Road Trip Survival

Road Trip Survival Tips

When moving across the country, some people decide to take an opportunity to drive over to their new city, some take the opportunity to hit the road and drive the whole way, even making stops along the way in many cases. Spending long hours in the car on the highways isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time, but there are many ways to make the experience so much better.

tunes for a long car trip


Most people entertain themselves by watching videos at home, like TV shows or movies. Audio is a much easier solution in the car, as screens are harder to show everyone (especially the driver). “Having moved multiple times, one of my biggest priorities is having a mixture of audio to break up the long journey.” says James Cave, travel blogger at “As well as music (everyone in the group should include music they like), I like to vary things up with podcasts, stand up comedy, and audio books. This mixture really helps to break up the journey.”

Everyone’s audiobook and music tastes vary, but many people aren’t aware of what podcasts are like and what kind of options are out there. Some podcasts Oz would recommend include NPR’s politics and humor show Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me, Marc Maron’s interview podcast WTF, and Popular Mechanics Magazine’s Guide to Everything, The Most Useful Podcast Ever (which Oz has appeared on!).


No one ever wants to go long distances without something to eat. “Snacks are a traveling dad’s best friend.” says Jason Lasecki, communications director for waterpark resorts company Great Wolf Lodge . “Whether it’s drink boxes or sippy cups, finger treats and crackers, or fruit such as grapes and apples, sometimes the best entertainment is a snack.”

Often the kind of snack does matter; you don’t want something that will make you carsick or otherwise unwell in the long road ahead.It might be a good idea to have one particular passenger allocate the snacks out to the rest of the car, as Brittany Arnold of Catchie Concepts does. “Make sure and keep a cooler in the car with waters and snacks, we have one kid be the person of passing out the snacks if needed,” Arnold says.


playing games on a road trip


Not a lot of exciting things happen on the highway, so it’s important to create entertainment and distractions organically. “Have games set up, a whole lot of games,” recommends Arnold. “Some of our favorite ones would be creating a list of items that we must spy on the trip (like a dog in a car). Another game is ‘who can find the best roadside attraction’ for something fun to stop and see, that can be our bathroom breaks too.”

Some of the best include the “alphabet game”, where players try and find street signs with each letter of the alphabet (in order) and the classic “20 questions”. However it pays to be creative; come up with your own game for maximum entertainment value. The possibilities are endless, from finding cars along the road in each color of the rainbow, to engineering a “6 degrees of” Kevin Bacon-style movie connection game.


rest stop for a long road trip


Fresh air along the course of a long car journey is very underrated, especially when travelling with kids. Plus, what better excuse will there ever be to stop off for a quick visit to a new city along the way? “When laying out your trip itinerary, make sure to include activities that meet a wide variety of needs and interests, and learn to compromise,” says Emily Long, travel safety expert with SafeWise. “If you make the journey fun rather than focusing solely on the end goal, the days spent in the car won't seem like such a burden.”

The things there to be explored on a long road trip are endless. Just from NYC to Los Angeles, one could stop by the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, The Art Institute of Chicago, a Rockies ballgame at Coors Field in Denver, and finally relax in the calm, peaceful serenity of Las Vegas (jokes aside, there’s surely something in Vegas for every traveller in the pack.)  

In addition to the fun that can be had along the way, a rest stop can be vital in surviving the rest of the ride. “Letting your kids run around a playground or park for 30 minutes can give you a couple hours of quiet time in the car.” Lasecki from Great Wolf Lodge added. PBJs in a cooler are fine, but everyone will probably want to have some hot food at some point in the trip.


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