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A few weeks ago I went on an adventure to the Upper Peninsula with my family. Four adults, a toddler, and all our crap stuffed inside a Ford Explorer. It’s a good thing we like each other. We had a few hiccups along the way. Like having to drive 4 hours round trip to get a rental car because the local place we reserved from was closed when we got there. Maybe they shouldn’t have 12pm as a pick-up time if that’s when they close? Just a thought. Or how about the power going off at our rental house. No, not just the house. The entire town was without power. Or my personal favorite, when we were driving down the road and a deer literally ran into the side of the car.
Despite the hiccups, we had a lot of fun. Probably my favorite part was the log slide overlook. How is this a lake? I was mesmerized.
Here are a few of the things that made this road trip a little easier:
Stainless Steel Water Bottle – I have been using an insulated plastic tumbler at home, but I wanted something more spill proof for the road. Plus I wanted it to keep my water ice cold for a long time. Warm water and I don’t get along. I ended up getting this Contigo stainless steel water bottle, and I love it. I’d fill it with ice in the morning and add water throughout the day and it was still cold by evening. I even use it around the house now. Sorry old water bottle. I met somebody new.
A Good Book – I read two this time. I chose Dark Places because I loved Gone Girl so much, and I was not disappointed. I totally did not see the end coming. And my second choice was The Girl on the Train. I kept thinking I had it figured out, and then not so much. Some of my hunches were right, but I was still guessing until the very end. They were both perfect vacation reads for anyone who likes suspenseful mystery novels.
Travel Wallet – I took a small backpack that sort of served as my purse, since I knew we were going to be doing a lot of walking, but I didn’t want to have to take it everywhere. So after some hunting, I settled on this travel wallet. It’s small enough that it fit nicely into the backpack, but big enough to hold all my important stuff. For walks into town I’d just slip it onto my wrist and was good to go.
Packing Cubes – Seriously, where have these been all my life? I’ve never been so organized on a trip before, and it’s all because of these sweet packing cubes. It made packing a breeze, and it was so nice to not have to dig through my bag to find something. I just pulled out one cube and the rest of my stuff stayed organized.
A Quality Compact Camera – While I sure do love my DSLR, I don’t really want to haul it everywhere. I got this Sony digital camera for Christmas last year, and I can’t say enough good things about it. It takes lovely pictures without a lot of effort, but has a pretty robust set of options for people who want to use it on manual.
Comfortable Walking Shoes – I don’t know if it’s because my feet are so wide or what, but I have a heck of a time finding comfortable shoes. I finally broke down and spent a day searching around for a pair that would work for me, and after trying on 927 pairs, I settled on these Nike Flex Supreme running shoes. I really don’t like wearing shoes, so I love that these are light weight and don’t make my feet feel quite so constricted. And bonus points, they come in a wide width.
If you have any travel essentials I’d love to hear about them. Never too early to start prepping for the next vacation, right?
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