Gear to Help You Plan the Perfect Fall Road Trip
Deals to keep you on course and feeling fine for those leaf-peeping adventures.
Photo by Marta Wave via Pexels
Have you seen the leaves start to turn? Fall is drifting in. Arriving on the heels of such a punishing summer, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to enjoy the vibrant months before the leaves … leave. With the days getting shorter and the trees showing off, could there be a better time to embark on a road trip? Whether you’re off to see family, visiting friends from afar, or going for a drive to enjoy the sights of a new season, these tips can help you make the most of your autumn road trip.
Find a destination
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It’s the driving question behind every road trip: Where do you want to go? And what will the ride there will be like? What kind of weather will you be driving through? How far are you willing to travel? What’s your budget? Will you be making multiple stops and for how long? If you’re going to be on the road for days, you may want to think about the exact times you’d be driving. Some people prefer to leave first thing in the morning to beat traffic. Others prefer sleeping in, but that’s where your travel budget comes back into play. Where will you be staying when you’re not on the road, and what amenities are you looking for? Part of the fun of road trips is the journey to the destination, so make sure you can enjoy it!
If you are going to spend a lot of time traveling, camping or hiking, or in budget lodging, you may want to consider bringing along a portable washing machine. Bet you weren't expecting us to say that! But take it from one of our gear experts who knows for certain: It can come in very handy when resources or showers are limited. As a bonus, it can help keep you comfortable (and clean) while allowing you to pack lighter.
Portable Washing Machine with Remote
No More Dirty Laundry or Dishes During Trips! This Washer Has a Detergent Compartment & UV Cleaning
Plan your route
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Once you know where you’re going, it’s time to plot out how you’re getting there! Do you want to drive along the road most traveled? Or maybe you could take some back roads and detours to find unexpected activities and gorgeous unfamiliar sights? Wherever you’re going, just make sure you have a way of knowing where you are the whole time. You could use a dedicated GPS navigator, a travel or maps app, or even go old-school and rock your very own paper map. Before you put rubber to asphalt, be sure to research fun sightseeing opportunities, must-see landmarks, rest stops, and tourist attractions you wouldn’t want to miss.
If you're relying on electronic devices to get around, you may want to download maps for offline use in case you roll into some mountains with sub-par service. And you'll definitely want to make sure you've charged up and brought along a power bank to keep your phone, tablet, and everything else going. A solar-powered backup charger is a fantastic option since you won't have to rely on electricity to juice it and your gadgets up. Our suggestion? This 25,000mAh model that has a 5W wireless charging pad, two USB ports, and a USB-C port to charge up to four devices at once.
25,000mAh Solar Power Bank
Fully Charge Your Devices with This 25,000mAh Power Bank's Carabiner, Built-In Solar Panels, & More!
Photo by Wasa via Unsplash
Whether you have time for a roadside picnic or not, pack snacks. Stopping at local restaurants is a great way to add some variety to your road trip, but eating out can get expensive. You’re already paying for gas! Plus, if you manage your backseat economy well, you may not even have to pull over to get snacks, especially if you have a co-pilot. And if you find yourself getting tired from the drive, something to eat might help you perk up.
One great way to stock your stash is with jerky—it's got lots of protein without a lot of calories, doesn't need refrigeration, and many varieties are very low in sugar, making them a keto lover's dream. Buy in bulk from Big Fork Brands and get clean-label pork jerky that's free of antibiotics, gluten, preservatives, artificial ingredients, nitrates, hormones, and soy.
Get a $75 Big Fork Brands Store Credit for Only $60!
Spend $75 Credit on Clean Label, Great Tasting Sausages, Jerky, Meat Sticks, & BBQ Sauces — Made from Naturally Smoked Heritage Berkshire Hogs
Include breaks along the way
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And not just the kind that stop the car! You don’t have to let your meandering fall road trip turn into a steadfast schedule. It’s not the airport, and you can go at the pace that works for you and anyone you’re bringing along. If you have children, older folks, or pets in the car, plan for frequent rest and refreshment stops. If you can, check out scenic rest areas along your route (or reroute to get there!) so everyone can enjoy the sights while freshening up.
Younger crew members getting a bit unruly? Let them release some mental energy at the rest stop with a drone. As long as there's a not-crowded area to hang out in, flying a quadcopter should be a relatively safe activity that'll keep your child occupied for a bit. If they're mature enough, try the Air Neo, which makes for some amazing selfies and will keep the adults entertained, too. Need something a little more basic? Check out this kid-friendly mini drone cool LED lights.
6.3" Mini LED Drone for Kids
Entertain Your Kids with This Adorable Drone with Auto-Hovering Function, Controllable Lights & More
Remember to pack the essentials
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Maybe the worst thing to happen on a road trip is for it to come to a complete stop because of something preventable. Make sure to pack car-travel safety items like jumper cables, a tire pressure gauge, and a tire inflator. You’ll also want to pack some of the same essential care items you might bring camping. In case something happens at night, it’s also a good idea to bring a reliable flashlight with a long battery life.
One of our favorites is a tiny LED model that packs a punch. The adjustable 8-in-1 Maglight is a super-bright 800-lumen utility light that has a stand, clip, and magnet so you can go hands-free—particularly useful if you're under the hood after dark. It also doubles as bottle opener, is rechargeable, and features a strobe mode in case you need to alert other drivers or emergency assistance of your presence.
8-in-1 Maglight Mini Super Bright Utility Flashlight (2-Pack)
This Top Quality Handheld Multi-Purpose Flashlight is Packed with 800 Lumens, Bottle Opener, & More
Photo by Reshma Mallecha via Unsplash
We realize that sounds counterintuitive, but hear us out. Road trips are different from other vacations because the fun doesn’t start when you arrive. It starts when you leave! Plan some wiggle room in your itinerary (if you have one) to stop and enjoy the sights along the way. If you spot an enticing restaurant or attraction, you shouldn’t have to skip it. If your child sees a pumpkin patch, that’s a gourd opportunity to make a new friend. And if anyone sees a sign for the “World’s Biggest ____,” you obviously go check that thing out. The perfect road trip can be planned if you leave enough room for the unplanned.
Once you get to your destination, give everyone time to enjoy it, without rushing from one activity to the next. An excellent way to absorb the experience and reflect on where you've been is by taking a few moments with your morning coffee or before bed to jot down some thoughts. We're big fans of a great-looking journal, and we've got two options you'll love. The Companion is fairly standard, with lined pages, and the Sprout is designed for kids with some fun prompts and layouts.
90-Day Guided Journal — A Daily Reflection & Growth Practice for Kids Ages 8 to 12
Prices subject to change.
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