Tips for Surviving Road Trips: We all know the stereotypical road trip, with many choruses of “Are we there yet?” “He’s touching me!” And, “I’m hungry!” And that’s just from the adults in the car! So how can you be sure to survive your next road trip?
- Make sure the car is in good shape. Nothing ruins a trip faster than breaking down at the side of the road or having to spend most of the day at the mechanics. Make sure all the fluids in the car are replenished, and that the brakes are working. Also very important: keep a first aid kit in the car just in case, and include extra blankets if you’re traveling in the winter.
- Dress comfortably. Having the waist of your pants cutting into your skin, or a scratchy sweater that makes you itch will make sitting in the car seem twice as long.
- Don’t be afraid of a few crumbs in the car. Snacks keep people occupied and tummies happy—kids and adults alike. String cheese, carrot sticks, and apple slices are great choices, as are pretzels and crackers. Make it fun with treats you do not normally have, or snacks related to the place you’re visiting. Be aware though that salty foods will make you thirstier, meaning more water-drinking and more bathroom stops.
- Make frequent stops. Whenever you stop for gas, instead of stopping only for the time it takes to get gas, stop and walk around for 5 or 10 minutes. It will get the blood flowing again, keep you awake and alert, and help you maintain a better mood.
- I’m sure this was the first item on your packing list, but don’t forget the entertainment! Play in-car gameslike the license plate game or the classic I Spy. Learn the entire lyrics to a song, and then replace all the verbs in the song with your favorite expletive—for adult-only trips! Peek (non-creepily of course) at other drivers, then guess their jobs and make up stories for them and their past. Create a music playlist specific to that trip, have a notebook for each person to record their thoughts, draw, or play games. Bring a book to take turns reading aloud—except for the driver!—then discuss it together. Audio books are also a great option.
- Give a camera to everyone in the car, even if they’re just cheap disposable cameras. Everyone will have a different perspective of the trip and you’ll get a lot of different views and perspectives when you finally develop them! Kids especially have some very unique viewpoints of the world.
- Be adventurous. Try the weird flavored potato chips at gas stations, or make a detour to go San Diego shopping or see a historical site. Talk to random pedestrians waiting to cross at stoplights. Listen to weird music stations with genres like trucking, esoteric, sports talk, or whatever you don’t normally listen to. Take side roads and back roads, and see what you find.
Remember, it’s about the journey, not just the destination. Yes, sometimes you are on a strict time schedule, but when you aren’t take time to enjoy the scenery. Stop at a viewpoint. If it snows, pull off and play in it a couple minutes. It will keep stress levels down, make the trip enjoyable, and you’ll strengthen relationships and make memories to last a lifetime.
Candice Harding enjoys writing about the great products and technology she finds online. When she’s away from the computer, she loves riding her bike and exploring the outdoors. She scours the Internet for quality deals, like those at Viejas. Hope you like reading her article “Tips for Surviving Road Trips”.