If you want to keep everyone happy on the road trip, this short article has some expert tips.
My happy road trip motto is ACES. It’s an acronym that I made up which means, Always Carry Entertainment and Snacks.
Or if that’s too hard, remember the Boy Scout slogan, “Be prepared.” That way, even long stretches of road can be memorable and productive, depending on how you choose to spend your drive time.
Before you hit the road for the day, get your playlists ready on your smartphone. Prepare snacks like veggies, cheese and crackers. Fill up the water bottles and make some tea for the travel cup. Also include a healthy supply napkins and wet wipes, that you can stash in an easy to access place.
The truth of the matter is, some driving days are going to seem longer than others. You can get out and stretch every hour or so at rest areas, but sometimes there’s just not a whole lot to see.
For example, once you’re out of the Canadian Rocky Mountains and past Calgary, you hit the wheat fields. They go on, as far as the eye can see, hour after hour. The trans Canada highway goes ba bump, ba bump, ba bump, under your wheels, for what seems an eternity.
It’s the same deal driving across the middle of USA. You get a woohoo moment when you leave corn country and see your first cactus. But as hours pass, the desert gets as monotonous as the wheat fields.
There’s only so much conversation you can have with your loved ones, before that runs out too. So now’s the time to dig out all the goodies you’ve packed for the trek.
Ask your partner dig out the snacks from the cooler, or pull off at the next rest stop and get them yourself. (If traveling alone, this why you want to have a cooler with an easy access zip top.)
Now is a good time to start playing some of those audio books, or podcasts that you’ve been meaning to listen to. If your partner prefers not to listen, have his and hers earphones ready, so everyone can listen to what they want.
If you don’t like talk audio, stream your favorite tunes and sing along. No one can hear you on the highway – except your partner – so don’t be embarrassed to belt out a tune.
If they don’t want you to sing, don’t sing. You’re going to be in close quarters for a long time. So be courteous and try to be kinder than usual. Take everyone’s feelings into consideration. Say please, thank you and excuse me, way more often than you usually do.
Small comforts go a long way. So bring little things like car blankets and pillows. They will help your passengers relax. It also gives everyone the temperature they want, while you blast the air conditioning for yourself.
Bite your tongue if you find yourself getting cranky. Never criticize each other for mistakes in driving or navigating, because they happen to everyone, even when using a GPS.
Ask everyone in the car for their help, when it comes to tricky stretches of road. In this situation there are no passengers. It’s all hands on deck and everyone’s eyes peeled, when driving through a storm, mountain pass, or looking for critical turns and junctions.
Some days will be jam packed with sightseeing and a never ending list of things that you want to do. Other days on the highway can be a little dull.
Just remember my saying ACES (Always Carry Entertainment and Snacks). The hours of driving will be happier as you munch healthy snacks, talk with loved ones, and listen to audiobooks, until the next roadside attraction comes along.