Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ten on Tuesday | Road Trip Must-Haves

I am in no way, no shape, no form, a road warrior. When we moved to Montana, I wanted nothing more than to bring my furniture but couldn't imagine the thought of driving for thirty-two hours. As we debated plans for relocating to New Mexico, I cringed every time Trevor mentioned that the drive would take seventeen hours. Especially when, at that point, I was actually going to be driving the. entire. time.

The longest that I have ever driven is four hours - a trip to the beach, a trip to Pittsburgh. I had ridden to Missouri and back (without air conditioning) but even that didn't seem like adequate preparation for driving seventeen hours. Imagine my relief when we decided that Trevor would leave two weeks early, in my car, and would fly home to drive back to New Mexico with me.

As we get ready to leave early Friday, I am finalizing the details of packing the house but also packing for the road. After plenty of trips short and long, mostly as a passenger, I have a list of items that I think are must-haves for any road trip. All the items mentioned in my Travel Essentials post still apply but this list goes above and beyond to cover specific car travel needs.

1 // While this one seems like common sense, in 2013, having a GPS is a necessity for any road trip. I often try to imagine what it would be like to travel cross country with only a map.

2 // This little gadget is something that Trevor introduced to me. This power inverter can be plugged into your cigarette lighter in order to plug in not only USB devices but regular electronics (ie. your laptop) as well. Then there is no need to worry about alternating having a charged cell phone, GPS, iPod and computer - they can all be plugged in at once. Genius.

3 // Good music is usually at the top of road trip lists. There is nothing I love better than making a specific playlist for a specific trip but , a seventeen hour trip is a little too long for that. Thankfully Trevor and I both have our own iPod Classic with over 15,000 songs - and that means not hearing the same thing twice.

4 // I hate trying to guess where and when to eat while traveling. You may pass a plaza of McDonalds and Subway, only to realize it's dinnertime and the next restaurant isn't for an hour. I love using the Urbanspoon App for my iPhone to find food options.

5 // Staying hydrated is important when traveling and while we often stop for drinks, I tend to find myself wanting more. I've made it a habit to not only buy a drink at stops but to also fill my water bottle for the next few hours.

6 // Being gluten free makes traveling much harder. I make sure to pack plenty of healthy snacks whether traveling my road or air. KIND makes these Mini Bars which are perfectly filling and easy to pack.

7 // You may feel well protected under a car roof but research has shown that deadly skin cancers are more likely to occur on the left side of the body - the side exposed to the sun while driving. Having a good sunscreen is important for long hours on the road. This sunscreen from Eco is made of all natural ingredients and was rated as "very good" by Consumer Reports.

8 // If you're lucky enough to be a passenger for a long car ride, movies (especially funny movies) are a necessity. No matter how many times I see 21 Jump Street, I laugh just as hard.

9 // In the past few weeks I have fallen in love with my Kindle. I used to pack multiple books and magazines, only to find that I hadn't packed quite enough. Having a Kindle with 3G solved that problem because books can be downloaded at any time without needing WiFi access.

10 // While you obviously need gasoline for any road trip, I threw this in to symbolize having a roadside assistance plan. I really can't think of  anything worse than ending up locked out of your car or with a flat tire especially when alone or in an unfamiliar area. While AAA is a classic, I have roadside assistance through my AT&T cellphone plan. At less than $3 per month, it's great for peace of mind when traveling!

So tell me, what are your road trip must-haves? What else should I add to my packing list?


  1. Absolutely have to have music! Makes the time go by so much faster!

    1. Music is definitely the MOST important on the list! I'm so thankful that my boyfriend and I can agree on music choices - 17 hours of music you don't like is probably worse than no music at all!

  2. I'm all about books on tape during road trips! Helps me stay awake :) Found you on BBN! Gotta love the BBNers!


    1. I have never listened to a book on tape but that's a great idea if you're driving! I also get the worst motion sickness if I read for too long. Great suggestion.