As you may or may not know, I am a big fan of traveling. I have been to about ¾ of the States and five countries (including living in Scotland for a year). I am obsessed with traveling and seeing new places and meeting new people. So when I was contacted by Emma from RelayRides (a super cool – and cheap! – peer-to-peer car rental service) to create a post with some of my travel essentials, I thought it’d be fun and figured some of my fellow travel-lovers might appreciate it! First, let me tell you how cool RelayRides is. Not only can you pick the car that fits your price range and taste (which the owner will bring to you at the airport to look over and get the keys), but you can also rent out your car to travelers so you can make a little money as well. Sounds like a pretty great idea. Unfortunately, they don’t do these airport rentals in Mississippi, but maybe they’ll have rentals at your airport!
I take a lot of road trips and I’ve been on a lot of flights (over 25!), so it was kind of hard to decide if I should do a road trip essentials post or a carry on essentials post. As I’ve most recently been on a road trip (and I know a lot of you drive to see family during the holidays), I figured I’d better go with a road trip post.
Here are some of my absolutely-gotta-have on a road trip essentials:
Several audiobooks or lots of CDs to choose from – I despise the radio. My car only has a CD player (no aux port. Sad day) so I have to lots of CDs and several audiobooks to choose from. I’m apparently very finicky and indecisive when it comes to what to listen to in the car. Audiobooks really help to pass the time and make the drive feel less short and less boring. And I’m sure you were all surprised that BOOKS were the first thing on my list. They are always the first thing I pack. 🙂
Hand sanitizer – Gas stations are nasty, you guys.
Comfy pants – I cannot drive longer than 2 hours in jeans without being uncomfortable. I mean, I have done it, but I’d rather not. I wear pajamas or stretchy pants or shorts or something (anything) other than jeans. Please.
Starbucks Doubleshot(s) – I am not a fan of normal energy drinks, like Redbull or Monster, but I love coffee. I usually buy at least two Doublshots (Vanilla, Mocha, or White Chocolate) before I head out, which increases as I go.
Water – I’ve also got to have a couple of bottles of water. Make sure you stay hydrated. No, you aren’t doing anything super physical, but anyone who’s gone on a long road trip will know just how exhausting it can be.
Cash – I have stopped at a gas station in the middle of nowhere to buy some gas or snacks and been told there was no card machine. That sucks, you guys.
Snacks – Road trips will make you hungry. Some of my favorite snacks for the road: pretzels, peanut m&ms, string cheese (best to eat these early in the trip), ranch Corn Nuts (whatever, they’re delicious), Kashi Crunchy Granola and Seed bars. I also usually pack a sandwich – cheaper than getting fast food.
PRINTED directions – You never know when you’re phone will die, you won’t have service, or any other number of problems with technology. Having printed directions or an actual map is definitely essential.
Tissues/napkins – Spills SUCK when you’re driving.
Phone chargers (wall AND car) – Again, technology problems. If you’re like me, you use your phone to take a billion pictures and that drains the battery. You can plug your phone up at Dunkin Donuts while you get some coffee and be good to go.
Okay, so I could probably list at least ten more things I like to have in my car on a road trip, but I’ll stop there. What do you guys HAVE to have with you on a road trip?
Also, make sure you go check out RelayRides! They have an amazing service with some really great prices – I saw some cars on there for like $25. Dang.
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: April 2014
Hardback: 337 pages
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
How did I get this book: Borrowed from the library
Check out the summary on Goodreads.
What I thought:
I knew what I was getting into when I started this book: a hopefully swoon-worthy romance, cute characters, probably a little too idealistic storyline, and a lot of too good to be true. Did all of this stop me from enjoying this book? Heck no. In fact, I loved all of that. Sometimes you want to read a story where it all just works out, don’t you? This isn’t your typical romance though. Shortly after meeting in an elevator in New York, both Lucy and Owen move away from each other. The two of them spend most of the book on two different continents, communicating through postcards (a bit of a joke between the two). This makes it so that the romance is a little less passionate than you might see in other contemporaries. The two characters hardly spend any time together before they realize that there’s just something about the other that they love. It leads to a kind of instalove, but it didn’t bother me in this case.
I think this is because they have separate lives throughout the novel. They each have separate relationships, different schools, and live on completely different continents. So yes, they like each other pretty quickly, but then they must figure out who they are separately before finding each other again.
So I had some issues with the relationship, but my favorite part of this book was seeing all of the different places they went. After meeting, Owen and his father leave NY. They take a road trip across the country, so we see several places through their eyes, before they settle (sort of) in a few cities. Lucy’s father gets a job in Edinburgh (You guys know I loved this!) and then eventually London, but she also takes several trips to different countries. I am a wanderer myself and I love to travel; being able to spend time in my favorite city in the world (Edinburgh) and experience some new places as well was awesome. But not only do these two travel, they deal with some deep feelings (especially Owen who works towards overcoming the grief about his mother’s death), which made this a book not only focused on romance but on some profound feelings too. However, I did get a little bored in the middle with this separation of the two of them and I just kept wanting them to reunite already.
I definitely preferred Owen to Lucy, however. Lucy lives in the penthouse of her building, and her parents constantly leave her at home to travel to other countries, meaning they leave her alone in a penthouse in New York for weeks at a time. She gets kind of emo about this, has no friends, and blah…cry me a river. Owen’s feelings felt much more profound to me as he worked toward overcoming his grief. Once Lucy started to grow and confront her feelings with her mother, I liked her more.
The bottom line: Recommend for hopeless romantics and lovers of travel.
Rating: 7 – pretty good
Reading next: Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid