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3 Travel Insiders Share Top Road Trip Tips

Amber Mamian, Francesca Murray, and Henry Wu explored their immediate surroundings and found plenty to love

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Posted 14 days agoby Kate Eplboim

Whether you’re planning on exploring glittering coastlines, shapely desert dunes, or pretty much anything in between, California offers no shortage of amazing road trips. On the most recent episode of the California Now Podcast, host Soterios Johnson spoke with three influencers who share their tips and tricks for road tripping in their corner of the state.

“California is such an incredible state. There's so much to do,” says Amber Mamian, a Temecula-based mother of six and founder of the travel blog Global Munchkins. “We're a big family. We're also an adopted family, so family bonding is something that we really try to consider, and I think travel is one of the best ways to do that.” On their most recent trip, the California native and her family ventured to Hollywood, Huntington Beach, and Oceanside.

With any big family, road trip preparation is key, Mamian says. Planning bathroom breaks and snack stops ahead of time is a must. To keep her kids engaged and excited on trips, Mamian encourages her kiddos to participate in crafting the itinerary. “We just grab our computers and start looking up different restaurant reviews or travel blogs together,” she says.

World traveler and Los Angeles local Francesca Murray recently took a nearcation of her own. The self-love advocate and creator of the travel and beauty blog One Girl One World set off on a five-day mini road trip to Laguna Beach, Monterey, and Long Beach, as well as an epic night on Catalina Island. “I'm blown away and I feel so grateful to be here and have access to these places anytime,” says Murray.

For shorter trips, Murray recommends being mindful of the weather and packing only the essentials, whether that’s a customized beauty routine, or neutral clothing items that pair well together. Her cardinal rule for shorter trips? Don’t over pack. “If the trip is less than five days, it's best to try to just fit everything in a carry-on, especially if you're doing something like I did in SoCal.”

When COVID-19 disrupted Henry Wu’s travel plans abroad, he and his partner Zory Shahanska—the creative team at This Life of Travel—decided to start exploring their immediate surroundings. The San Francisco–based pair embarked on a series of short roads trips, including a getaway to Carmel-By-the-Sea and a wine country weekender that included stops in Napa and Sonoma County. “Luckily, our backyard is the amazing state of California. It just has so much to offer,” he shares.

Wu, an accomplished photographer, is all about capturing the perfect moment. To avoid pesky lens smudges, he suggests keeping a microfiber cloth handy. At a dimly lit restaurant and struggling with that food pic? Wu advises wrapping a napkin around your phone with the flashlight on to create the ideal diffused light. Of course, no trip is complete without a sunset shot. “I would recommend taking your photos at magic hour, like right at sunset or right before sunset or if it's cloudy those are perfect,” says Wu.

For more tips and inspiration, visit the Road Trip Republic hub and subscribe to the California Now Podcast on your preferred audio platform.

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