Since I came to college, driving to and from my home town has been a serious drag. I live three hours away from home and dread the car rides back because I have NOTHING to do. I can only talk to myself for so long until I get tired of my own voice and my own thoughts. Plus there aren’t a ton of interesting things to look at besides hay bales and corn. Gotta love Missouri! After a year and a half of these car rides back and forth, I’ve finally figured out some ways to keep myself entertained and from going completely crazy.
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Listen To Audio Books
I love to read, but these days I never have much free time to sit down and actually read a full book. Audio books are such a blessing, and you can get them for free at your local library! At one of my old jobs I used to work alone, so all day I would listen to audio books while I worked and it was so relaxing. Plus I got to read like ten books over the summer because of it! My college library probably has a good hundred or so audio books I can choose from so you’ll have plenty of options for car rides home.
Listen To Music
Whether you have an AUX cord or a plethora of CDs or cassette tapes, pop those babies in a listen to some tunes! Music is the easiest way to distract myself, especially if it’s good music. Unfortunately for me, I have no way to plug an AUX cord into my car so I have to stick to CDs or I bring a Bluetooth speaker which works just as well! My friends create playlists that are the length of their car rides home so they know how long they’ve been traveling which I think is super cool, and definitely something I’ll have to try.
Talk To A Friend On The Phone
If you’re really lonely and can’t stand listening to that Taylor Swift CD for the 9th time in a row (aka me three days ago), call a friend and put them on speaker phone! During the summer I followed two of my friends back to their hometown and we just talked on the phone for three hours and the time practically flew by.
I’m a sucker for a good snack so I always stock up before I hit the road. Whether it be a bag of chips or I stop at Mickey D’s, food always seems to keep me occupied.
Have your own karaoke session, and you don’t have to worry about how you sound because no one is in the car with you anyways! Disney songs are literally my jam and the best songs to sing to so pull up that Disney Spotify playlist and sing like no one can hear you!
Plan Your Life Out
Car rides are also a great opportunity to think your life through. I always make to do lists in my head while I’m driving or plan out my agenda for the week. It’s one less thing I have to do whenever I get to where I’m going! This time is also really great for self-reflection. I have nearly three hours to myself so I can process whatever my little heart desires.
Take The Scenic Routes
If you know where you’re going, take the scenic route. There’s something about a prettier view that makes long drives a lot more bearable. Unfortunately for me, no matter which way I go, all I have to look forward to is seeing the three C’s: Cars, Cows, and Corn. If you do have the option to see some great mountains or rolling waves, take that route, just don’t get lost!
Use Cruise Control
Legs get tired? Use cruise control to stretch your legs for a few seconds. Years ago, one of my youth group leaders would literally press cruise control and sit cross legged for the entire car ride. Wow is that unsafe but wow would I love to do that haha. Cruise control is so useful for long car rides, especially if you need to watch your speed. You can just set your speed to whatever you like, sit back, and watch the open road.
Supplies You Need For Long Car Rides
Preset Radio Stations
GPS or Directions
Driving Safety Tips
Fill Up Your Gas Tank
Always make sure your gas tank never hits less than a quarter full in case of emergencies. It would be a pain if you got stuck in bad weather and didn’t have any fuel! Before a long trip, I always fill my gas tank completely full, and when I get to a quarter of a tank, I stop and refill at the closest gas station.
Keep An Emergency Kit With You
Always keep an emergency kit in your trunk. If you happen to get caught in bad weather or your car dies, you always want to make sure you’re prepared
Things to Include
(Or just have a pre-made car kit!)
Let Someone Know When They Should Expect You
Always let someone know where you’re going and when they should expect to you to get there. This way, if you don’t arrive on time and you haven’t contacted them, they know something’s up.
Stop At Most Traveled Destinations
Always stop in well-populated gas stations or towns if possible. I remember driving home and stopping at a small gas station after visiting an old boyfriend. It was the only gas station for miles and it was dimly lit and super creepy. There was even someone just standing outside the building totally staring at me. It was one of the most uncomfortable situations I’ve ever been in. Although nothing happened, my heart was seriously racing when I got back in my car. You can bet I sped off. Always stop in well-lighted places and don’t be afraid to leave if you feel uneasy.
Wear Closed Toed Shoes
I wear Flip-Flops religiously but during long car rides you gotta wear closed toed shoes. You never know what situation you might find yourself in, whether that be changing a tire or running from a burning car, closed toed shoes are the safest option.
What do you do on long car rides? Leave a comment below!