How to Plan the Perfect Road Trip

Crank up the radio and roll down the windows—it’s time to get out on the highway. Take your travels up a notch with these essential tips.

Perfect Your Playlist
The ultimate road trip demands the ultimate playlist. Sign up for a Spotify premium account ($10 a month) that lets you play unlimited tunes on your phone while offline, then get going on the perfect mix. It doesn’t hurt to have a variety of genre tastes, as it will be needed for periods of travel longer than 30 minutes.

Slip On Starlet or Cool Shades
Sunlight reflecting off the open road calls for a pair of retro, over sized shades for women, and aviator style shades for men. Polarized lenses for the best UV protection are a requirement.
WOMEN: Warby Parker Minnie Striped Sassafras ($95)
MEN: Rise Sport Pilot Aviators ($89).

Take a Look Under the Hood (for those who are driving)
Before peeling out of town, make sure your wheels can go the distance. Don’t go anywhere without checking your battery, fluids (not just oil), filters, belts and hoses, tire pressure and windshield wiper blades. Make sure your insurance and registration are up to date and that you have a flashlight and a spare tire set.

Pack Gourmet Finger Foods
Hitting up the grocery store before hitting the road is always smart, but taking provisions up a notch will make the trip feel that much more special. Make a decadent trail mix with dark chocolate chips, dried apricots, or sprinkle homemade popcorn with very little salt.

Make careful drinking choices
Roadside convenience stores are hardly health food havens, but you can get in and out under 200 calories. Really. Drop the soda cravings with flavored seltzer water or unsweetened iced tea, and comb through the aisles for mini-bags of whole wheat pretzels and fresh fruit instead of candy.

Don’t Lose Your Way (for Drivers)
The all-time biggest roadtrip bummer: getting lost. GPS systems and cell phone navigation is great—until you make a wrong turn or run out of juice. Make sure to pack a car phone charger, just in case, along with an old-fashioned, analog Road Atlas, such as Rand McNally’s just-released 2013 version.