travel Wellness

How To Actually Survive A Road Trip [My Best Tips]

November 22, 2016

Hello from beautiful California! I started this post last July on our way home from our road trip through Maine. I continued working on it as we made our way from Minneapolis through South Dakota and am finishing it up as we drive from Utah to California. So let’s just say I have a few thousand miles of road tripping under my belt. Enough that I can pretty confidently tell you how to actually survive a road trip.

Tips and tricks on how to actually survive a road trip from The Healthy Maven. With over 2000+ miles of road tripping, I've got you covered!

And well, this statement is all the more true after our most recent experience near Badlands National Park. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that on day one of our road trip from Minneapolis to California, we hit a massive buck just outside Badlands and completely totalled our car. Yes, our new car, on day ONE of our trip. Fortunately, everyone was okay and 12 hours later we were back on the road continuing our adventure. More on that debacle soon.

Though I don’t know that that these tips are we led to us literally surviving that crash, I do know that without them I’m not sure we would have been able to tolerate the hundreds of hours we’ve spent sitting in a car along our many adventures. But as the sun set over the Utah red rocks and C and I found ourselves laughing hysterically over terrible baby names instead of wanting to tear our hair out, I knew that we really have mastered this whole road trip game. So finally I found the inspiration to finish this post and I’m hopeful that these tips on how to actually survive a road trip are as helpful for you as they’ve been for me.

1. Plan Plan Plan!

If I’ve learned anything from our road trips, it’s that nothing ever goes according to plan, but that doesn’t mean you can just wing it and hope for the best. C and I use My Maps on Google to set our route and where we’re staying along the way (or the final destination). We book our accommodations ahead of time (usually airbnbs or campsites) and occasionally I’ll look for restaurant recommendations along the way. I find that for longer trips it’s better to plan in batches (i.e. Utah to California) rather than the whole trip all at once. It can be taxing so give yourself time to plan it all out.

2. Snacks

Honestly, the ONLY way to survive a road trip is with so many snacks. We keep a snack bag within arm distance full of our favorite eats. Trail mix will always be our go-to because it really does give you the best bang for your buck and is perfect if you decide to do an out of car adventure. I’m a big fan of Orchard Valley mixes and especially their Antioxidant Mix. And if you’ve ever gotten stuck in the dreaded “my options are what’s currently available along the 3 shelves in the gas station” you will be forever grateful for the snack bag. Be sure to check out Orchard Valley’s new line of wellness mixes here.

Tips and tricks on how to actually survive a road trip from The Healthy Maven. With over 2000+ miles of road tripping, I've got you covered!

3. Music and Podcasts

We are major music buffs and podcast geeks (pssssht stayed tuned for a big announcement) so there’s pretty much always something playing. My biggest tip is to download songs offline (if you’re a spotify member) and pre-download your podcasts so you don’t kill your data. On this current trip we’ve been really digging this album, and this album. And for podcast recommendations, check out this post. Don’t forget your usb cord so you can hook your phone up to the car since most new cars have an outlet for it. They usually charge your phone too!

4. Offline Maps

On that note, either download offline maps or be sure to upload your route while you’re still on wifi in case you lose service along the way. Maps don’t require data to show your location, so pre-download your route and you won’t ever get lost. We love our Belkin for easy phone display while driving.

Tips and tricks on how to actually survive a road trip from The Healthy Maven. With over 2000+ miles of road tripping, I've got you covered!

5. Hydrate Homies!

Growing up, my Mom would always freeze water bottles the night before so they would stay cold and melt throughout the day. I still keep up this habit and my deep fear of ever being thirsty means that we generally have at least 4 full bottles between the two of us.

6. Bring Your Comfort Items (In moderation)

If I could bring my memory foam pillow with me everywhere, I totally would. Fortunately I can make it work on long road trips so my pillow always comes along for the ride. I also pick my shoes wisely. I keep cuter shoes in the back but in the front I have shoes that can easily be slipped on and off for seamless bathroom breaks (which happen more than I’d like to admit). I then have my blanket scarf with me to double as a blanket since I’m always cold.

7. The Yoga Mat

I’m prone to back issues and too much sitting always exacerbates it so I cannot road trip without an end of day yoga/stretch session. I shamelessly roll the thing out because tight hip flexors are the bane of my existence and are unacceptable in my world.

Tips and tricks on how to actually survive a road trip from The Healthy Maven. With over 2000+ miles of road tripping, I've got you covered!

8. Laugh it Off

If road trips have taught me anything, it’s that it will always be about the journey, not the destination. So we missed out on our awesomely cool airbnb because we totalled our car, but at least we got to experience karaoke INSIDE a Perkins in Rapid City, South Dakota. I know for certain I’ll never forget that memory, and that’s what road trips are for, right? Don’t forget to just laugh it off. All of it. The good, the bad, the omg what have we done moments. Those are the ones you’ll remember for a lifetime.Tips and tricks on how to actually survive a road trip from The Healthy Maven. With over 2000+ miles of road tripping, I've got you covered!

Huge thanks to Orchard Valley for sponsoring this post. Their two new mixes, Antioxidant mix and Omega-3 mix are available at select retailers this month, and honestly they are amazing! Non-GMO, free of artificial ingredients and are a great source of Vitamin E (Antioxidant mix) and ALAs (Omega-3 mix). They’re perfect to include on your next road trip or outdoor adventure. For additional information about Orchard Valley Harvest mixes and where to buy them, visit their website.


Orchard Valley is providing one lucky THM reader with the new Orchard Valley Harvest wellness mixes and a $50 Visa Gift Card. To enter just comment below with which mix you want to try and your best tip(s) for surviving a road trip. Giveaway closes on Sunday November 27th, 2016. Can’t wait to hear your ideas!

Tips and tricks on how to actually survive a road trip from The Healthy Maven. With over 2000+ miles of road tripping, I've got you covered!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Orchard Valley Harvest. The opinions and text are all mine.


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  • Reply
    November 22, 2016 at 6:00 am

    I have actually never been on a road trip, but most of these can be applied to other types of travel as well! I always bring snacks on long flights and make sure I get up and move around (maybe do some yoga in the aisles…people stare but I don’t care haha). I would love to try the omega 3 mix!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2016 at 7:07 am

    Probably the Omega 3 mix. Looks yummy! Road trips are few and far between, but we always play road games, have lots of snacks, and sometimes download episodes of our favorite shows to listen to along the way (like shark tank).

  • Reply
    November 22, 2016 at 8:21 am

    I would love to try the antioxidant mix. It looks so yummy. The key to having a stress free road trip is all about who you are taking your road trip with. A laid back, low stress person is the best and then you just leave all expectations behind and go with the flow.

  • Reply
    November 22, 2016 at 8:29 am

    That antioxidant blend looks delicious!
    We definitely take advantage of podcasts during our roadtrips!

  • Reply
    Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It
    November 22, 2016 at 9:04 am

    I want to try the Chocolate Nut Raisin Trail Mix flavor, omg looks so good! THANK YOU for all of these tips Davida! It’s going to make my own road-trip planning so much easier!!!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2016 at 9:23 am

    I want to try dark chocolate blueberries. I survive road trips with music.

  • Reply
    Lisa Brown
    November 22, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Have food, drinks, and things to occupy the kids on a road trip. I would choose the Cashew Halves & Pieces
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

  • Reply
    November 22, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Freezing your water bottles, oh my goodness, why didn’t I think of that?! Props to your mama! I would love to try the Antioxidant Blend for our road trips!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Road trips…I love ’em and hate ’em. I like some of the random things that occur when you take a road trip that usually add to the enjoyment but at the same time I hate feeling trapped in a car for most of the trip. The Orchard Valley snack mix I want to try is antioxidant mix.

  • Reply
    November 22, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Downloading audiobooks is my best tip for road tripping, mainly comedies. Or lots of podcasts.
    And lots of snacks or a full healthy meal if you can!
    I would love to try the Antioxidant mix!
    – Brynn

  • Reply
    Liz K
    November 22, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Great tips! I’d love to try the dark chocolate almonds. I would say to plan extra time in the journey to stop for things that catch your eye. For example, driving along and stopping at random attractions, towns, etc to be able to enjoy the journey as well as the destination.

  • Reply
    Liz Chin
    November 22, 2016 at 10:35 am

    I want to try the cashew and dark chocolate blueberries (maybe even mix them together)!

    Great tips – I especially love the yoga mat one! So simple and it doesn’t take up room. My biggest tip would be to create a map (I use google maps so that I can share them) and add pinpoints for restaurants, must-see sights, attractions, etc. And because I enjoy creating these maps, I’ll color coordinate the pins so that similar items are all colored the same (e.g. sights are blue, coffeeshops are green, restaurants are red, etc.). Then, I share it with whoever else is coming with me so they can add to it if they want.

  • Reply
    Jess B
    November 22, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Thanks for the tips! I would say, always have some kind of tissues, napkins, paper towels on hand. A. messes are bound to happen, but importantly, B. unexpected emergency bathroom breaks with no rest stop in sight. You want to be prepared! I would love to try the Energy Mix. I’ve been loving Cashews and Pistachios lately!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2016 at 10:52 am

    The dark chocolate cherries sound amazing! Snacks and good tunes are the key to road trips. I like to listen to Spotify so I can pick what suits my mood, which in turns means I need a car charger for my phone!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2016 at 11:33 am

    The antioxidant mixes has a lot of my favorites, so I’d choose that! Staying hydrated is #1, even if it means you’ll need to make a couple of stops. While music is fun and all, take time to get some podcasts downloaded (like you recommended), as well as audiobooks! Definitely helps the time pass. I’m all about comfort as well – driving in jeans is a no-no for me!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2016 at 11:33 am

    The Cranberry Almond Cashew Mix sounds delicious! My tip for how to survive a road trip is hands down…audiobooks. No joke. I have used them countless times, including a trip from Northern Maine to Tennessee. Sometimes you don’t want to stop because you’re at a good part. 😬

  • Reply
    Alexandra M
    November 22, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Their Omega-3 mix looks delish! My road trip tip is to keep tons water on hand and get out of the car every 2-3 hours to walk and stretch!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Patience! a lot of it 🙂
    I also use to freeze water bottles and everything else that can be frozen, juice bottles and sometimes even milk, not only that they are cold when I want to drink them they are also cooler packs in my cooler :D.

    I would love to try the Antioxidant mix.

  • Reply
    Raquel Suarez
    November 22, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    I would want to try the antioxidant mix looks yummy. My best tips for a road trip is to be in most comfortable clothes and shoes on ,have portable snacks, stock up on toilet paper you dont know if where your stopping for restroom breaks will have some ,and a good music playlist.

  • Reply
    November 22, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Been loving following your road trip on snapchat the past week! I want to try the antioxidant mix! My best tip for a road trip is to bring along a couple of straws! Sounds silly but it is SO much easier to drink through a straw rather than a wide-mouthed nalgene or other water bottle while behind the wheel!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    All of them sound delicious and would love to try any one of them!

    When we go on a road trip we like to stop every hour-and-a half or so for bathroom breaks and to stretch. It helps keep us alert and in good spirits.

  • Reply
    November 22, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Ooo… omega 3 mix! I always need a soft fuzzy blanket, plenty of water and snacks for fuel, and I make sure I download some good Spotify playlists just in case!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    I’d like to try the chocolate raisin nut mix, although the cranberry cashew mix sounds good too. My husband and I are actually heading off on a road trip tomorrow, and for us, it’s all about the entertainment. We download audio books from the library and listen to a few podcasts too.

  • Reply
    Stephanie S.
    November 22, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    I would love to try the antioxidant blend. My best road trip tips are lots of snacks, podcasts, and audiobooks.

  • Reply
    Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday
    November 22, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    Oooh cranberry almond cashew sounds awesome! My parents and I went on tons of road trips when I was looking at colleges, and they were some of my favorite vacations. My survival tips include snacks, comfy clothes, and quick little dance parties at stops to de-stress and get the blood flowing 🙂

  • Reply
    paige c
    November 22, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    i would want the omega 3 mix! We actually drove 16 hours last week with our dog, we made sure to pack drinks, towels (it rained and the dog got wet during stops), and snacks!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    I want to try Dark Chocolate Cherries. My best tip for surviving a road trip is audiobook.

  • Reply
    Casey the College Celiac
    November 23, 2016 at 12:29 am

    Their antioxidant mix sounds delicious! And my best tips are: 1) having music and audiobooks handy, 2) staying flexible with your schedule, 3) stretch out – literally this time – by exercising at your hotel, doing yoga or just taking a walk around the rest stop.

  • Reply
    Rachel P
    November 23, 2016 at 8:34 am

    The Omega-3 Mix sounds right up my alley! I love a good road trip and my essential is a good playlist! Then you’ll always tie those songs to your awesome road trip and will be able to remember the good times and amazing scenery later!!

  • Reply
    November 23, 2016 at 10:21 am

    All of their snacks look delicious! I love trail mix, nuts, chocolate, oh my! I also love snacking – keeps those hangry cravings at a minimum. I love that picture of you on the yoga mat in Utah! Beautiful! I lived in Utah for 2 years and I loved it out there!

  • Reply
    November 23, 2016 at 10:49 am

    The antixoidant mix sounds good. I like to bring or play games throughout the trip to get everyone involved to have fun.

  • Reply
    November 23, 2016 at 11:35 am

    I want to try the dark chocolate cherries. My road trip advice is to plan for messes!

  • Reply
    November 23, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Oooh the antioxidant mix looks delicious! My number one tip is to leave your child with their grandparents….

  • Reply
    November 23, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    I’d like to try the Antioxident mix😋 My best road trip advise is to use your restroom breaks wisely-a little alone time makes a huge difference! Do your business, stretch, wander around even if it it only for 3 minutes. You’ll be much happier on your journey!

  • Reply
    Sam @ Hygge Wellness
    November 23, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    OMG I can’t believe you guys hit a buck and destroyed the car! Thank goodness you’re OK. What a crazy start to a road trip.. your pictures are amazing! Living in NJ, I can’t believe that America is so vast & beautiful. We forget sometimes how diverse our landscape really is! Thanks for the reminder ; )

  • Reply
    November 23, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Will keep these tips in mind for next year – EEEEEK!

    So glad you made it safely to your new home and can’t wait to visit.

    Happy thanksgiving <3

  • Reply
    Julia @ Peanut Butter & Julia
    November 23, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    The Omega-3 mix looks delicious! I always make sure to have good music and a bunch of podcasts downloaded onto my phone!

  • Reply
    November 23, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    We went on a big road trip through Colorado and Utah this summer – our necessities were good music and lots of snacks! The energy mix looks yummy!

  • Reply
    November 23, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    I’d love to try both flavors but especially the antioxidant!

  • Reply
    November 24, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Hello Davida,

    that`s a really great article. I`ve never done a very long road trip before, but I want to. And all your tips are highly recommended – especially the trick to freeze water bottles. Perfect. When I`ll do a long road trip oneday I´ll keep enough water, snacks, music and books with me. Maybe audiobooks, too. Or I´ll be a an audiobook *lol* and read out the story to the driver. And don`t forget my camera to make thousands of photos – from places, landscapes, my fellow travelers and our laughters. Oh, and I wouldn`t go on a raod trip without my favourite pillow and blanket cover.

    A lot of foggy greetings from Germany, Susann

    P.S.: I would love to try every product of Orchard Valley Harvest. ;))) But from the new wellness mixes I would like to try the Antioxidant Mix first.

  • Reply
    Janice R.
    November 24, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    My best road trip advice is to plan ahead for anything and everything and be prepared! I want to try the chocolate covered blueberries.

  • Reply
    November 25, 2016 at 11:08 am

    I would love to try the antioxidant mix!! It looks delicious. 🙂 Also – road trip tip: I always bring snacks and download plenty of podcasts and music podcasts to listen to. Both of those things make road trips much more bearable and more fun.

  • Reply
    November 26, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    I would try and of these mixes! And my tips for surviving a road trip are also packing enough snacks, drinks, and downloading enough podcasts and music!

  • Reply
    Anushka Wickramaratne
    November 27, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    I would love to try the omega 3 mix! And I’ve found that comfy clothes, good music, and a blanket are pretty much essentials for surviving long road trips!

  • Reply
    November 28, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Ive never seen the omega mix in stores!

  • Reply
    Tara | Treble in the Kitchen
    November 29, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Perfect tips! Brian and I drive home for Christmas from Denver to Indiana (about 17 hours) each year, so we understand all too well that there are many things that go into a successful road trip! This year we will have 3 dogs in the car with us…so that should be interesting!

  • Reply
    Lucy Squeo
    November 30, 2016 at 8:34 am

    I would definitely like to try the Energy Mix…my three favorites all in one bag!!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    The DARK CHOCOLATE ALMONDS would go over well on one of our road trips.

  • Reply
    roxana plaza
    October 10, 2017 at 4:01 am

    I can’t believe you guys hit a buck and destroyed the car!

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