Road trips in your twenties are probably more fun than road trips when you’re sixteen. When you’re in your twenties, you can find a cheap motel in the middle of nowhere and find some dive bar close by and continue the cycle until you reach your destination. There are limitless possibilities – small towns or large cities, country roads or Route 66.

But the destination doesn’t matter as much as the journey you’re taking and who’re you’re going with.

So while you own the road, whether you know where you’re going or you’re just letting the wind take you, there are a few things you’ll need to have the perfect road trip.

  • Games – Whether these games are just “I Spy”, the license plate game, or games like Catch Phrase you downloaded as an app on your phone, you should never leave home without having some idea of entertainment along the way. Sure books, music, and downloaded movies can be fun, but a little competition never hurt anyone. My personal favorite is Barnes & Noble’s Road Trip Bingo.

  • A map – Okay, I know you’re thinking “But I have my smart phone!” However, your smartphone can get you lost and sometimes phones die, and, if you’re like me, you won’t be able to understand Google Maps. Having a physical map makes life a whole lot easier and a lot more fun if you have no idea where you’re headed.

  • A sense of independence – I know this sounds like an absolutely crazy thing to have on this list but, when you’re off somewhere for a while, you don’t want to be missing someone the whole time. Have fun, think about what’s happening in the moment you’re living in and don’t get tied up in everything that’s waiting for you back home.

  • Music – Whether you want to listen to your guilty pleasure (we all know it’s Lady Gaga) or to The National, make sure you’ve got a killer playlist that you and your road trip buddies can jam out to. Check out these women topping the charts this season and other women who rock for inspiration.

  • Your own pillow – I don’t know how many times I have to remind my friends to bring their own pillows (or in my case, my pillow pet) with them on road trips because sleeping in cars without a pillow is the second worst thing ever. The first is sleeping in a cheap motel without your own pillow.

  • A sense of adventure – A road trip isn’t a true road trip if there is no adventure involved. You need to be willing to take the road less traveled and try the Dutch bakery outside of a little town in Missouri or go visit the small museums in the even smaller cities. Adventures come in all shapes and sizes.

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Some of the greatest memories can be formed with your friends while you’re trekking across the country or across the state; or maybe you just need to be alone and take a trip to find yourself. No matter where you go, who you’re with, or what you do, just please don’t forget any of these things. (Oh, and a toothbrush!)