Maybe it’s just me, but summers aren’t complete without a good road trip or two. I’m lucky that I live a few hours from Chicago if I want to visit the city, and a few hours in another direction from awesome hiking spots and small town shops so I always have variety.
Some road trips require a ton of planning and prep, but oftentimes they happen on a whim. A spur-of-the-moment suggestion from a friend in your group chat can unfold into a great adventure in just a few hours, and you’re going to want to be ready!
Unfortunately, when things happen spur of the moment like that there will always be conditions that aren’t in your control. For example? You may find yourself on your period and wanting nothing more than to curl up with a rom-com and popcorn sprinkled with chocolate chips (sounds crazy – but I swear by it.)
FOMO can be a beautiful thing, though, and you’ll probably end up popping your go-to period pain pill and pushing those lazy Sunday thoughts to the side because adventures with friends > wallowing in period pity.
Road trip basics: the drive
First things first, you need to think about your road trip attire. I’m a sucker for long flowy dresses for any and every occasion, but just make sure you’re not going to wear anything that is going to pinch, bunch or be generally uncomfortable to sit in for a few hours.
You’re also going to want to consider your fem care – Tampax has a great line of period protection products that fit into your life – wherever it takes you. For long rides, opt for Tampax Pearl. The FormFit™ technology that expands to fit your unique inner curves. The LeakGuard Braid™ channels fluid back into the core to help stop leaks before they happen, ensuring you’ve got nothing to worry about in the leaks department on that long car ride!
Pro tip: I keep fem care in the center console of my car – you never know when your monthly friend might sneak up on you!
Road trip essentials
From there, you need to think about the essentials: My car is always packed like I’m about to be on an episode of Doomsday Prep, but here are a few of my recommendations for essentials to bring with so you’re prepared for everything:
- Water and snacks! Fun, and functional. You’re probably going to want something to munch on during the ride, but you should also consider worst case scenarios. If your car breaks down, having an arsenal of water and food will serve you well.
- On that same note – a change of clothes might be necessary. If your car does break down, you might find yourself crashing at a hotel for the night unexpectedly so you’ll want a fresh outfit.
- Car chargers so you don’t run outta juice. You’ll be having fun with your friends and might be snapping some silly pics throughout the day – you’ll want to recharge on the ride home.
- Extra period products. Even if you’ve got yourself covered already, there is nothing like being the hero who swoops in when a girlfriend’s period sneaks up on her.
This is one essential that is just too important to not give its own section: your road trip playlist. I’m the resident music curator within my group of friends (I’ll listen to just about anything) and my recommendation for road trip playlists is this:
You want a mix of nostalgia, classics, sing-alongs and a few favorites.
Trust me, that formula will be a winner every time.
Nostalgic music: This is going to vary depending on how old you and your friends are. For me this means songs from Hilary Duff, Avril Lavigne, Britney Spears, Hoku, Jojo, and Pink.
Classic music: Think classic rock – the songs that you subconsciously associate with riding in the back of your dad’s car as a kid. Songs like Summer of 69, Sweet Home Alabama, Sweet Emotion, and American Woman are good options.
Sing-alongs: For this one, you need to know your audience. For me and my girlfriends I’d include embarrassing songs that aren’t quite dated enough for me to categorize them as nostalgia. Think: the Jonas Brothers, High School Musical, and Hannah Montana.
Favorites: My taste in music falls in the Indie Rock category so I’ll choose a few songs that I love and think my friends will too even if I’m the only one singing along.
Now, don’t think that I’m going to leave you hanging: I made my ultimate road trip playlist for you on Spotify, check it out! I’ll be adding to it all summer!
Time for an adventure:
My ideal road trip consists of a ~75 minute drive, a bite to eat, an adventure, and some shopping. My usual adventure of choice? Hiking. I’m all about being out in nature (one reason that brought me home to the Midwest after a half year adventure in beautiful NYC) and there are some of the best hiking spots around my hometown. You’ll want to bring a change of clothes for this (you don’t want to be stinky-smelly for the rest of the day!) and make sure you’re plenty hydrated.
TMI Time: Who am I kidding, there is nothing TMI about periods, but just saying: Change your tampon, girrrrrrl. You spent the morning packing and driving so now it’s time to freshen things up in there! You should change your tampon every 4 to 6 hours based on your flow. . If you’re headed on a hike or doing any other physical activity, go for the Tampax Pearl Active. It was made for girls on the move and has a smooth plastic applicator so you’ll stay comfortable and protected.
Pro tip: Don’t live near any hiking areas? You might surprise yourself! Check out this trail locator and you might find that you’ve got a hidden gem in your own backyard!
One of my favorite parts about road trips is checking out shops I don’t have at home. You wouldn’t believe the incredible shops that you can find downtown in smaller cities. Case in point, I go to LeClaire, Iowa fairly often because they have an olive oil and mustard shop. If that’s not my aesthetic, I don’t know what is.
But that’s beside the point: You’re going to want to freshen up after your hike (baby wipes, anyone?) and change back into your cute and comfy clothes. I’m not one for purses, but when I do carry one I want to carry the smallest purse possible.
With that said, I need the smallest tampon possible if I want it to fit in that tiny purse. Enter the Tampax Pocket Pearl. #Swoon. This baby is about the size of my thumb and fits perfectly into my teeny tiny purse with room to spare. It features the same comfort and protection as all Tampax products, the applicator is just tinier.
The drive home
I’m one of those people who can drink coffee and still be able to sleep at night, so I will typically get an iced coffee (almond milk and sugar – always) to go so I can keep energized during the ride home.
Pack up, stop for gas, and hit the road. I find that road trips tend to lead to the best girl talks, so chances are you’ll find yourselves discussing everything from your favorite boy bands of the 2000s to the purpose of life. Wherever your conversation takes you, at the end of the trip you’re going to feel more connected – that’s just what happens when you experience new places with your favorite people.
Now, what are you waiting for? Get to planning your road trip, y’all!
Before I go, though, I just want to thank Tampax for sponsoring this post. I work with a lot of brands, but it’s not always that I get to work with a brand that inspires me like they do. They’ve got me proud and excited to talk about periods (believe it or not!) and you’ll be hearing a lot more from me on the topic. Nothing makes me happier than being a #TampaxAmbassador and helping you navigate the (sometimes confusing) world of periods.