10 Things You Need to Survive a Long Distance Road Trip #PoisewithSAM

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My husband and I are in the midst of planning a long distance road trip. We will be taking 2 weeks to visit an assortment of friends and family that are scattered between 5 different states. Needless to say, a road trip of this size requires a significant amount of planning. Think along the lines of a military invasion of an enemy country! It is a bit hectic but we have made similar trips almost every year since the kids were babies. Living far from family means that a road trip is often the only way you get to see anyone! So, throughout the years I have come to realize that there are certain things that every mom needs to bring with her in order to stay happy, healthy, and relaxed during her road trip. And let me assure you that a mom that is NOT happy, healthy and relaxed is not a woman you want to be stuck in a car with for 2 weeks! So, if you are planning your own road trip (or military invasion!) here are a few things I recommend that you pack:

10 Things You Need to Survive a Long Distance Road Trip

10 Things You Need to Survive a Long Distance Road Trip #PoisewithSAM

1. Herbal tea.  I honestly don’t go anywhere without it! I have tea to help me relax, tea to help me deal with allergies, and tea to help easy the upset stomach that I ALWAYS get when I travel. I take a handful of each variety and put it in a large Ziploc bag. Tea is easy to make at a hotel or even at a roadside gas station. Just take a travel mug, fill with hot water and toss in your tea bag. Your car companions will be happy to have you feeling better!

2. Food.  You will want food for your road trip. If you are traveling with teens like I am you will want large quantities of food. Low blood sugar makes for a cranky mommy and irritable teens. Pack not only food for your car ride but also food for your hotel room, your trip to the amusement park, and wherever else you might need sustenance. You will save a ton of money and eat healthier if you don’t rely on fast food, vending machines and gas station snacks.

10 Things You Need to Survive a Long Distance Road Trip #PoisewithSAM

3. A Swiss army knife.  Okay, my backwoods training is showing here but I have never traveled anywhere (except by plane) without my Swiss army knife. There are scissors for opening packages so you don’t rip out a tooth. There are tweezers for that splinter you get walking barefoot on the boardwalk. There are many other useful tools on a Swiss army knife that will come in handy on your next road trip! Buy one. Stick it in your purse. It may very well save your life or at least help you snip off that annoying hangnail.

4. A backpack.  I hate purses that keep falling off my shoulder while I am sightseeing. You do not have to be a fashionista on your road trip. Get a sturdy and comfortable backpack with lots of pockets and room for your water bottle. (see number 5 below!)

5.  Reusable water bottle: Skip the sodas and plastic bottles full of various flavored drinks. Bring a reusable water bottle and stay hydrated on your road trip. Don’t spend $4 for a bottle of water at the snack stand at the museum. Bottled water is a waste of money AND bad for the environment!

6. Entertainment:  I have found that between the car ride and waiting in lines at museums, restaurants, etc it is important to have something to entertain both you and your kids. Whether you choose to pack books, crayons, electronics, or silly putty just don’t go anywhere without something to do in case of down time. Ever stand in a line for something with a 4 year old? Not fun, is it? Time passes much more quickly if that 4 year old has a few My Little Pet Shop critters to play with. And a car ride with a book goes much faster for mom as long as she isn’t the one driving of course! Load your ipod with a few good podcasts if you are the driver to pass the time and help keep you awake.

10 Things You Need to Survive a Long Distance Road Trip #PoisewithSAM

7. First aid kit: Inevitably you will need a first aid kit on your next road trip. We have had skinned knees on hikes, jelly fish stings at the beach, headaches in line for the next amusement park ride and an assortment of other ailments. (remember that upset stomach I mentioned at the beginning of the post?) Pack a first aid kit, make sure your items are not expired from the last time you used it, and pray you don’t need it. Better safe than sorry!

8. Pillows: From personal experience I can tell you that car windows do not make good rest places for your head. Hotel pillows are often so high that you end up with a crick in your neck. Friends and family often don’t have enough pillows to go around. Toss your pillow in the car on your next road trip just in case you want somewhere comfortable to lay your head. If you are short on space there are many travel pillows on the market today that are incredibly comfortable.

9. Patience and a sense of humor:  Obviously these are not really things you can ‘pack’ but they are definitely things you should not leave home without. Understand that no matter how much planning you did, something will go wrong. Babies will pee through several layers of clothing. Toddlers will vomit. Preschoolers will cry. Mommy and daddy will probably argue. Frequently! Vacations are stressful but try to remain patient, flexible and calm. You will look back on this road trip one day and laugh at the flat tire you had in the middle of rural Alabama. It might not be funny when the Texas police officer pulls you over in the middle of the night to search your car for drugs (yes…that happened!) but you will look back on it in a few years and laugh hysterically! And no, he did not actually FIND drugs. Apparently just driving a truck at 3 AM through rural Texas is suspicious enough to warrant a thorough search!

10 Things You Need to Survive a Long Distance Road Trip #PoisewithSAM

10. Poise Microliners:  You may be wondering why you would need Poise microliners on your next road trip, right? Ever travel long distance with damp panties because you coughed before you could make it to the nearest rest stop in 47 miles? Ever go to visit family in another state and realize your immune system has never been exposed to Kentucky Bluegrass before and your allergies make you sneeze every 30 seconds? Ever go on a roller coaster and hit that dip  a little more abruptly than you though you would? Light bladder leakage can happen to anyone for a number of different reasons. Don’t be caught unprepared! It is simple enough to change a tiny little liner and wouldn’t you rather do that than walk around in damp underwear all day? Even if you DON’T suffer from light bladder leakage, just sweating in the heat of summer all day leaves underwear damp and unpleasant. A few Poise microliners in your purse will make your road trip much more enjoyable! They are so incredibly thin and comfortable you honestly won’t even realize you are wearing it!

Get a FREE Poise Microliner Sample and give them a try for yourself!

I am really looking forward to our road trip and can’t wait to see a few sites, hang out with family, and enjoy some regional cuisine. If you have a road trip coming up I suggest you do a little planning ahead of time and pack a few of these road trip essentials to help you stay sane on the road!

What do YOU never leave home without for a road trip?



  1. All great ideas, but I think #9 is most important! I like the idea of #3, it sure does come in handy.
  2. Ashley Sears says
    I am not too proud to admit that courtesy of my kids I use Poise microliners. Doesn't having kids give you such wonderful gifts like light bladder leakage! yeah! Loved the other tips too!
  3. I completely understand that last one, I've had issues before that I've needed medication for and it's not fun. Being prepared is so important. Also thanks for the reminder that we need to stock up our first aid kit!
  4. I agree with your suggestions but especially those for the microliner. Your reasons are spot on...you also can pack a lot less clothes if you don't have the leakage!
  5. Great tips. I think I include just about all of them on my road trips
  6. All good choices. It's always important to be prepared.
  7. I agree with the water bottle; it's painful to buy water when it's free everywhere you go. And a first aid kit is a must, especially with kids! To your list I would add a compact microfiber swim towelfor each person. Especially ones that can double as a blanket, poncho or changing robe for kids, and are compact enough that you can fit a whole family set in the space of 1 cotton towel.

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