My husband and I have driven thousands upon thousands of miles in the twenty years we’ve been together, and we’ve had a really fun time on each road trip. We recently completed a two-day road trip covering more than 1700 miles and over 25 hours of drive time, not including our stops. We arrived at our destination exhausted with sore legs and backs (is it just me or is it more painful to drive long distances the older you get?), but happy with how the drive went.
Here are 6 road trip tips to help you enjoy your next long drive with your spouse or partner:
- Service and Clean Your Vehicle Before You Leave. As luck would have it, I got a call one week before our trip that my SUV had a recall on the fuel pump. “What does that mean,” I asked. “Is it something I need to get fixed right away?” The dealership responded, “It’s not urgent, but if you go below a half tank of gas, your vehicle could stall out at a high rate of speed.” That sounded bad considering we were leaving on a road trip in seven days, so I scheduled the maintenance. While my car was there, they discovered that the factory tires were worn and required replacement. $1,080 and six hours later, I had a repaired vehicle. We also did a thorough clean of the interior, so we had a comfortable environment for our trip. It’s so much more satisfying to pack and organize a car that’s fresh and clean.
- Use the Time on the Road to Discuss Important Topics. This is a great opportunity to talk about anything! In this internet-obsessed and overscheduled age, when else will you have such a large chunk of uninterrupted time to connect with your partner? It’s a great opportunity to discuss vacation plans, dreams, goals, etc… We chatted about a business idea we might pursue, politics, and holiday plans. If you run out of discussion topics, a favorite tool in our family is Chat Packs.
- Use the Time to Listen to Podcasts, Audiobooks, and Favorite Music. We downloaded numerous podcasts and audiobooks before our trip, so we wouldn’t use up the data on our phones. Our vehicle is also equipped with Sirius XM Radio, so we had a wide variety of stations. Some of our favorite podcasts include:
- Smartless with Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett
- How I Built This with Guy Raz
- Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard
- StarTalk Radio with Neil deGrasse Tyson
- TED Radio Hour
- Bring Snacks and Drinks. You are already going to be cramped, bored, tired, and uncomfortable for an entire day or more. Don’t leave your food and drink to chance if you’d like to avoid a hangry outburst. We have an electric cooler similar to this that we love for road trips. Pack snacks, even meals, if you have a cooler and room for it. It’s great to have a mix of snacks to keep hunger at bay and keep you energized for the long haul.
- Plan out stops for meals and sightseeing. Use the map app on your phone to find cities with restaurants that you both enjoy. Be strategic when planning out restroom visits so you can combine those stops with a little sightseeing, hiking, or scenery if possible. Our mission on this trip was to arrive at our destination as quickly as possible, so we tried to combine stops for gas, restrooms, and food.
- Share Responsibilities. If you are a passenger, offer to drive if that’s an option. If not, the passenger can be responsible for researching upcoming stops, finding ways to avoid traffic, and plotting the route. My husband drove the entire trip (two straight days of driving all day) because he preferred being the driver. I prefer to be a passenger, so it worked out great!
Enjoy your next road trip with your partner! Do you have any road trip tips?