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Your Essential Road-Trip Getaway Checklist

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Adventures On the Open Road

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If you've looked into booking a flight any time in the last several years, you're keenly aware of rising airline prices (and extra fees for literally everything!). So, it's no wonder that more and more people are taking to the road for their next vacation. Actually, 51 percent of travelers have taken a road trip in the last year (46 percent took one in 2016), according to MMGY Global Portrait of American Travelers, an annual survey that looks at vacation habits. All those hours in the car, though, mean you'll want to be prepared for anything and everything—from hunger attacks to highway hypnosis. These getaway essentials will make sure you're ready to hit the road.

Photo: Lincoln

A Road Trip–Approved Water Bottle

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Be kind to Mother Nature and forgo warm, plastic-bottled water that's been sitting in the car for hours—it's not doing her or you any favors. Instead, simply fill this insulated, BPA-free baby up with cold water at home (or at the hotel before you head out again). It'll still be just as cold and refreshing 24 hours later. Or it'll still be hot six hours later if you opt for a hot beverage. You'll stay hydrated and the planet will thank you.

Buy It, $33

Photo: Hydro Flask

A Warm, Packable, Durable Blanket

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Road-tripping to a National Park to explore the great outdoors? After long days of hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and other nature activities, you're going to want to curl up and get cozy for the night—whether that's under the panoramic sunroof or inside your tent. These packable blankets from Rumpl weigh only 2.1 pounds, so you can easily tie them onto any backpack. And the brand's new National Parks collection features landscapes from some of the country's top destinations, such as Joshua Tree in California and Arches in Utah. (P.S. Each purchase in the collection helps support the National Parks Foundation.) 

Buy It, $129

Photo: Rumpl

A Car Safety Kit

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Not to sound like your mom, but you ~really~ should have one of these in your car whether you're taking a cross-country road trip or just running errands around town. Plus, you can get a LOT of stuff that could save you from sticky, frustrating, and even dangerous situations for not a lot of money. Think: flashlight, jumper cables, first-aid supplies, poncho, duct tape, and extra batteries. It's well worth the small investment to prevent your vacation vibes from being derailed.

Buy It, $80

Photo: Amazon

Podcasts to Make the Time Fly By

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Playlists are great and all—especially during a long run or when you're trying to get through a tough HIIT workout—but podcasts are the real kryptonite for highway driving. Get lost in these health and fitness podcasts that will get you hyped up for your next goal-crushing moment. 

Photo: A. and I. Kruk / Shutterstock

A Pair of Stylish and Protective Shades

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Windows down, sun shining, scenic drive? You need to wear sunglasses. Heat blaring, frosted trees, and overcast skies kind of road trip? You still need to wear sunglasses. The sun's rays are powerful enough to filter through those clouds and cause damage to your eyes over time. Pack a pair of these cool shades with melanin-infused lenses that'll protect you for the long haul.

Buy It, $200

Photo: Electric

A Bunch of Portable Snacks

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Mindless munching doesn't get more real than when you're on the road, and no one wants to get so hangry that truck stop food is your only option. Hop into the car prepared with these travel meal-prep ideas and dietitian-approved road-trip snacks.

Photo: baibaz / Shutterstock

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