This holiday season, you may be in for a long haul – literally. Over the river and through the woods might just be the first leg of your journey. For many, the idea of driving instead of flying is favorable. Maybe it’s less expensive, or maybe it’s not quite far enough to merit a flight, or you need an exit strategy – you want a get away car from Aunt Martha’s nagging. Sometimes we’ve had enough family after a while and need a breather. Or, maybe it’s more innocent, you want to help with errands or take the little ones to the park. Whatever the reason, a very long car ride is exhausting, and it has to be handled the right way so you don’t go insane.
Every road trip needs to be planned out before it’s executed. Print your maps as back up since you never know when GPS is going to fail. Use routes instead of highways, or at least know how to get to them if you encounter a hideous traffic jam. Also, make sure your trip includes some interesting things to see along the way. If you make your drive part of the vacation, it helps break up the trip and keeps you fresh. So, do a little research – maybe there’s an historic fort just off your route, or the worlds biggest pretzel. Whatever, it doesn’t matter, the idea is to get out and explore. You won’t be quite so bored.
Use Your Ears
When you’re dragging, or frankly even if you’re not, make sure you have a good music selection. Satellite radio, or CDs if you’re old school, or an iPod you can plug in makes all the difference. Bring or download an audio book to change things up. Listen to podcasts if you can, or the news to keep you alert. It’s nice to hear a voice, it makes the trip less of a slog.
When the road tripper encounters nighttime, he or she gets very sleepy. There’s something about the sun going down that makes the trip a little bit harder. This is when your radio comes in handy. Flick on a fun, high beat song to get your heart pumping. You should also open the windows. When air circulates in the car, it makes you perk up. Stale air is terrible for a long drive, which is fine. It’s fun to crank the radio and turn the windows down. Let loose!
Keep it Reasonable
If you have a 12-hour drive ahead of you, it’s tempting to just bang it out in one day. Don’t. First of all, between eating, bathroom breaks, and resting, your 12-hour drive is a minimum of a 14-hour day, probably more like fifteen or sixteen. So, break it into two days. This gives you a much needed break and a chance to recharge before you battle all your eight hundred aunts and uncles.
Do you have driving strategies? What’s your favorite long road trip?