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  • Articles,

    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!

  • Articles,, Holiday, Home Life, Lifestyle

    Spring Break with Parents vs. Spring Break with Friends … What do I do?

    Spring Break

    Spring break season is upon us.


    In our heads, we think of this glorious, week-long break from school as a time to relax and recuperate from the trials and tribulations of spring semester. But in all actuality, is it really as revitalizing as we make it out to be?


    Spring break falls into two categories: making memories with friends or spending quality time with your parents. Although both have their pros and cons, spring break is never actually as relaxing as we make it out to be.


    I spent this past week in Arizona with my parents. After long days packed with hiking at the Grand Canyon, searching for wild horses and watching baseball in the desert heat, I’m finally back home– and let me be honest, I’m more tired than I was before the vacation.


    On the other hand, a group of my closest friends spent their spring break in California. Even though laying at the beach, sightseeing around Beverly Hills and chatting around a bonfire doesn’t seem to strenuous, they’re ready to return to everyday life, as well.


    So if spring break is going to inevitably end up in exhaustion, how do you make a decision on what you’re going to do?


    In my opinion, spending vacation with your parents is always the way to go. Yeah, you’ll miss your friends (and probably encounter quite a bit of FOMO), but after a short week, you’ll be back together again.


    Spring break-ing with parents is much more smooth– the group is more organized and overall does more activities (and hey, not paying for everything with your own money is a perk). You don’t have to worry about travel or living situations, and they’re you’re family, so you know you’ll get along. Sometimes.


    Experiencing new things with friends is always a good time, but truthfully, spending too much time with them could produce some difficulties.


    I missed my friends this past week, without a doubt. But there’s nowhere else I would’ve rather been than with my family. Plus, family vacations aren’t forever– milk it while you still can!


    If you’re debating on whether to spend spring break with friends or family, follow the number one rule: family comes first. Besides the perpetual state of tiredness after it’s over, a great time is guaranteed.

  • Articles, School

    This Packing Checklist is Perfect for Spring Break!

    Spring Break Packing Checklist

    The Ultimate Spring Break Packing Checklist

    It’s that time of year!

    We’re all counting down the days, hours and minutes until an entire week of no stress – basking in sunlight and parading around the beach. While our teachers pile on last-minute assignments, problematic projects, and inconvenient tests –  we hold on to a single, glimmering vision of hope: Spring Break.

    However, in the midst of the exhausting days before break, we’re burdened with one final task: packing.

    Here’s everything you’ll need for the ultimate spring break, overpacking not included.

    Multiple Swimsuits and Cover-Ups
    Beach towel
    Sunglasses, Sunglasses, Sunglasses!
    Your Favorite Travel Playlist
    Reusable Water Bottle
    Basic, natural makeup products (you won’t need much – it’s a vacation for your skin, also!)
    Bath Products – Travel-Size Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash
    Toiletries for Morning/Nighttime Routine
    Feminine Products (in the case of any unsettling surprises)
    Comfortable Clothes – and a few outfits that make you feel fancy
    Two – Three pairs of shoes (don’t forget socks!)
    Underwear/Bras (packing a few extra never hurt anyone)
    Simple Jewelry (accessories that are versatile)
    A Good Book for Beach Reading 
    Sun-Protecting Hat
    Beach Bag/Large Bag
    Snacks for the Road/Flight/Beach Days
    Disposable Camera = Memories!
    Phone Charger
    First Aid Kit (Better Safe than Sorry!)

    The worst feeling is arriving at your destination and realizing you forgot a vacation essential like your favorite pair of sunglasses or phone charger.

    No Worries – It’s easy for some things to slip your mind in between the pressure of class and the excitement of vacation, but with this list, you’ll be packed and ready to go in no time!