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Life is a Highway – I want to ride it All Night Long

- Caroline

Cruisin’ down the highway… heading for your next vacation… stuck in a car all night long… I’ve taken my fair share of road trips. Sitting in the back seat of a van for 10 hours while driving down Interstate 77, I’ve learned a few lessons on how to handle being in a car with my family and want to share it with fellow road trippers.

BEFORE YOU HIT THE ROAD plan ahead to prepare yourself for what’s to come. Exactly HOW many hours will you be in the car? The difference between a 4-hour and 8-hour car ride could mean packing different snacks, entertainment and wearing different clothes.

DRESS COMFORTABLY. Nothing is worse than being pitched everywhere as you sit for hours. Flip flops or shoes that can slip on and off easily are best for when you want to relax your feet but have to fill up the gas tank and put shoes on quickly. Sweatshirts or jackets are good when you have a car full of family members and there isn’t an agreement on if the AC should be blasted or windows rolled down.

HOURS on the road can seem loooooong when you’re passing tree, tree, yellow line, yellow line, tree, tree…  Plan ahead to keep yourself entertained. Pack a good book, magazine, school work (because if your text book is with you maybe you’ll actually take a peek) or electronic device. Use the sun to your advantage – read your books while the sun is shining and save your electronics (which you can see in the dark) when the sun goes down.

WHEN THERE”S MULTIPLE PEOPLE IN THE CAR you can use each other to help pass the time. First, when possible, rotate drivers. As soon as we turned 16 we were excited to get miles in behind the wheel – and my parents were excited to spend less time driving.

Secondly, PLAY WORD GAMES with everyone in the car. Here’s a list of some easy games that anyone can play:

  • Would You Rather – take turns coming up with 2 weird, bizarre or fun scenarios and make everyone choose which one (out of the 2) they would rather do or have. For example: “Would You Rather Have 12 inch thumbs or 12 inch big toe?” Then ask them why they chose that answer.
  • Category Game – take turns coming up with a category (for example: items found in a kitchen, flavors of ice cream, Disney movies) then everyone goes around and lists an item that fits the category without repeating what someone has already said. Last person who did not repeat himself wins.
  • ABC category – similar to the category game, name a generic category and go around and name items in ABC order. For example: Places in USA – Arizona, Baltimore, Cedar Point, Denver, etc.
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