road trip necessities

Aug 6, 2014

Recently I went on a mini road trip to North Carolina to visit my best friend. We had a celebration for future Sofia Marie with neighbors and friends. North Carolina is not in close proximity to my house, nor is driving down the turnpike on a Friday in the summer a good idea. Actually, it's a terrible idea. This drive isn't new to me, I have visited many places in North Carolina; mostly 8-10 hour drives, but this one kicked my butt. As I was driving down I-95, I realized there are some road trip necessities, especially when you drive alone.

Snacks. Snacks Snacks. 
Healthy and unhealthy. Water or some Gatorade. I always hate stopping when I'm not ready for a meal but I'm hungry for a snack. I make sure to pack some snacks for long car rides. Kind bars, Twizzlers, BBQ chips, trail mix.

GPS and using hands free to talk to anyone who will put up with you for however long you may be driving. Good friends, I have good friends. Plus, music and podcasts are on here!

Chargers for said smartphone.
If you use your phone on a consistent basis throughout your trip, you will definitely need to keep it on a constant charge. I will let mine die just a bit and recharge it fully. There's a myth about letting the battery die fully, then recharge - it saves for longer use. Myth or fact? I shall never know.

Good music and/or podcasts.
Yes to satellite radio and yes to podcasts. Some of my favorite podcasts are: 1, 2, 3. Thank you Pandora and Spotify for existing in the world. I love you.

Hand sanitizers and face wipes.
Being from Jersey, we don't pump our gas. So when I finally have to, I need hand sanitizer to make sure my hands are clean and ready for snacks! Face wipes can be good when you start to get drowsy, it's a little refresher.

Do I need to explain?!

I have a sneezing problem. More like, my nose hates me and I constantly need to blow it. So, a huge essential to my daily driving life is having a travel pack of tissues in my glove box or center console. Don't judge me.

Comfy clothes.
Long car rides and tight jeans? Let's face it, NOT FUN. A nice pair of sweat pants, comfortable leggings, or a good pair of shorts.. a win.

This may not be a necessity for short trips, but when I took a road trip across the country it saved us from spending a ton on towing. It was also a cross-country road trip so it depends on what your travel distance is. For us, it was a life saver. I like the comfort of knowing if I need help, I can call AAA without a problem.

GPS, not from smartphones.
Again, another tip from my cross-country road trip. Your phone will not always have enough reception to have a workable GPS and it will crap out on you. In our case, AT&T failed us on being connected in the West. Luckily, we brought a GPS with us and it allowed us to have directions without freaking out. Yay older technology to save the day!

It may not work for everyone, but this is what has worked for me in my 3-5-7-12 hour road trips. Another tip, driving manual in heavy traffic is a horrible idea, but I love my stick shift, except at that moment. These few items have made driving long distances much easier and more fun!

Do you guys have any must-haves when taking road trips?

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