Road Trip Survival Guide
We are prepping for a two week road trip from Seattle to Texas (and back!) for the holidays and we have a feeling many of you will also be spending some time in a car this holiday season. We road trip all over the PNW on the weekends (it’s not uncommon for us to drive 8 hours in a day) and sometimes we feel like we live in our car (heck, we have sure slept in it a few times!). Our road trips are the one chance during the week that we get uninterrupted time together and we often have hour long conversations about the future and our big dreams, play a little bit of carpool karaoke, and get inspired by listening to podcasts. While we personally love road trips, we realize they aren’t for everyone, so we thought we’d throw together a quick list of our biggest tips to make the drive comfortable, fun, and go by a little quicker.
Note: We’ve linked a handful items so you can see exactly which products we take with us. Full disclosure–if you click on these links and make a purchase on Amazon, we get a small commission at no extra cost to you. We will only ever recommend products we truly love, actually use during our adventures, and think you can benefit from too!
Listen to podcasts
We are hooked on podcasts! Not only is there a podcast for any topic you’d want to learn about our listen to, they are free (score!), and are usually a good length that can help take up a decent amount of time. We have a very wide variety of tastes when it comes to podcasts, but here are our favorites!
- Extra Pack of Peanuts: this is our favorite travel podcast! The host Travis (and sometimes accompanied by his wife Heather) do trip diaries where you can hear about where to stay, eat, and drink, and what to do in the different cities they have been to. They are very similar to our travel guides and they currently have over 20 cities! They also interview people in the travel world so you can hear about others experiences.
- How I Built This: This podcast is super popular and for good reason! The host interviews founders of some of the world’s top companies, from Patagonia to Five Guys to Jeni’s Ice Cream to Airbnb, to hear how they started their business and challenges they have faced. It’s really cool to hear where the ideas came from and how the businesses grew.
- The Goal Digger Podcast: This is definitely a more female focused podcast, but great for anyone who has an entrepreneurial spirit and wants to connect with audiences online and in person. The host, Jenna Kutcher, is one of the biggest boss babes out there who grew her photography and online teaching business from nothing to seven figures. She gives great tips for Instagram and Pinterest and also has many successful and awesome guests. She is very open about her struggles with infertility and mistakes she made in her business. And bonus: her and her husband are #marriagegoals!
- Dirty John: If you like crime podcasts, we loved listening to Dirty John, which is a true story about a woman named Deborah who gets together with a man named John and things get pretty crazy. It gets a bit frustrating at times as you want to scream at Deborah to make better choices lol. They just turned it into a TV show too!
Find fun stops along the way
One of the best things about road trips is the journey and going through areas you wouldn’t visit otherwise. One thing we try to do on every road trip is make a stop somewhere for a little break, whether it’s to grab coffee, eat at a local restaurant, stretch our legs, or see a cool sight. It’ll not only help break up the time, but it’ll also give you the chance to experience something you may not have ever done. One great app to help you find road trip stops is Roadtrippers. You can enter your route and find fun ideas of things to do along the way, as well as restaurants, hotels, rest areas, and more. We are very excited for some of the destinations during our two week road trip, but we are equally as excited about some of the quick stops we will be making too!
Listen to Audiobooks
Long road trips are a great way to knock out an audiobook or two! We have recently started listening to more books in the car and it helps pass the time and gives us a chance to knock books off of our reading list. The nice thing about audiobooks is almost every book comes in audio form now, so the options are endless! We are currently listening to To Shake the Sleeping Self by Jedidah Jenkins and are loving it so far. One tip for audiobooks is to rent them through the library. Not only will they be free, but you can also avoid paying a monthly Audible fee. The only downside is sometimes you have to wait a little longer to get your hands (or should we say ears?!) on a copy.
Pack a lot of snacks
We don’t know about you, but when we are hungry we get HANGRY! And for some reason, being in the car driving makes us extra hungry. And there’s nothing worse than being hungry in the middle of nowhere or in traffic, having nothing to eat and then getting cranky, and then being trapped in a car together lol. We highly recommend loading up the car with snacks, not only to keep you full, but it also helps give you something to do and it’ll help save you money and time by not stopping to eat out along the way. We have quite a few go-to snack items, which can be read about in more detail in our hiking snacks blog post, but here is a quick list of our favorite healthy options:
- Wild Zora: Their meat and veggie bars are super healthy and make for an awesome savory snack option in the car. Our favorite is their Mediterranean lamb, but all of their flavors are really good. We also will bring their backpacking meals for car rides so we can have a delicious hot meal too! (Note: if you’d like to try Wild Zora for yourself, use our code APLUSK20 for 20% off your order!)
- Protein Bars: To curb your sweet tooth while driving, we have a few protein/ snack bars we love that are healthy and delicious. Our favorites are Oatmega (all of their flavors are amazing), Larabars (not really protein bars, but super good. We love the chocolate peanut butter), Trail Nuggets Pro, and RX Bars.
- Superseedz: These are SO good! They are shell-less pumpkin seeds with awesome seasonings. Our favorite flavors are the Somewhat Spicy, Cocoa Joe, and Maple Sugar and Salt.
- Lunch meat: We usually bring a few containers of lunch meat with us in the car for a heavier snack/light lunch. We recommend making lettuce wraps and adding guacamole!
- Veggies: We love packing a few ziplocs of bell peppers, carrots, and cucumbers for a quick and fresh snack. Bonus points if you dip it in hummus!
Play carpool karaoke
While we may not be as talented as James Cordon, we love to have little singing and dancing parties in the car (ok mostly Kathryn, but Adam humors her). Some of our favorite things to sing in the car are old school rap, Macklemore, Nicki Minaj (Kathryn’s specialty), throwbacks, alternative, Texas country. We have a few go-to playlists that we love if you’re looking for some tunes:
- Feel Good Indie Rock
- Throwback Thursday
- I Love My ‘00s R&B
- All Out 00s
- Songs to Sing in the Car
- OneRepublic, Imagine Dragons, Bastille, The Head and the Heart, or Coldplay Radio
Keep the pup comfy and safe too!
While not everyone reading this blog has a dog, we wanted to give a few tips for dog owners, as traveling with a pup can sometimes be hard! We take our fur child Kona with us as often as we can and let’s just say she doesn’t love the car, but she doesn’t hate it either. There are a few things we do to keep her extra comfortable and safe that we highly recommend:
- Seat belt: If Kona had her way, she would be in our lap as we drove. But to keep her (and ourselves) safe, we have this seatbelt for her so she can stay put in the back seat. One end hooks into the seat belt slot and the other hooks onto her harness or collar. It’s super easy and she does great with it!
- Seat cover with hammock: As I am sure most dog owners know, dogs shed SO MUCH! And to keep our car relatively dog hair free (and to prevent scratches on our leather), we have a seat cover + hammock in the backseat. Not only does it keep our car in good shape, it also gives Kona her own little space in the back. She loves to lean against the back of the hammock and take naps while we drive.
- Treats: Kona is very food motivated, so we always make sure to have a bag of cut up cheese sticks (her treat of choice) for car rides to give her when she is being a good doggo or if she is a bit nervous and we want to make her feel better. Another thing we have tried before is giving her a bully stick (warning: these REEK!) to chew on in the back to keep her busy.
- Toys: Similar to the bully stick, anything you can give your pup so they have something to do during the drive will hopefully help keep them entertained and reduce some car anxiety. The closer you can make your pup feel at home in the car, the better!
We hope that you now have a new idea or two of how to make your long road trips a little more enjoyable! If you have any favorite podcasts or playlists we should check out, or any of your own road trip survival tips, let us know in the comments below!
Heading on a road trip soon?
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