How to prep for a road trip


This week we were on the road. This trip was unfortunately for a funeral in Vermont, putting us on an unexpected 8(ish) hour drive home. The silver lining of this otherwise sad and last-minute trip? We realized we have become good at preparing for long rides in the car, even in tough situations.

So without further ado, here is our standard road trip prep list:


We use our phones for navigation, so to keep our phones in place, we love this holder. (We've even given these as gifts to many loved ones recently!) So we're always sure to keep it in the car, along with a spare charger or two.

When it comes to navigation apps, we find that both Waze and Google Maps have their own pros and cons. We find Waze is good at reminding us what the speed limit is, gives better traffic alerts, and has a fancy new integration with Spotify. Meanwhile, Google Maps seems to be better at telling the driver which lane to be in for upcoming turns, which is often critical when driving through NYC. We're always sure to have each app updated and ready to go before the trip.

To let our loved ones know our ETA, we also use the share location feature on iMessage.

Audio Entertainment

We ensure we have some podcasts downloaded and ready to go, so that we can switch things up. Our current favorites include Reply All, This American Life, The Allusionist, and WTF with Marc Maron.

Audiobooks are also a nice distraction. Listening to Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic was great on a solo road trip recently. Ron Chernow biographies like Hamilton, Washington, and Grant (which is new!), are solid options.

Spotify is our source for all things music.


To limit the number of stops and to keep the budget in check, we often pack a mix of snacks to nibble on. Again, switching things up helps a lot. Our go-tos include grapes, almonds, cereal bars, cheese, and dark chocolate-covered espresso beans.

To stay hydrated, we keep water bottles filled in the cooler. Ginger ale is another good option, as it is sparkly and tasty, as well as a good antidote to slight car sickness.

Chapstick, mints, and gum also keep us going when the traffic starts building up.


We find it's best when the copilot has some sort of activity to do in the passenger seat. We'll often pack our computers so that we can work on the blog or other work. To keep our laptops balanced and cool, we bring along our trusty lap desk. I also took up arm knitting one year, which didn't turn out great, but did help the time pass a little faster.

So that's our general prep -- the things that we naturally know to reach for before settling into a long road trip. What sorts of things are on your road trip prep lists?