I love road trips. I like the sense of freedom it gives me because, although I usually have a pretty set schedule, it makes me feel like I can go where I want when I want. I also love that I can take both Chester and Gretel with me. They love riding in the car and I love looking over to see them sleeping or looking out of the window.
I also like road trips because I am cheap. Well, at least I try to be. Gas costs as much or more than a plane ticket these days. However, I am mobile so I can save money on hotels by driving a bit out of my way for campsites. We do stay in dog friendly hotels or hostels sometimes but saving money by sleeping in the car means we have more money to spend on experiences.
Another way taking a road trip with the dogs saves money is that we can bring food with us instead of eating out all of the time. It can be a challenge though. Chester in particular is a magician when it comes to opening bags and containers in the car. Well, ok, I might not call it magic – he chews through the zipper or on the Tupperware lid – but there isn’t much he can’t get into. We needed a cooler that was Chester proof to bring with us on our trip to Colorado.
I go the opportunity to check out the Stanley Brand 16qt. Adventure Cooler and it was perfect for us. First, the cooler locks closed with two clips. They are very sturdy and clip tight so Chester won’t be able to nose them open. It also has a seal around the lid that will help keep enticing smells in and help prevent leaks if Chester knocks it over trying to get inside. It’s big enough to hold a day or so worth of road snacks but small enough to not be cumbersome when space is at a premium. Also, the extra thick insulation will help to make our ice last longer in the heat.
- Dried fruit
- Peanut butter and Jelly Sandwiches
- Icy cold coconut water
- String cheese
- Crackers and cheese or olive tapenade
Some of those things don’t have to stay on ice but we stillkeep them in the cooler so Chester doesn’t eat them. I seal some things inside the Stanley Brand nesting food containers I already had to keep the melting cooler ice from making them soggy.
We also save money by skipping Starbucks and making our own coffee in the morning. We bring along Starbucks Via packets and milk for lattes. I also bring some chocolate sauce to make a mocha. If we are at a hotel, we usually have access to hot water. We need a way to heat our own when we are camping though.
Along with the cooler, we also got to try the Stanley Brand Adventure Camp Cookset. The 24 oz. stainless steel pot is the perfect size for two morning coffees. The two 10 oz. insulated plastic cups that nest inside are super handy because they save space and allow me to enjoy my coffee without burning my fingers.
We have almost everything packed to leave on our road trip next week but have been tweaking some things to make this summer adventure more enjoyable… and future adventures too. The Stanley cooler is not only perfect to keep Chester out of our road snacks but will be good for keeping cold drinks on the shore while we are out paddleboarding. In addition to making coffee on the road, the pot will be handy on my multi-day backpacking trip with Gretel or for coffee and oatmeal.
You can get the cooler and cookset for your own summer adventures, along with a lot of other great Stanley Brand products, on the REI website.