If there’s one thing our family absolutely loves, it’s road trips.
I was on a road trip when first met my husband, who was on a seemingly endless tour as a musician. A few short years later, we were driving from New York to California to start our new life together. We took trips to drive around all of Ireland, from London to Inverness in the UK, across Iceland, and accumulated several journeys across the southwestern US (even ditching a flight to take a spontaneous drive from Houston to Los Angeles). A few months ago, we packed up our lives and drove back to Western New York, and just last week we embarked on a 7-day trip throughout the New England.
If there’s one thing I’ve mastered, it’s the ability to keep myself entertained for long periods of time. Now most of these techniques are for passengers only, but there’s a few that allow the driver to join in on.
Play a game
Before every excursion, I make sure to gather a handful of new games that are more than just mindless fun. My current favorite is Words with Friends 2. The sequel to the revolutionary social phenomenon gains a new lightning round cooperative games and bot challenges while keeping everyone’s favorite aspects of the original.
There’s nothing like a good brain challenge to strengthen your vocabulary, spelling, and logic skills. Constantly destroying all of your Facebook friends game after game only adds a cherry (and bragging rights) on top. I go toe to toe with my husband throughout the day, and love being able to play against friends back in California since time zones don’t apply in WWF2.
My favorite new features are the game modes designed to play in between turns with your friends. The lightning round teams you up to go 4 v 4 in a quick game of speed. The other new game mode is the Solo Challenge, which pits you against the WordMasters in ever-increasingly difficult and instant matches.
Do you play? If so, start a game with me, my username is ‘TheFebruaryFox’!
No matter your interest, there’s likely a podcast related to it. I’ve always been obsessed with true crime stories, which has seemingly endless options when it comes to choices. Look for an episodic podcast for long journeys as they will keep you eager to hear the next segment of the story and help the time fly by. I also suggest podcast based on history or informational in subject. There’s no better time to learn something new than on a long drive!
Highway Scavenger Hunt
Nothing keeps a long drive fun like a little challenge between passengers. I Spy, the classic visual guessing game is a good go-to (“I spy with my little eye, something red”). Another great cooperative game is the License Plate Game: make a list of all the states, and cross them off as each new one is spotted, with the goal of getting as many as possible throughout the trip. Keep a high score to try to beat on every new trip.
Discover New Places to Stretch Your Legs
There are few things in this world that I love more than rest stops and travel centers. A quick pitstop is always a welcome intermission during long trips. Spontaneous (or planned) stops along a drive can make the experience of getting somewhere infinitely more enjoyable. There are websites dedicated to unique and odd stops along routes, but my favorite technique is to just look at a map along our route while planning and just see what is close to our path worth checking out.
What’s your favorite road trip? Do you have any other ideas for staying busy during the drive?
Let me know in the comments and I’ll see you on the road!