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4 Essentials for the Summer Road TripGrowing up in a large family didn’t afford me the luxury of traveling on a train or plane. My family preferred the open road for weekend beach trips, camping adventures, and any vacation. We became road warriors. Despite the comfort and speed of flying, there’s nothing like a good road trip, especially in the summer.

The summer months offer the perfect opportunity to enjoy the weather, observe beautiful landscapes, and travel the old fashioned way.

When planning a road trip this summer it’s essential to consider certain tools that save money and create a more efficient journey. Whether it’s a three hour drive to the shore for a long weekend, a week trip to Florida to see Disney World, or a cross country road trip, you must invest in these road trip essentials.

Sun Glasses

Encountering sunsets, sunrises, and any other visual deterrents can create driving hindrances. It’s important to drive safely on your trip, especially if traveling with children. Investing in a great pair of sunglasses makes a huge difference on the road, outdoor camping, or reading a book at the beach. Go ahead and purchase a pair at the gas station or buy sunglasses from

Just don’t drive unprepared when the sun shines brightly in summer and traffic tends to stay heavy and crazy. You don’t want to be constantly squinting to see the road.


A cooler in the car saves time, money, and keeps occupants happy. You don’t want to waste time making countless pit stops for costly fast food and beverages.

Visit the grocery store prior to leaving and stock up on nonperishable foods, bottled water or drinks, and ice packs to keep food fresh along the trip. This step prevents the temptation of eating unhealthy and often more expensive travel food.

Radar Detector

No one wants get stuck in a car with a driver who sticks to 55 MPH or drives recklessly at high speeds. Speeding tickets slow down your trip, kill the car’s morale, and hurt your travel budget.

Spending the cash on a radar detector helps you avoid the hassle of running into speed traps when traveling at a comfortable and efficient speed without worrying about highway patrol. Know the state laws for radar detectors before using the devices.


Entertaining children or adults with movies, television, or other mobile devices sucks the fun out of a road trip. A vacation should entail taking a break from technology as well. Smartphones, laptops, and tablets dominate our lives.

I love technology and gadgets, but besides music, road trips thrive on traditional games. These games will keep you attentive for hours. Play the alphabet letter game on billboards and passing signs. Play the state license plate game. Blast the radio loud enough so no one can hear your wonderful singing voice.

Staying interactive in the car without too many distractions proves important to keep the driver and passengers attentive.  Tired drivers are dangerous on a road trip.