Five Ways You Can Prep for Summer Road Trips Now

Five Ways You Can Prep for Summer Road Trips Now

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Here in Jackson, we’re coming up on one of the lesser loved seasons in the valley: mud season. After we stack our skis in the garage for the winter and our beloved snow begins to melt, Jackson turns into a temporary swamp of slush, mud, and brown melty snow. I’m a river girl, so I don’t mind much. But it turns out I also need to thaw out, so I hold a strict, annual tradition of heading south to soak in the desert sun. 

This migration has come to hold a special place in my heart as the start of an entire season of traveling longer hours in my car to explore the peaks, valleys, rivers, and lakes all over the mountain west. (My) history shows that the best road trips are spontaneous, but after a couple years of taking extensive car adventures, I’ve learned the Boy Boy Scouts had a point with the whole “be prepared” thing. Long drives to beautiful parks and outdoor space often have few resources along the way and often even fewer amenities once you get there. Set yourself and your crew up for smooth sailing this summer with these road trip essentials you can gather now that equip you to leave on a dime. 


Annual Essential Migration Travel Tools:


1. Speaker

We all know that your road trip playlists can truly make or break a trip, and I’ve found Spotify is my favorite tool for keeping vibes high. Before I offend all the Apple Music-ers, hear me out: Their themed playlists are always phenomenal, and the “blend” feature which allows you to mix your music taste with your friends’ is the perfect way to ensure everyone’s happy. Using a phone holder like this one makes losing your phone a lot harder (and changing the music much easier) especially if you’re on a solo road trip. 

Since it’s typically easiest to have the music and the directions come out of the same speaker (whether you’re alone or with sleeping co-pilots) I use Waze for navigation which supports Spotify  integration and will pause your music to let you know your turn is coming up, there’s a cop on the next shoulder, or you should take an alternative route to avoid a wreck. Waze accepts submissions from drivers using their app on the road, meaning it often has hyper-up to date data regarding the faster way to get from A to B. This charger which turns your carport into a system equipped to charge your computer has saved my booty a couple times that I’ve need to send an email or submit a project mid-trip from shotgun. 


2. Sleeping

If you’re going really far (my best friend and I once drove the 16 hours from Washington back to Wyoming in one day) I highly recommend setting your co-pilot up for success too. Ear plugs, a cozy blanket, and a seriously snuggly pillow mean that they can actually rest up while you drive (and vice versa). On the flip side, having a little cooler with your favorite forms of caffeine can keep you going even if there’s not a single gas station in sight. I love this tiny one designed by Corkcicle that doubles as a backpack. I’m not much of a coffee drinker and prefer something sweet and bubbly with just a bit of caffeine like these Poppi drinks (only some flavors have caffeine btw). If coffee is a must, these pre-mixed lattes by La Colombe coffee are to die for. 


3. Snacks

As I’ve mentioned, drives to epic places are often sparsely populated with amazing food options, so I highly recommend making a snack box with all of your favorite treats and a couple options that can count as a full meal just in case. My favorite road snacks include dried mangopeanut butter pretzels, and something sweet. As far as the full meal replacement goes, I travel ready to make a salad: avocado, greens, tomatoes, my favorite salad dressing (stored in the cooler) and some chickpeas. It’s my go-to road side salad that leaves me feeling way more energized than McDonald’s. I’ll usually meal prep a salad like this one and store it in a container like this inside of my cooler so it’s ready to go any time. (Note: keep the salad fresh by waiting to dress until right before you eat it). 


4. Spruce

Since it’s unlikely you’ll have access to a sink super often, I’ve found that bringing along easy ways to spruce up and cleanse my face, body, and space makes a long day in the car way more enjoyable. For cleaning up spills or crumbs quickly, these all-purpose cleaning wipes come in a reusable container that’d fit perfectly in a side door or cup holder for quick access. 

For your face, I recommend wipes like these cooling, toning, refreshing, and hydrating ones by Aprés. One of the most refreshing elixirs in my makeup kit that I have on hand for every road trip is this facial spray by Mario Badescu that contains aloes, herbs, and rose water. Both are little enough just to stash in your center console  so you don’t lose them among your bags and packed boxes. 

Most importantly I always bring hand sanitizer along! I love this spray kind by Honest and have a few that tend to float around my life and car in different pockets and compartments. They make your hands feel as fresh as if they were just washed and don’t make the mess that the creamier sanitizers tend to make. 

Other than that,  I keep a hair brush and small tooth brush with tooth paste at the ready for a quick freshen up that makes me feel more at home no matter where I’m camping for the night—or parked for the sunset.


5. Style

My road trip outfit can honestly be the difference between making it to my destination or bailing to a roadside campground at times because comfort matters! These Vuori sweatpants are absolutely made for road trips since they’re soft as a baby penguin and have an adjustable waist band too. I always wear a comfortable bra like this one by Parade with a cozy shirt and light sweatshirt on top. For shoes, I like something I can slip on and off (in case I want to tuck my legs underneath me and go to sleep) making these close-toed Birkenstocks or Ugg slippers the perfect fit. 

Reading next

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