The Long Roadtrip Survival Guide

Road trips are some kind of magic. With good music, the food of your choice, only the best company, and countless destinations, a good road trip can work wonders for the soul.

But it can also be mind-maddeningly boring. And uncomfortable.

Wouldn’t it be great if there were some ways to make it an even more enjoyable experience?

I think it would….

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…so here are 10 ways to make it more enjoyable!

1. Start early, plan your day, and enjoy every break that you get.

An early start can radically improve your driving experience because you get a lot done earlier. That means that you’ll get to where you want to be earlier, and doesn’t everybody want that? Planning your stops can also help, and actually enjoying the breaks you take (stretch, move around, have a laugh) will make the next few hours in the car a lot easier.

2. Have actual CONVERSATION and swap stories (no phones allowed)

Believe it or not, you can be entirely entertained by another person. Tell your “most embarrassing moment” stories and demand to hear theirs. Talk about your dreams and aspirations, goals and motivations. Talk about how life is different now than from five years ago, and how it might change in the next five years.

You can also talk about politics. But that might be more boring than sitting in silence.

3. Play games.

There are so many games you can play! 21 Questions, I Spy, Did You Hear That, The Movie Game, The Alphabet Game, and more (it doesn’t always have to be the License Plate Game or Punch-Buggy). Google some ideas beforehand (or during; smartphones area a true blessing) and dedicate at least an hour to some games.

4. Have snacks!

Food improves road trips by 100x (maybe 1000x). I don’t know why or how, but munching on some veggie straws and fresh peaches for 6+ hours makes 6+ hours of sitting really not so bad. Either pack some snacks or plan to stop for them. Either way, I just really think you should have food (notice the exclamation mark on this point).

5. Use a paper map

People used to do it this way all the time, so why not try it? It’ll definitely get your brain thinking and maybe your heart pumping after you miss your 8th turn. Be willing to have an adventure.

6. Have a killer playlist

If you know your drive is going to be (X) hours, then make a playlist that’s (X) hours and don’t skip any songs. Make sure they’re ones you want to hear. Maybe create a story with your song choices, setting the mood for each hour.

7. Try out some audiobooks

If you run out of song ideas, try an audiobook. Reading can kill literally hours on a lazy Sunday, so why not do the same thing while you drive? Find a good book and turn it up. You won’t even notice the time fly. (Maybe don’t pair this technique with the paper-map technique?)

8. Stop to see family, friends, cool restaurants and sights along the way

Obviously, stopping to see friends and family only works if you happen to have friends and family along the way, but even adding an hour or more to your drive so you can see someone you know (and maybe crash on their couch for the night, if the drive is very long) is utterly worth it. Also, it pays to look up some cool sights, quick hikes, or noteworthy restaurants along the way to help chop up that road trip.

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Now it’s your turn! Give me some fresh ideas on how to make a long road trip less long.

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