need it.

Epic, Life-Changing Road Trips on a College Budget // yolobabes.comFOOD. This is where it gets a little tricky. Many people have written about what it takes to eat cheaply on the road and honestly, they’re probably better experts on it than we are. This all depends on how much you’re willing to spend. If the answer is next to zero, you’d better get ready for a lot of pb&j sandwiches and pretzels. If the answer is a little bit more than that, stock up on the cheap (but healthy) snacks and get ready to eat those things for 1-3 meals a day. If everyone brings their own food back, you’ll have some stuff to share, some of your own favorite foods, and even if you don’t have the time or money to stop for a real dinner you’ll survive. But please eat. Half the adventure is going somewhere you’ve never been before and seeing what it’s like. Thai food in Las Vegas? Yes please. Hint: We use Yelp a lot.

SOUVENIRS. Remember, college budget. Don’t go splurging on some ridiculous memento you’re just going to throw out in a couple years. Use your money for something that’s meaningful. Something you’ll actually use. Something you’ll look at and smile every time thinking of the crazy adventure you went on to find this thing. Don’t be afraid to spend money, but do spend wisely. You’ll regret the beautiful necklace you didn’t get but not the sweatshirt.

Epic, Life-Changing Road Trips on a College Budget // yolobabes.com
1Epic, Life-Changing Road Trips on a College Budget // yolobabes.comOUTINGS.
This is an adventure, after all. There will be excursions you feel the need to go on the get the full experience, and you will do some of them just to say you did. But also, be creative. Sure, you could spend $50 on lift tickets for a nice hike to the top, but maybe you’ll have just as great a time doing the $15 hour and a half of stand up paddle boarding. Or don’t spend any money at all and opt for a self-guided sight-seeing tour, or a hike if you’re in a scenic area. Have a mini-dance party to let loose. Paint Rite-Aid shoes and throw them in a tree. Stop and take 100 pictures of you guys by putting it on timer. This is your trip. You can do whatever the heck you want. Remember that.

Good luck out there, don’t blow all your savings, and let us know where we should go next!

xoxo, the babes

Embrace Spontaneity on the Road

Embrace Spontaneity on the Road
I don’t exactly consider myself a perfectionist because of my usual clumsy and dorky ways, but scheduling and planning for our road trips has become a significant half-year of preparation that leaves me boiling in excitement for the adventures to come. And even though we know our itinerary for each day, I am learning that much of the road trip is not planned, and therefore invites the spontaneity of life. It is these spontaneous moments that I live for; whether it be deciding to go paddle boarding in a lake instead of hiking like we planned, or a hot spring swim in Utah, or going a day without dinner so we could keep driving, rather than having that delicious meal I was daydreaming about in the back seat.  These moments challenge me to embrace them as a unique experience, instead of getting caught up by the fact that not everything is going as planned. Because of this mindset, even though I don’t get to experience every opportunity each state offers in the amount of time we have, it gives me a reason to return one day. It’s exciting knowing I have a whole life to live and endless new adventures to go on.

Attitude really is everything.  I could either feel disappointed and incomplete over the missed experiences or I could feel proud, thankful, and inspired by recognizing the many dreams and goals I have in life. I have also learned that living spontaneously is based on decisions: the decision to take initiative, the decision to value your present feeling, the decision to act upon your present desire, the decision to embrace the present moment.  Every day of this road trip is helping me to practice living in the present moment, to learn more about the world outside of California, and to embrace this close friendship I have with two of my best friends, who by the way are some of the most inspiring dream-driven individuals that encourage me to make the most out of my life. To live in the moment. To welcome the spontaneous. To embrace change. To grow. And to dream on.

Love Always,