Summer is not just a time of year, it's a state of mind. It means spending time outside, having fun and being open to new things. One of the best ways to be adventurous and take advantage of the nice weather is to plan a road trip with your family, friends or significant other. Feeling the wind through your hair on the open road and the sun on your skin will be a rejuvenating experience.
Although being spontaneous should be part of the journey, it's also a good idea to start preparing with a checklist of summer road trip essentials.
Here's a list of things to think about when packing:
Eye and Skin Protection
A day at a mountain park or on a hike is a lot more fun when you have a pair of stylish sunglasses or a hat to protect your eyes from the sun's glare. The following day is a lot more fun when you are not suffering from a painful sunburn. Pack the right eyewear and enough sunscreen with a strong enough SPF for everybody.
To maximize the fun you have on your trip, pack the right clothes for the job. Research shows that how you dress affects your mood and how you feel about yourself. To feel playful and fun, don an Aloha-style outfit and hightail it to the beach. The colors and bright patterns project confidence and light-heartedness so you present your best self for a great vacation.
Men can choose from a number of styles, and women have the added flexibility of choosing a shirt or an Aloha-style dress of varying lengths. Even better, while a T-shirt is appropriate for the beach and a pair of khakis are appropriate for that nice sit-down restaurant up the road, your Aloha clothes belong in either place.
Shoes and Jackets
Sandals or flip-flops are good for the beach, but you might need tennis shoes or hiking boots for a trip to a state or national park. Also, it does rain in the summer and get cool at night, so a water-proof jacket, an umbrella and a sweatshirt are important.
Music and Tech
The same way your choice of outfit will affect your mood, so will music. Bring your favorite summer playlist and everything you need to fill the air with your favorite sounds – whether that's your smartphone, a portable player or a Bluetooth speaker. While on the subject of tech, you might need a power bank or other self-powered phone charger.
You might want a toy like a frisbee, and if you are going to the beach or a swimming pool, remember bathing suits, towels, a beach tent and a cooler. If boating, life jackets are a must for everyone. And how are you going to carry all this stuff? You should bring the right tote bag and maybe a cooler bag.
Emergency Items and Miscellaneous Gear
You're counting on a good time, but an emergency could come up. Bring a first-aid kit, flashlight, cash, water and food. Your hands might get dirty on the road with no soap at beach sites or campsites, so bring soap and hand sanitizer. And while sunglasses and an Aloha shirt will help put you in the right mood, they won't protect you from bugs. Remember a strong insect repellent.
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