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It is officially road trip season with this long weekend coming up and being stuck in a car for hours on end with your family or friends can get a little…old. Real fast. While I can’t help you with your mother’s comments or the passive-aggressive slips from one friend to another, I’ve put together The Packing List for road trips.
So, I’m not 100% a fan of wet ones because they’re creating more trash BUT these are an absolute must-have whenever traveling, especially on road trips. Sometimes, you just need a pick-me-up after sitting in a vehicle for hours and need to ‘wash’ your hands. Sometimes, a bird poops on you. Always, always, someone spills or gets sticky.
Again. The best thing to have on any type of travels because it instantly perks you up. Plus, if you keep it in a cooler, it’s refreshingly chilly.
Reusable Water Bottle – or Three
You don’t need to go out and buy 10 reusable water bottles, but if you have some clean jars, fill those up with tap water from home! Remember those big ass jugs that we used to lug to the beach, filled with Kool-Aid and Iced Water? Why did we stop doing that? It was so much easier than actually buying a case of water and you created no waste!
So, fill up your water bottles, mason jars, and coolers to last you the entire trip – or at least until you reach your destination.
Reusable Coffee Mug
Or, whatever vessel you use to drink coffee out of on the go. You’ll be having a lot of java to keep you going, and no one wants to throw away a disposable cup every time they refuel!
Okay, so this is for all you backwoods folk (or those who are afraid of drinking from a hose). Apparently, this bad boy can be used with nearly any type of water source, but PLEASE always follow the instructions from the actual company. My husband and I used them on our trip to Morocco where we couldn’t drink the water and loved them. We didn’t have to stop for bottled water every two minutes.
Plus, it gives it an extra filter for tap water because, ew.
But, not actually IN the car for drinking…ain’t nobody got time or money for a DUI.
Once upon a time, my friends and I took a road trip to Red Lake Falls. On a Sunday. We figured, hey, no reason to stop for booze in Canada, we will get it super cheap in good ol’ ‘Murica. Except…in that state it is illegal to buy liquor on Sundays. I know, ridiculous!
Even more ridiculous? The awkward conversation we had with the cashier where we replied to her ‘sorry, no liquor on Sundays’ with a hearty ‘that’s okay, we’ll just buy beer, then’. To which the cashier looked at us like we were nuts and slowly repeated that ‘Alcohol is not permitted to be sold on Sundays’. We gasped in horror. You mean your country doesn’t have TWO different laws on booze?* That they lump beer and liquor together in sale restrictions?!
Anyways, pack your adult beverages JUST IN CASE. Because, you never know what kind of crazy Sunday laws there are out there in the world.
*for all you non-Canadians out there who have no idea what in the shit I’m talking about…here, in Canada (and especially Manitoba), we have different liquor laws much like the States, but liquor and beer (and wine) are thought of much differently here. While we can’t yet buy booze off a shelf in Wal-Mart, beer is available for purchase in vendors off of hotels (never good hotels, mind you) and you can buy it MUCH later than any liquor store is open until. Because, beer isn’t really alcohol, right? #canada
Pop and Juice
I know, I know, I’m just hitting all of the easy ones, but we have to cover our bases!
So, we have that beautiful water from home, but you’re getting sick of drinking just water. It’s a road trip, afterall! It screams drive-thrus and pop and snacks. Even if you don’t think you’ll want to drink them, you probably will. You’ll probably drink more than you ever wanted to.
Now, unless you’re saving yourself for all of the drive-thrus you’ll hit on your way to your destination, pack a bunch of snacks. Like, a disgusting amount. Because, it’s a road trip. And, people get hungry and they get munchy. And, when people are hungry and munchy and don’t have food, they get CRANKY.
Plus, if you pack a few healthy items in there you won’t have to stop at as many drive-thrus. Unless that’s the whole plan, then take those watermelon and cucumber slices out!
Sounds silly, right? Obviously you’d have a cooler if you’re packing all these yummy snacks and drinks. But, sometimes, we forget. And we end up with gross warm beverages just sitting in an IKEA bag without any damn ice. #thanksbutnothanks
Extra Pillow & Blanket
I don’t know how you travel, but I am a bona fide nester when it comes to any type of travel. I love to scrunch up jackets, sweaters, pillows, blankets, magazines – anything really – to make myself a little nest like a mama bird trying to protect her eggs.
Nesting is all kinds of comfy and really takes the edge off of plane/train/car travel. Get it? Edge? As in the window…edge…….okay. Sorry.
Even if I, by some miracle, stay awake for the journey and don’t end up using any of the blankets or pillow(s) I brought, they come in handy whenever you reach your destination.
What a boring one to pack, amiright? You’re probably thinking, duh, I’m going to bring my medication with me. But, will you? I mean, I keep mine in my purse at all times just in case something happens to me and I’m unconscious and they’re asking if I take anything and no one knows what I take so they give me something that doesn’t mix well with the medication and then I die.
Isn’t that what everyone does?
If it isn’t, remember to bring it! And, remember to bring a few extras:
gravol (seriously. Suddenly, I am carsick and heavy breathe and dry heave basically any time there’s a slight curve to the road. Another reason why I love the Prairies)
clariton and such
tylenol and the like
First Aid Kit
Because shit happens and you don’t want to be bleeding all over the place. Plus, it’s tick season. If you’re heading out into the bush for a little rest stop, check yourself! Make sure you add tweezers and a little bag (to put ticks in in case of diseases) in your first aid kit, just in case!
Or, at least KNOW if you have a spare tire. I can’t even tell you how many times we’ve gotten a flat tire on the way to or from somewhere. It sucks. But, if you know how to fix one AND have a spare, you’re golden.
Empty or full. But, full is better. Because gas stations aren’t always going to be around, especially if you’re taking the scenic route and not going through large cities or towns. No one wants to be that sucker who has to schelp it to the nearest gas station.
Roadside Emergency Kit
Listen to your Dad and just pack the damn thing. Really, have one in your car at all times.
And, if you car isn’t old/’old’, keep your usb cord where it’s accessible! No one wants to be singing along to the Backstreet Boys or Despacito only to get cut off because someone’s phone dies.
An Actual Map
You know, the fold-out ones, or if you’re super fancy, one of those spiral notebook ones. Or, if buying an actual map sends a shudder through your body, make sure you download a map onto your phone. Cell service doesn’t exist everywhere and getting lost isn’t fun. No matter how many #wanderlust posts you see.
Remember when they made mini parcheesi games for the car and the little mover guys were sticky so they wouldn’t roll around while you were driving? No? Well, bring a deck of cards, at least. It’ll come in handy not only during the ride, but once you hit your destination, too.
Not all rest stops have toilet paper, and not all roads have rest stops with bathrooms….
Try as you might, you’ll make garbage on a road trip. It just happens. Because garbage happens. Take one or two with you for any messes that pop up along the way.
Make ’em compostable!
Now that your car is sufficiently packed and there’s no room for anyone to sit anymore, I wish you a bon voyage!
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