For me, summer always means taking short car trips to the Jersey shore, visiting friends and family who are dusting off their grills, and traveling to annual pool parties. I see so many people on the road this time of year, their cars packed to the hilt with beach supplies, full coolers, and brightly clothed kids grinning from the back seat.
Don’t forget your sunscreen but more importantly, make it there healthy! To stay healthy on the road, pack a few necessities when you plan your next car trip to keep the summer fun coming.
Pack a Medicine Kit
This is the one I always tend to forget when I’m thinking of the beach! So I keep a prepacked bag so I can grab it and go. Fill a beauty case with a few bottles of sunscreen that you might even need in the car to avoid the unexpected “one-armed” sun burn. Don’t forget meds for upset tummy, allergies, eye drops, motion sickness, tissues, and contact supplies if you wear contacts. Many stores sell smaller travel sizes that fit neatly into your bag. One last thing, don’t leave you medicine kit in the trunk, keep it up front with you.
Pack a Complete Meal
Nothing is worse that eating greasy roadside fare and ending up with heartburn on the first day of your vacation or before you hit the pool! Make sure the whole family has a light and healthy meal packed before you set off. Avoid sugary sweets and caffeinated drinks that will make the long drive seem even longer when you have the jitters!
I know it’s annoying to make regular bathroom stops along the way, but if you’re a parent, you’re use to it! In the long run it’s better to hydrated for the sake of your digestion and immune system- too problem areas for frequent travelers. Skip the soda and super sweet fruit juices and focus on water. Grating lemon or grapefruit zest into your drink can give it that zing you’re looking for without all the added calories! Take a sip from each water bottle then place it in the freezer the night before you head out for self-chilled drinks without a cooler. Fruit like grapes and watermelon make the perfect car snack, since they are easy to eat or to feed to the driver! They’re loaded with water which will keep you hydrated in drying environment – namely your car with the sun shining through the windshield and the air conditioner on.
Download your favorite podcasts for when the radio sing-alongs wear out! If you’re bringing the kids along, pack a surprise goody bag with inexpensive toys and games from the dollar store. Slip in some of your kids’ favorite healthy treats like low-salt pretzels, healthy crackers, and unsalted nuts. Pack a bag of veggie sticks Don’t forget the towelletes! This goes for adults and kids- it’s always nice to wipe your hands with a clean, disinfecting towel after you enjoy a snack or discover the gas station bathroom sink is broken. Who wants to catch a summer cold?