Summer Road Trip Essentials

 Summer Road Trip Essentials

Right now I am getting prepared for this summer’s road trip, and I while doing so I have created a  list of my Top Ten Road Trip Essentials.  Check it out, and let me know what I’ve missed!

I have packed and repacked a few times to make sure we have what we need without taking everything we own!  I am, in all aspects of the word, an overpacker. So, I’m trying to change that, taking just the essentials.  You know, if an effort to simplify!  In this case, me trying to simplify has made packing up to go down the road a struggle and let me tell you the STRUGGLE is REAL!

Summer has officially started, and that calls for a family road trip. Yay!   Ok, I admit…I don’t like to drive and spending 10+ hours in the car is not necessarily my idea of a good time. BUT,  I absolutely love heading down the road with my family and creating memories.  We have so much fun!  We sing, we laugh, we get on each other’s nerves… it’s a good time!

10. Hello, can you hear me?

Cell Phones, a must have!  They helps us stay connected to family back home, take pics our adventure, help us get from point A to point B and, yes, keep us entertained!  Unfortunately, without the right gear to keep them charged up we are all a little lost!

Here’s my packing list for #10: cell phones, battery chargers (car and wall), GPS ready to go with necessary addresses installed, WAYZ driving app downloaded for road info. in larger cities, AUX cord for music hook up in car, and earbuds for the gym or an outside jog.

9. Tunes!  We be jammin’

Good music is a MUST HAVE!  We try hard to let our 15 year old pick the music, he loads up our iTunes account with his favs and we can all enjoy his jams.  However, when we are over his music…after two or three songs…I kick on Pandora Radio.  Pandora is my absolute favorite thing of all time!  Yes, really – at least for road trip tunes.  My favorite station is Need to Breathe Radio, but everyone can take a pick and we can cruise merrily along choosing different stations by request!  Along with your phone to DJ the music grab an AUX cord or something similar to make sure you can hook your tunes into the car speakers.

8. Summer’s so bright, I gotta wear shades!

I am a contact wearer and feel as though that contributes to my sunglass obsession.  I rarely go outside without them!  It wasn’t until a few years ago I even felt responsible enough to own a “good” pair, but I splurged and bought a pair of Oakley glasses.  I wanted a versatile pair I could wear when I was active.  These were perfect.  But, this year when I needed a new pair I looked for   a pair I could be active in, but also a little more fashionable.  I found these.  I am in LOVE with my Maui Jim sunglasses and will be packing them around all summer.  For Father’s Day I purchased these for my husband, so he can experience the beauty of Maui Jim too!

7. The medicine cabinet, and then some!

When you’re on the road and you forget something, it’s not the end of the world because you can usually find a drug store and grab what you need.  It seems like this always happens to me, no matter how well I think I packed.  Here are my toiletry essentials.

Grab a gallon-sized Ziploc bag (or four) and load up!

Here’s my packing list for #7: sunscreen, bandaids, clippers, tweezers, soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, mouthwash, makeup, cleanser, cotton balls, q-tips, razor, hairspray, lotion, deodorant, Aleve, Zyrtec, and our daily vitamins. What a mess!

6. I’m thirsty!

No matter how far we are going, I always pack snacks and drinks, always!  It is best for the survival of everyone in the car!  My husband ALWAYS has to have something to drink, and it has to be cold! So, in an effort to keep our driver happy, I found the hubs a inexpensive, high-quality cup.  This is Eli’s, made by Iconiq.  He has the 30oz, but it also comes in a smaller 20oz.  My fav is a 20oz Hydro Flask with a straw lid.  Having a cold drink makes a huge difference when traveling, both of these stay super cold in the hot car.

5. Are we there yet?

Our kids are not little anymore (21 and 15), but none the less they still need a little entertainment to keep them human!  Really, both of our kids have always been great travelers…maybe because we keep them entertained in the car during the long stretches.  This summer our youngest, Ethan, will be our only road trippin’ kid.  He is more apt to sleep then anything at his age!  Besides being the car DJ he also likes to watch movies on our iPad.  Before we leave home we have him pick two or three movies, download them and then they are ready for viewing when needed.

4.  Did you grab the _____?

Before you leave the house make sure you have hard copies of all important travel documents.  Most reservations, tickets, etc. are digital, but not all.  Eli and I always find ourselves asking each other did you grab the tickets, passports, etc.?  Better safe than sorry, just check to make sure all is well!

3. My feet hurt 🙁

Good shoes are essential, especially if you are planning on a lot of walking! I have found that if we have room everyone needs to pack a good pair of tennis shoes and some type of flip flops.  We have recently turned into an all out Adidas family.  Here’s what I’m wearing on this trip, Adidas UltraBOOST X Parley. My husband got these for me as a gift, and let me tell you…comfy!  I have the worst feet and can’t wear anything that does not have arch support.  These are AWESOME!

 I am also packing my Birks.  These are my favorite pair, I wear them almost every day during the summer!  You can’t go wrong with these!

2. What’s the plan?

I am all about being a do-it-yourself planner, but the key is to have a plan!  Research a little and know where you are going.  What is there to do, where are the good restaurants, and are there activities everyone in the family will enjoy?  I do most of my planning/research online.  Pinterest is my go to for travel.  Take a look and you will find great travel information.  There are many people who have ventured to my destination before me and posted an account of their trip highlighting must dos and don’t dos of the area. I like to take full advantage of this, and take their insights into consideration when I plan our trip.  I have always had great luck with this. I like to research, and then present my family with options of things we can do.  

1. Have fun & relax!  Don’t sweat the small stuff!

Let me say that again.  Have fun & relax.  Don’t sweat the small stuff!

Even though packing completely stresses me out, once we hit the road … it is what it is!  I take a deep breath and try to keep in mind the packing struggle is over and the fun can begin!

 I hope you have a chance to hit the road this summer and enjoy the memories created while road trippin’ with your tribe!