Road Trip Essentials

As much as I enjoy hopping on a plane and heading off to a new destination (preferably a nice tropical one!) I love road tripping. My husband and I met as teenagers and the freedom of the open road, and ability to pick our own music (Stone Temple Pilots was on major repeat) was very appealing to us. This was the time before cell phones and tablets and I like to think back on all the places we visited and jams we got ourselves out of by working together. Our relationship was forged on the road and we've passed that same sense of adventure onto our boys. I have spent a lot of years perfecting our road trip essentials. Over time each packing list took on more or less items depending on where we were at in our lives. Before the boys we could survive on a change of clothes and a handful of CDs. With babies and toddlers we had mountains of diapers, toys and sippy cups. As teenagers, they generally require a few snacks and their ear phones. 

My husband and I are at the point in our lives where we have come full circle. We find the boys coming with us less often as they have their own lives and commitments now, but we are young and there is still more road to be travelled. When it comes to road trip essentials you want to make sure you have everything you need to prevent buying something you already have while on the road but there is no need to over pack. I try and stick to using three bags for just the husband and myself. AMH is a big fan of back packs where as I am a big fan of L.L.Bean's Boat and Totes. I have tested out many (many, many) travel bags over the years and I can say that these have not only lasted longer than the others, they are washable, hold a lot and when not in use, fold away. Plus you can monogram them #ifitsnotmovingmonogramit

We recently spent two nights and three days on the road. I brought my medium sized long handle zip top in blue to hold all my clothing and toiletries and my large sized regular handle open top red boat and tote to hold all the items I call my road trip essentials.

Road Trip Essentials

Blanket - Impromptu picnics or cool nights. I love my Hudson's Bay strip blanket with carrying strap and bring it on every road trip.

Sweater - Speaking of cool nights, I always bring a sweater. Even in the dead of summer. You can never predict what the night air will feel like. I bought this fleece pullover from L.L. Bean before our road trip and I know I will be getting a lot of use out of it this summer. 

Sunscreen - I cannot stress enough how important it is to have sunblock with you. Even just sitting in the car you can get burns on your face and arms. Hawaiian Tropic spray is my go to. The spray is so easy to apply. I try and add a quick spritz every few hours. 

Hat - There are so many times that I have left home without a hat and promptly regretted it. You never know when the opportunity for an adventure that will cause your hair to constantly blow in your face will come up! I frequently wear the hat I bought at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica but I also love this Ralph Lauren hat (I have it in red) or a baseball team hat like this Blue Jays one. 

Sunnies - You can never have too many pairs of sunnies. I would love to invest in a good pair of Pradas or Ray-Bans but I have yet to find a pair that feel just right. Until then, I like picking up cheap ones from our local farmer's market or Wal-Mart. 

Travel mug/cup - I never leave home without a Tervis Tumbler. For my Canadian friends, Tervis is an insulated mug that has been made in American since 1946. It will keep beverages warm or cold and each comes with a lid with an easy drink lip. I bought mine when I visited the Maker's Mark Distillery last spring. They come in a range of patterns and characters and you can purchase them at Target or on the Tervis website. It's great for those moments in your trip when you don't want a full drink and you can split a cold beverage between you and your car mates. 

Emergency kit - I don't mean go full out and buy a hospital grade kit. I have a small Lilly Pulitzer cosmetic case that I carry around some supplies that I/we might need. Tylenol, Band-Aids, Tums, Pepto. Anything you think you might need and really don't want to have to stop to pick up. 

Snacks and water - Our road trips frequently take us across the border to the US. One of the first things we do when we finally get into the US is stop at Target and/or Wal-Mart and pick up a case of water (I drink water like a mad person) and snacks. Granola bars are quick and easy to throw into your travel bag, I fell in love with the Girl Guides thin mint granola bars last week! We try and remain as healthy as we can while on the road and will pick up a few bananas, apples and ready to go cut fruit. 

Add in your favourite play list and you have the makings of a great road trip!

Have I forgotten anything? Is there anything you would add to this road trip essentials list? Add your picks to the comments below. I'll see you on the open road!