As you can probably imagine, I’m still recovering from Dragon Con. Since I have a schedule I try to maintain, here we are with this week’s list. It is, of course, related to my recent adventures. This week’s list is going to be all about how I survive lengthy road trips. This is also going to be a list without pictures because. . .well. Because.
6. Plenty of Time
You all probably know that I can be a little neurotic when it comes to planning. That’s why I like to give myself a lot of time when it comes to traveling places. I have gotten into the habit of leaving as early as possible (like before dawn) so I can get to my destination with time to spare. You never know if you’re going to run into traffic or some other calamity while on the road. It’s always good to take a lot of the stress out of the equation by just giving yourself a lot of time. Also, it’s really pretty to watch the sun rise sometimes.
5. Fun Travel Companions
I have done many long drives in the past. A few of them have even been solo. While I can make these drives by myself, it’s way more fun to travel with friends. There are always entertaining conversations to be had and stories to share. Truthfully, my recent travel companions had a habit of falling asleep on the drive to and from Atlanta (not that I blame them, we were all pretty exhausted), but when they were awake, we were laughing. We have some fun inside jokes now that will make us giggle for ages to come. If given the choice between solo and with others, I choose others every time. It keeps me from coming up with anthropomorphic state slash fiction and other randomness. Yes, that has happened to me in the past.
4. A Sense of Direction (or a GPS)
One time on the way to Massachusetts, I was driving up into New Jersey and we got lost for four hours. Four. Hours. While we had paper directions, I apparently missed the Jersey Turnpike and we nearly ended up in Sea Girt, New Jersey. While we laughed about it after the fact, things were slightly tense for a bit there. The Christmas following that trip, my parents gave me a GPS. I don’t go a long way from home without it now. I don’t have a great sense of direction (an understatement), so I accept that limitation and go with what works for me. Some folks can use maps or whatever and that’s cool. Some people take road trips without a set destination and that’s super cool. I plan to do that someday, but the GPS is something I won’t go without. I’m not keen on being lost.
This should go without saying. Long trips without food make people grumpy. If you don’t plan ahead and bring snacks, be sure to at least stop periodically to have a bite to eat and pick up bites to eat along the way. It’ll keep you from being grouchy and give you an opportunity to stretch your legs. I know I can only graze while driving long distances. More of a meal would make me sleepy. Everyone works differently, of course. So go with whatever ingestion system works for you.
When I go driving, I need music. Some people like audio books or podcasts. On the way up to Upstate New York once, my family and I were listening to a few episodes of “Welcome to Night Vale.” I had to stop because, much as I love the show, it was starting to put me to sleep. So, music is more of my thing. I try to go with music that has more of a bounce to it in order to keep me nice and energetic. Of course, I do have what I refer to as Showtune O’Clock wherein I pick a musical soundtrack to listen to as the trip continues. Keeping the driver’s mind engaged while they drive is of the utmost importance. It helps if your driver is good at entertaining themselves.
1. A Sense of Humor
Unexpected things happen on a trip. You’re going to be in an enclosed space for a while. It’s best to sit back and do your best to relax. Take it all in stride. If something happens or you get stuck in traffic, laugh it off. It’s really the only way to get through a long trip while still remaining friends with your travel companions.