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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?


Alli Smith said…
I remember always having and using a road atlas (before cell phones). We now use our GPS on our phones but I can why having the real deal would come in handy - especially when we don't have service in some spots while traveling.
Glad to see you included a first aid kit. Takes work to get ready for a trip of any kind. Snack and tons of snacks. Have a safe trip.
Terri Steffes said…
We used to order an AAA trip tik. Do you remember those? We loved them. Now our cell phone does the work.
AiringMyLaundry said…
We used to have that Road Atlas! Now we just use GPS on our phones.

We're just staying home for Spring Break, but we will be traveling over the summer.
Tomi Clark said…
I keep an atlas in the car. Our insurance agent gives the Rand McNally ones out year and it's so much more handy than a calendar IMO.
Pam said…
My husband still uses a Rand McNally atlas to plan road trips. He loves his atlas! I'm a GPS kind of girl.
Heather D said…
I am so thankful to have GPS. How did we drive places before it? Google maps is my bff when traveling. Cell phone, snacks are too.
Great ideas! A road safety kit is absolutely my favorite on the list. My daughter and I both have serious medical conditions that can require the need for snacks so snacks are always in our emergency kit as well as in the car. Just in case the car snacks get eaten up lol.
A first aid kit is essential. We always bring snacks for the kids, cell phones, an itinerary and some emergency essentials.
Carol Cassara said…
I totally agree with the essentials. It's important that you have a first aid kit in your car and if you're ever going away, in your luggage too. It's one of the things that we never forget to pack.
Joanna Brittain said…
I always use my phone for maps in the car when driving some place new. However, on our last trip, we needed a real paper map, one of which we didn't have. :-/
These are great items! We just came back from a road trip and are planning another next month.
Stephanie Pass said…
I remember the Road Atlas. But, we use apps for all our road trips. First Aid kit is definitely necessary as well as snacks. We always pack extra pillows and blankets for the car, too.
We always use our cell phone GPS but it always good idea to carry a map. We need to remember to carry a first aid kit especially with two wild boys. My boys wont let me forget the snacks!
Our Family World said…
We keep a first aid kit in the glove compartment of the car every time, whether we are going on a road trip or not. I also have a small kit that I keep in my purse. I think that is the most important thing to have with you at all times.
Ricci Ellis said…
I think a cell phone is #1 on my list. Only because it’s my map, entertainment and connection to the world. I love that you still use real maps!!
Silvia Marquez said…
We were thinking of going on a road trip soon and were just making a list of things we will definitely need! First Aid Kit was the first thing that came to mind!
Anosa Malanga said…
At first I though of what should be the number one and I guess I couldn't agree more on this. And of course, first aid kit should be next to it. Definitely agreeing with you about the list of top 3 but still thinking of adding the foods on the list as well.

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