How to Plan (and Pack for) a Fall Getaway Like a Wanderlust Pro

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Taking a weekend getaway is the perfect segue into colder, grayer days (flannel optional... but also not really). But there's a wide gulf between imagining all those hot-apple-cider and feet-in-fall-leaves Instas and actually making them happen, as any woman who's looked up from her desk and suddenly realized it's February knows.

To make your fall-escape dreams come true for real this year, we got all the trip-planning tips you need from full-time Local Adventurer travel bloggers Esther JuLee and Jacob Fu.

"Since we move to a new city every year, we get the opportunity to see a different part of the country every fall," says JuLee of their legit nomadic lifestyle. "Last year, when we lived in Portland, the Columbia River Gorge and Boardman Oregon were our favorite fall destinations. Not only do you get to see the leaves change, but you also see gorgeous waterfalls."

"Not only do you get to see the leaves change, but you also see gorgeous waterfalls."

For them, trading beach weekends for nature escapes filled with mountain air, golden foliage, and dark-chocolate s'mores is the best part about autumn—but it also requires some careful planning, like setting an itinerary and packing snacks to get your fruits and veggies in on the go, like Naked® Juice Smoothies.

The bloggers' home base this year is New York City, so this fall they plan on exploring New England in search of gorgeous vistas and apple-cider doughnuts. If that sounds like a double-tap-worthy plan, check out their tips for making the most of your weekend excursions below.

Keep reading for 3 fall-trip planning strategies, plus tips on snacks to pack that will provide energy for your carefree weekend stay.

Naked smoothies
Photo: Elena Mudd for W+G

Step 1: Figure out where to go

You don't always have to trade in your airline miles to experience a weekend recharge away from home. The wayfaring pros are guided by the motto that there are hidden gems everywhere, including their home state of the moment.

With all the seasonal changes, fall makes exploring towns only a stone's throw away feel just as magical as an international vacay—just let your seasonal bucket-list (ahem, getting lost in a corn maze or picking apples at the local orchard) guide you.

The wayfaring pros are guided by the motto that there are hidden gems in their home state.

"We always plan our trips around photography spots and where we want to eat," says Fu. "First and foremost, we pick our destinations for sunrise and sunset and then fill in the rest with what’s nearby. We can go for a leisurely hike and peep those leaves since they won’t be around long."

And if the aforementioned leaf-peeping is top of your list, don't forget to check state park websites and travel forums for up-to-date reports on when the foliage will be most vibrant. Hello, breathtaking views.


Naked smoothies and bars
Photo: Elena Mudd for Well+Good

Step 2: Pack your road-trip snacks wisely

Get-outta-town enthusiasts know that the snacks you pack can make or break your weekend, whether you're traveling by car, bus, or train.

Stocking quality on-the-go fuel that you can munch on in a jamlike delicious Naked® Fruit & Veggie smoothies infused with berries and greens, and snack bars with real pieces of  fruit, nuts, and veggies—in your mini-cooler ensures you're ready for any detours along the scenic route.

Naked® smoothies come in gulp-worthy flavors like Orange Carrot, Berry Blast, and Kale Blazer, and the bars combine five different fruits and veggies—seriously, they're refrigerated, so you know they're packed with real fresh ingredients.

For longer treks, Fu also suggests grabbing extra crunchy bites for mid-journey snack attacks. "I like to eat sunflower seeds to keep me awake during the drive," Fu says. "Esther always brings dried mango. Whenever possible, we like to pick up local beef jerky."

Naked smoothies bars

Step 3: Plan for pure coziness

If your dream weekend involves wrapping yourself in the world’s softest blanket and reading an impossible-to-put-down novel (with a cup of golden milk, of course) in between picturesque hikes, good news: You can totally make this daydream a reality.

Just book a cabin or rental home tucked away in the woods, and BYO comfy essentials. “Layers are always a must,” JuLee says. “We try to pack as light as possible no matter where we travel, so we like items that serve more than one purpose like the Sharmbaa, which can be used as a scarf, cardigan, or blanket."

And for multipurpose snacks, stash a few bottles of Naked® Protein Smoothies, which will get you your fruits and veggies plus 30 grams of protein to help power you through your daily excursions into nature dreamscapes. Best. Weekend. Ever.

In partnership with Naked®

Top photo: Stocksy/GIC

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