Nothing says summer like hitting the road. But road trips can also mean sitting for long periods of time and mindlessly eating junk food. Make your next summer road trip happier and much much healthier with these tips.
In many ways, summer road trips are the epitome of minimal planning with maximum return. This time around, why not stir things up a bit!? In the spirit of adventuring on the open road, here are three creative ways to make road trips more than a guilty pleasure:
Let’s start with the most important element of any successful trip - eating! No one can deny the salty crunch of potato chips and since “I’ll just have one” said no man ever, we suggest leaving the chip bags behind altogether. A great way to swap the empty calories on your next summer road trip is by putting food on a stick. Real foods like vegetables, fruits, and cheeses, can be combined in infinite ways on skewers and toothpicks to satisfy the most discerning palates. You can keep it as simple or as gourmet as your passengers allows.
A favorite place for inspiration is Brit + Co’s 100 things you can serve on a stick where you can find sushi pops, ham and melon pops, caprese pops, and even ideas to put salad and sandwiches on sticks. Ask your travel buddies to bring their own favorite combos to share. Pack the goodies in a cooler to make sure they stay fresh for the whole trip. Best of all no plates, forks, or spoons required.
Stretch Those Legs
Summer road trips shouldn’t be a slave to the clock, especially since there are no planes to catch. As such, embrace the rest stops; they are not just for quick bathroom breaks. Most rest stops have shady green areas with picnic tables and walking paths. Take a stroll or bring along your yoga mat in Po Compo’s Midway Weekender and have a mini yoga session in the fresh air.
If you can spare a little more time and are bringing along your bikes on the vacation, take a scenic detour on your two wheeler and explore a nearby state park or town. No bike? No problem. Use free apps like Spotcycle, to locate and use the nearest bike share stations across various cities. A football or a baseball also make for an easy and fun way to get the blood flowing. Planning just a 10 or 15 minute stop for every 60 minutes of riding in the car, will ensure that you arrive more refreshed and ready to take on the destination instead of needing a nap.
Make It More Interesting
Road trips have come a long way from when mixed tapes where the highlight of in-car entertainment. These days technology has made things so much more interesting. For your summer road trip, think about downloading an audiobook that the whole crowd can enjoy or better yet, binge hear a podcast. And if Serial has already made your list, Stylecaster has recommendations for 20 other true-crime podcasts to keep you going.
For non digital fun, get creative with classic games like I spy or test your memory with the picnic game and the alphabet game which the whole family can enjoy. Add to the mix landmarks like battlegrounds, historic homes, or regional food stops to enjoy places and things you otherwise might never get to see and do.
We hope that these tips have inspired you to start your summer road trips with the best foot forward. Tell us where you are headed this summer and please also share any of your favorite tricks to keep things fun, healthy, and interesting on the open road.
Thanks to Our Guest Blogger
Chika Gujarathi is a freelance writer based in Raleigh, NC. She blogs about her adventures in motherhood and life at TheAntibland.com.