Long road trips can be tedious and uncomfortable if you’re not enjoying yourself. Fortunately, there are hundreds of ways to turn your trip into an adventure and make the experience a memorable one (for the right reasons).
1. Play a Road Trip Game
Games aren’t only for kids, you know. Adults can have just as much fun playing license plate bingo or I Spy. However, if you’re looking for something more engaging, you might try two truths and a lie, Mad Libs, radio roulette or any other grown-up game you can think of.
When all else fails, tell a story or take turns building one together. Before you know it, you’ll get lost in the details and forget all about the long road ahead.
2. Pack Drinks
No one wants to make frequent bathroom stops, but they’re a small price to pay for hydration. Salty snacks and long drives make for an especially dehydrating experience.
Plus, air temperature and circulation inside the car can make you even more thirsty. Combat dehydration by packing a few water bottles or juice boxes. Bonus points if you bring a mini-fridge to keep them cold!
3. Listen to a Podcast
If everyone but you is asleep, stick in your earbuds and turn on a podcast. With thousands to choose from, you’ll never get bored.
Listen to one that covers a topic you enjoy or find your favorite talk show and tune in for the latest episode. If you’re listening through an app like Spotify, you can even download them at home and save them for later so you don’t use cell phone data on the road.
4. Have a Barbecue Pit Stop
Fast food is many road trippers’ go-to for quick and easy meals. However, you don’t have to lower your food standards when you’re spending all day in the car. If anything, it gives you more reason to treat yourself. Pack a grill and take a midday barbecue pit stop.
Fire her up, and cook everything in foil packets. It’s a fast and easy way to evenly heat your favorite meats or veggies.
5. Get Cozy
Unless you’re one of those people who can fall asleep anywhere, you’re going to need some pillows. Car doors aren’t the softest place to rest your head, you know.
Stock each seat with pillows, blankets and maybe even an eye mask and earplugs to keep everyone comfortable. Even the driver can use a lumbar support pillow and a cozy sweatshirt.
6. Invest in Tech
Your eyes may be on the road, but everyone else’s are probably on a screen. Keep that tech juiced up with USB chargers, extra cords and portable charging units.
If you use your phone for GPS, you’ll also need a charger and car mount to keep it up and running. Feel like spoiling yourself? Invest in a temperature-controlled travel mug, a mobile hotspot and a plug-in cooler too.
7. Get Some Shut-Eye
The vibrations and rumble of rubber hitting the road can quickly lull you to sleep in the car. Only 15 minutes of driving can cause drowsiness and, within half an hour, it can significantly impact your concentration and alertness.
Therefore, it’s crucial to take turns driving and sleep in shifts. If no one can manage to keep their eyes open, spend the night in a hotel or find somewhere to set up camp if you’re driving through the desert.
8. Stop for the Sun
If your trip lasts longer than a couple of hours, you’ll likely see a sunrise or sunset. No matter where you’re going or how close you are to reaching your destination, pull over. Get out of the car, stretch, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the view.
Watching the sun rise or fall below the horizon will keep the days from bleeding into one another. Plus, it’ll make for a great photo opportunity. Grab the selfie sticks!
9. Take a Detour
Life isn’t about the destination. It’s about the journey. Make time for lots of stops and detours along your route. Plan to see famous landmarks, roadside attractions and tourist traps during your trip and snap some pics of each one. Learn about their histories or appreciate their quirkiness.
No matter how long you stop, you’ll have a fun story to tell everyone back home. After all, not everyone can say they’ve visited Alaska’s Hammer Museum.
When it comes to having a safe, fun and comfortable road trip, flexibility is crucial! No matter how well you prepare, some things will go wrong and you’ll have to adapt.
Whether that means fixing a flat tire or turning around after taking the wrong exit, you must keep your heart and mind open to adventure.