Summer is just around the corner, and with warmer weather comes plans of adventures, trips, and long hauls in the car. After 5 years of spending long stretches on the road, and now living full-time in Bernie, we have a few tips that we always share when asked. Don’t see your favorite way to not only pass the time in the car but to really enjoy it, below? Drop yours in the comments for us + others to see!
Tip #1: No Passengers
Everyone in the car should be engaged with the driver. It helps avoid long lulls and makes the time go faster for everyone. Ways we like to stay engaged: pointing out landmarks, weird signs, singing along to the radio (v badly), and just simply conversing (about books, life, childhood, etc) with one another.
Tip #2 Local Radio Only
Skip Spotify and save your data, you won’t have service for long stretches anyway. Local radio is always on in Bernie, usually we find a gem hidden in the low 90.0’s, but most times there is only 1 station that comes in clear. It is always funny and super entertaining to hear the local high school English teacher heading the station, or our favorite, a station in western Arizona that you can call into and list your (very very) random item for sale, which the DJ then just repeats what you said and moves on to the next caller. It’s what they call, “good radio” hahaha.
Tip #3 Make the Most of Stops
We try to Google a local park or attraction to stop at and stretch our legs at instead of trying to stretch quickly while we get gas. Bonus: you get to explore a little area that you never would have saw had you not gotten off the highway. Which leads us to the next tip…
Tip #4 Stop When You’re Intrigued
See a sign for Tiny Town? Stop! (No seriously, if you see it, stop, so so cool.) For us, a 6 hour drive to Google is usually a 10 hour drive for us because we stop at every scenic overlook, and tourist trap along the way for fun. Sometimes you’ll have to rush, but when you can take your time, seize the moment and stop every chance you get. A good reminder to tell yourself is that, it’s about the journey not the destination.
Tip #5 Take Pictures
The trip is part (or most, if you’re us) of the fun so take pictures in the car to help capture the memories. You’ll never regret taking too many, but you’ll be bummed when you get home and realize that you didn’t get a single shot of all the car fun!
Tip #6 No Cell Phone Zone
Other than taking pictures and getting directions, try to keep the phones away! It’s not fair to the driver for one, and for two, you can’t fully experience the road if you aren’t looking. It takes only 1 second to miss something good when on the road, don’t get caught slippin’.
Tip #7 Dress Comfortably
We have specific sweats that we wear on long trips, and we are always in our Teva Mocs for even more comfort. It’s important for us to feel comfortable to move around and switch positions so having something stretchy helps us last longer on drives.
Tip #8 Eat Local
When it comes to eating out, try to find a smaller local restaruant. Support the local economy and get a much better meal than fast food for often only a few bucks more (Tips should be 20% of your bill, if you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to eat out.). We found that we feel like crap if we eat fast food, especially if we eat 2 or 3 times in a day or two to save time. Recently, we were in an old town that kind of shut down 25 years ago, all that is left is a gas station and a small cafe. While at the cafe having the best French Dip, a huge motorcycle gang pulled up and came in, it was something we never forgot! We kinda ran out of there as fast as we could because I (Ashley) was scared to death haha, but cool memory nonetheless!
Tip #9 Sing-A-Long
There is no better way to generate belly laughter and pass the time then to sing loudly and badly to every last song that comes through those speakers! Dance weirdly. Our favorite dances to do are the Egyptian and the shopping cart. Being relaxed and silly makes for an easier and more memorable trip. Don’t know the words? Never stopped us!
Tip #10 Enjoy It!
This might seem like the most basic and common sense tip, but it’s easily forgotten! Often, we hear people dread long trips in the car, or avoid traveling some where out of fear of spending an extended period of time in the car, embrace it! Look at a drive as part of the destination, not a means to an end.
Tip #10 becomes easy when you utilize tips #1-9!
We hope this post has left you feeling inspired to plan that road trip you always wanted to take, to maybe enjoy that commute instead of dreading it, or give you a little push to sing-a-long to “Wildwood Days” on that drive down to the Jersey Shore this summer. Either way, we are wishing you an adventurous summer, filled with sights and sounds you have never experienced before. Life is short, take the long way.