Road trips and plane rides sound fun in theory. But after a while, they can kinda be a drag. There are ways to make things a little more interesting without stuffing your face the whole time, though. Here are a few hacks to make travel less dull than, say, staring out the window for hours at a time (although if you’re driving a car, you should be staring out the windshield).
1. Download a Bunch of Podcasts
Around here, we are podcast fanatics, and luckily now seems to be the golden age of pods. No matter your taste, there’s literally a podcast for it.
Love murder? Try Dr. Death, The Ballad of Billy Balls, Someone Knows Something, and Missing & Murdered. And if you’re, like, way behind the curve, go with Serial ... Season 1, of course.
Need a little variety and love storytelling? Us, too. This American Life is basically the king of storytelling. Other good ones: Missing Richard Simmons, S-Town and Ear Hustle.
Comedy your jam? Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend is amazing. Also check out Comedy Bang! Bang!, WTF with Marc Maron and Two Dope Queens. (And if you need something super weird, download The Ron Burgundy Podcast.)
2. Curate a Playlist
Don’t you hate that word? Curate is so … 2015. Whether you’re a little older and actually made mix tapes in high school (remember cassettes??) or you’re more of the iTunes/Spotify age, there’s nothing more fun than putting together playlists to fit your mood on the trip. Check out some of our favorite road trip playlists.
3. Find Fun Places to Stop
Even in the middle of nowhere, we guarantee you still can find an interesting place to stop. Whether it’s a really cool gas station—yes, those exist (ask Texans about Buc-ee’s and you’ll get an earful—an old antique store, weird museum … or just a scenic overlook, we promise you can usually find something that gets you out of the car … at least for a bit.
4. Record the Trip
Whether you’re using your smartphone or you’re one of those people who actually mounts a Go-Pro to your car (you know who you are), why not make a mini movie of your adventures? Take short videos of your trip, then pop the clips into iMovie on your phone or computer, and set the whole thing to music. That’s how social influencers do it, right?
5. Play Kids’ Games
No kids in your car? Lucky you. Channel your inner child and pass the time with car games — the license plate game, obvi. Other good ones: I spy, road trip bingo and 20 questions. It may not make your trip any shorter, but it might make the time pass faster.
Yeah, we’re actually suggesting this, but hear us out. You’re quite possibly cramped in a car for a good portion of the day. Whether you stop on the side of the road or at a rest area, why not go for a quick jog around the parking lot … or at the very least get some stretches in. If you’re flying, you can actually find dedicated yoga rooms at some of the airports in bigger cities, like San Francisco, Dallas and Chicago.
So there you have it. No matter how you travel or where your trip takes you, there are ways to beat the boredom. And if all else fails: Take a nap. … Unless, of course, you’re the driver.