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As you’re reading this I have been driving for a whole day and have a whole day left to go. Unless you read it later, in which case my behind is still sore from sitting in the car for 18 hours. You could be reading this in 2018 and I would still be tired of driving.
I am on my second BIG road trip of the year, with 3 more to go. I like road trips, but this is a little ridiculous. I mean, besides United Airlines, flying ain’t that bad y’all. It has its advantages (like not taking 2 days to get to Florida).
But there are some pretty great things about driving together. First, no limits to what we can take. If I fly I can get all of my things into a miniature suitcase, including a hoard of essential oils and enough underwear to last me an extra week if it became necessary. It is so compact that I look like I am taking an overnight trip to the coast. But if I drive I take so much stuff it looks like I dragged an entire Walmart along with me. Pillows and books and a hundred bags of chips that I start to think I can’t live without are piled high in the backseat. I will have three kinds of headphones (don’t ask me why) and several outfit choices per day, depending on my mood.
This trip is with my almost 16 year old son. He, too, is taking a gigantic pile, of mostly food. This boy can eat like you never saw. We really are taking half of Walmart with us. And it probably won’t be enough.
I do have some fun things we will be doing to keep us entertained while we drive. Want to see the list? Here goes….
- Audiobooks. I am an audiobook junkie, but it’s not easy to find some that will work to keep Mom awake and teenager interested. I have a few that I haven’t heard yet, but I’ll share in case you’re looking for some too….
Thoughts for Young Men by J.C. Ryle, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, Love Does by Bob Goff.
- Road Games. Please, please don’t make me find the alphabet on license plates. It causes me to have road trip misery flashbacks to 1972. But there are some fun, easy games to keep you awake. We like Fictional Families, which involves making up the lives of the people in the cars going past. “That couple looks like they are on their way to pick up their daughter from college and they haven’t seen her for 6 months….”. We also like The Movie Game, where you name an actor and see how many movies you can name that he was in. When you run out of ideas, the passenger can google the actor and together you can see how well you did.
- Heads Up. This is my favorite car game! It’s a phone app and people wonder how I play it in the car. But it’s easy and fun. The way you play it (get it….you will love it at parties!) is to choose a category and the screen shows things in that category. One person gives the other clues and if they guess it, they go to the next screen until their time runs out. So to play it in the car the passenger holds the phone for the driver (it’s big, bright letter so very easy to see in a quick glance) and then turns it around for himself when the driver is guessing. We can do that for hours.
- Waffle House. We started this game on a road trip years ago when we started spotting an unusual (unusual for our area) amount of Waffle Houses. The first one to spot a Waffle House got a point. You had to see the actual place and not just a sign. And if you called out “Waffle House!!” and there wasn’t one, you lost a point. Whoever had the most points at the end of the day got to choose where we ate dinner. We still call it Waffle House, but we play it with other restaurants, shops truck stops, anything we expect to see a lot of.
- Car Colors. Each person in the car picks a color at the beginning of the trip. They get a point each time you spot a car that’s their color. Whoever has the most points at the end of the day gets a prize (I always have a little prize bag on road trips).
- Celebrity Spotting. Take turns looking into the cars next to you and saying what celebrity that person (or people) look the most like. They have to at least resemble the celebrity. Then follow it up with something that celebrity has done and make up a story for the person in the car as if they actually are that famous person.
- Atlas Games. Let the passenger/s follow along on an atlas they can write on. This book, Ultimate US Road Trip Atlas, is a fun way to keep everyone in the loop and it has some cute games in it too!
- Trivia! We love trivia at our house. Get a trivia book and take it along for reading aloud and discussing. The Big Book of American Trivia is great for USA road trips. It’s really fun if you can find one that’s very specific to where you are going. It makes the whole trip richer.
No matter how far you’re driving, it’s good to have things to do in the car. They add to the fun for the passengers and help to keep the driver awake and alert. We will be doing pretty much all of these at some point along the way this week. I will keep a few of the ideas set back for the drive home too. That way I don’t get too tired of the sitting and the snacking and the general exhaustion of driving for 2 whole days.
Of course we will also be using our Young Living essential oils in the car! Peppermint is my fave for staying awake and helps with those classic tummy travel needs. I also love bergamot, lemon and frankincense for staying alert and cheerful.
If you have a great road trip activity you’d like to share, hop over to my Facebook page and let everyone know. Everyone needs your tips!