We are going on a mini road trip today from Chicago to Indiana. It is only about a four hour drive, so it’s not so bad, but it still got me thinking about road trip essentials. Honestly, I am not one for long car rides as I feel like after four or five hours, I tend to get antsy. However, I’m sure there are ways to make long car rides FUN, especially if you are adequately prepared.
And, if you’re going to be in the car longer than a couple of hours, it’s important to have all the right goods. There can’t be much worse than being stuck in the car and not being correctly equipped. That being said, here is my list of road trip essentials:
Car phone charger – using Google Maps sure does run down my phone battery quickly! For that reason (and because…Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and all the other apps I browse while being a co-pilot…), I always am sure to bring a car charger on any ride longer than a few hours. I always find cheap ones at TJ Maxx and Marshall’s that work great or Target has an adorable line of Dabney Lee ones.
Snacks – I’m sure I’m not the only one that gets hungry on long car rides. Bringing some quick and easy (and delicious) snacks can cut down on the need to stop and keep you from getting super sleepy in the car. I love Goldfish, Teddy Grahams, or these quinoa granola bars are also yummy (and healthy too!).
Spotify – you’ll want a way to connect your phone to the stereo system in the car so you can, of course, stream Spotify. Nothing better than some great tunes in the car! Or, if you get tired of listening to music, audio books are always a great option and an entertaining way to pass the time.
Blanket – I get really cold in the car and I definitely want to be comfortable when I’m going to be in there for a while. Especially because my boyfriend and I can never agree on a temperature, I like to bring a throw blanket to avoid being frozen and, thus, grumpy. I also make sure to throw a pair of socks in my bag so that if I take my shoes off (which, come on…I do) my toes don’t end up freezing.
Sunglasses – so once, when we were driving from Indiana to Chicago, it was snowing. Everything being so white made my eyes hurt so badly and feel so tired, and I really wished I’d remembered a pair of sunglasses. It’s not always intuitive to bring these in the winter, but if you’ll be driving during the daylight hours these are not to be forgotten.
Notebook/pen – while you’re in the car, it’s a great time to make lists and get organized and is a wonderful time to think. When we drove from Chicago to Connecticut over the summer, my boyfriend and I used much of that time to make lists to get organized for our move. This weekend, we will use this time to make our grocery list and a list of things we need to get squared away before we are away next week.
Book/Kindle – I can’t go anywhere without my Kindle, so naturally I use car rides as a time to do some reading. It definitely makes the time go faster!
Cash/change – in case you hit any tolls, you don’t want to be caught without cash and change to pay them.
Water – gotta stay hydrated, even on the road!
With all of these items in tow, we are prepared for (hopefully) an easy and fun car ride.