Road trips can be one of the best and most fun ways to see the country. They can turn reaching your destination into an affordable and fun journey. However, they can also be drags, sparking arguments and complaints from kids or other impatient travelers.
This is particularly true when you fail to prepare for long hours on the road. But making road trips not suck is surprisingly easy. Read on as we explore the best ways to liven up your journey!
Planning Your Road Trip Is Key
Planning is vital to making the most of any road trip. It starts with mapping your route, which you can do via free services like Google Maps, Apple Maps, or more specialized road trip-focused apps. Once you’ve figured out your general route, decide whether you’ll make the drive in a single day or if you must break it up.
With this information, you can split your drive into segments and explore the various potential sights. Mapping services and apps can provide much help, but so can some light internet research be using travel websites.
It’s also crucial not to overdo it! While you want to prepare and know what’s ahead of you, road-trippers should also leave room in their schedule. This allows for any potential delays or mishaps and provides the time to make a stop or detour for something that catches your eye.
The 10 Easy Ways to Make Your Road Trips Fun
It’s vital to plan out more than your route and any stops. You should also consider some ideas for making the drive fun, especially if you have kids. Here are some of the best ideas.
#1 Play Road Trip Games
Road trip games are a tradition that keeps travelers occupied for hours. They include classics like I Spy, the license plate game, the ABC game, the music game, and many more. A little light competition can speed through the hours without needing anything but your imagination.
#2 Tell Some Jokes
Have you ever heard the expression, “laughter is the best medicine?” Well, it’s also an excellent way to pass the time on road trips. Most people have a joke or two in their back pocket, and rotating with each person telling one can be a hilarious way to spend an hour or two. Those with kids can grab an age-appropriate joke book that will have them howling in the back seat.
#3 Listen to Podcasts or Audiobooks
One of the best ways to make long hours in the car fly by is to get lost in a good story or podcast. No matter what you or your traveling companions are interested in, there are plenty of podcasts. You can choose from news and current events to true crime, cooking, sports, entertainment, tech, and much more. The best part is that they’re typically free or supported by ads, which you can skip if you like.
Audiobooks are another excellent choice, allowing you and your fellow travelers to experience everything from literary classics to the latest romance or suspense novels from famous authors, along with non-fiction. Some even use multiple actors to provide an experience like a classic radio play, grabbing the attention of even the most absentminded car daydreamer. You can purchase audiobooks from various services or sometimes check one out for free from your local library.
#4 Look for Oddball Roadside Attractions
Among the highlights of hitting the open road is discovering the quirky sights that have entertained millions of people since the dawn of the automobile. Advanced research can help you know what to expect and what’s worth checking out. However, part of the fun can be spontaneous detours based on an unusual sign or other eye-catching attractions along the route.
#5 Let the Kids Watch a Movie
Anyone who ever took a road trip as a kid knows that, no matter how much the adults tried, you sometimes ended up bored. Luckily, modern kids can lose themselves in a movie for an hour or two, allowing parents and other passengers a break.
While some vehicles offer built-in entertainment systems, they’re no longer essential, thanks to the availability of low-cost tablets. Load these up with a few movies before the trip. Then the kids can enjoy them whenever they need, even without wifi.
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#6 Do a Driving Scavenger Hunt
Turn those hours staring out the window into a game with a driving scavenger hunt. Come up with a list of common and not-so-common things you might see along the road, from specific colors or types of cars to farms, businesses, and all sorts of roadside attractions. The game can go on as long as you have a list of things to spot. It’s an excellent way to occupy fellow road trippers for a while.
#7 Play 20 Questions
20 Questions is a thrilling game that anyone can play. You only need to think of something or someone and let your carmates ask yes or no questions to discover the answer. You can select categories or open things up for a challenge. With no equipment or long rule explanations, it can quickly kill an hour or two while keeping your mind occupied.
#8 Have a Sing-Along
You don’t need incredible vocal talents to belt out a few songs in the car with your friends or family. Turn a traffic jam into a mini karaoke party with some of your favorite tunes. You can pick pop and rock, road trip classics like “99 Bottles of Beer,” or your favorite kids’ songs. Whether singing together or letting a fellow traveler take a solo, sing-alongs can provide fun, laughs, and a perfect way to spend your road trip time.
#9 Pull Over and Do Something Active
Sometimes, you need to take a break. Luckily, road trips offer many opportunities for exciting and fun adventures and activities. Choices can range from museums or attractions in towns along the way or a quick break in a green space or park near the road where you can play and let the kids get some energy out. It might seem counterintuitive, but you may be able to make better time overall by taking a few strategic breaks to keep passengers happy.
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#10 Take Photos
Save those precious road trip memories with some photos along the way. Passengers can snap selfies and kill some time with a mini-modeling session. You can take shots of beautiful scenery or unusual sights rushing by out the window. You may look back on these pictures with as many fond memories as ones of your eventual destination.
Make Your Road Trip a Lasting Memory
Road trips are one of the best ways to travel. When you’re well prepared with plenty of activities, the old saying about the journey being the destination becomes true. So keep these tips in mind, and you’ll have years of happy memories to look back on before you even reach your road trip’s final stop.
Do you have any fun ways of passing the time during a road trip? Tell us your tips!