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To me, road trips are life. You know what else is life? Water. That’s right. No matter our plans, journeys, and destinations, that’s probably the #1 aspect to think about – ESPECIALLY with kids in the picture. You can find Nestlé® products at Walmart online, but make sure to visit the store for the 35 pack! As shoppers, we are receiving a great value by getting 3 more bottles for the same price as the old 32 pack! If the 35-pack of Nestlé® Pure Life® is not available in your local Walmart, please ask a store manager about getting the product in your area.
In fact, sometimes even the planned ones wind up following their own curves and paths. And then with each one I realize, we didn’t stick to the original itinerary even a little! That feeling I got when I was 17 and had just received my driver’s license? It never fully went away. It never got old. Road trips make you feel ALIVE.
I was 23. It was a January ice storm and I was fed up! I had a new car, some extra graduation money, and a heart for adventure. At first we thought we wanted to go to New Mexico, but then we read that the deserts get cold in the winter so we decided we’d go south. For us, it was ALL about the journey. We packed layers, picked up supplies at Walmart, and then we were off. We kept driving until there was no more ice, and eventually no more night. You can say we drove off the ice and darkness – shaking them off! We wound up in Jacksonville, Florida.
With stops in the Carolinas, a sunrise breakfast in Savannah, Georgia, and fun jaunts in Key Largo, Islamorada, and anywhere with alligators, I loved that we didn’t know the essential Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How answers of a planned trip. I think we found even more adventure than we thought possible. Adventures included shining a flashlight in the ocean before dawn and seeing an octopus! There was swimming with dolphins and rays, and renting bicycles. There was staying at the fancy hotel in Key West, charming the Customer Service Desk enough that she gave us free breakfast upgrade passes, and ordering juice on the beach. It was amazing!
I’ll never forget that feeling of driving through Miami and then getting onto Route 1 into the wilderness of deer, alligators and tarpons. I could go on and on describing that trip but the point is that we followed our wildest dreams into an ocean adventure. If that’s not living, I don’t know what is. Now we still have adventurous spirits, but we have kids. While “planning” seems to defeat the purpose of a spontaneous road trip, you can “prepare” for one in no time at all. I go on a lot of road trip adventures – up and down the east coast, all over New England, in California’s wine country, and throughout some amazing parts of Alaska. I can’t pick a favorite destination!
1 – Water, of course, as mentioned above! Pure Life is re-launching in mid-May and will have new packaging. This one is a no-brainer for my family. We thrive on hydration to power up our adventures! Nestlé Pure Life is committed to delivering pure, great-tasting water to our family and yours – because every drop in every bottle is filtered through a 12-step quality process. They ensure great taste by enhancing their water with a unique blend of minerals. Through recycling at both schools, both kids have made sure we’re committed to recycling!
2 – Snacks are key. This is another no-brainer but when you don’t know how long you’ll be in the car – hours, days, or weeks – you have to bring foods that last. Think fruit, dried fruit, trail mix, beef or turkey jerky, nutrition bars, etc. Think water, of course. I mentioned water, right? Water and snacks. And personally I love to pick up the local foods at the places on my journey. Think whoopie pies in New England, or Key Lime Pie in Florida!
3 – Don’t wait until you’re too tired to find a hotel or place to stay. I have done this, way too many times. Luckily for me, it was before I had kids so I only had a cranky boyfriend, friend, or cranky self to contend with!
4 – Use your websites and apps to find unsold accommodations and attractions tickets. Last minute travel sites and apps let your name your own price on last-minute hotels and attractions. You might not know where you’re staying until you’ve already paid, but maybe that’s part of the fun? You can save a lot of money on these sites – specifically designed for last minute trips! Apparently, the spirit of adventure can be rewarding in financial ways.
5 – Plan your route, even spontaneously. Even with no destination in mind, you’ll want to have SOME idea of where you’re headed and how long you’ll have on the road. Websites like Road Trip America and Rand McNally offer free road trip routes to help you plan your drive. You don’t have to be too specific – just click on the regions you want to visit and you’ll get several options. This will help you with time management, sight-seeing, and is crucial if you don’t have an open-ended trip in mind, but need to be home! You can also create and plot out backup routes and trips. That way the spirit of spontaneity lives on! I do this for all trips – long-planned or not.
6 – Have a travel bucket list. Checking off items becomes easier as you set forth on adventures!
7 – Combat boredom. Think ahead about music, video games, and travel games too!
8 – Know your budget. You will have to divide it between lodging, gas, food, souvenirs, attractions, etc.
9 – Pack light and prep your car. This is the time to downsize on what you pack. Pack your own cleanup supplies, and check your car tires, fluids, battery, brakes, and gas!
10 – Take a TON of photos!