Summertime is popular time for travel: no school for kids, no packing heavy coats and boots, no denying that the iced-coffee in your cup holder will be consumed faster than your go-to cappuccino. It’s a great feeling to pack up the car, hit the road, and breathe in the warm, flowing air of the day ahead. Depending on where you’re headed, you could be in the car for quite some time.
To prepare you for all the best, somewhat-spontaneous and impromptu road trips this season, I’ve compiled a short list of my gotta-have-em’s for the road (or the air, or the train, or the camping trail).
Portable phone charger
When you’re on the go, especially in the car, it’s easy to find yourself scrolling through the day’s latest tweets and posts on your smart phone to pass the time. With music, maps, and camera all accessible at your fingertips–it’s understandably enticing–and arguably necessary for some. That battery will drain fast if you’re not careful, leaving you phoneless upon arriving to your destination, out and about.
To avoid any miscommunication with friends and family, I pack a portable phone charger: light, easy-to-store in a bag or purse, and at times, a total lifesaver.
No-mess snacks (high in protein and, of course, water)
If you’ve ever found yourself in the seat of a car for multiple hours, you’re probably familiar with the pains of ‘road munchies.’ Always hitting when you least expect them, cravings of salty, vending machine chips and chocolate-covered-something’s from the gas station checkout lines will wash over you like a wave of mini-vans on the way to Myrtle Beach.
To avoid unnecessary stops and overpriced filler-foods, try packing a few protein bars, nuts, or other non-messy snacks that are high in protein to get you through your trip. You’ll save money, time and feel more alert as you chug along to your next destination. Don’t forget to hydrate too, always keeping water on hand.
I’m all too familiar with the car slump that comes from static conversations and repetitive, rolling window scenery. Wake yourself up, get excited for the trip ahead and laugh with friends and family over some classic, throwback tunes.
The high-energy music puts anxious travelers in a good mood, passes the time, and leaves the car feeling more energized and happy – because yes, we all know the collective, previous state of forehead-pressed-against-window wasn’t doing much for the car’s energy.
We are human, and when in the car for extended periods of time, we will sleep. Be sure to pack a small travel pillow or blanket to rest your head against in the tight space. This will prevent any neck pains of headaches from unexpected bumps and unnatural positions of rest.
Your neck will thank you later and friends will dub you ‘pro-traveler’ of the group when you show up prepared, relaxed, and excited for the trip ahead!
Written by Emily McCaul