Darren and I have taken many long and tiring journeys together to reach our far-flung destinations. And we have been through it all – taking the wrong turn off a highway and being lost for kilometers, driving for hours, starving and having no idea when the next stop is and argued about silly little things along the way because of it. They are hilarious stories to share now but they weren’t so hilarious when they were happening!
From this I have put together some guidelines that we now make use of before we take any long road trips and even use some of these for the short ones too.
1. Good Music Selection
A road trip is nothing without a great playlist, it helps pass the time and ultimately makes the trip more enjoyable for both the driver and passengers. Darren and I usually download a whole bunch of songs and put them onto a SD card before we leave for a long trip – deciding on what music to download is usually the most fun as we both have different tastes in music!
2. Yummy Snacks
I don’t know about all of you but being starving while driving along a route that has no stops for the next 100 kilometres is something that is bound to make us “hangry” and ultimately cause arguments along the way – trust us we know this from experience! Make sure you have packed some yummy padkos – our term for road trip snacks – for you to munch on until you can stop and have some substantial food. Packing a snack pack also helps save you money and you can even eat healthier meals instead of that greasy fast-food burger.
3. Carry Bag
Just like you have a carry-on bag for the plane, have a little bag packed with all of your necessities, such as your toiletry bag and a change of clothes, to have ready for when you stop at a petrol station and want to freshen up a bit. The worst is having to open the boot and dig around for your favourite face cream that you desperately need to feel human again.
4. Charged Devices
Make sure to charge up all of your devices for your upcoming journey the day before – cell phones, cameras, tablets etc. The worst is being stuck with a dead battery when you are lost or a low battery on your camera when you get a chance to take the perfect shot. We make sure that we have a car charger wherever we go so that we are never stuck without a GPS or a phone in case of emergencies.
5. A Good Book or Entertaining Magazine
While I feel bad getting stuck into a good book while my other half has to drive, it is always a great idea to have a book or magazine handy when boredom strikes. Reading a magazine can also be a great conversation starter – just because the driver can’t read along with you, they can still comment on recent news or something quirky that has been written in a magazine. I find women’s magazines are the best as they have the most weirdest and wonderful taglines.
6. Ample Amount Of Water
We all try our hardest to be healthy when we travel but sometimes a carrot stick just doesn’t seem as appealing as those salt and vinegar crisps. That’s why staying hydrated throughout the trip is really important, it will quell those headaches and make you feel more awake and ultimately less grumpy.
7. A Mapped Out Route
I drink a lot of water when I travel and nothing can be worse than being in a car, needing to go to the toilet and having no idea where the next stop is. Having a plan of all the garages along the route can also help you to plan how much you will drink to not end up squeezing your legs together for an hour. Having points of interests that you would like to see along the way also make for great opportunities to stretch your legs and breathe in some fresh air.
8. Car Games
One way to keep entertained is to play games along the way, not only can the passengers partake but the driver can too which makes it a great activity for everyone on the road trip. Some great games to play are:
- Would you rather? – The ultimate question game that usually ends up in hysterics
- Never have I ever – change this drinking game to one of juice/ water and the first one that needs to go to the toilet loses (usually me)
- Story Time – drive passed a car and try to guess what kind of life they live
9. Picture Stops
One way to make your trip all the more interesting is to stop for a bit at a lookout point or just a place that you think will make for a great picture perfect moment. This will help you take in the scenery around you and make you appreciate the way the landscape changes over the course of your journey. It also makes for great memories to have forever of you and your significant other – it also stops you from rushing to your destination.
10. Great Attitude
Finally having a great attitude and by appreciating every little thing will make the drive fly by. Having a bad attitude and counting down the clock won’t get you to your destination any quicker. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. After all life isn’t a destination, it is a journey and so is your road trip.