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Our favorite vacation (so far) was our 30th Anniversary Road Trip in 2018. We traveled for 17 days from San Diego -> Utah -> Colorado -> Kansas -> Oklahoma -> Texas -> New Mexico -> Arizona -> San Diego. Here are some road tip ideas that have worked for me over the years and maybe they’ll help somebody else too.
Check your carrier’s website before your flight
Apparently the sizes of carry-on bags have changed for many airlines, so what worked last year might not work this year. I once discovered that since I had purchased an “economy” ticket, I was ONLY allowed a personal item, no carry-on bag at all. Good thing I checked before I got there or I would have had to pay extra fees if I tried to board with my carry-on.
Plan, but be as flexible as possible.
On one of my flights, I was on the airplane for an extra 2 hours! I was so thankful that I had many of my road trip survival items with me, and not with my checked baggage! In 2016 due to various road construction and area fires, Roy & I ended up spending 8 days and 44 hours (!) in the car on one trip. Of course that wasn’t the original plan, however I’m so thankful we had some of our road trip survival items with us.
Here are some of my road trip items.
WATER: If we’re flying, I like to bring my empty stainless steel water bottle. Once you get through security there are often Hydration Stations where you can fill your water bottle for free. Just remember to empty it BEFORE you go through security (yep, made that mistake once and got to experience the extra screening process). It also comes in handy if you’re at a conference/convention and you can fill that up once or twice for the whole day instead of having to go back & forth with a glass.
BRING SNACKS: I like to bring individual raw almond butter packets to add protein to the usually carb heavy free breakfasts. They travel well in my backpack. I’ll often have the almond butter with a banana (shh! Sometimes a waffle or English muffin sneaks in with them, but that’s our secret!) It’s also great to mix in oatmeal. Nuts, dates, and protein bars are some of our other go-to snacks.
Ever since our honeymoon, we now travel with some snacks. We landed on the big island of Hawaii and thought we’d take a quick nap and then go out to dinner. We woke up a few hours later and discovered that the town had shut down for the night. Nothing was open, and our dinner consisted of a vending machine picnic (ugh!)
LOOK FOR HEALTHY FOOD: If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see some of my great healthy finds at a few of the airports. I did have to walk quite a ways for one, but since I had a 3 hour layover, it wasn’t an issue. It’s tempting to eat a bunch of junk when traveling, but I always feel better when I eat better. Of course I don’t always eat that great, but I do try more often than not, and allow myself grace for when I don’t.
ESSENTIAL OILS: Sweet Orange, Peppermint & Lavender are the ones I take with me the most. We have a plug-in diffuser for the car and a battery operated one for the hotel room. Diffusing oils helps keep us alert while driving, refreshes stale hotel rooms, and helps us relax in different surroundings. It’s also great when we are driving through some “interesting” smelling areas ~ like lots of cows & chickens. 😉 Since I have MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities) I also wear my oils around my neck in an aromatherapy locket, just in case I might have a migraine triggered by a funky smell, or someone around me wearing perfume.
PERSONAL CARE: Of course I like to travel with my Pure Haven non-toxic items. With my eczema I need to bring items that I know won’t irritate my skin. I love our Hands-on-the-Go for quick hand cleaning, and I put our Hand Soap in a small bottle since I can’t stand using the drying, smelly fragrance, and often toxic hotel soap.
SUNSCREEN: this is a must for me. Read my post here about what to look out for when choosing a safe sunscreen for you and for the environment.
MUSIC: what road trip would be complete without some rousing renditions of some favorites? We’re pretty eclectic in our taste from Broadway (nothing like Phantom of the Opera when driving at night!), 80’s rock (don’t judge!), Oldies, Classical, Praise & Worship, and Movie Soundtracks (The Greatest Showman is the new favorite).
MISCELLANEOUS: Reading material (of course) you never know when you’ll be stuck on a plane for an extra 2 hours. Extension cords (empty plugs are notoriously in awkward places). I was so thankful to have also brought 2 portable phone chargers with me. I was able to charge my phone on the plane so I had enough power to schedule Uber when I landed.
That’s all I can come up with off the top of my head. I’m sure after I post this I’ll remember more things. What are your road trip MUST haves?
My passion is to help families with Swapping Toxins for Healthy Options. I can send you a list of the top ingredients to avoid. Let’s start the conversation about ingredients in products with others ~ Contact me to speak to groups, companies, or a few friends gathered together online or in person. Making small steps CAN make a big impact.