Practical Tips for Traveling Long Distance

Posted on 02 February 2017

Shout out to my friend Hannah who actually inspired this blog post idea! Last spring she was about to do her first 5 hour solo drive and she wanted my “expert” tips on how I travel long distance and stay entertained while driving. I never previously considered myself an expert, but having spent a solid year dating my husband long distance and alternating the 12 hour drive every other month to visit him, and then the countless (thousands and thousands and thousands) of miles we have traveled together since being together, I realized that this is something I am well versed in! So I hope a few of these tips are helpful for you next time you have to drive a long time (even if an hour seems like eternity for you). So here we go! Here are my top, practical tips for travevling long distances! 

1. Listen to Podcasts + Audiobooks

Okay, it wasn’t until recently that I became the total podcast junkie that I am now, but I am HOOKED! I used to be a really big audiobook person, but I’m the kind of person that once I start reading a book and get hooked on the story, I kind of have to finish it because I become enthralled and obsessed… So I love listening to podcasts when I'm on shorter drives, and then audiobooks for my longer drives (when I can splurge and get into + listen to the whole book). 

    2. Listen to Music.

    This might seem a little obvious, but when was the last time you listened to a cd (does anyone else still buy those?) all the way through? Or when was the last time you broke out the Disney/Broadway/Worship playlist and truly belted it out, Disney Princess style? I mean, in the car I basically sound like Idina Menzel, and since I'm solo (or with a husband who is too smitten to say that I sound awful) I can totally get away with thinking this! Even when my voice cracks from belting it, I then just bust out laughing at myself and am further entertained... So rock the show tunes, friend! 

      3. Stay alert by turning the AC on, even in the winter.

      I am that person who is chronically cold, but if you turn the heater on in the car, it starts to get warm, and comfortable… And before you know it, you basically feel like you're curled up in a ball ready to nap! The sleepies hit, and that's the WORST. So I usually dress knowing my car will be a little colder, so I am prepared to handle the cooler temps + stay awake!

      Also, this doesn't totally fit under this category but peppermint essential oil is really great for waking you up, creating focus + alertness! So I just dab a bit from my roller (which is diluted) and that wakes me up just like an espresso shot would!

        4. Call a friend and catch up! 

        As my husband said, "Remember that app on your phone that you never use? Yeah, you're able to talk to people on it." Seriously, I feel like nowaday people do everything in their power to avoid talking on the phone... But since texting + driving is a big NO (please don't do it) so the next practical thing is to talk on the phone! 

        Be sure to check the laws in the state you're in/driving through - most states you need to be hands free, some states you have to be a certain age to drive and talk on the phone, and I just found out in California you're not allowed to talk on your phone at all! So please check this before you go. 

        BUUUUT, talking on the phone is really fun! It's nice to catch up with friends that aren't close by, and have sort of virtual coffee dates. It always amazes me a) how long I'll end up talking to people on the phone, and b) how quickly the time flies when chatting + driving! 

          5. It's okay to pass the time quiety, with just your thoughts. 
          I don't know about you, but I'm one of those chronically "busy" people and I really struggling with being still and having time to be quiet with both my thoughts and with the Lord. So long drives are a great time to do this! Now if you're getting sleepy, maybe this isn't the best thing to do, but if you're alert, driving is like forced quiet time! 
          It's fun to catch up on your prayers and spend time with God in the car. I also love just letting my mind wander and let it go whatever direction it so chooses. Often throughout the day, I have a whole todo list of things that preoccupy my thoughts, so this thinking freedom is a very nice, fresh break.
          Or you can be like my husband, who just loves to drive in silence and I'm pretty sure nothing is going through his head... Cause somehow guys can do that. I don't think I've ever been able to NOT think, but it is still nice to challenge myself to some "quiet" space.  

            6. Healthy Snacks are also a great way to stay alert.

            I used to be a chronic sunflower seeds eater while driving. I don’t know what it is, but having something “to do” while driving definitely makes the drive easier (especially during long, boring stretches with nothing to look at or do but cruise down a straight road). So sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts, dried fruit, etc. are great snacks that you can munch on for awhile without feeling guilty about it! I mean, I also sometimes will eat a handful of goldfish or peanut-butter pretzels, but those are usually when I'm hungry and need a snack while on the road. So whatever floats you! 

              // Hope you’ve been able to learn a few things, and I'd love to hear if any of these helped you on your next trip! Or is there something else you do that isn't listed here? I would love to know and I'll try it out on my next trip! 

              Blessings, xo

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