“He who would travel happily must travel light.”
― Antoine de St. Exupery
My entire life, I’ve been inexplicably drawn to the buzz and twinkle of neon lights and the industrial landscape of the heart of the city much like a bee to honey. The hustle and bustle of determined personalities paired with the high octane energy of any metropolitan area are enough to make my heart swoon – but lately, I’ve had this indescribable itch for whimsical wanderlust and awe inspiring adventure that I just have to scratch. When I stop and think about the last few years of my life, each and every season – or more accurately, almost each and every month – consisted of a major, multi day camping music festival in some far away location. From driving down the Pacific Coast to gallivanting to Arizona’s Gem and Jam Festival and all the adventures in between, I now have a handy list of the best iOS apps for roadtrips and some nifty tricks to help book your fun filled getaway.
Fast forward to now, and though I feel I’ve outgrown (most of) my need for festivals, I’ve held onto my insatiable urge to delve into the depths of nature and really explore the beauty that surrounds me. Cathartic and soothing, the open road and traveling tales have slowly but surely have evolved into two of my favorite things. Some trips end up being more well planned, while others seem to happen at the spur of the moment – but either way they’re spun, it’s finally ingrained in my brain how important having the perfect weekend bag is. Whether you’re roughing it in the great outdoors or heading to a new metropolitan area for the weekend, I’ve found a fool proof list to pack quickly and efficiently for your impending vacation.
Though we might not have traditional seasons in California – What is Winter, anyways? – we definitely have Fire Seasons, and each day can bring a huge swing in weather. It’s always smart to query a site like Weather Underground or the like so you can get a more accurate scope of the upcoming forecast, just in case a surprise storm comes through.If you’re heading into the great outdoors, just remember – you’ll probably get dirty, make sure you don’t mind the clothes you bring coming back dirty as well.
In case of a heat wave, a swimsuit and towel are a must – and a pair of polarized or rose colored shades makes it an unbeatable trifecta. I’ve always thought it’s better to be prepared than sorry, so make sure you bring some warmer layers along for the trip – including a lightweight hoodie and a heavyweight jacket for cold spells; bonus points for mittens, a scarf , beanie – or my personal go-to: my spirit hood. I always find it easier to layer when I have tank tops underneath, but you do you. Add in a pair of pants and either shorts or a skirt for each day, and double the amount of underwear and socks as the number of days you’re gone. (if you’re camping, potentially even triple – there’s just nothing better than a clean pair of socks and underwear after a long, sweaty day romping around in the best nature has to offer.) Last but definitely not least, make sure you have a comfortable pair of walking shoes with good tread, a pair of flip flops – and maybe a pair of boots or snow shoes to round out your footwear.
Though I’m sure you’ll be heading out into the great beyond with your squad, that’s not to say you won’t find some down time – or even alone time. Beyond having ‘regular’ luggage, I try to always have a fun bag of things that I enjoy keeping near me at all times while on vacation, including a camera to capture the memories, a portable speaker to share the jams and a pair of headphones in case you just need a little lullaby to send you off to sleep for a midday siesta. I always try to have a book on me because you never know what downtime you’ll find yourself in, but if you’re on the more artistic side – bring a journal and a set of colored pens or pencils, and get the whole gang in on some creative action. Everyone loves toys so toss in a deck of cards, a football or volleyball (bonus points if it glows in the dark), and if you delve in the art of flow toys it’s the perfect occasion to bust out your poi, hoop or set of lights.
Last but certainly not least, the bathroom bag. It’s so necessary, and chances are – if you’re like me – you always forget something important! So, I’ve developed a top to bottom method where I literally start at the top of my head and work down to think about what I need to take. When it comes to packing a parcel of toiletries, remember – travel sizes and sample sizes are your friends! If you head to a motel or hotel, don’t forget to stock up! 😉
The Short List:
Wearables: Multiply the following items of clothing by the number of days you’ll be gone
- Tank Tops x 2
- Extra warmth: Scarf | Beanie | Spirit Hood
- Pair of pants
- Pair of shorts or a skirt
- Underwear x 2
- Socks x 3
- Flip Flops
- Deck of cards
- Cell Phone Charger
- Portable Speaker
- Passport / ID / Wallet
- Flow Toys
- Fun Read
- Hair brush
- Hair ties
- Eye glasses and/or Contacts + Solution
- Ear Plugs
- Toothpaste + Toothbrush
- Face Wash
- Wash Cloth
- Sunscreen or Lotion with SPF
- Prescription Medication
- Bonus Points: Midol – for the guys out there, the extra kick of caffeine helps with hangovers!
One last amazing thing that I’ve recently discovered is that Google Maps can be taken offline, so if you’re conserving your phone battery or you find yourself in a desolate area without service – never fear, the directions are here! Gas Stations are your friend, and will more often than not keep you from peeing all along the highway and marking your proverbial territory….plus, yano, snacks and stuff. Even if you don’t think you’re hungry, snag some energy bars and water – you never know when the urge will strike!
What are your tried and true roadtrip tips?
Let me know in the comments below!
“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.”
― Jack Kerouac ―