road trip car tips
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7 Road Trip Car Tips When Travelling with a Partner

Anyone who has been on a long road trip with friends or family members understand the dangers that lie in being confined to such a small space for long stretches.

Conflict can build because of number of factors - fatigue, hunger, impatience, bladder control, motion sickness, etc.

If you value the relationship of your driving companion, you need to have a strategy to ensure that you are still talking to each other on good terms by the time you reach home.

Keep these simple road trip tips in mind

1. Take turns driving

Road trips that only involve one person who drives is a recipe for disaster, or at the very least, deep resentment. Having a partner, or multiple people, who can share the driving duties is a way to keep everyone sane, happy, and healthy.

It’s also safer, avoiding driver fatigue for those longer journeys. So, pitch in with the driving duties and let everyone on the trip take turns enjoying the ride – from the passenger seat.

2. Create a playlist you’ll both enjoy

Music is the universal language, according to a Harvard study. So what better way to cut the tension and relax the mood with some great driving music. Consider creating a playlist you both will enjoy – some tunes you can sing along too, or that track bringing back some fond memories from back in the day.

Popular apps like Spotify and Audible will get the party started. Here are 9 other free road trip apps to consider.

3. Bring a good book

Sure, reading a book while your partner drives may not seem that social. But that’s the point. Perhaps a quiet cockpit is simply what’s required, and what better way to silence the mood than keeping to yourself with some good reads. If your driver is the more introverted type, then bust out that book and read away – time will pass before you know.

Forgot your 500-page novel at home? Too bulky hauling a bunch of books in your luggage? We feel a paperback book is best, but worst case scenario, just download some reading material to your phone. It’s better than nothing!

4. Plan out your route

Avoiding the dreaded question “Are we there yet?” can easily be accomplished by setting out a route for each driving. If everyone understands the spots they’re interested in checking out, and approximate time it takes to reach each, everyone can adjust in their own, personal way.

While popular navigation apps like Google Maps and Waze will certainly help, an old-fashioned paper map may be a little more fun and interesting. Pulling out that huge and often tedious map and planning out your route the old-school way may just be the most fun you’ll have before departing. Only question is, do they still make printed maps?

5. Go sightseeing and take a driving break

One of the best things about long road trips are all those neat little spots along the way – from old, weathered miniature golf courses to regional attractions you’ve probably never heard of. Sure, they’re often tourist traps, but that’s the whole fun of it. And they’re often family run businesses, so why not support the local people while having some fun while you’re at it. 

So you’re not into miniature golf? Who cares, go have some fun. Not sure “the world’s biggest dump truck” or “the world’s largest collection of knitted sweaters” is your thing? Doesn’t matter, go take a look and enjoy what the locals have to offer. Plus, it gives you and your travelling partner something to talk about along the way. 

6. Always have snacks available

An empty belly can lead to tensions that might not usually happen – it’s hard to act normal when all you can think of is the time before your next stop for food. Preparing a range of food options for the day can keep everyone on track, and ensure that little things don’t turn into big fights.

As mentioned above, stopping along the highway is always a great way to break up the monotony – why not stop for some local food? Whether it's fresh, seasonal fruits you won’t find back home, or a cool local diner worth checking out, eating is not only driving fuel but a great way to spend time together. Don’t forget to buy some extra treats to share for the rest of your trip. 

7. Remember that the journey is just as important as the destination

Take the time to enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and landmarks that you encounter on the way to your end point of the trip. Half the fun of a road trip (particularly in Canada) is fully experiencing the different landscapes that are encountered. You might want to spend a certain amount of time at your destination, but always build in enough time to enjoy the journey.

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