Ah, summer. The season of sun, sand and long weekends perfect for getting out of town for a few days. I’m a huge fan of jumping on a plane and getting there faster – America! – but there’s something to be said for packing up and driving across a few states to embrace the good ol’ road trip. I’ve always been an easy traveler – according to my mother I would sleep in the car, in my stroller, wherever they took me. Now as a semi-adult, I usually find myself dozing off gracefully once I’ve been in the car past the 30 minute mark (not much has changed) unless I have all the necessities to keep me awake, alert and of course, entertained. So without further adieu, here is everything you need for your next road trip:

Comfy clothes

Ladies, I’m talking yoga pants or a sundress with shoes that come off the second you’re in the vehicle. Guys, anything but yoga pants but maybe not jeans. The last thing you want is to be stuck in the seated position in scratchy denim for 5 plus hours.

Snacks on snacks on snacks

There’s something about a bag of cheese Chex Mix and a Dr. Pepper that makes me want to drive forever, or okay, until we arrive at the desired destination. Also, sour gummy worms/octopus are also a must-have. #TRUST

Good playlist

The radio is terrible, yes? Yes. Get on that Spotify and make a killer playlist full of everything from Kayne to Kacey with a little Coldplay thrown in there. Bonus points if you add The Lonely Island into rotation. Make sure you have plenty to sing/rap to, and more to serve as background music while you’re talking about anything and everything.

Pit stops

Take in the local culture. Buy that cheesy neon shirt from the shady gas station just because it’s ridiculous and awesome and you want to. Use A LOT of hand sanitizer no matter how “decent” the bathroom appears, and do a yoga pose or four before hopping back in your seat.

Fun travel companion

Whether you’re traveling with your best girlfriend(s), new boyfriend, adorable pup or your brother via phone – experiencing it all with someone you enjoy spending time with is KEY. You know it’s love when you still want to look at each other after 11 plus hours in the car.

Story time

You don’t have to get super heavy “what is the meaning of life” while driving through the middle of nowhere but sharing is caring, people! Open up and get to talking. Topics that are always okay: work, favorite color, admiration for Netflix, five year plans and Harry Potter. Humor optional but highly recommended.

What did I miss? How do you stay entertained and awake on the open road? Feel free to add and if you find yourself driving through Arkansas in the pouring rain at 1am and start to fall asleep, roll down your window for 3-5 minutes. It works.

May all your road trips this summer be wild and free and full of memory-making material.

Image courtesy of MTV Films