It’s that time of year again. No not the time of year for giving and being thankful, well that too, but it’s also the time of year where your whole family piles into the car and drives to grandmas, or another relatives to enjoy the company of family you only get see every so often and hopefully enjoy a good meal or too.
However there is a price to pay for all this love and delicious food: the trip itself.
Being stuck in a car with the people you already share a house with can be taxing to say the least; luckily, there are several things you can do to help pass the time without ripping your hair out.
1. Listening to music. This is a great way to pass a solid amount time with very little required. All you need is some MP3 player and a pair of headphones. I have an extensive playlist that I like to listen to on car trips that I have almost all the songs I can stand listening to on it to ensure that it lasts as long as possible. If you can handle not having complete control of the station, you can always lobby to have the radio on as well.
2. Reading. A great way to not only pass the time but make use of it and improve your mind is to read. The Danial Boone regional Library, located at 100 W. Broadway, has a nearly unlimited supply of reading materials that you can check out for free for up to three weeks. If you can find a book that hooks you, which with the number of books out there shouldn’t be hard, you’ll be amazed at how the pages and miles just fly by.
3. Car games. Before the advent of fancy things like iPhones and Sony Walkman, kids still had to pass the time on car trips. Things like ‘I Spy’ are classics and universally known, but my personal favorite car game is a little less well known. I call it the alphabet game and it is played with as many people as want to as follows: taking turns the players try to find words on signs, billboards, buildings, etc that start with each letter of the alphabet. The first player tries to find a word starting with ‘A’ like the name on an Applebee’s billboard. Then the next player tries to find a word starting with the letter ‘B’ and so on.
4. Sleep. One of my favorite ways to pass the time on car trips is to sleep. The continuous motion of the movement of the car always helps me fall asleep regardless of how tired I really am. This is a particularly good way to pass the first few hours of a trip if the trip starts early in the morning. A snuggie and a pillow never hurt this cause.
5. Games. Another oldie-but-a-goodie. Card games like go-fish, war, rummy, etc. are all great games that only need two players so if you have a sibling who is also trying to fight off boredom this could be a good option. Card games obviously aren’t the only games out there and I shouldn’t neglect some other more modern games I’m sure several people are familiar with that I will recommend as car trip games are things like Candy Crush, Cut the Rope, Tetris, Doodle. Jump and Fruit Ninja on electronic devices.
6. Homework. I know; I know but I promised my teachers I would include this. If you were unfortunate enough to be assigned any school work over break, the car would be a great time to get a jump start on that; you’ll feel good about being productive and won’t have to do it with time you could be spending with family and friends.
On Monday I will depart on a seven hour car trip to Chicago to see my grandparents. Throughout the trips of driving up there a couple times a year, things like these have kept me sane.
By Pen Terry
What are you holiday plans? Are you driving anywhere? Is your family coming to see you?