There's nothing quite like the open road. The more miles you conquer, the freer you feel. For me, I absolutely love watching the landscapes change. Especially on those 8+ hour road trips.
I frequently drive 2,000-mile road trips myself and absolutely love them! It's a type of therapy for me. I am truly alone in my own thoughts with absolutely no distractions. I get to make my schedule. I get to stop as many times as I want. I control the radio. I don't know about you, but to me, that is pure bliss.
No matter how crazy people think I am for volunteering to drive thousands of miles alone, solo travel will always be my favorite type of meditation/therapy/happy place.
Although few share my love of long solo road-trips, sometimes they are necessary. For the majority of people who hate things like this, have no fear! I have created a list of the best ways to keep yourself entertained while tacking on the miles.
Duh, Dallas. This is not new information! Why would you even list this?
Ok, bare with me.
I use long road-trips as an opportunity to discover new music. Listen to something different that gets you moving around in the driver seat. Use your water bottle as a microphone and perform your own concert on the road. Nobody will see you. After all, you're more than likely on a highway and not stopped at a red light where you'll become the next viral video for the person stopped next to you at the light.
Music is such a powerful tool of self-expression. This is your chance to be unapologetic and jam to the weirdest stuff the internet has to offer. Find a funky jam-band and get your groove on.
One of my new favorites... Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. No, seriously. That's a real band. They play the funkiest, car-dance-party worthy stuff and I love them for it.
This is not an advertisement for the weirdest band... I'm just saying long road-trips are the perfect opportunity to check out new bands. Hit the discovery section of your music platform and just jam!
Ok, so you're talking to the biggest fan of audiobooks ever.
I originally downloaded my audiobook app for a long road-trip years ago because I read somewhere that listening to books helps keep your brain engaged and awake when you're struggling from extreme boredom on the road.
However, I now listen to them ever night. It's my way of decompressing after a long day. I used to binge-watch The Office like it was a paying job but Grant says the light from the TV disturbs Grant. Compromise, right?
Anyways, audiobooks are a great way to entertain yourself on the road. Whatever genre you're into, download and listen! I am a firm believer that audiobooks are the best way to stay entertained when the music just won't cut it anymore.
Just whatever you do, don't listen to a creepy slasher book while lost on a foggy backroad in the middle of the night. You probably won't be in any real danger, but the creepy book might make you think you're going to be taken down by an axe murderer.
Just like with audiobooks, podcasts are a great way to keep your brain engaged and awake on the road. Personally, your girl loves true-crime podcasts. But like I said with the audiobooks, don't listen to them in the middle of the night on a foggy road.
There are plenty of apps you can use to listen to podcasts and unlimited genres of podcasts. Whatever you're into, you'll find it and enjoy the listen on your next trip.
4. Heated Seats
Yes. I love my heated seats and I use them year round. You read that correctly. I say... All. Year. Round.
You might be thinking I'm some crazy human that gets cold in 70 degrees, but you would be very much mistaken. Just like 80% of the human race, I suffer from back pain and my heated seats are a game changer when it comes to road-trips.
If your vehicle is not equipped with heated seats... I'm sorry. Keep scrolling I suppose. Or keep reading so you know why your next car should 100% have heated seats.
Heat is a natural soother for sore muscles. Therefore, when your back starts to hurt from sitting in the same position for hours on end, I turn my handy dandy seat warmers on and PRESTO! My back pain is gone.
Ever since I had the epiphany to use them in the middle of the summer during a road-trip many years ago, I now will not own a vehicle unless it has heated seats. That's how much I feel it helps my back pain and how often I take very long trips in my car.
Seriously. The next time your back starts to ache, even if it's the middle of the summer, turn on your heated seats and see if that makes a difference.
5. Stretch Breaks
If you've read any of my other blogs, you'll know that I am a yoga enthusiast. It's true, I love getting my vinyasa on and stretching out my whole body. So naturally, I would suggest you take stretch breaks when your body is stiff and the heated seats cease to aid in your discomfort.
Do whatever you need to do in order to get your body back to normal. Yoga is obviously my favorite, but if you catch me on the side of the road, you might even witness me dancing it out or jumping in circles.
If you're a little more bashful/reserved/normal and you don't want be get caught doing weird stuff that makes your back feel better, my favorite stretch is called ragdoll. Basically you lean forward like you're going to touch your toes but you can also make different variations with your arms.
Some of my favorites include grabbing opposite elbows and gently rocking from side to side, interlacing your hands behind your back and letting your arms drift back toward the ground, or bending one knee at a time and twisting your torso to look slightly upward.
All of these variations stretch out your hamstrings and your spine. My two tightest areas when sitting for long periods of time.
6. Phone A Friend
When all else fails, do what Regis Feldman suggests as a lifeline and phone a friend. Just make sure you do this safely and abide by state laws.
Use your Bluetooth/hands free/magical unicorns to connect your call and have a friend entertain you with their latest crazy shenanigans. Since you have to converse back with your friend, your brain is a bit more engaged than audiobooks or music.
I typically do call people when I cannot stand facing the reality of my forever road-trip. I have a few people on the quick-dial settings of my car that I know will be up for an entertaining chat almost any time of the day or night. Thanks Hannah!
Just be prepared to say, "Can you hear me know? Good!" quite often. After all, you are driving down a highway where the cell service is uncertain.
7. DON'T Look At The Clock
No, seriously. Stop watching the clock.
The more you check what time it is the more bored and cooped up you're going to feel. You will absolutely dread taking long drives by yourself if you constantly look at the clock.
My pro-tip? Mentally preparing yourself to drive for the entire day.
No, really... Before you leave that morning, tell yourself you will be driving from dusk until dawn and maybe a little bit into the night. Do this simple thing and tell yourself that your game plan for the day is to sit in your car and driving into oblivion.
Maybe it's crazy because it's so simple, but it works.
Once you've accepted your plans, you'll be surprised how fast the day will go by. Sure you'll probably listen to 2 books, 3 podcasts, change music playlists 6 times, and phone at least 2 friends, but before you know it, you'll complete an 8+ hour road-trip BY YOUR DAMN SELF!
You are absolutely amazing.
If you would have asked me if I wanted to get in my car and drive halfway across the country by myself a few years ago, my answer would have been, "aww, hell no!" But know that I've taken a few baby steps and learned the best ways to keep myself engaged on my drives, I quite frequently conquer 2,500+ mile road-trips. And guess what... I love it!
Once you have these basic tools to help you ease the pain of sitting in your car for an entire day, you'll conquer any road-trip out there. Soon enough you'll be the road warrior and you'll feel confident that you can travel anywhere, anytime.
With these steps, you'll quickly gain the confidence you need and the entertainment you've been looking for. Next on your list will be how to save money on the road. Well, Black Widow Adventures has you covered for that, too!
Check out this blog that shares 3 Simple Things To Do That Limit Spending On The Road.
When will your next great adventure take place? Comment below and what your favorite road-trip survival tip is.