Guest Post: Road Trip Dos & Don’ts

Hi everyone! As I mentioned, my friends Katie and Nancy are being awesome and traveling cross-country this summer! They’re documenting it all via blog, but here’s a guest post for a preview! ~ Sarah

Hello Shades of Sarah readers! Sarah asked us to write a post about our experiences driving across the country. We decided that to compile a list of the dos and don’ts of a road trip.


1. Sleeping Bags

We are not camping, but some of our motels are essentially indoor camping. From not having heat to being questionably clean, sleeping bags have been life savers thus far.

2. Water Shoes

As lame as this sounds we have encountered multiple situations where water shoes would have ben ideal.  For example, most National Parks revolve around a glacier melting. Keanes would also be perfect because you can hike in and out of water with them.

3. Hiking/Walking Sticks

Every time we see someone with these we are extremely jealous. Most hiking situations involve large hills and the aid of these sticks would be awesome.

4. Bread and Peanut Butter

Eating out for every meal gets to be pricey. Keeping bread and peanut butter (almond butter in Nancy’s case) is ideal to long car rides and have served as most lunches and some dinners of our trip.

5. Cell phone Car Chargers

This is self explanatory.

6. Snapchat

This is for our own personal entertainment and a simple way to inform friends and family of our location and shenanigans.

7. Audio books

We have listened to two books and it makes long drives much shorter. (recommendation- Jim Gaffigan’s My Dad is Fat)

8. Car Games

Sporcle. Everyone’s favorite procrastination website has an app that has gotten us through a lot of traffic jams and long, boring rides. We are also now experts on random facts. Mad Libs. Yes, we are five again and practicing our knowledge on parts of speech, but it creates amusement in the car

9. Sunscreen

In and out of the car the sun down south is not what any of us are used to. As Nancy said “there is a reason Irish people stopped migrating in the northeast”.

10. Camelback

Nancy is abnormally excited about her new camelback, but it is actually pretty logical. it has water and storage all in one place.


  1. Try to drive late at night (through mountains, without cell phone service).
  2. Try to hike in 95+ weather without an excessive amount of water.
  3. Go alone. Friends are a must.
  4. Let the gas get to empty. You have some miles to go, but the test on your nerves is too high to risk getting to E.
  5. If you are our of shape accept this fact in your life and either train or do not go on hikes.
  6. Waste money on fancy hotels, indoor camping is fine for the 8 hours you spend in the hotel room each night.
  7. Avoid seemingly mundane tourist attractions, they can be the highlight of your day.
  8. Eat only junk food, apples have saved our diets. Sitting in a car for 8+ hours is already bad enough for your health.
  9. Always trust the directions you are given. Double check your path for the day.
  10. Forget alcohol. Honestly, a beer or a glass of wine tastes the best after a very long day of traveling.

We hope this helps in your future trips! We are doing one more post about what to pack!

Don’t forget to follow along at Sunsets to Sunrises!