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Check Out Our Top 5 Road Trip Essentials... and Why the Cell Phone Isn't No. 1

Last night Hubby and I were talking about our annual Spring Break family road trip. Although we haven't quite narrowed down our Spring Break destination, we know the importance of planning ahead.

In the past Three Boys and an Old Lady blog has shared tips to help get your vehicle ready for the family road trip and even shared tips on road trips with kids but this time we are sharing our Top 5 Road Trip Essentials.  Road trips have changed so much in the last 5 years.  I remember when my kids were little we would either rent a car or drive our own, nowadays you can rent someone else's car.  Yeah, you can actually rent someone else's car.   

Before you hit the road, check out our list of 5 Road Trip Essentials and see why the cell phone isn't number 1.

1.  Rand McNally Road Atlas.  There are tons of road atlases available but there's only one in the Three Boys and an Old Lady household and it's Rand McNally.  Not the electronic one but the good, old-fashioned, spiral bound, glossy page, thick Rand McNally Road Atlas.  Tried and true.  Our kids have one and check off the places we visit.  I plan to break it out the first time one of them says "You never take us anywhere."  One day I'll have to share the story about the Superbowl, 1st date, telephone cord, atlas and nearly 80 stitches.  

2.  First Aid Kit.  You should ALWAYS have a first aid kit in your car's glove compartment but before you hit the road, it's a great idea to make sure your first aid kit is fully stocked.  Prayerfully, you won't need bandages, first aid cream, gauze and antiseptic wipes but they are always handy to have on-hand during a road trip.

3.  Cell Phone.  Are you shocked to see a cell phone wasn't #1 on our list?  Let me explain.  Yes, a cell phone is a road trip ESSENTIAL for a variety of reasons but let's be real here the moment you realize you left your cell phone at home, you will turn the car around and go home to retrieve it.   Seriously, if it weren't for my Bluetooth alerting me that "You are now connected", I would never got out my driveway.  A cell phone is road trip essential though.  First and foremost, you can call and let loved ones know where you are throughout your trip.  Secondly, you can take pics of all the great places along the way.  Ever seen the stars near the Grand Canyon?  The stars seem to drape the highway like a blanket.  It's a beautiful sight.  Thirdly, discover out of the way, unique places to visit in between stops. 

4.  A VARIETY of Snacks.  Having a variety of snacks is a road trip essential.  We pack fresh fruit, salty snacks, sweet treats and more on our road trips.  The body craves different things so we try to mix it up a bit.  Rather than spending money on snacks at convenience store, we save our money for fun things to do once we hit our vacay spot.  For example, riding the trolley in New Orleans; trinkets at a local gift shop. The money we save on snacks goes a long way in fun.

5.  PGS (Portable Game System).  Made our top 5 but barely.  We are a gaming family BUT we restrict our kids to gaming solely during the weekends while school is in session. Being able to game on a weekday is a treat for our kids.  To make gaming a little more fun we have the kids "teach" the parent who ISN'T driving how to play the game.  It's hysterical.  The kids get the biggest kick out of us trying to master their games.  

There you have it, our Top 5 Road Trip essentials.  

What are your road trip essentials?  What exciting road trips do you and your family have planned?
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