The annual trip to grandma’s house (seven hours in the car) can be a doozy, especially when traveling with your entire family (buddy the dog and all). Spending hours trapped in a car with your mom, dad, and siblings can be a lot to handle, but with these six tips, you’ll at least be a little better off.
1) Stop for the bathroom
The worst thing about a car trip is when you have to pee, and no one will stop. This is why you need to take every opportunity possible to use the restrooms. If your family stops for lunch, so be sure to utilize the restrooms before you leave, no matter how long the line is. When you’re stuck on a two lane road in the middle of nowhere for three hours straight, you’ll be glad you did.
2) Don’t argue over seating
Seats can be a huge issue, and starting off a long car ride with bad vibes over a seating altercation will make five hours seem like ten. If someone calls shotgun, give him/her shotgun. If everyone wants one seat, draw straws or agree to rotate. Compromise is the key, and spending seven hours brooding over the fact that you got stuck in the middle seat will make the car ride even worse.
3) Listen to the GPS
Some people insist on taking their own route, but it is extremely important to follow the GPS. Don’t let your driver take you to a different path because they “swear their way is faster.” The fact is that the GPS knows all. It will take you the fastest route period. Don’t let anyone (not even Dad) take you off the beaten, GPS indicated path, or else you’ll end up miles away from your destination (at this rate you won’t arrive until midnight).
4) Get car snacks
One of the best things about car rides is the excuse to eat all the snacks you can. Since all you have to do is sit around all day (literally), you might as well spice up these long, boring hours with some snacks. Pick out chips, candy, or chocolate; the options are endless. Share with your brother, or buy a bag all for yourself. The best part is that no one will judge you when (key word: when) you finish that entire bag of Doritos, because car snacks are an important staple in every car trip.
5) Bring your headphones
When the going gets rough, break out your headphones. The sound of your own music can drown out siblings bickering, the dog barking and your dad’s music (soft rocks hits of the 90’s…). Utilizing your own headphones means you can dictate your music choices without annoying protests from your parents or younger sister to “change the station.”
6) Play car games
One way to bond with your entire family during a car ride is to play car games. Although they can be considered lame (and actually kind of are), car games are a great way to pass time. Chances are you may even share a laugh or two with your family, bonding in a way that only long car rides can instigate. Sooner or later you’ll make it to your destination, but let’s face it; getting there was half the fun.
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