Summer road trips are the best. It doesn’t matter whether you’re traveling alone (peace and quiet!) or with friends and family (great bonding experience!). Either way, it’s wonderful to get away from all your stress and see a change in scenery. Road trips are even better when you’re 100% prepared. Don’t forget to take these ten things on your summer road trip.
Have you ever had a debit card get declined (even though you KNOW there’s enough money in your bank account)? It’s the worst! Don’t risk putting yourself in that situation.
First: Call your bank and tell them you’re going on a trip. They might ask where you’re going and/or what days you’ll be gone. Debit cards get disabled due to suspicious activity. If you live in NY and someone uses your card at a store in CA, that might seem fishy.
(Note: the above step is especially important when you’re traveling overseas… so get it done!)
Second: Bring plenty of cash just in case you need it. Most people underestimate how much money they’ll spend during a vacation. Add 10-25% to whatever amount you think you’ll need and stuff it in your wallet, purse, or pocket.
“On a summer road trip… seriously?” Yes! Have you ever been inside a restaurant? Most of them feel like meat lockers! The same is true for movie theaters. Bring a sweater, because you never know how cold it might be inside!
3. Spare Key
Get a copy of your car key and put it inside your purse or give it to a friend. I know you think you’d never leave your key in the ignition (like an idiot), but millions of people do it every year. All it takes is a brief lapse in concentration!
4. Pocket Fan
Has your A/C ever crapped out at the worst time possible? It’s no fun to drive anywhere in summer when you’re drenched in sweat. Bring a pocket fan just in case your car A/C stops working. Believe me, crazier things have happened!
5. Bottled Water
Dehydration causes exhaustion and mental fatigue. That’s bad news when you’re trying to navigate an unfamiliar area. You may get scattered, lose your temper, drive around in circles, or irritate all of your passengers. Drink plenty of water to stay happy and hydrated!
6. Healthy Snacks
“Hanger” happens when you get so hungry that you feel angry about it. Combine hanger with dehydration and you’ll be in for a long day. Let’s prevent that disaster! Pack healthy snacks such as fruit, yogurt, almonds (or other nuts). These foods are high in protein and fiber, so they’ll provide you with a steady supply of energy.
Really, that heading could say: “Something to listen to.” Just don’t limit yourself to the radio (although it is fun to check out the stations in different towns). Let your passengers help you make a playlist. Too much work? Ask them for feedback RE: what audio-books, podcasts, or stand-up comedians they’ve been meaning to listen to. Make sure everyone feels involved!
8. Reservation confirmations
Most places don’t send you a ticket in the mail anymore. You have to print the confirmation at home before you leave for the event. A lot of this stuff is delivered via smartphone nowadays, so it might be a non-issue, but double-check. If you’re in doubt, print a receipt for all of your flights, concert tickets, hotel reservations, etc. Stuff all of that stuff in an envelope so you don’t lose it.
9. First aid/car emergency kit
Most traffic accidents occur close to home, but you never know when or where they’ll happen. Think positive (but cover your butt, too!). At bare minimum, pack some snacks and bottled water just in case you get stranded for a long time. This is especially important when you’re driving in the desert! Battery jumper cables are another no-brainer. Click here for a big list of stuff to include in your car emergency kit.
10. A positive attitude and adventurous spirit
Resist the urge to get upset when things don’t go according to plan. You might get stuck in a traffic jam. “Your” team might lose the football game. It might rain on the day you go to Disney. You can’t control everything, but you can control the way you respond. Choose to be upbeat. Stressing out about a crappy situation will only make it seem worse than it really is. Breathe! With the right attitude, you’ll have a great time… no matter what happens!
Share this post with your friends so they know exactly what to take on their summer road trip, too!
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