How To: survive a long road trip

Over the years, I’ve had my fair share of long road trips (>1000 miles each way), back and forth from CO to Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota, and Texas. Or NJ down to Florida; Ohio to Philly. The hours and days spent sitting, staring out the window have really added up.

Road tripping not only can be boring, but it’s easy to start eating like crap when you’re on the road for hours/days at a time. So over the years, I’ve honed in on tricks to pass the time and eat healthy, despite the seemingly endless McDonalds and Pizza Huts at every rest stop.

1.) Pack a small cooler. If you pre-pack healthy meals and snacks for the car, you’re much less likely to get hungry, then fall victim to gazzilion-calorie fast food.

2.) Drink Water. I know you don’t want to, because then you’ll have to make more pit stops. But staying hydrated serves multiple purposes on the road:
– the more water you drink, the less you’ll want to snack on everything you brought to eat in the car
– pit stops break up the trip, and give you a chance to stretch out your legs/butt/back/shoulders
– if you’re driving through the night (and start getting sleepy), needing to pee keeps you much more awake. As do the quick pit stops. Trust me.

3.) Read Outloud. Weez and I always bring a new book for cross country trips. Neither of us get car sick, so while I drive, he reads out loud. And vise versa. It’s much more engaging than music or an audio book, and it gives you something to think/talk about.

4.) Take artsy pictures in the sideview mirror.

5.) Take the scenic route. Even if it adds another hour or more to your trip.

Random stops and side trips always make for good stories/memories.

6.) Bring a puppy for the back seat. Fuzz therapy does wonders on bored souls. Petting a dog never gets old; flopping those sweet ears around and getting kisses is always fun.


7.) Follow the 10% rule. I’ve never been pulled over for speeding (well, since I was 18), and we cruise <10% above the speed limit (e.g., 75 in a 70 zone). But we have been pulled over once or twice for other random non-offenses and let on our way. They make for funny stories.

8.) Keep your eyes open for random signs/towns. 

9.) Appreciate America’s beauty. I’m a sucker for good sunset over amber waves of grain.

How fast do you cruise above the speedlimit on the highway?
Do you get car sick?

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. If I read in the car, I get so carsick so I’m all about the audio books :) Tals even takes after her mama– she gets car sick too! I need to talk to the vet about giving her Benadryl before road trips because she whimpers and paces constantly because she is so miserable. I figure only drugs or exercise-induced exhaustion will calm her down!

    1. Efo says:

      Man, that stinks. Poor Tals! Poor you!

  2. Heidi Nicole says:

    Food + Water + Audiobooks got us through our 34 drive to/from WI last week. Needing to pee and constantly stopping at rest stops to pee, walk around and switch drivers make a huge difference!

  3. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you
    aren’t already ;) Cheers!

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