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Travel Hacks for Life on the Road

During Spring and Fall, I pretty much live in my car. My job (which I love) takes me all over the state, and sometimes nationally, from March-June and September- December. I went from an 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. office job for years to a remote job that is much for flexible and has me working from home when I'm not traveling. Adapting to life on the road was a real learning curve at first, but I loved and still love the fact that no two days are the same, and that I've been able to see so much of my beautiful state. I thought since I've now got road life down to a science that I would share with you some of my favorite travel hacks. Whether you travel on the regular like me, or are planning a road trip sometime soon, or just want some helpful car tips, read on and I'm certain you will find useful information.

     Make Your Vehicle Feel Like Home

I'm fortunate that I was able to purchase a car I love; her name is Rosie the Rogue and she's the best. But because I practically live in her much of the year, I wanted my car to be a place I enjoy being. I've got a clip-in air freshener that smells amazing, I make sure I am comfortable by finding the perfect seat placement (thank you, Nissan, for adjustable lumbar support!). I have little odds-and ends around that are the same that I have at home: Chapstick, a water bottle (or two) lip stick, nail file, tissues, and hair ties. Things that would be at my fingertips in my living room are also handy in the car. This really makes a huge difference.


Rosie the Rogue after today's bath!

     Keep Your Car Clean

Winter in Maine is no joke, so I understand that keeping up with this, at least on the exterior, is tough. It's 45 degrees today, so I got a car wash and when I got home, a bird shit on the windshield. Sigh. But salt is bad for cars and I want to keep Rosie a long time, so I wash her when I can on nice days. I actually won't bother vacuuming her out until after the snow is gone because the amount of sand etc. that keeps coming back is too much to keep up with. However, I do try to keep her uncluttered. The back end is full of boxes of materials I need for work, and I do my best to keep them organized. I have a snow brush, my gym shoes, a spare water bottle (metal!) and the items mentioned above and that's it. I try to keep it pretty zen, and I don't like clutter. Often, life on the road means eating in the car, and trash becomes inevitable. A couple of years ago, I bought a trash bag for the car and it has helped keep her clean! I bought this one on Amazon but since I am boycotting, I've linked a similar one here.

I empty it every time I get gas

     Pack. Snacks.

My first travel season with this job, I realized that sometimes I would get stuck in traffic. Sometimes it was from an accident, or construction, or people just being bozos. As someone who gets hangry very easily, I had to plan accordingly. Enter, the snack box! I had to be sure that I had easy to eat, portable snacks for unexpected delays, hangry episodes or for when I need a protein kick. Plus, having the snacks at the ready cuts down on my temptation to stop and buy something, which is good for my waist and my wallet.

My go-to snacks:
-Nuts, generally almonds, good for a protein kick
-Beef sticks (all natural like these)
-Crackers
I used to keep all of these things in a cardboard box on the floor of the passenger side, but with the kid and the man often sitting there, the box got pretty beat up. I went to Dollar General (my favorite store, to be honest) and found the perfect small plastic box to keep my snacks in. It opens easily and keeps everything fresh.
Snacks on snacks

     Be Prepared for Anything

You all might be familiar with the Maine phrase "If you don't like the weather, wait a minute." This is honestly so true. I'm sometimes traveling a couple hours one way from home, and this can mean weather changes. I once drove through three different weather conditions during a drive that was just about an hour. I always have: an umbrella, sunglasses, sneakers, gloves & a hat in the car. The sneakers are my gym shoes, but have doubled as comfy, dry footwear during unexpected rain that drenched my heels or flats. My dad was a boy scout leader, and he was always teaching  me to be prepared, so this is why I am the way I am.


     Have Safety Items

By law, Maine is hands-free now, but for a long time I've been driving with my phone clipped to the vents. I rely on my phone to be my GPS, and because I have Bluetooth, sometimes the car becomes my office, too. I bought this Belken phone holder online years and years ago (you can see it's a little beaten up) but it's still going strong.

In addition, a couple Christmas' ago, Kilton bought me some safety items for Christmas, which was such a thoughtful and practical gift. I've got pepper spray, a neon seat belt cutter/window breaker, and a multi-function knife (see the photo). I also have an emergency blanket stuffed into the pocket behind my seat. I love him for wanting me to be safe on the road, and while these are all items I hope I never need to use, I am glad to have them, I know my dad is glad I have them too.

Safety first!

     Find Tunes & Podcasts You Love


Life on the road could be so boring and while I love the radio, sometimes I can't pick up my favorite stations and I can't stand radio commercials. I pay monthly for Spotify premium so I can have unlimited music but also podcasts. My favorite podcasts:

-Morbid: A True Crime Podcast
-Bad With Money with Gaby Dunn
-Freakonomics
-Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness
   
These keep my mind occupied and alert and I love learning things, so these are right up my alley. I have a few playlists I gravitate towards for when the drive calls for music. Sometimes in the fall I restart my Audible subscription and listen to a couple of books.

     All of these things make life on the road into an enjoyable experience, particularly the snacks. What am I missing? Do you have a travel hack that has made your commute a breeze? Got a podcast that I must listen to? Comment below and let me know! I'll be heading out on the road this week and will be in Road Warrior season until late June. If you see me and Rosie cruising down the highway, honk and wave.

Comments

  1. Hello, fellow Gemini! Love your tips. Great blog. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always love discovering other Gems! Thank you!

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