Posted: July 12, 2018 at 3:25 pm
We love road trips. We love these iconic institutions of American leisure for their adoration of the small and large things alike that make our landscapes amazing. From sweeping vistas to roadside diners, from amusement parks to farm stands, we love everything about slow journeys across rich tapestries of culture and nature. Summer is a great time of year to hit the road, and when you do, here are a few of the essentials we recommend.
The first essential is of course, a solid itinerary. Avoid planning things down to the minute to allow time for unplanned stops to explore, but have a few key destinations in mind and roughly plan out the scaffolding of your trip, including lodging stops and primary activities or visits. If you are looking for inspiration, we like this list of the most scenic drives in all 50 states, this list of America’s most iconic drives, and if you are really adventurous, this list of the WORLD’S greatest road trips. The South Island Circuit in New Zealand is making our eyes really big at the moment…
What else do you need?
Let’s start with the snacks. Pack plenty. But avoid making all of them of the junk food variety. Picnics are great for road trips. It can be fun finding random parks and picnic tables along the way to set up for an hour, and while this can get tricky, Martha Stewart (as always), has a great solution. Avoid packing your treats in bags, and instead consider using mason jars and tupperware the avoid any sad, smashed sandwiches or crumbly pretzels. We like her recipes for goldilox tea sandwiches, layered dip in a jar, and sandwich cookies, all of which are great for road trip picnics.
For the purposes of that picnic, we also recommend packing some sort of cooler bag. We like this pretty one. Throw blankets are also great to have, so you can appease those in the car for whom the A/C may be a bit too much, and you can get nicely designed versions of these as well. We like these options. Lots of device chargers are essential, and you can buy car adapters that will allow you to charge multiple devices at once, which, when you are traveling with family, can help to stave off many arguments. Portable chargers are also great in this age of iPhones, iPads and e-readers. That reminds us, e-readers are great for travel–they can save you literal pounds worth of packing weight if you are a voracious reader, and you can now read newspapers, magazines AND books on them. We also recommend plenty of extra sunscreen, cool shades, and travel board games and movies if you will have the kiddos in tow.
What are your road trip essentials? What are your favorite snacks? Do you have any favorite road trip itineraries? Share with us in the comments!