Road Trip Essentials

Though detaching from social media and the blogosphere is always uber stressful for me, I managed to get some necessary R+R this fourth of July weekend. Richard and I were busy (as per usual) bouncing between his family’s homes to celebrate, but a little hiatus from the bustle of everyday life is almost always enough to refresh and recharge us both.

I started going to Pittsburgh with Richard and his family last year, which was a major change of pace since I do very little travel in the states — let alone by car. Since embarking on this annual vacay, I’ve garnered a list of several essential items that always make it into my handbag for the car ride:

1. Hand Sanitizer – Need I even explain this one? It’s something that’s too often forgotten on road trips, but is SO essential…especially if you pack lots of snacks like I do!

2.  Dry Shampoo – This one’s not so obvious, but I swear you’ll thank me for it later. Even if I shower the night before, I always start to feel a little grubby after sitting in the car for an extended period of time. Am I totally wack? Maybe, but I love this baby bottle of dry shampoo, which is great for freshening up at a rest stop.

3. Body Spray – I love my perfumes, but I’ll be the first to admit that they can be a bit strong for cramped car rides. I love body sprays because they’re a bit lighter in fragrance, yet can still be a real game changer. This is an item that I’ll couple with my dry shampoo at a rest stop to really recharge. That way I don’t feel the need to immediately shower upon arrival.

4. Glasses Cleaner – Though I majorly rely on my contacts, I’ll wear glasses if I know I’m going to be falling asleep. And if you wear glasses, you know how annoying smudges can be. That’s why I always pack this miniature cleaning kit from Lenscrafters. And guess what? It works wonders on electronics’ screens too!

5. Books –  Though I get major motion sickness, I still like to pack a few good books in my handbag. You never know when they might come in handy. Plus, I’ll for sure whip them out once the car ride’s over.

6. Electronics – My Nook and headphones are by far my most-used items on any long-distance road trip. I have access to all of my favorite apps on my Nook and my headphones help me tune everyone else in the car out — perfect for when I want to fall asleep.

7. Evian Facial Spray – Like I said, I’m all about freshening up. This mist helps wake me up and refresh my senses when we’re getting closer to our destination (more on this  here).

8. Lip Balm – This is a must-have on any car ride. I always pack Fresh’s Sugar lip balm and only need apply once per car ride. It’s that good.

9. Sunnies – A cute pair of sunglasses are a necessity for any trip, but they’re particularly useful in the car. I’ve gotten a bit obsessive about skin care lately, especially after reading that sunglasses can actually prevent wrinkles around the eye area as you age. You can bet I won’t be caught without them — in the car or out.

Is anyone else a road trip newbie? I’d love to hear your essentials — there’s always extra room in my bag!