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    Road Trips: a Vacation Before the Actual Vacation

    Girl on road trip vacation

    We’re always looking forward to our next vacation; whether it’s taking a break from school work, relaxing during the summer by the poolside, or a random family vacation to the mountains, escaping from real life, we’re always waiting for the next opportunity to shut our brains off.

    Vacations are an essential part of staying sane– it gives us the chance to escape the mundane routine of daily life, all while making memories that last a lifetime. We always brag to our friends about our excursions, such as swimming with the dolphins or a 6-mile long hike, but we never include the process of getting there, which in my opinion, is the best part.


    Road trips were a huge part of my childhood. Growing up with five siblings, it was always a pain to purchase plane tickets for the entire family, so we drove. We would wake up before the sun rose, carry our bags and blankets out to the car and step up camp for our journey. Cramming eight people’s bags and bodies into the car was comparable to an extreme game of Tetris, but somehow, we always made it work.

    Based on experience, there are three necessities for the perfect road trip.


    Snacks… and a lot of them. The day before your drive, take a family vacation to the grocery store; everyone should pick out their favorite snack, agreeing to only eat their choice, unless a sharing agreement can be reached. My personal favorites are beef jerky, almonds and strawberry Gatorade (trust me).

    The next key to an effortless expedition is an engaging playlist. Inevitably, everyone is going to get tired of talking to each other; that’s where music comes in. If you want to spend the time making a road trip playlist beforehand, go for it. However, there are some great driving playlists on Spotify.

    Last but not least: games. My family would spend most of our trip playing games, and although they might seem silly, they really help time pass faster. “I spy…” is a classic, along with “21 questions.” My personal favorite is the license plate game, which will occupies passengers with searching for the most interesting license plate.

    Road trips truly prove that life isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey. Next time you have to drive somewhere instead of flying, don’t think of it as a burden– think of it as an excursion in itself.

    Thinking of taking a trip soon? Check out why you should in this article from Mapping Megan

    Addendum: We asked some of the girls in our Springboarder teen leadership group what their favorite things are for road trips and here are their answers:

    • headphones, music, good playlist
    • neck pillow
    • water
    • snacks
    • camera
    • dog:)
    • friends/someone to keep me company:)
    • hoodies and slides
    • games (crossword puzzles, word searches)
    • blanket
    • comfortable shoes
    • road trip guide
    • emergency kits (car kits, first aid kits)
    • riddles (with family or friends to pass time and to see how many people got right)

    What are your favorite road trip essentials? Tell us in the comments below!