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As spring approaches, thoughts begin to turn to summer road trip planning. A large part of travel prep involves choosing the attire wisely for the journey in order to travel in style on road trips. This might seem like a silly thing to concern yourself with, but remember that comfort and utility often change depending on the destination and time of year for a personal Kerouac adventure.

The seasons tend to dictate much of the preparation process, but destination plays a key role (i.e. taking a winter road trip in California will be completely different than driving the roads of Wisconsin). Having a handy all-season guide with tips on finding your road tripping travel style will help you plan for your next great adventure, no matter what direction or season you’re itching to explore.

Be prepared for the elements while traveling

Cold Weather Travels

Traveling in the wintertime can be a challenge. The cold. The snow. The freezing rain. You want to remain comfortable (and stylish in most cases – because, hello, Instagram), but you also need to be pragmatic about your clothing choices. In other words, you want to make sure you don’t freeze to death should the car break down or you become stranded due to poor weather.

Cool Weather Travel

How to travel in style on road trips

Believe it or not, you only need a few items to cover both the fashionable and prepared points you’ll need for winter travel, and remember: layers are your friend.

  • Invest in a great pair of winter boots that are cute, but equally important, are critical in keeping your feet dry and warm. This is an absolute must.
  • Thermal leggings. Don’t sacrifice comfort for warmth. You can have the best of both worlds here.
  • Oversize sweater and turtleneck. You’ll stay cozy, but also be able to peel some layers away if you get a bit warm during the day (and put them back on if you happen to run into any problems, or go outside exploring)
  • Coat, hat, gloves, and scarf – either wool or wool-lined for warm, and if you so choose, look for a coat that has some water-resistant qualities.

Keep in mind, as well, for a winter road trip, you’ll want an emergency road side kit to keep in the trunk of the car including: de-icer, scraper, extra blankets, candles, bottles of water and some high calorie, non-perishable snacks.

Choose your outfit to match the environment

Springtime Exploring

The spring thaw makes for drier roads and better driving, but not always. In some parts of the US, such as the Middle South and Midwest this also takes you into the prime time of thunderstorm and tornado season. This doesn’t mean that there is a specific outfit you can put on to avoid this type of severe weather. In this case, it is more about being prepared for the worst should you run into that situation.

  • Make sure that you have access to the weather forecast for your journey. This means that you want to make sure your mobile devices (phones and gps) also have the appropriate chargers with them (wall and car charger). This way you’ll never miss any last minute weather updates due to drained electronics and can avoid the most severe areas.
  • That being said, there’s no way to dodge all the wet weather in this season. Pack the umbrella, and look into the type of rain boots that will best suit you for long travel. This is a great article on choosing waterproof footwear for your taste and needs. It literally covers the gambit on road tripping choices for your feet.
  • You’ll also want to invest in a waterproof raincoat. This doesn’t necessarily mean it will have to be your run-of-the-mill pvc jacket either. The trendy raincoat comes in many colors and styles. Choose to your liking.
  • Layering is also useful in springtime weather. Jeggings with a simple cami, cozy flannel button up, and light weather scarf or pashmina is perfect for in the car and out and about (as long you’ve got all your necessary waterproof gear handy).

Travel in Style

Summer Wanderings

Just as it’s important to pay attention to the weather if you’re traveling in the Midwest in the spring, the same can be said if you’re heading out into the Wild West in the top heat of the summer. Do your research on what areas are included in severe heat and drought of the Southwest, for example, or the potential rain and fog of the Pacific Northwest (yes, even in the summer). You’ll need the waterproof items of the springtime for some areas, but that will change completely if you are headed into the desert heat. Not only will you be successfully dressed and prepared for any condition, it will also make you a professional at knowing how to handle extreme weather while on the road!

  • Pack protection from the sun – yes, for your health, but also, what is more annoying than the noon sun glaring in your eyes? Find your chicest pair of shades and invest in a proper summer hat. Also, don’t forget the sunscreen.
  • The heat will leave you in light clothing, like tanks and shorts. But, bring a light ‘jacket’ or a trusted fleece to cover your shoulders if you get too much sun and for the chilly desert nights. A pair of warm leggings wouldn’t go amiss either (which could also do double duty as your sunrise yoga gear).
  • Pack a refillable water bottle, footwear that suits both relaxing + walking (e.g. flip flops and hikers), and a light scarf for a bit of flare and extra protection/warmth if you happen to need it.

Remember that it’s important to have an emergency plan and kit packed away in your trunk with essentials (see winter tips). You might also consider registering for roadside assistance with organizations, like AAA, so you don’t find yourself stranded in the desert on historic Route 66 with nothing around for miles.

Traveling in all seasons

Autumn Adventures

Traveling in the fall months between summer and winter doesn’t differ too much from the spring. However, you may find that rather than the warming up of the environment around you, you’ll have a cooling down (less rain though, fortunately!).

  • Consider adding an extra layer to your cami flannel number with a simple turtleneck or tee.
  • Hiking shoes or boots may be your shoe of choice, especially if you’re looking to get outdoors and enjoy the colorful landscapes of autumn.
  • Thermal leggings, jeggings or your favorite pair of jeans would be suitable for exploring as well as long car rides. You’ll also still have some late sun; so don’t forget your sunglasses to enjoy those last moments of summer on your face.

Naturally, you might think of other ‘must-haves’ for traveling in style on road trips, no matter the season. This list is just a helpful guide to get you started. If you take time to prepare yourself before you place your foot on the gas, you will be sure to feel as well as look like a fashionista on whatever new adventures you have in store, no matter the time of the year.

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travel in style on road trips
An all-season guide to some fine road tripping travel style tips for any destination in any weather, with or without kids in tow. |

Contributor Profile: Kacey Mya Bradley is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love and excitement for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. You can find Kacey on Twitter and Pinterest.

Photo Credits: Shutterstock

Do you have your own personal travel style? Share your tips on how you travel in style on road trips in the comments!

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