An adventurer to my very core, road trips are totally my thing. They’re the perfect excuse to adventure while feeling absolutely no guilt for getting nothing productive done. You’re literally stuck in your seat for hours without the ability to cook, clean, work, or fulfill most regular every day responsibilities. Personally, I have a difficult time relaxing on a day to day basis because if I know there’s something I could be doing, it’s difficult to let myself relax…and there is always something I could be doing! And you can’t do nothin’ but sit on a road trip! It’s the beeest.
Connor and I’s summer road trip is approaching at the perfect time, as I desperately need some time to slow down & relax. We’re headed to the green, beautiful, and rainy state of Oregon, where Connor grew up. I’ll finally get to see where my husband spent most of his life. He’s also promised to take me to some famous bookstore that he says I’ll love, along with a donut shop and some hikes.
The trip is fast approaching and so my usual road trip planning has begun! Now that I’m married, my road trip planning involves another person. When Connor and I were dating and he let me know that he’s not a fan of road trips, I was a little bummed to say the least. Though, I must admit that road trips are only as fun as you make them. You’ve got to have a plan or boredom and restlessness will set in fast. So, it’s my goal to make this trip so fun that this road trip hater will turn into a road trip lover! With a few simple road trip essentials, anyone can start thinking of these long drives as a time to relax and let loose instead of as a dreaded event.
As I’ve been making my own plans for our upcoming trip, I decided to compile a list of road trip essentials that will hopefully bring you some fresh new entertainment and fun on your next road trip. So here’s what we’ll be doing to stay sane:
(P.S I know very little about road tripping with kids. I’m sure the dynamics change and some of these activities won’t be possible- I will have to do some research on how to stay sane during a road trip with kids. That’s got to be rough.)
1. Listen to podcasts.
How I ever survived road trips before podcasts were a “thing,” I’ll never know. Podcasts are road trip life savers!
If you have an Iphone, you can simply download them for free on the Podcast app. If you have an Android, you’ll have to pay for a Podcast app (unless I’m mistaken…if anyone knows of a free podcast app for Androids, let me know!) but I think it’s totally worth it to buy an app. If you have excellent service and don’t mind sucking up a lot of your data, you can always stream podcasts from the podcast’s website as well.
I’ve tried out many different podcasts and the majority of them are soooo incredibly boring, but after much searching I’ve found a select few podcasts that have got me hooked!
Here they are (ordered by my love for them- 1 being my fav):
1. Sword and Scale: A true-crime podcast that goes in depth on many different individual true-crime stories and “proves that the worst monsters are very real.”
2. Invisibilia: This is my husband’s favorite podcast and definitely one of mine as well. It’s all about the psychology behind emotions, beliefs, and assumptions. It’s upbeat, interesting, and will have you hooked in no time!
3. Serial: The true story of Adnan Syed, who was convicted for the murder of his ex-girlfriend. Host, Sarah Koenig, searches for the truth and brings you along for the ride, as she interviews Adnan and other people involved or who have information about the case.
5. Someone Knows Something (Season 2 Only), Up and Vanished, and Convicted: Each of these podcasts is hosted by a different person whose goal is to find out the truth of these unsolved mysteries. They’re all equally intriguing!
There are some other great podcasts, but I think these are the best for road-tripping because they’ll keep you endlessly entertained. You might not even want your road trip to end!
2. Buy 101 Quizzes For Couples and get to know each other better!
If you’re not road trippin’ with your partner, this book could probably keep friends or siblings entertained as well. It’s full of “Would You Rather?”, “This or That?”, “Who Does It Better?”, interview, and multiple choice questions.
Here’s a little sneak peak at some of the quiz topics:
How Annoying Are These Pet Peeves? (it then shows a list of pet peeves and you need to decide if they’re a little, a lot, or not at all annoying)
Who would you trust in these hypothetical emergency situations? (then you choose between you and your partner- or family member or friend- if they would be better at something or if you would, like, “Pulling out a bee sting if one of us got stung.”
I recently bought this for Connor & I after seeing it at Barnes and Nobles and I’m thrilled about having it on our road trip! There’s no way you can get bored with a book like this!
3. Research and decide on a few cool places that you can stop along your drive.
You could stop at a restaurant that got great reviews, an artsy landmark, or do a quick little nature walk in a beautiful place.
If you leave on your drive early enough in the morning, you’ll be able to make a few pit stops without feeling rushed. These pit stops are a great way to break up the trip and look forward to something exciting every few hours.
4. Check out audio books at your local library.
Before heading off on any road trip, I make sure I have a few great audio books to listen to. You can download audio books from certain apps, like audible (they give you a free month trial when you first sign up), or you can just go to your local library and stock up on as many as you want. It’s a good idea to grab quite a few incase you put one on and the narrators voice is annoying or the book turns out to be boring!
5. Download the Mad Libs app on your phone.
You won’t regret doing this! Connor and I played Mad Libs for a solid couple of hours on our last road trip. That was probably our favorite part of the trip. It’s a free app that will bring you lots of laughter and good times!
6. A few more random ideas that will keep you entertained:
Of course you can always blast your music or talk but here are a few more random ideas that will keep you entertained when you start feeling antsy and bored.
- If you’re with your partner, come up with a bucket list of things you want to do in the next month or year or even make a “Lifetime Bucket List” (Put this list in your notes and add your partner to the note so they can see it from their phone as well-not when they’re driving, of course, but afterwards)
- Whoever is in the passenger seat can take the 16 Personalities Test and then read the questions aloud to the driver so that they can find out their personality type as well. Once you each have your results, the passenger can read about each of your types and decide what fits and what doesn’t fit with who you each are (this will only be possible if you have good service and if the passenger doesn’t get car sick from reading)
- Play, “Guess That Song.” Play songs from your phone or Ipod and have the driver guess the title of the song or the singer within the first 30 seconds. They get two points if they can guess both the title and the singer correctly. To make it even more interesting, bring your oldest Ipod or MP3 player along on the trip and play songs from your younger years like, “How To Save a Life,” and “Hollaback Girl.” You’ll be surprised at how many songs you remember from way back when!
And then here’s a few great ideas that Buzzfeed has to offer (I just picked my favorites from their article):
- Play, “Sorry I’m Late.” One person says, “Sorry I’m late” and then gives an excuse for why they’re late. Here’s the catch. Their excuse has to be the description of a movie. For example, “Sorry I’m late. I had to help this guy find his son, but I kept forgetting where I saw him.” Your job is to figure out which movie they’re describing.
- Play, “The Name Game.” You decide on a category (celebrities names, sports, food, cities, etc.) and one person comes up with a word in that category . Then the next person has to think of a word that starts with the last letter of that word. For example, if the category was celebrities and I said “Will Ferrel”, the next person would have to think of a celebrities name that starts with an L, so they could say “Lindsay Lohan.”
- Play, “Movie Connections.” One person names a movie and the next person has to come up with a movie that has something in common with that movie (actor, producer, something that happens in the movie, etc.) You can’t name the same movie twice and you have to know what the connection is between the two movies. You can’t just say any random movie and hope there’s some sort of connection.