Everyone knows that traveling in the car with others can be a stressful situation.  Everyone has different music preferences and bathroom schedules, but it doesn’t mean it has to be a headache.  There are things you can do to make the trip easier on yourself, and everyone else, so the journey part can just as fun as the destination.

Here are some suggestions for how you can make the car trip more enjoyable for everyone.
 
1.  Keeping lots of snacks in the car.  Don’t let anyone get hangry.  Nothing ruins a car trip more than hearing grumbling stomachs as you drive past a “Next Exit: 60 Miles” sign.  A good way to avoid this is to research places to stop to eat ahead of time on the way.  That way you have a plan.  If you get stuck in traffic or things go slower than expected, you can plan on eating those snacks you have in the car. 
 
2.  Research places to stop ahead of time on route.  Roadtrippers app is a great way to find some interesting places to stop on the way to your main destination.  This keeps people from getting restless.  My advice is to break up the driving time and make sure you have at least one thing to do every 3 hours.
 
3.  Take regular bathroom stops.  Everyone goes even if they don’t “have to.” This will help avoid those emergency situations where there is no rest area for miles and suddenly someone’s gotta go.  I’m sure this will happen anyways, but planning ahead never hurt anyone.
 
4.  Rotate each other’s music playlists.   Every 60 minutes or so, switch music playlists on each other’s phones or iPods that way no one monopolizes the radio.  Even if you have a brother-in-law who likes screamo, which I do, you can put up with it for 60 minutes.  Remember “variety is the spice of life.”
 
5.  Rotate who is sitting where.  Forget calling shot gun, and let everyone have a chance at the front.  This applies especially if you are driving through scenic areas.  Sometimes the best photographs are taken from the front seat, and you want to make sure everyone gets a chance to get them.
6.  Let everyone pick a stop.  Let each person in the car research and plan at least one stop along the way that isn’t just a bathroom or restaurant stop. I mentioned Roadtrippers earlier, which might suffice, but each person could have a chance to pick something they would really enjoy, such as a small museum, shop, or a place with the “best donuts in the world.”  
 
How about you?  Do you have any tricks for getting through long road trips with people?

Nina Thomas

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