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Using a route map on a highway

Surviving the Road

May 10, 2022

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The weather is spiking and it’s May, which means that it’s almost time for vacation and, by association, road trips. Here are some tips that you can use to make your early morning travels less miserable.

Pack a pillow
More often than not, passengers can get exhausted just from sitting in a car for hours on end, leading to falling asleep, so it’s helpful to have a pillow or a blanket. Half the time my brother and I anticipate that we’ll be awake the whole trip bored out of our minds, but we always end up falling asleep sooner or later. When I fall asleep in the car it tends to be in awkward positions to cope with the fact that I’m not in my bed, and I end up feeling cramped up post-nap. (Napping is also great because it’s easy to fall asleep and pass the time on a prolonged trip!)

Get out at rest stops
While on a road trip, it’s important for you to stretch every chance you get because your muscles will tense out and likely lead to pain or soreness once you reach your destination. Whether it’s walking around for a bit or doing swimmers with your arms, stretching is detrimental. Another important thing to do is to use the bathroom. You may not feel like you have to, but on the road you don’t have many places to stop, so you should always go to the bathroom and play it safe so you don’t end up going into the woods.

Play road games
Boredom is inevitable on a road trip. There’s no way to avoid that, but there are different things you can do to stay occupied. One popular game is license plate collect, where you try to see a license plate from every state on your trip. Another great car game is where you have to call out signs starting with each letter of the alphabet (Aerie for A, Bass Pro Shops for B, etc.) and whoever gets to “Z” first wins. Our final game is like Categories where you and the other player (or players) select a category and name something in that category that begins with the last letter of the previous player’s word. For example, if the category is “animals” and someone says Shark, the next player would say Kangaroo, but the catch is that you can’t repeat words. They are simple games to work your brain, but also satisfy the itch for entertainment.

Download something to watch
Most streaming services have the option to download either a movie or a TV show so that you can watch it another time without service. Depending on what plan you have, you can download any number of things, saving battery when you watch it later on. I once had a Netflix movie and a Disney Plus movie both downloaded with some storage space left over on my phone. Although I enjoy certain apps for my TV fix, there are other ways to maintain entertainment without spending. YouTube offers an assortment of videos to watch for free while tubi offers movies and TV shows for free.

Pack snacks
If your family is anything like mine, you won’t stop often and when you do, it’ll likely be a rest stop. Preparing food beforehand is a smart idea so that when you do get hungry, you don’t have to spend your time in a drive-thru line and waste your vacation money there. It may seem simple, but with the prices of snacks at gas stations and convenience stores being more expensive than those in grocery stores, even little savings like this can add up and keep you from burning a hole in your pocket on a road trip.

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