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How to survive a Road trip: Car edition

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Whirlwind is the best way to describe this trip. While ski vacations are not usually known for their relaxing manner, ours seemed to kick into overdrive and not let up until we returned home. It was fantastic. We drove this time. The drive to northern NM from eastern TX is roughly 15 hours, a long time to be in a cramped vehicle. A few tips for survival:

1. Yoga pants have never been there for you more. Aside from being cute, yoga pants are extremely versatile. You can move around and adjust your position as needed while staying in complete comfort. I paired mine with a oversized sweater and short-topped boots. I am from Texas after all.

2. Stack your bags with care. My husband thinks I am completely OCD, and maybe I am because when we road trip anywhere I stack the luggage in the trunk or backseat (depending on which vehicle I take) with tremendous care. Your bottom layer should consist of the bulky luggage. In this case, it was my big suitcase and his big suitcase. Next layer is the things you should be able to extract with the car with relative ease (tire chains, tire tools, and your one-night-bag (more on that one shortly.) Your top layer is the quick-grab bag that you can get from the front seat with snacks, chargers, and water.

3. The one-night-bag and the quick-grab-bag. Two of the most important things to have in your car that will save your sanity and stomach. The one-night-bag contains pajamas, extra toiletries, and a change of clothes that you can slip out of the car quickly and take into the hotel for a stop on the road for some sleep. This prevents the pain of unpacking the entire car for one change of clothes. Makes things much simpler. The quick-grab-bag (mine is of the Vera Bradely kind) is essential in that this bag will contain your phone chargers, snacks (cliff bars and celery travel well), water, magazines, camera, tablets, etc. Basically, anything that can’t fit into your purse that you need in the car should go into the quick-grab-bag.

4. Stay hydrated and pack protein. I can’t say it enough: drink plenty of water. This May result in frequent bathroom stops but it will prevent a headache. Gatorade is also golden here, although less frequently (lots of sugar.) Cliff bars helped me survive some poor years in college and guess what? they are still there for me. I pack these, carrots, apple slices, and celery in small bags and put them into the quick-grab-bag.

5. Move around. You’re in a packed car, I get it. But doing a few arm circles, neck rolls, ankle rolls, and leg lifts can change your mood, give you some energy, and ward off sleepiness. Try for 5 minutes of movement for every hour in the car.

6. Bring a small pillow. This is a duh. This can help you sleep when needed and can provide lumbar support when your back feels like it’s about to fall off.

7. Keep those target bags! They are durable enough to handle trash duty. Also, this is an awesome opportunity to start recycling. I have a tub full at home and keep them in both vehicles. Have one for trash and one for water bottles (which can be refilled and reused.)

8. Fast food is not your friend. But sometimes it is necessary. Go for non-carbonated drinks (prevents awk gassy situations) and say ‘no’ to fries. The salt in the fries will dry you out and leave your feeling tired and groggy. Grilled chicken and vegetables are your best bet. Whaddup Chick-Fil-A!

9. Stop frequently. This may seem counterproductive but by stopping (at rest stops, historical markers, gas statins, etc) you get blood moving around the body, preventing soreness, fatigue, and even blood clots which can be potentially fatal. Make sure that the spot is well-light, far off of the road, and safe. Texas is notorious for these huge rest stops that have TV’s, nice restrooms, couches, etc. Aim for something like that.

10. Apps are your friend. Hotels.com, Priceline.com, and others have great traveling apps. I’ll do a blog soon on my favorites.

Happy road tripping!

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