5 Essentials for Your Best Road Trip Ever

There's a sense of true freedom out on the road that's unlike any other mode of travel. You're in the driver's seat of your own adventure. Literally. Nothing stands between you and the great escape but sheer volition and the amount of gas in your tank.


On my past road trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton, I spoke with a recently retired couple that sold their home, their belongings, and set off in their camper with their dogs across the United States. (Goals, right? If you need to find me in 40 years, that's what I'll be up to.) Even if a country-wide drive isn't in the cards for you, there are plenty of ways to get out and explore the open road. 

To round off this little ode, I've included my top five essentials to make your next road trip the best one ever. 

Took a little drive to catch the sunrise on the Tetons. | Grand Teton National Park

Took a little drive to catch the sunrise on the Tetons. | Grand Teton National Park


a Solid road trip buddy (or buddies) 

First and foremost, pick your travel partner wisely. You know how they say, "you don't know someone until you travel with them?" Road trips take that sentiment to the next level when you're in confined space with someone for 8+ hours. Pick someone who has the same sense of adventure and travel interests as you. Equally as important, be the best road trip buddy you can be. Communicate, compromise, have a sense of humor, and have fun. 

a realistic route 

The biggest lesson in road tripping is to always budget for more time than you think you'll need. I tend to err on the side of throwing caution to the wind and "just winging it" when traveling. As it turns out, this travel style doesn't work well on road trips. I've learned that the best way to relax and enjoy the ride is to plan well and build in a "time buffer" for the trip. You don't need to set a grueling, cross country pace to get the most out of your travels.  Besides, sometimes the best road trips are the ones that are only a few hours away from home. (Take last summer's road trip from Portland, OR to Crater Lake National Park for example.)

An actual map and written down addresses

In the age of smart phones and Google Maps— it may seem unnecessary to have a physically carry a map. But here's the thing about traveling, if you're well organized and well prepared, you can be the ultimate wayfarer your heart desires. Nothing will ruin your road trip like having your phone die and then finding yourself stranded at a fork in the road in the middle of nowhere. Reading maps is not only a resourceful skill to have, it's also pretty fun. 



More snacks the better. (Given.)

the Rally song

Honestly, a rally song is the most important item on this list. There will come a time when you've been on the road almost fifteen hours and you need a morale pick me up. On the Pacific Coast Highway, the rally song was "Tiny Dancer". I still laugh whenever I hear the song and remember my brother and I belting the chorus out of the windows at 2 a.m. Don't stress if you can't find the perfect rally song. It will present itself in your hour of need. And you'll know it when you hear it— it's all a part of the magic of the road trip. 





where was your best road trip? Let me know in the comments!
Stay tuned for new photo diaries, travel tips and more coming soon.
Up next: THE TRUE WILDNESS of Wyoming.  


Giving Back: Drink Good Do Good with Naked Juice


In a place as bountiful as Oregon, no one should go hungry due to lack of resources. This year I've teamed up with Naked Juice to share the good work of #DrinkGoodDoGood campaign. 

For the second year in a row, Naked Juice has partnered with Wholesome Wave — an organization that helps create affordable access to fresh, local and regional food to those in need. Every social media post with ‪#‎DrinkGoodDoGood‬ and ‪#‎NakedJuice‬, Naked Juice will donate the monetary equivalent of 10lbs of produce to Wholesome Wave. (Equating up to $500,000 worth of produce.)

Want to join the cause?
Snap your fruits and veggies with the hashtags #DrinkGoodDoGood and
#NakedJuice to make your contribution.

SPONSORED POST: Naked Juice graciously provided The Paper Airplane with a sponsorship to share amazing adventures with you. As always, all opinions are my own. The goal of The Paper Airplane is to share the best of the best in travel experiences, products, food, and entertainment. If it’s reviewed, it’s because the given entity is genuinely awesome.

Portland Events | Bourbon Battles with Marriott Hotels


happy national bourbon day!

To celebrate Marriott Hotels' bourbon program, properties throughout the country hosted "Bourbon Battles" where Marriott and local bartenders raced against the clock to serve handcrafted bourbon cocktails. At the Portland event, I had a blast sipping on classic bourbon cocktails such as the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned, snacking on delicious bites from The Marriott, and watching the competition unfold. The Portland Marriott Waterfront is beautifully redone and has a killer bourbon program to boot. I'd definitely recommend checking it out for yourself.

Miss the competition? Recipe for the winning drink below: 
Jasper Sour
2 Jack Single Single
1 Apricot Spiced Shrub
.75 Lemon
.75 Egg White
.5 Marionberry Liqueur


Thank you Marriott Hotels for the event media pass, the opportunity to make my Kentucky ancestors proud, and great bourbon.
As always, dear readers, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

How to Spend the Best Saturday Morning at the Portland Farmers Market | Fueled by Naked Juice


If you're a food-motivated traveler like me, you know that one of the best ways to fully integrate into a new place is to explore the local farmers market. No matter how great a food city is— or claims to be— it all comes down to the farmers, the artisans, the true source. 

Being as Portland is ranked as the #1 Food City in America, it should come as no surprise that our markets are top notch. 

I wrote about my favorite Willamette Valley farms and markets previously, but the Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University truly deserves its own feature. Year-round, farmers, bakers, and artisans gather to sell their goods in the South Park Blocks located at Portland State University. It’s a go-to Saturday activity for Portlanders looking to pick up farm fresh produce from over 200 vendors while supporting the local community. The quality of vendors and the sense of community is so strong that some have been known to travel over 100-miles round trip to showcase their produce here. Plus, everyone at the market is the nicest. (This is Portland, after all.) 

Below are a few tips and tricks to make the most out of your Saturday at the farmers market.

5 Tips for the Best Saturday at the Portland Farmers Market

1. Arrive early!

2. Bring cash and a reusable bag. 

3. Chat up the local farmers and learn more in depth about the Portland food community. 

4. Don't skip the beautiful, farm-fresh bouquets for $5. (These go fast!) 

5. Also noteworthy, the marionberry cinnamon rolls and the Verde Cocina huevos rancheros. 


Seasonal Guide

The Portland Famers Market at PSU is year-round! Every Saturday. Rain or shine. Read on for a sampling of Willamette Valley seasonal picks for your next trip to the market. 

Spring - Rhubarb, Kale, Herb starts, Tulips, Peonies, Lillies, Dahlias 

Summer  - Berries, Zucchini, Tomatoes, Sunflowers

Fall - Apples (and fresh pressed Apple Cider!), Grapes, Brussel Sprouts

Winter - Root Vegetables, Mushrooms

Kale on kale.

Kale on kale.

Kale Blazer by Naked Juice

Kale Blazer contains healthy greens (80 leaves of kale!), good-for-you nutrients such as potassium and vitamins A and C, and all that goodness. It's the ideal fuel whether you're blazin' hiking trails or wandering the stalls at the farmers market. 

And, in honor of Earth Day, "from 100 percent post-recycled reNEWable bottles to a LEED-certified bottling facility, Naked Juice is committed to the belief that wellness extends beyond personal health.

Naked Juice is also the only nationally distributed juice company to use 100 percent rPET (recyclable polyethylene terephthalate) to keep turning bottles into bottles again and again." 

Cheers to keeping our bodies and Mother Earth happy. 


DISCLAIMER: Naked Juice graciously provided The Paper Airplane with a sponsorship to share amazing adventures with you. As always, all opinions are my own. The goal of The Paper Airplane is to share the best of the best in travel experiences, products, food, and entertainment. If it’s reviewed, it’s because the given entity is genuinely awesome. 

Tell me about your favorite farmers market finds in the comments. 




Adventure: An Off-Season Tumalo Falls Hike in Deschutes National Forest

Creative Direction by Dad. 

Let's go chasing waterfalls. 

A few weeks ago, I headed to Central Oregon with the family for a little R&R. 

I love Bend. Not only does Bend have the highest daily average of clear skies in the state (158/365 days of the year), it's consistently ranked as one of the best beer towns in the U.S.,  there are tons of things to do if you love the outdoors (hiking, camping, horseback riding, skiing, kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, etc., etc.,), and it's absolutely beautiful. If you're planning a trip to Oregon, Bend is only about a 3-hour drive from Portland. It's the perfect spot for an extended weekend getaway— which is exactly what my family did. 

We spent the first part of our trip riding bikes around Sunriver, taste testing craft beer flights at couple local breweries on the Bend Ale Trail, and by day three I was eager to hit the hiking trails. 

The original plan was to head over to Smith Rock State Park for the entire day, but being as it was 30 degrees and snowing that plan was swiftly vetoed. Luckily, my dad and I think alike and we headed to Tumalo Falls in Deschutes National Forest instead. The weather was beautiful by the time we reached the Skyliner Trailhead— blue skies and light snowflakes, the works. I love hiking with my dad because, of course, it's great spending time with him and also because he has taught me so much about the outdoors. While we walked to the falls, we checked the trees for signs of deer and elk, investigated the work being done on the creek, and wondered what it would have been like to have explored Central Oregon a hundred years ago. 

In the off-season, the route to Tumalo Falls is an easy 3-mile walk up a closed service road. Once the Tumalo Falls trailhead opens, the "hike" will only be a short walk up to the viewpoint. That being said, the view and the Tumalo Creek area is well worth further exploring. If these pictures don't convince you to hot tail it over to Central Oregon then I don't know what will. I've hiked to my fair share of waterfalls and Tumalo is easily my new favorite.