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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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