Travel: Road Trip Essentials

Each year, my mom and I drive the 11 hours, 38 minutes from Naples to Greensboro, N.C., to visit family, and, each year, I find myself thinking at some point along the way, “I wish I had brought {fill in the blank—hand sanitizer… something other than chips to snack on… Xanax…}” By now, I’ve gotten my road trip essentials fairly well defined, so in the spirit of packing for my adventure—it’s happening this week—I’ve rounded up a list of things I can’t live without during a day on the road.

1) A lightweight sweater. This linen cardigan from J.Crew is perfect to pull on when there are discrepancies between road trippers as to just how cold the AC should be set.

2) Water. Duh. But keeping it in a glass bottle rather than plastic is really important. More and more studies are showing that drinking water that’s been left in a plastic bottle in the heat = not so good for you. Some say the chemicals that leach into the water from the plastic can even cause cancer. (I’m currently craving a bkr bottle, but I still can’t decide on a color. Gloss or Chip?!)

3) Magazines. The only time I ever get around to depleting my piles of magazine subscriptions is at the beach or on road trips. Case in point: This Real Simple is from February, so I’ve got some catching up to do.

4) A small bag. When you’re in a car in close quarters, downsizing to a smaller bag is so much more comfortable. This one even fits in the pocket of the car door! Pictured: Tory Burch Robinson cross-body wallet

5) Sunglasses. One of those things that’s so obvious, you don’t think about it until the sun is blazing in your eyes, your neck is getting stiff from trying to position yourself behind the visor just so, and you spend half the time wondering how long you have to squint before crows’ feet start to develop. Pictured: Target metal aviator sunglasses

6) Lip gloss. Gloss, balm, stick, whatever. Choose a bright color so you can wear minimal makeup everywhere else. (No one needs a full face of makeup to sit in a car all day.) Pictured: Chanel Glossimer in Sirop

7) Socks. I hate wearing shoes unless I absolutely have to. But socks? So much better, especially when dealing with the AC discrepancies mentioned previously.

8) E-books. I download a ton before any vacation. On my reading list currently: Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

9) Waze. If you don’t have the Waze app on your phone, you should. Other drivers share traffic and road info in real time so you can avoid accidents or trouble spots before you get to them, which is especially helpful when driving through areas you’re not familiar with.

10) Snacks. Berries, nuts, Goldfish, Trader Joe’s organic popcorn with olive oil—all yummy, easy to eat and non-guilt-inducing.

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