If you have to drive for many hours, you can quickly become bored or even distracted, which can make your journey seem far longer. An arduous journey can spoil the whole trip, which might make you dread your time on the road. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of tips and tricks that you can use to make a long drive seem shorter.
Here are 11 ways to make a long drive seem shorter:
- Create a playlist or find a radio station that you enjoy.
- Listen to audiobooks.
- Wear comfortable clothes.
- Take regular breaks.
- Plan your route.
- Play driving games.
- Give children a device if you’re traveling with them.
- Bring snacks.
- Share the driving if possible.
- Don’t watch the clock.
- Get to know the people traveling with you.
Following these tips will not only make your journeys seem more straightforward, but you may even start to enjoy long drives. Keep reading to learn more in detail about the tricks and tips you can use to make your long drives seem shorter.
1. Create a Playlist or Find a Radio Station That You Enjoy
Finding the right music is essential for any long drive, as good music can help to keep you motivated and attentive while driving. One way to ensure that you enjoy every song while driving is to create a playlist before setting off.
You can create playlists on most music streaming apps and sizes.
Another great source of driving music is the radio, whether you find a traditional radio station or through a satellite streaming service such as Sirius XM. There are radio stations that cater to a variety of music preferences, so you can find a station that you enjoy.
Radio stations do have limited reach, though, so make sure that you can get a signal throughout your journey. You can also listen to CDs or other forms of media if your car doesn’t fit with an AUX input.
If you’re traveling with someone in the passenger seat, ask them to control the music. You can focus on driving and enjoy the songs if someone else is choosing the tunes.
2. Listen to Audiobooks
If you’re not much of a music fan, audiobooks may be the way to go. These books are read out loud so you can listen without having to read, which can be excellent for long journeys as you may even finish multiple books while driving your car.
Most books that have been released recently have also been released as an audiobook. As a result, you can find all of your favorite fiction and nonfiction stories to listen to while driving.
Audible is a fantastic app that you download full of audiobooks. You can find Audible on both apple and android app stores.
3. Wear Comfortable Clothes
A long drive will only feel longer if you’re wearing tight or rigid clothing. You’re going to be sitting down and driving for an extended period, and any minor discomforts you feel from your dress will only be magnified by the long journey.
Sweat pants, shorts, and even leggings and t-shirts are all great clothes you can wear for a long drive. Sitting in your comfortable clothes allows you to relax and enjoy your drive. They are essential for long journeys, as they allow you to relax and unwind while driving and prevent any discomfort caused by formal attire.
Passengers in the car can also bring comfort items such as pillows and blankets, allowing them to nap while you drive.
4. Take Regular Breaks
Taking breaks is essential when you’re driving long distances.
It’s recommended that you stop every two hours or 100 miles (161 km) for a 15-minute break. Taking regular intervals fights against fatigue while you are driving.
Doing this also allows for bathroom trips. If you’re driving with passengers, make sure to get out of the car to stretch your legs when stopping, even if you don’t need to get out of the vehicle. Stepping out of the car for a short walk every few hours will also provide you with a change of scenery, which is excellent for breaking up your long drive.
While taking regular breaks is essential, stopping too often will slow down your progress, which can increase your travel time and make your long drive feel even longer.
5. Plan Your Route
Planning your route is an essential part of any long journey, as you should know which roads you need to take before setting off. If you fail to plan your route, there’s a good chance that you’ll get lost.
Getting lost on a long journey can add hours to your drive. Also, getting lost is a highly stressful situation, and getting stressed out on a long drive will drag out your trip and leave you in a foul mood.
That is why you must plan your route accurately to prevent you from getting lost.
While planning, you should account for bathroom, and food stops, freeing you from finding a place to stop while driving. You’ll also want to account for traffic and construction work on roads as they can lead to significant delays.
An effectively planned route will alleviate stress and provide you with a clear picture of what to expect from your journey.
6. Play Driving Games
Driving games are a classic form of entertainment for long drives. There are a variety of driving games that you can play to keep you entertained while driving. You can find driving games for children and adults, so regardless of who you’re traveling with, there’s a game for you.
Let’s talk about a few examples of fun driving games that you can play on your trip.
20 questions, or 21 questions as it is also known, is a fun game that you can play with all of the family. A player first chooses a place, person, thing, or movie, but they keep their desired item to themselves.
The other players then have 20 questions to ask the first player. Each question must be answered as a yes or no. For example, is your thing a human? This would then be answered with yes if they are or no if they aren’t.
After 20 questions, the players have to guess what the first player thought of, and if they were right, they win. Once the 20 questions are up, the player who guessed right picks a new item. But if no one got it correct, the same player goes again.
Eye spy is another classic traveling game and is handy for drivers with small children or even adults.
To play eye spy, the first player chooses an object that they can see. They then say the first letter of the object’s color using the phrase “eye spy with my little eye, something black…” The other players then guess things that they can see until they find the correct answer or give up thinking.
Like 20 questions, whoever guessed right goes next, but if no one gets the correct answer, the same player goes again.
The movie game is ideal for film fanatics.
To play this game, the first player chooses an actor or actress, then the next player must name a movie they were in. The game continues when another player then names another actor or actress from the same movie, and the other player has to name a film they starred in.
This game is best played with 3-4 adults, but it’s possible to play with just 2 players.
While You Were Sleeping
While you were sleeping is a fun game that you can play, which requires at least three players to play. Once someone has fallen asleep on the drive, you wait a few minutes and devise a story to tell them when they wake up.
After you have made up your tale, you awaken the sleeping player and attempt to make them believe your story.
The first player to break character or admit that the story is a lie is the loser.
7. Give Children a Device if You’re Traveling With Them
Electronic devices are a great source of entertainment for children while traveling.
Handing your child a tablet, laptop, or phone at the start of a journey is a great way to keep them occupied. They can play games and watch movies in the back while you drive in peace in the front.
Children can quickly become bored during a long drive, and when they become bored, they may become cranky. A grumpy child isn’t an ideal travel companion, so providing them with a fun source of entertainment will keep your kids happy during your journey.
8. Bring Snacks
If you don’t want to stop for food during your long drive, you can bring snacks and packed food from home. Sandwiches are a great food to get for a long drive as you can gobble them without making a mess. You can also bring other snacks like chocolate, chips, and trail mix, as enjoying a sugary treat while driving will also keep you alert and focused on the road.
You can also pack healthy snacks like fresh fruit, vegetables, and nuts. Whatever food you enjoy, you can bring it with you for the drive.
Bringing snacks and packing food will prevent you from overpaying at gas stations and rest stops, as these stores are often costly.
9. Share the Driving if Possible
This tip isn’t available to all drivers but those lucky enough to have another qualified driver traveling with them. If you have a licensed driver with you on your trip, take turns while driving. You could swap every couple of hours or after every 100 miles (160.9 km) to ease the strain.
Sharing the drive allows you time to relax and unwind during the trip.
When the other person is driving, you can relax and take a nap or watch a movie on your phone. Listen to a podcast or do whatever you like to do to help you unwind.
It will also cut down on the time needed for the journey as you can reduce the number of breaks you need to take. When you need a break, the other driver can jump in and take over. Then, when they need a break, you can swap back.
This reduces the workload for each driver as well as reduces your overall travel time. Therefore sharing the drive will make your life easier and your journey shorter.
10. Don’t Watch the Clock
A watched pot never boils. This phrase is especially relevant during a long drive because if you constantly monitor the clock, you’ll be continuously reminded of how long you have to go.
It’s better to focus on landmarks and signposts to update you on your progress. Advertisements such as billboards are also a great way to keep your focus on the road.
Keeping an eye out for signs will ensure that you stay alert and pay attention to the road. Watching the clock, on the other hand, can frustrate you and make progress feel slow, and as a result, your long journey will feel longer.
11. Get To Know the People Traveling With You
If you have people in the car with you for your long drive, take the time to get to know them. Ask open-ended questions that might develop into an interesting conversation.
A long drive is a fantastic opportunity to have in-depth conversations with the people around you. If you are talking to someone for hours on end, you’ll likely hear stories that you’ve never heard before.
It is also a great way to learn more about who is beside you for your trip. Depending on your relationship with your travel companion, you can reminisce about past times or catch up with what’s new.
Holding a conversation while driving will also keep you alert and focused, which will prevent you from falling asleep at the wheel and getting into an accident.
12. Drive Something Different
Instead of taking your daily car, consider using something different. Whether you rent something or borrow one from a friend or family member, driving a different car can create a whole new experience.
If you typically drive a sedan, opt for a convertible or SUV. Or, go the extra mile and rent something super cool, like a classic car or luxury sports car. Anything different will enliven the experience.
Make sure to consider weather and driving conditions when choosing your alternate vehicle. For instance, if the weather will be too cold or too hot the entire time, perhaps a convertible won’t be a great option.
For some inspiration on fun places to take a road trip in the USA, visit 8 Crazy Unique Places to Stay in the USA.