"the trusted voice of teens who travel"
June 1st, 2012
Being in the car for an entire day is bad, but having nothing to do is even worse…especially when you’re a teenager. That’s why, fellow teens, I’m going to help you out. Here’s how you can survive that daylong car ride and beat that road trip boredom.
Believe it or not, you must prepare for boredom even before you actually experience it on the car ride. It’s a great idea to pack a cooler with your favorite snacks and drinks (but not messy snacks…Mom won’t let you see the sun if you get crumbs in her car).
Also, be sure to dress comfy! Wear baggy clothes and slip-on shoes to guarantee your coziness. If you plan on resting in the car, bring along a blanket and your favorite pillow. And yes, you’re allowed to bring a stuffed animal or two. Just because we’re teenagers doesn’t mean we can’t snuggle with our teddies.
Saved by Technology
Technology is a teenager’s best friend. So on a daylong car trip, be sure to pack your favorite electronics and social media devices. Your cell phone, laptop, and your iPod will rescue you from boredom. Also, you might want to consider bringing along a DVD player with a couple of your favorite movies.
Taking photos is a great way to pass the time, too. You may not be a photographer, but just playing around and taking random pictures is pretty time-consuming. Bring along your digital camera (disposable cameras work, too) and your lengthy journey will be over before you know it.
If you’re old school like me, however, you’ll want to bring along a good book or two. When I get lost in an exciting book, the time just flies right by!
Road Trip Games
Silly? Yes. Childish? Definitely. But effective? You bet. Playing road trip games has always been one of my favorite things to do to pass the time, even as a teenager.
A couple of car games that you may enjoy playing are “The Car Next Door” and “Group Storytelling.” In “The Car Next Door,” you invent stories about the lives of people in the cars next to you. And though it may seem silly, “Group Storytelling” is probably my favorite car game, especially when played with a sense of humor! Someone starts a story and, after a couple of sentences, passes it off to someone else who continues the story. If you’re in a car full of crazy friends or relatives, the ride can quickly become very amusing!
Some of the classic car games are just as effective at passing the time of that seemingly endless car ride. 20 Questions, iSpy, and License Plate Games (finding a plate from each state, making up a phrase using the letters, etc.) are not only great time-consumers, but they’re also really entertaining…especially when you have other people in the car to play along with you!
If your other car mates are anti-social, however, don’t worry. There are many car games that you can still play by yourself. Bringing along Sudoku, crossword puzzles, and word search books is a great idea. While they may seem nerdy, puzzle books are one of the most effective ways to make the time fly.
When You’re Desperate
Sometimes nothing works. Time just doesn’t fly by, no matter what you do. At that point, you must entertain yourself in any way possible. A good way to do this is by bringing along your…*shudder*…homework. Though it’s every teen’s nightmare, a long car ride is actually a great opportunity to get a lot of work done. You can even ask your teachers for any future homework so that you can get ahead.
If homework just isn’t your thing (which for a lot of us teenagers…it’s not) and you’re still desperate for something to do, try just enjoying the landscape. Look out the window and take in the twists and turns of your scenic route.
When nothing else works, taking a nap is always easy to do! Being a teenager really takes a lot out of you, and a long road trip is the perfect time to catch up on some sleep.
Whatever It Takes
I’m no expert (considering I’m a teenager myself), but I do know a lot about how teens can occupy themselves on a daylong car ride. Personally, I like to do really fun and crazy things to pass the time…like bring dry erase markers and doodle on the windows! But whatever helps you survive the trip-whether it’s bringing just your iPod or packing your entire DVD collection-you will need it.
As teenagers, we must entertain ourselves in any way possible. Do whatever it takes to keep busy. Just remember that safety always comes first; so don’t forget to buckle up. Also, I know it’s tempting to bug the driver when you’re desperate for something to do, but it’s a bad idea. The trip will last even longer if the driver ends up in a fender bender! With these surefire time-consumers, your next car ride is bound to be a journey to remember!