More than anything that comes with the summer, I look forward to our yearly road trip down the West Coast. We always say we’re going to plan some other sort of vacation, but then end up throwing everything into our minivan and heading down the coast again.
Because I’ve done these road trips so many times, I know exactly what to pack and what not to pack. There’s a lot of stuff you can do without for a few weeks while you’re away, but I’ve found that there are a few things I don’t really want to give up. The beauty of driving to your vacation is that you can bring things along you could never bring on a plane, and these are the items that can make your vacation that much more relaxing.
Along with the standard clothes, pillows, and kid’s items, I always bring along a few of my favourite appliances. They don’t take up much space, and if you’ve ever struggled with what you get in a bare bones hotel room, you know how much it would mean to have your go-to small appliances along for the ride.
Here are my three must-have road trip appliances.
When we’re on a road trip, the number one thing I rely on is coffee. I’ve driven all night long and when it’s dark and you’re on a highway, I have no desire to exit and stop for coffee somewhere. That’s why I pack my Keurig 2.0 Single Serve coffee maker, and I use it two ways.
While we’re driving I can plug the Keurig into my car’s outlet and make coffee on the go. I’m pretty sure this is the exact reason why they added a three-prong plug in to our mini-van, but if you don’t have a three-prong plug in your car you can take along the Wagan Smart AC Power Inverter to give you a place to plug in. I love how I can have a decent cup of coffee at midnight if I want one and it’s not from a gas station and it doesn’t taste like hot dogs or that it’s been sitting for awhile.
I also use the Keurig in my hotel room. Most hotel rooms have tiny little four-cup coffee makers with one bag of coffee included. I’m not a fan, so I bring in my Keurig, set it up, and I’m ready to bring in the day just like I do at home.
If you love coffee the way I love coffee, having a Keurig along is a true road trip luxury, and you can load up on a few boxes of K-cups before you go so you’re stocked and ready.
Don’t give up healthy eating
A lot of people tend to let loose on a road trip by eating a lot of fast food. After all, you’re driving in your car and the food stops that pop up off the freeway aren’t normally the healthiest of places.
Burgers, fries, and a lot of dairy can weigh you down and make you tired when you need to be driving alert. Plus ,when my kids eat poorly, everyone suffers stomachaches and more frequent rest stops. That’s why I take a blender along on my road trips.
Yes, it sounds a little odd to be mixing smoothies up in the car, but it’s something that can be done very easily at a rest stop with a blender like the Braun Multiquick Immersion blender.
I’ve always got ice on hand in my cooler anyway, and we stop and pick up some fruit along the way. Put that together with some chia seeds, a scoop of protein powder, and maybe a few scoops of yogurt that you’ve packed in your cooler and brought along and you’ve got a great, energy-boosting smoothie to keep you going.
Road trip clean up is easy with the Braun Multiquick: all you need is a large ziplock bag and you can put the wand of the blender inside until you get somewhere you can wash it.
You can also use the Braun Multiquick in your hotel room for a quick smoothie or milkshake for the kids. It has a lot of attachments that could come in handy when whipping up a quick meal on the go.
Take a look at my review of the Braun Multiquick and the video of it in action.
No stove? Take one along
I wouldn’t use this in the car because releasing steam in an enclosed space is not a good idea, but I’m a huge fan of packing along a pressure cooker to use in a hotel room. It will save you a ton of money on food costs during your vacation, and you’ll be able to skip the drive-thru window.
Take the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker for example: it’s a 6-in-1 multi cooker that does everything from pressure cook to sauté or warm food. It has a delay timer so you could cook your dinner while you’re relaxing by the pool, and after using reviewing one and trying it out for a week myself, I know it’s not going to release a crazy amount of cooking odours while it’s cooking.
Especially with a family along, having a lack of kitchen amenities in a hotel room means that grab-anything, late-night dinners out are the norm on a vacation. A pressure cooker can sit in a small area and does everything a basic stove and oven combo would. You get to hit the grocery store instead of a restaurant, and you can keep ingredients on hand so you can whip up a healthy family dinner within a half hour. My youngest is a huge soup fan, so if the room doesn’t have a microwave I can use it to warm soup too.
Those are the three appliances I pack on our road trip every year, and I’ve never regretted adding space in my car for them. Having these little touches of home really make my vacation that much more relaxing because I don’t have to struggle to find decent coffee or worry about what my kid’s are eating.
Need some road trip recipe ideas? Be sure to check out my road trip recipes from last Friday on Shelly’s Friday Favourites.
If you’re heading out on a road trip, take a look at all of Best Buy’s small appliances. If you do road trips on a regular basis, what type of extra equipment do you bring along and why? I’d love to hear in the comments below.