August 4, 2015

road trip essentials

This summer I've had a lot of fun road trips with family and friends. Nothing crazy long, but a solid 5-6 hours across my state. I've always loved long car rides like these that led to summer vacations. We could do so much in the car! Eat snacks, watch movies, play games, see the sights, listen to music, etc. It's fun to set up your seat with some essentials and settle in for the long ride. Here are my must-haves for a road trip with family or friends.

1) Magazines. I like to bring one gossip/fashion/pop culture obsessed magazine and one home design/lifestyle magazine. Try People, People StyleWatch, HGTV Magazine, or Better Homes and Gardens.

2) Sunglasses. They look cute and protect your eyes from all that sun.

3) Candy. I always make a trip to Target before leaving and pick up a bag of candy. Make sure to avoid anything with chocolate since it can get messy in summer weather. Try skittlesmini chewy sweetarts, or starburst.

4) GPS. I always have a GPS with me in the front seat on these trips. A real GPS, not a smartphone. Yes, you could use a smartphone GPS, but you probably won't want to for an entire 6 hour drive. It would also be a good idea to have a real paper fold up map somewhere in the car. Just in case.

5) Playlist or Mix CD. Make a massive playlist or a few mix CDs to serve as the soundtrack of your road trip adventure. Start with all the current summer hits and add in some classic throwbacks that everyone will know the words to and almost entire albums from your favorite artists. Have family or friends pick some of their favorites to add as well so everyone has songs to look forward to.

6) Camera + extra batteries. Gotta capture these moments! I always have my point-and-shoot digital camera, iPod camera, and DSLR camera with me on these trips. Yes, it's a lot to carry but I like my cameras. And I have a charged back-up battery for all of these. Try Canon ELPH series or Canon EOS Rebel series. A polaroid camera would be fun too!

7) DIY Trail Mix. Snacks are crucial for a successful road trip! I think a customized trail mix is perfect for passing around the car and sharing with everybody. Add as many or as little ingredients as you want and store in a large tupperware or gallon zip lock bag for the ride. Blog post coming soon! In the meantime, try this greatist.com article for ideas.

8) Car charger. I have thought about this many times and still do not own a car charger. It's always a good idea to have a car charger. I wish I had one.

9) Audiobook. This is an alternative to the playlist/mix CD suggestion. Depending on who is in the car, listening to an audiobook of a popular series could be fun! When I was little, my family listened to the entire 4th Harry Potter book (on cassette tape) while driving to Florida. We loved it. Try Audible for a free 30-day trial and your first two books free! Just make sure to cancel before your charged for the next month. Or check your library for audiobooks that can be downloaded for free!
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