Keeping Cool on Road Trips

Category Travel
There are ways to keep cool on road trips that don't involve running your car air conditioner all of the time. This is a page about keeping cool on road trips.


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One year when my kids were small (K and 1st grades), we had to move from South Carolina to California in mid-August, including taking along a dog and a cat. Unfortunately I had no A/C in my car at the time. Going across country like that got to be awfully hot. So I stopped at a store and picked up several inexpensive tubs of baby wipes, the kind of tubs that are upright tubs and the wipes pull out the top.

I took the tops off these tubes and ran clear water into each one till the water came out clear. Then I filled them again half full of water.

I gave one tub to each of my kids plus an extra one for the dog. Whenever we got hot, we'd pull out a wipe and wipe our heads, faces, arms, and legs down. The kids would take one and wipe down the dog all along her head, neck, back, and belly.


For the cat (who was in a carrier), we kept a spray bottle set to mist and sprayed her down good. She hated it, but it kept her cool.

We did that all the way across country. Even going through the Salt Lake Flats, we stayed reasonably cool wiping down and keeping the windows down.

By Cricket from Parkton, NC

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July 27, 2007

I live in southern CA and it gets hot here. I drive 20 miles one way to work 5 days a week. My truck doesn't have air conditioning so I have a clear plastic bottle that I put water in. When I get too hot, I just reach for the squirt bottle and spray my face and head. It feels soooooo good. And it cools me down right away. You could carry a squirt bottle with you and spray yourself whenever needed.


By Phyllis from Weldon, CA

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Keep cool in the car with homemade air conditioning. Use a wet towel, wrung out, around your shoulders and neck to stay cool.

Soak a medium towel in ice water, wring it out, and bring it with you in the hot car to keep cool. Also bring a bowl of ice water to refresh the towel. This towel can be draped over your left arm and shoulder to keep the sunburn away, drape over your head, or rolled and put behind your neck. Sometimes I drape it over my lap. This prevents sunburn and keeps me cool. There is no need to use the car's a/c, which will reduce your gas mileage. I drove through the California desert in a car that did not have a/c and it works!



By mary knight from Kensington, MD

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