Recently I went on two road trips. One was about ten hours long, to Virginia Beach, and the other was over eleven hours long, to Chicago. They were almost back to back trips; I was only home for four days in between. Because of this, I’ve mastered the art of surviving a really long road trip, since in the past two weeks I’ve been in the car for probably around fifty hours. Actually, I still am on one of those trips; as I write this I’m in the car on the way home from Illinois. (Although this might not be posted for another several days.) Anyway, I’ve come up with a list of ten ways to survive a really long road trip, so here it is.
1. Work on your blog. (If you have one.) (Had to include this since that’s what I’m currently doing.)
2. Drink water. Just not too much. It’s important to stay hydrated, and being on the road, you can forget how thirsty you are until you’re really thirsty. Always take along a water bottle or two when going on a long trip. Just remember to plan for rest stops accordingly!
3. Listen to music. Nothing breaks up a monotonous car ride like singing along to Owl City or Tim McGraw. I don’t necessarily recommend listening to music nonstop the whole way to wherever you’re going (hello, NY to VA!) but it’s good to have something playing periodically on those never ending highways.
4. Don’t think about how annoyed or squished you are. This wasn’t a problem going to Illinois, since it’s just my parents and I in a spacious minivan, but Virginia was another story. Let’s just say, I didn’t know if my legs would work properly when I got out of the car when we finally arrived at the campground in Virginia at eleven-something at night. And it’s worth mentioning that’s because I was in a car, yes, a car with four other girls and a ton of luggage. Enough said.
5. Bring movies and/or DVDs of TV show seasons. Let’s just say I finished season one of Duck Dynasty on Thursday, and fell asleep a few hours ago watching The Hobbit.
6. Snacks are very important. I’m pretty sure I speak for most everyone when I say that I always get hungry on long car rides. Along with water, little snacks like crackers and fruit are good to have when driving a long distance and foods that are easy to eat are best for the driver as well as the passengers.
7. Bring a good book. If you aren’t carsick prone, a good book is a wonderful way to pass the time. So get out that car pillow and car blanket, and curl up as best you can in your seat and get lost in the world of storyland.
8. Take pictures. This can mean two totally different things for two types of people. There’s people that love taking pictures of themselves. I’m not sure it’s entirely healthy to obsessively take pictures of yourself, but if that’s your thing, the car is a fantastic place to figure out what angle of light you look best in. If you love taking pictures of landscapes, you may want to snap a few from your window. While this isn’t always easy and not many pictures turn out well going sixty-five miles an hour, it’s worth a try. I have taken many a sunset snapshot from the passenger seat (and once even driver’s!) and they turned out surprisingly well. And if that fails, you can always revert to the selfie thing. (I hate that word, so don’t ever expect me to say it again.)
9. Talk to the people you’re with. This seems so simple, but sometimes people get caught up in all the entertainment they brought, they forget to converse with the people around them. Sometimes the best conversations are had in the car.
10. Look out your window. Yeah, you! As many things as I’ve suggested you do IN the car, one of the best things to do on a road trip is look out your window at the landscape surrounding you. This is especially neat if you’re headed to a place you’ve never been before, because chances are you haven’t ever seen most of the route, either. You never know what you might see along the way. Just in these two trips I’ve taken in the past two weeks, these are some things I’ve seen out my windows: a castle/church (we really don’t know), purple house, baseball stadium, the ocean, airplanes, windmills, orchards, skyscrapers, funny looking drivers, (kidding! Well, maybe) lakes, vineyards, and a lot more.
These are just ten things I recommend from my experience to do to survive a long road trip. They are mostly written from the perspective of a passenger as opposed to the driver, but certainly some of them apply to both. I hope you can apply some of these ideas to your next road trip, and don’t forget the most important thing….have fun!