As the common metaphor for life goes; it’s not about the destination it’s the journey that counts the most. However, these long car journeys are fraught with tension and potential for family disaster; you’ve got a number of people in a confined space with very little to do, but this doesn’t have to be a recipe for disaster. This article offers five simple tips to avert road trip despair, but before we look at these tips let’s consider five of the world’s best road trips to take for fun!
- Big Sur, California
- North Coast 500, Scotland
- Yukon Golden Circle, Canada/Alaska
- Snaefell Mountain Road, Isle of Man
- Trolls Path, Norway
STOP OFF ALONG THE WAY
Thanks to Satellite Navigation, the days of arguing over a huge map are mostly over – now, at least, there is a common enemy when the SatNav gets it wrong. However, it is good to plan out a route that allows for some interesting stop-offs along the way. Agreed, driving up the motorway for five hours is the most fuel and time efficient way to travel in a car, but think of all the things you are missing out on along the way.
KEEP YOUR CHILDREN ENTERTAINED
If you’re taking a long journey with children you’ll be wanting to avoid those four words every parent fears on a long car journey… “are we there yet”. The trick here is to ensure your kids have plenty of engaging activities that don’t require adult participation – whether that’s watching a film on a mobile device or something more ‘old school’ like a colouring book and some crayons.
KEEP THE ADULTS ENTERTAINED TOO
The thing we sometimes forget, is that even for the adults, a long car journey is a somewhat frustrating and tedious experience; and when in this state, your patience in terms of responding to the “are we there yet” question will be depleted.
It’s therefore important for the adults to have something to keep them entertained too; often this can be as simple as a great soundtrack for the journey, a good book, or some people like to choose a topic that needs to be discussed strategically (e.g. a financial issue) that they can resolve in what would otherwise be “dead time”. This is particularly effective at keeping the driver engaged but probably best advised to keep these talks to ‘low level’ stuff that is child friendly and not too stressful.
Staying somewhere overnight that offers a complimentary breakfast, such as Comfort Suites Lake Jackson, is a great way to start your day before hitting the road, as not only does breakfast help with driver alertness it also helps passengers prone to travel sickness feel less nauseous because it lines their stomach. There are plenty of pharmaceutical and alternative remedies that help travellers with motion sickness but one of the best tips is to eat little and often throughout the journey with an adequate supply of fresh air.
HAVE A GREAT SOUNDTRACK
A great game to play with your family, particularly if you have a Spotify account or similar, is to create a playlist before you go on your trip that includes the favourite songs of each person in the car; presuming you have access to the internet, an even better way to go about this is to pass the device around the car in turn so that each person selects a song. If you’re really brave you could even turn your car into a karaoke booth though whether this averts the feeling of road trip despair is another question.