Road trips are basically synonymous with summer vacation. Something about the warm weather and carefree attitude makes you want to last-minute pack up the car, leave everything behind, and explore the great unknown (or, you know, a state park or quaint town in your state). While the destination is typically the best part, the journey should be just as amazing. Though that sounds like an inspirational metaphor Oprah might say, I do mean literally — why not make the road part one of the best parts of the trip?
Grab your girls, your family, your significant other, make sure your gas tank is full, and hit the road with our essentials for the ultimate road trip. You will not be asking, “are we there yet?”
1. The Right Outfit
Of course, you want to be stylish enough for #OOTD Instagrams, but you’re sitting hours on end in a car — you need to be comfortable. An easy, comfortable (but obviously cute) go-to uniform for road trips is flowy pants or boyfriend jeans and a t-shirt. Accessories can be thrown on to capture the perfect Instagram or to rock when you get to your destination, but you won’t be uncomfortable in tight jeans or a dress during your hours in the car. Check out South Moon Under for their comfortable, relaxed clothing that is still oh-so-cute and perfect for every occasion, whether you’re riding in a car for eight hours or going out at night. After all, you have to be prepared for anything when you’re on a road trip!
2. The Ultimate Playlist
Having a predetermined playlist of the best carefree, happy tunes that are easy to sing-a-long to is the make or break moment of the trip. Think: crowd-pleaser throwbacks or carefree summery tunes that will get the whole car singing along (and staying awake during late-night driving). Or, if you don’t want to put in the effort of making your own playlist, check out the Everygirl’s playlist on Spotify dedicated to the most road trip-worthy tunes.
3. A Good Plan (At Least Somewhat)
Of course, one of the best parts about road trips is how much they allow for spontaneity, and the very best road trips are the most spontaneous. However, you should have at least an outline of a plan so you’re not missing out, wandering aimlessly, or, worse, getting yourself into dangerous circumstances because it’s midnight, you’re tired, and the only hotel near you is an abandoned inn with a twitching neon sign (I assume you’ve seen enough horror movie trailers to know that this scene does not end well!).
Have a basic route (maybe one near you that’s popular for road trips), and look at all the best restaurants, attractions, and hotels along the route. Luckily we all have our little pocket-BFF cell phones that can find us a hotel, restaurant, or gas station in a dire situation, but you never know where you might be that doesn’t have cell service. If you don’t have GPS in your car, bring a map just in case (yes, a real, physical, not-on-a-screen map), and at least know some basic info about the areas you’re driving through.
4. Plenty of Snacks
Even if you’re touring all the best restaurants within driving distance (cause how fun does that sound!?) there will be times where you don’t want to take a pitstop, but you are absolutely ravenous. So not only packing snacks but packing the right snacks is crucial to the success of the trip (and your well-being).
If you’re all about sticking to your ultimate fitness and health goals, it’s definitely doable, even on a road trip. Cut up crunchy veggies, bring natural protein bars and individual packets of almond butter or nuts, and pack hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, kombucha, or your other favorite cold-temperature snacks in an easy cooler. Or just say screw it and toss in a bag of your favorite flavor of Cheetos, we don’t judge.
Let’s be realistic — even the best playlists run out of songs, and the best conversations grow tiresome when you’re in the car for LITERALLY days on end. Better have some backup options so your exciting road trip doesn’t go boring. Audiobooks and podcasts are both viable options, and nowadays there’s an abundance of amazing options. Check out the best audiobooks for road trips or some of our favorite podcasts.
Games that are suitable for adults like Cards Against Humanity or What do You Meme? are also easy to pack and easy to play. If you’re not too cool for some good old-fashioned car games, try classic mad libs, the license plate game (how many different states can you spot?) or 20 questions (2018 edition… a badass American actress who just got married to a prince, anyone?).
6. Beauty Essentials
Days in the car and nights spent camping in tents or huddled in quaint bed-and-breakfasts can make for less than ideal beautifying options. If you just happen to get sweaty or feel gross in the car (which you will) with not the best shower options or blow dry bars around, you need your essentials: dry shampoo, texture spray, facial mist, and roll on perfume will be your godsend during those long travel days. Another crucial beauty tip: unless you’re in a car with people that might be scared off or judge-y (which — why are you with them!?), turn your car into a makeshift spa and do a sheet mask. It will intensely hydrate your skin (necessary with all the wear and tear it’s receiving on the road), is a no-mess and no-clean-up beauty treatment, and you’ve got nothing else to do — why not now? Also, don’t forget sunscreen!
What would you bring along for the ultimate road trip? Are you going to take a road trip this summer, and, if so, where to?
This post was in partnership with South Moon Under, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.