Car Trips

Car Trips

Olivia Vick, Messenger Reporter

This is a time of year filled with holidays; just over a few months, we have Fall Break, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. During this time of year, we often spend time with various parts of our extended family that live anywhere under the sun. Personally, for Fall Break I traveled to South Carolina to visit some of my cousins. For Thanksgiving, I will go to North Carolina and will spend Christmas break in several different cities across Kentucky. This means a lot of car time, which isn’t always easy, especially if you’re loading a big family into the car with you. However, there are some things you can do to make this easier.

Divide up driving time amongst those who can. Even if it isn’t evenly split, sometimes just a break in the middle of the drive is enough to make the trip much easier. When the trip is easier for the driver (or drivers), everyone is happier. You should also set certain times for pit stops. Knowing when you can eat or take a bathroom break will mean less sporadic stops and save time in the long run. This time is precious for maintaining your sanity.

Negotiate music decisions in order to maintain peace. While any back seat passengers may be able to just put in their headphones, the driver should have someone to talk to and make sure the driver doesn’t fall asleep. Even though driving isn’t much work, it can be tiring after long periods of time. Music is a crucial part of any road trip, and there should be some that you both enjoy. Make sure to keep it lively and engaging – this helps to keep the drivers awake as well.

Be generally courteous. This should be a rule for your whole life, but it applies especially when you will be in a small, enclosed space with your family members for an extended period of time. Keeping a positive atmosphere in the car is more important than you’d think. Arguing about skipping a song you don’t like isn’t worth how tense the rest of the ride will be. Be nice, don’t complain too much, and just hold on until you get there. You’d be surprised how much more fun you’ll have when you arrive if you have a peaceful trip.

Make sure you’re well prepared. You don’t have to pack twice as much as you think you’ll need, but perhaps think to bring a blanket, some snacks, a car charger for your phone, etc. If you’re hungry, cold, or otherwise irritable, the whole trip will be much harder than it needs to be. Planning ahead will help during the trip, too. Have another family member run a checklist with you so you can both make sure you have everything you need. Not only will this allow you to feel and be more prepared, but then if your parent/sibling forgot something, they now will not ask you to borrow this item.

Overall, vacations are the most fun parts of the year. These are just a few simple things to do before you leave that will make the way there so much more bearable. Enjoy the time with your family, and come back relaxed ready to learn. That’s what these breaks are for.