I went on countless road trips as a kid. They were lots of fun, but I definitely remember all of the stress that trying to figure out huge paper maps, bumper-to-bumper traffic while you have to pee, eating fast food that sounded like an awesome idea at the time but made you feel bloated like a toad and oily afterwards, being bored out of you mind and trying to keep awake night driving, and all the other fun scenarios caused…
Thankfully, we have GPS now (I love Waze particularly) which has greatly improved the overall demeanor of road trips, however there are bunches of thing you can do to improve your overall experience, all outlined below for your road trip enjoyment!
Snacks: The right mix of snacks will give you guilt free energy throughout your trip and a little planning ahead with keep it budget friendly too. Add a little from each section below and you will be good to go:
Bulk section foods at your neighboring Central Market or Whole Foods: The bulk section is my FAVORITE! From granola, nuts, chocolate covered snacks, gummies, dried fruit, baked veggies, and more, you can get salty, savory, and sweet snacks for a fraction of the price you would at a gas station or in a package.
Fruit: Apples, oranges, bananas and more, with a little sugar for energy and low calories, fruit definitely outdoes the candy bars any day.
Protein:Quest bars, beef / pork / turkey jerky, and protein powder will give you a healthy and filling boost.
Big-meal planning: Being on a road trip is like going to a grocery store hungry – you end up making terrible decisions based on your taste buds and eyeballs rather than your healthy banging bod! To avoid this, check out what quick and better choice restaurants are on your trip in advance (Chipotle, Potbelly’s, Which Wich, Zoe’s Kitchen, etcetera). This prevents quick last-minute decisions you will regret later.
Drinks: Don’t forget to hydrate. Bring lots of water bottles and buy flavored drinks in advance so you don’t spend a ton at connivence stores. To prevent drinking too much, I always bring gum (my favorite is 5 gum since it’s so yummy and lasts forever) so I don’t get dry mouth but also don’t have to pee every five minutes.
Things to do: Keeping occupied between stops is much better than being bored, in my opinion at least, so outside of taking in the view, I like to do the following:
Counting games: Have you ever noticed how many people drive a Prius? This game may not work in California, the Prius capital of the Universe, but we call-out “Prius” every time we see one and the person with the most Prius calls at the end of the day wins. If you call a different car a Prius on accident, you have to do a dare or something along those lines. Also, taxi-Prius count as two points. While you don’t have to use this particular car, or even a car at all, for this game, it is a fun way to pass the time and have a friendly competition along the way.
Podcasts:Serial and Criminal have spent hours and hours coming out over the sound waves of our car. While criminal cases might not be for everyone, podcasts in general can be thought-provoking, funny, serious, and can spark additional hours of conversation from everyone in the car discussing the various topics. Find some that sound interesting to you, download them in advance (to save data), and enjoy hours of entertainment in the car.
Books on tape: Have a book you have been wanting to read but haven’t had the time? Play it in your car!
Adventure stops: Why stop at a boring gas station when you can find a historic site along your route to stop, learn something new, and use a break for something more fun than the loo.
Journal-ing: I always like to document my trips by writing them in journal. What a better way to pass time than to document your adventures in the car?
Dance party: A good playlist can make or break a road trip! Don’t forget to plan ahead and download your favorite songs. This will definitely come in handy when your driving late at night and need to re-energize at the top of your lungs signing your favorite songs.
When your travel buddy has 4.5 days of vacation left for the year, it’s basically a crime not to take advantage of them. For that reason, I suggested that we embark on a ski adventure. It took some elbow grease to get the idea set into motion, but one hour on the couch and a great deal on New Year’s travel later, we had a 4 night stay booked at a highly reviewed resort called the Cliff Lodge in Snowbird, Utah!
You know the saying “hindsight is 20/20”? Well that really applies to this trip. Immediately after booking, I clicked into the mountain reviews. They were extremely positive but I started noticing that very advanced skiers were the ones writing the reviews and they were raving about how fantastically challenging the mountain was. That is fine and good but Ryan, my travel buddy boyfriend, was a first time skier and I hadn’t thought to look up things like “best places for first time skiing”. (Duh…) I was basically having an “OMG, what did we do?!” moment on the couch approximately two minutes after booking! After researching more about the amazing ski school at Snowbird and learning that about 30% of the runs are green, I felt better about our decision, considering it was basically non-refundable.
Unfortunately, I then had another thought. “What about the nightlife / other activities outside of skiing?”. Ryan and I planned a 4 day stay over New Years Eve and I wasn’t sure exactly how many days we would actually ski. What if Ryan didn’t like it or one of us got hurt? Snowbird had a spa but outside of that and snowshoeing, it didn’t seem as though there was much else to do for an entire day. Also, while its only 30 minutes to Salt Lake City or an hour to Gorgoza Park for snow tubing, the cost of transport to those places was a few hundred dollars – a big limiting factor. Again, our trip was booked so we couldn’t change the reservation, but this still made me nervous.
Fortunately for us, the Snowbird trails ended up being completely amazing and we were able to find plenty of slopes to fit our skill levels. Ryan’s ski class went exceedingly well and he picked it up like a pro! As you will read in the next round of Snowbird posts, we ended up skiing for 3 of the 4 days, but were also able to find things to do at the resort to fill our time off of the slopes.
Things to consider when booking a ski / snowboarding trip:
Proximity of the slopes to the airport – depending on where you choose, the slopes can be hours away, meaning lots of travel time through potentially snowy roads. Utah has a bunch of options within an hour drive of the SLC airport which is why we picked Utah in the first place.
Cost of lift tickets and gear rentals – prices vary from place to place so do some research before you book if you are on a budget.
Local area nightlife – each ski town has its own personality and size. Some places, like Snowbird, are pretty isolated so you stay on the premise. Other places, like Park City, have a much bigger “scene” with lots of options.
Non-ski activity offerings – consider the length of your stay vs. the days you will actually be on the slopes and if all of your party wants to ski / snowboard the entire trip.
Ease and cost of travel to other places – if you do want to explore other areas for skiing / snowboarding or for other activities, look up how far the distance between the areas is and call and ask local transport (your hotel will have this information) for costing. Snowbird’s slopes actually have a ski-in, ski-out connection to the neighboring Alta Ski slopes, so for $30 more a day, you have the option to ski either range. An awesome perk for a longer ski trip.
The below packing guide is for Lima, Peru in the summer months. We went to Lima in May when the avg. temperature is 75° F. Multiply the clothing suggestions by the number of days you are staying in Lima.
A few things to note when spending time in Lima:
You will be walking a lot so comfortable shoes, sun protection, and hydration are very important.
The beaches are pretty but very rocky so, if you decide you do want to get in the water, wear water shoes.
The weather is warm so, with all that walking, it gets hot. Bring layers for the temperature drops at night, but lighter clothing will work during the day.
The views are beautiful so don’t forget a camera to document!