SteamLine's Top Road-Trip Tips and Travel Guide

SteamLine's Top Road-Trip Tips and Travel Guide

“For many years, most of my travels have winged me away from Ireland to less-green (and far-warmer!) pastures, and I admit to initially feeling trapped by our lockdown. Then came a silver lining—the need to go somewhere, anywhere, had me taking what we could get! As a vintage lover, I’m a natural nostalgist, and I fell back in love with viewing the world from the road, renewed my appreciation for the ease and independence of car travel, and recalled the sweetness of childhood road trips as we drummed up the old games and sang in the car with the kids. And while we all miss our further-flung plans, I feel heightened gratitude for more little things and all that really matters, our shared of safety and health. I hope our road-trip guide supports your health, comfort, and joy on any auto-adventures you may take, this summer and beyond.”




SteamLine Founder, Sara Banks



Like many other things in our lives lately, travel looks very different this summer than it has in the past. While we face uncharted territory regarding the global health crisis, we haven’t lost our desire to explore. Whether you’re interested in a quiet hometown staycation or planning an explorative road trip getaway, there are a number of ways to keep health and safety in mind. We gathered some of our favorite road-trip tips to help you travel safely, as well as beautifully. 

1. Avoid Public Transportation As Much As Possible

When considering road-trip tips, be sure to think about how exactly you’re getting to your destination. While it may be tempting to use public transportation for at least part of your journey, this isn’t the safest option. The consensus seems to be that if you don’t own a car, renting one is the safest option for a road trip.

Caitlin McCarthy of @caitlinmccarthydesign, stows the Navy Entrepreneur.
Caitlin McCarthy stows the Navy Entrepreneur and is ready to hit the road.

For shorter jaunts during your trip, consider bringing bikes along! Biking offers an efficient way to travel that avoids public transportation and provides some great exercise. No wonder bikes have seen up to a 300 percent growth in demand since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

2. Stock Up On Hand Sanitizer, Travel Soap, Gloves, and Other PPE

Road trips necessitate gas station stops. Consider stocking up on gloves, cleansing wipes, and hand sanitizer so you can pump gas as safely as possible. Gas stations are often highly trafficked, so contamination is often more likely. Wear gloves when getting gas and be careful to dispose of them in actual trash cans (not on the ground…). 

After getting gas or stopping at a convenience store, be sure to use hand sanitizer. Perhaps use cleansing wipes to clean off your car door handle and steering wheel. Think about the “high touch” areas of your vehicle and routinely wipe them down with antibacterial wipes.

3. Plan a Fluid Road-Trip Itinerary

With national parks and beaches opening up, there are many great outdoor options for day trips or stops along your cross-country drive. An important road-trip tip, though, is to keep an open mind in regard to these destinations.

Shelcy and Christy, the sisters behind @nycxclothes, carry our Sweetheart Vanity to the beach.
Shelcy and Christy, the sisters behind @nycxclothes, carry our Sweetheart Vanity to the beach.

If you plan to visit a particular park and arrive to find that it is rather crowded, have another option in mind. By having a second choice already in mind, you can avoid any last-minute frantic Google searches. 

Keep in mind, amenities at parks may be limited, so be sure to do your research before any overnight camping trips.

4. Look For Drive-In Movie Theatres

For many, summertime means afternoons and evenings at the movies. Unfortunately, indoor movie theatres are one type of place that has remained closed since the start of the pandemic. All is not lost for the lover of cinema, though. Drive-in movie theatres have been seeing renewed interest as a way to experience some socially distanced entertainment. Don’t forget to pack some of your favorite snacks! 

5. Be Self-Sufficient, Especially if Traveling with Kids

Go cooler crazy and use the extra room in your boot for squirreling away as many snacks and drinks as possible. As often as you can avoid public spaces, the better for all right now. And take everything you need for a potty break so you really don't have to access anything that might be a high-contact area. For children (and maybe not only children), a portable potty is a good idea to minimize mingling, as well as biodegradable baby wipes, which make it easy to keep clean.

6. Don’t Forget to Pack for Your Furry Friends

Just like any other family member, pet parents should keep some simple pet road-trip tips in mind. Prepare a bag for pet-friendly travel full of food, bowls, harnesses and leashes, and any other necessary pet supplies. When in doubt, pack extra food so you don’t have to scramble to find a pet-food store if you run out. Be sure that your pets’ identification is up to date—collar tags, microchips, etc.—and never leave them alone in a parked car without air conditioning.

Madeline Lu’s pup travels in style with The Editor in Teal.
Madeline Lu’s pup travels in style with The Editor in Teal.

Form and Function: Packing for a Safe and Exciting Road Trip

Whether you’re looking for a quick trip or a longer getaway, your SteamLine case can carry you through. Choose a beautiful handheld for shorter travel (or those movie-theatre snacks we mentioned before!) and a Carryon for overnight trips.

Pretty Little Fawn road trips with The Diplomat; Victoria Hui carries The Architect; Madeline Lu keeps it green with The Editor in Teal; Aida Đapo Muharemović creates a SteamLine stack of the Sweetheart and Artist in Pink.
Pretty Little Fawn road trips with The Diplomat; Victoria Hui carries The Architect; Madeline Lu keeps it green with The Editor in Teal; Aida Đapo Muharemović creates a SteamLine stack of the Sweetheart and Artist in Pink.

Looking for More Road-Trip Tips and Travel Inspiration?

Check out these great posts from some of our Friends of SteamLine to inspire your next sojourn:

  • A Road Trip Story, Pretty Little Fawn—and enjoy Courtney’s Inspired By interview with SteamLine here!
  • Alyssa Campanella has a number of great travel guides for both the U.S., U.K., and a number of other countries. Some of our favorites: IrelandSavannah, Charleston, and Toronto.
  • Julia Berolzheimer (Gal Meets Glam) serves up some gorgeous day-trip inspiration with this Summer Blueberry Picking post.
  • Reducing Air Travel, The Tiny Canal Cottage® —and read Whitney’s Inspired By interview with SteamLine here!
  • Long time Friend of SteamLine, Blaire Eadie, offers great travel beauty tips here and some U.S.-based travel favorites here

    Little members of the SteamLine family on a road-trip to Donegal, a beloved destination on Ireland's northernmost coast.
    Little members of the SteamLine family on a road-trip to Donegal, a beloved destination on Ireland's northernmost coast.

    —Explore our Trains, Planes, and Automobiles Pinterest board for more road trip inspiration.
    —Tag @steamlineluggage and #SteamLineTravels on Instagram to show how you roll.



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