There’s nothing more characteristically summer-ish than a road trip with friends, family, or in the company of just yourself for a change. The freedom of taking your car wherever you please is a feeling like no other. Whether it’s a two or ten hour drive, I’ve been on my share of road trips. In the spirit of summer, I thought you guys would love some tips to elevate your road tripping game.
The first tip I have is to pack smart. On a road trip, it matters where you put certain items in the car. It’s a lot easy when you know where everything is as opposed to having everything thrown in the car. When packing my car for the trip, there are certain items I’ll keep in the trunk and certain items that I’ll keep within reach. All luggage and overnight bags, or camping equipment, goes in the trunk. In the back seat I’ll throw in a small pillow and blanket along with these next three essentials.
Not only does it save money and time, but packing your own snacks also usually ends up being healthier than grabbing fast food on the road. It’s also nice to have food already in your car so you don’t have to worry about finding a restaurant to stop at. I would throw in some cold packs as well. Some of my absolute favorite snacks are pistachios, pre-popped popcorn, cherries, apples, cheese sticks, bananas, and some kind of chocolate (yes we all gotta treat ourselves, we’re on a vacation after all!). Make sure to also pack lots of drinks such as water, Gatorade lemonade, etc. (I like to throw in some protein bars too just in case.)
After being on the road for a few hours, it can sometimes get pretty boring. Before I started dedicating one specific bag for entertainment, it always seemed like the one thing I wanted was always in the trunk. When you have an entertainment bag within reach, you know whatever you want will always be in there. No more scouring the car and climbing over seats to find that one magazine in that one bag. I always try to include my headphones, laptop, book, camera, camera accessories, charging cables, and a deck of cards.
Car Maintenance Bag
While it’s not the most glamorous part of packing, it might just be the most important. When you’re on a road trip your car becomes a necessity. There’s nothing worse than having car trouble when you’re 10 miles from the nearest town, or it’s pitch black outside, etc. Packing a small maintenance bag will help fix those possible problems in a fraction of the time. In my bag I pack a flashlight, extra batteries, a tire inflator, jumper cables, and a little extra cash for emergencies if you run out of gas.
While the entertainment bag will keep passengers busy, I recommend making a road trip specific playlist to keep the entire car happy. I usually keep a road trip playlist on my Spotify all year round and whenever I hear a perfect song, I’ll add it on Spotify. This way, there is always an updated playlist all ready to go (one less thing to worry about when you’re packing the car!). I tend to go for a mix of classic songs that everyone can sing along to and also indie songs that keep the vibe calm and happy. If you want to listen to my personal road trip playlist, check it out here
This next tip isn’t very exciting but it’s definitely an essential. Make sure you have a trash bag in the back seat and a few extras in the trunk for later. With so much stuff packed inside a single car, it can sometimes seem overwhelming. Throughout the initial drive the car will usually be kept clean but trash will start piling up as the trip goes on. Something as simple as having a trash bag to keep all the trash in one spot will make the car feel more organized and spacious.
My fourth and final road trip tip is to see where the road takes you. Some of the best memories are from those spontaneous stops on the side of the road or in a small town you happen to drive through. Before you leave, have an ultimate end point but don’t be afraid to take some temporary detours along the way. Full the car with gas, hop in, and see where you end up. Happy road tripping!