The best memories are made travelling with friends or family. Road trips are different from all other forms of travel, because here the journey matters more than the destination. Driving on the open road for hours provides ample time for bonding, self-reflection, and relaxation. When you pursue a road trip, it is time to take a break from all your worries back home and enjoy a breather. A road trip means that you will remain in constant company of your folks in a limited space for a very long time; hence, you must have a plan to prevent boredom from descending upon everyone.
Road trips are meant to be all laughter, fun, and delightful reminiscing, so never let a dull moment reside. You need to preserve high spirit, enthusiasm, and optimism, because some disappointments and unfortunate events along the way are inevitable. Acknowledge that every dark cloud has a silver lining, so make lemonade when life hands you lemons! If you are short on ideas to make this journey unforgettable, here’s a list of things to help:
1. Create the Ultimate Playlist
Good music is among the top tree essentials for going on a road trip; the other two being handy cash and a reliable navigation app. You must consider the favored music genres of all passengers to make sure that no one feels left out. Choose a collection of upbeat and happy songs for the beginning of the trip so that everybody feels energized and hyped up for whatever lies ahead. Include several classics and radio hits that everyone can sing along to. Do not forget to include a compilation of songs that are slow and relaxing, because there will be intervals when everyone wants to stay silent, close their eyes, and be left with their own thoughts.
Another set of songs to include are popular movie tracks that tend to touch the heart, and music with deep lyrics that leave a person mesmerized. The nostalgia, budding emotions, and synchronized singing encouraged by your playlist will leave a permanent mark. Music will help everyone with relieving stress, letting lose, and escaping to the perfect getaway, i.e. our imagination.
2. Make a List of Questions that cannot be answered with ‘Yes’ or ‘No’
Road trips are the ideal opportunity to have meaningful conversations with your companions. Utilize this time to learn more about your partner, connect with your children, or incite your peers to spill the beans. It is vital to keep the questions light and impersonal, so that nobody feels uncomfortable or under interrogation. There are subtle and indirect ways to acquire information you need, but that would require you to think out of the box. Sample questions that shall maintain a cheerful atmosphere, whilst producing some insightful or interesting answers:
- What’s the first thing you would do if voted President?
- What was the best thing that happened to you this week?
- Name one person you wouldn’t mind being stranded with on a deserted island?
- Recall and narrate your latest dream/nightmare
- Where do you see yourself 5 years forward?
3. Bring on some interesting Audiobooks
Listening to one or a few spectacular audio books on a long journey kills time and keeps everyone hitched. Most children enjoy storytelling; it keeps them engrossed so they won’t be inquiring “Are we there yet?” every few minutes. Audiobooks and podcasts can help prevent awkward silences, and turn the trip into an educational experience. Everyone can sit back, relax, and allow the audio to trigger productive thoughts. You may learn several valuable facts and useful info by the time you reach your destination.
4. Document the Journey
If you truly want to make this road trip memorable and wish to relive it again, document the journey. The memories stored in your mind may get blurry over time, and you might entirely overlook many details. When you capture the precious moments on photographs or film, they become eternal. You can share the story with people who are not there with you, post pics on social media, and even pass on records to following generations. Documenting the trip could mark the beginning of a brand new career, such as a travel blogger, nature photographer, or trip advisor/adventure organizer. Your experience can inspire others to travel, take risks, and avoid certain road trip mistakes.
5. Camp on the Way
Driving continuously or travelling in a car for several hours straight is tiring, thus you must take as many breaks as possible. Driving duty should be shared among all adult licensed drivers, so nobody is burned out. If you come across camping grounds on the way, do not miss the opportunity to camp out for at least one night. This way everyone can rest and get a good night’s sleep, thereby feeling rejuvenated the next day. Fatigued drivers on the highway are a common cause of fatal auto accidents. Pack necessary camping equipment, as it can always come handy in case your car breaks down and there is no place to stay nearby.
6. Take Detours
Elaborate planning for a road trip is wise, though it should not come in the way of having a good time. Sometimes, taking a detour is exactly what you need to make the journey unforgettable. Do not hesitate to take a longer route, if it means you might get to see or experience something exciting. It is okay to ditch a strict schedule and be spontaneous every now and then.
7. Plan 3 Activities for every Stop
If you have planned several stops along the road trip, let everyone choose 3 activities for one or more stops. For instance, if you are five people and you are going to make 10 stops, let everyone pick and decide the itinerary for two stops each. This way everyone gets a say in the plan, and the anticipation is refreshing. One person is not burdened with all responsibilities, and everyone is happy.
8. Pack a Picnic
Road Trip meals largely consist of unhealthy snacks and junk food, which isn’t half bad. However, you can pack some delicious home cooked food to have a picnic on the way. If you drive by the countryside, you may find several lush fields, which are ideal for an outdoor lunch. The food you bring from home shall be a welcome change from the greasy, sugary, and briny stuff you pick at gas stations.
9. Stargaze and watch the Sunset
If you have never in your life sat on a hilltop to watch the sunset or laid on grass to gaze at the stars at night, you don’t know what you’re missing out. The tranquility of the experience is something everyone deserves to live through. If feels nourishing to get away from a fast paced life and reveling in nature.
10. Buy souvenirs and local snacks at each stop
You don’t have to travel across the seas for an excuse to buy souvenirs. All the towns, villages, and cities you pass by on your road trip exist for a reason. Indulge in their culture by trying local food and buying a trinket to remember them by. Even if the places are quite similar to your hometown, the activity will prove to be an amusing practice.
11. Plan a Scavenger Hunt
If you’re taking the road trip with children, planning a scavenger hunt shall pay off big time. Research all the different places you will be visiting on your way to learn about expected sights and attractions. Make a list of your findings and let the children hunt them down. The game will keep them occupied and save you from their recurrent tantrums.
12. Play 20 Questions
You can always rely on the classic road trip games like 20 questions, which is appropriate for every age group. One of you thinks of a person, place, or object, while the others guess within 20 questions. Some things never get old and some traditions exist to last. Think of unexpected personalities, locations, and items to challenge your companions.
13. Play a Song Game
A road trip is never complete without some singing. Travelers have invented many different kinds of song games over time to entertain themselves. One version of the game is making two teams and singing alternatively. The game starts with a random song, and the other team picks from the last alphabet. Another game referred to as ‘battle of the bands’ allows one person to choose a genre or song category, multiple individuals participate, while the remaining judge and declare the winner.
My personal favorite is the song mash-up game, where one person starts with a few lyrics of a random song, and everybody else joins it with lyrics of another song turn by turn. Make sure to carry enough water bottles and nonalcoholic drinks with you, as all the annoying singing is bound to get you thirsty.
14. Play Mad Libs
Play a never-ending round of mad libs to inspire creativity and have a good laugh with the epic tale you all create together. Remember that the words you contribute do not have to make sense; in fact, the stranger, the better. Mad libs can go on for hours, and test your potential for co-writing the next bestseller.
15. Have a Joke/Comedy Session
Being in charge of the road trip, it is your duty to ensure that nobody encounters a single moment of gloom throughout the journey. Consider this trip as a golden opportunity to reveal all your best dad jokes or try your hand at standup comedy. Also exchange all your worst jokes to get them out of your system, and cackle your heads off. Once you all are on a roll, you won’t even need actual humor to trigger hysterical chuckles.
John Adams is a lifestyle and travel blogger who loves sharing his personal opinions and experiences. He is a true foodie at heart and has a special place for desserts in his life. He encourages readers to take risks and live the life their heart desires.
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