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How to Pack for a Long Road Trip

There are over four million miles of roads in the United States. That’s longer than the distance between the Earth and the moon! If you want to traverse this open terrain, you’re going to need to pack the right things.

No matter where you’re headed, the goal of preparing is to ensure you have a fun and safe vacation. Here are seven things to keep in mind as you fill the trunk with your bags.

#1 Get Good Gear

The first thing you should think about is what you’re going to put your belongings in. Purchasing quality luggage can go a long way in making your trip as enjoyable as possible. Be sure to account for the places you’re going to stay, when you’ll need to camp, and for how long you’ll be gone.

#2 Pack a Pillow

Bringing a pillow is essential if you plan on sleeping in your car, but it’s worth taking one even if you plan on staying in hotels. Long hours on the road can make anyone sleepy. Having a soft pillow to lay your weary head on while someone else takes the wheel makes your time in the car much more pleasant.

 #3 Don’t Discount a Daypack

Unless you plan on staying in your car the whole trip (which we really hope you don’t), having a small backpack or purse will come in handy. That way you can take your things with you as you embark on an outside excursion.

 #4 Take Treats

Having snacks in the car will keep you from having to constantly stop to pick up provisions. Some healthy munchies we would recommend are:

  • Trail mix
  • Beef jerky
  • Protein bars
  • Veggie chips

Having smaller options to nibble on along with a sandwich in a lunch cooler bag can keep you on the road between breakfast and dinner. Also, feel free to include some less nutritious options in your stash. Just remember, if you eat junk food while traveling in a vehicle, the calories don’t count!

#5 Carry Cash

Almost everyone has credit and debit cards these days. That being said, the security of having cold hard cash is severely underrated. Some amazing places are still cash-only, and you don’t want to miss out on them just because you didn’t have some paper in your wallet. Speaking of which, it’s also good to have a pocket wallet to put your bills in.

 #6 Remember a Reusable Receptacle

A refillable water bottle is crucial when it comes to staying hydrated. Fill it up at every place you stop at and you won’t have to worry about getting parched. If you have an insulated thermos, it’s also perfect for the coffee and tea that will keep you awake at the wheel.

 #7 Secure Sunscreen & Buy Bug Spray

Whether you really need these two handy ointments is climate-dependent, but if you’re going anywhere sunny or buggy, you definitely don’t want to forget them. Believe it or not, you can still get sunburned when it’s cold out, so bring some sunblock lotion even if you’re not going somewhere hot. However, you probably don’t need either if you’re driving through Alaska during the winter.

If you find that your skin is easily irritated, find ways to ensure you retain your skin health despite the changes in climate.

Hittin’ the Highway

Now that the car’s all packed, it’s time to put the pedal to the metal and head out on your long journey. Having all of these stowed away in your vehicle of choice will make this trip one to remember, so get out there and make some memories!

Remember the words of T.S. Eliot: “Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.”

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