Surviving Summer Road Trips

Hello friends!

A lot has happened since I last posted. I graduated from college and I’m very proud to say that despite all of my learning disabilities, I was able to graduate Cum Laude with Honors.

This big transition has meant awkwardly navigating adulthood and trying to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. But more on that later!

I took May and June off to recharge after a stressful year, so I’ve been visiting friends around the country a lot this past month. But with ADD, a three-hour drive can feel as tedious and draining as a nine-hour drive (and the nine-hour drive I took felt like a trillion years.) So, the 40 hours of driving  I’ve done in the last few weeks felt pretty brutal. Obviously sitting still for a long time is not my biggest strength and I don’t handle prolonged boredom well. So there were certainly a few meltdowns and moments of hysterical laughing along the way. 

But I’ve learned a few tricks to get through it with my sanity intact. If you have a summer road trip coming up, here are some ways you can get through it too!

  1. Play the alphabet game! I know this may sound a little strange. But my boyfriend/road trip buddy and I played the alphabet at least 10 times during our trips and it really helps pass the time. In case you’re not familiar, have each player make their way from A to Z by finding words along the road that start with each letter in order. Whoever gets to Z first wins! It’s definitely a silly game, but I’ve found that getting competitive energizes me and keeps my brain occupied for a while 
  2. Try a podcast. I’ve actually never really been into podcasts, I usually prefer to just listen to music. But after 6 hours in the car, I had pretty much run out of songs. Since I was driving with a hockey enthusiast, we turned on the “Podcast Off Ice” interview with Lindsey Vonn and following her story gave me something with substance to focus my attention on. 
  3. Take enough rests along the way. If you think you can get to your destination without stopping frequently, you’re lying to yourself. It may make the trip a little longer, but the worst thing you can do is keep yourself cooped up in the car without a chance to stretch and let out a little energy. Stop at a gas station once in a while, run around, do some jumping jacks and get a crunchy snack. You’ll be very glad you did and so will whoever you’re driving (pun intended) crazy in the car.
  4. Bring lots of snacks. This may be an obvious one but light snacking in the car always helps keep me present. When I’m in the passenger seat, it also gives me something to do with my hands that isn’t biting my nails (they are the unfortunate victims of my trips). I particularly like crunchy snacks because it’s a little more fun and textured to help expel some energy. 
  5. Sing in gibberish for a while and have a mini-meltdown if you need to (I did a lot of both of these). Let’s all be honest, I will never be an easy, low maintenance road trip buddy. No amount of games or rest stops can re-wire my brain to be good at sitting still for hours. But make the best of your time on the road and try some of these tips to make it more doable. 

Do you have any road trip tricks? Let me know in the comments!