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Surviving Long Drives: 2,390 Miles Later

Long drives aren’t easy, but I’ve trained my entire life for them.

Growing up, I was fortunate to have two parents who were willing to sacrifice so much of their time driving me (and my brother) to and from hockey practice - a 3+ hour roundtrip, 4-5 days a week.

Time has passed and I have retired from my past life of playing hockey, but that doesn’t mean the driving has stopped!!

I recently went on a solo drive from Detroit, Michigan all the way down to Buras, Louisiana making pit stops along the way. A minimum total of 2,390 miles!!

New Orleans

Here are some tips on how I made this drive and other family/friend trips successful and manageable.

  • Have bottled water at all times. As a family, we’ll have a case of water in the back since it’s such an essential part of success. Less fatigue, helps you stay comfortable.

  • Snacks, no one likes a hangry person. I’ll be the first to admit I should have been in the snicker commercials. I’m not me when I’m hungry and I’m sure you’re not you.

  • If you’re feeling fancy: Bring a cooler. Me personally, when I’m on trips without my family cooler is a must have. I fill it up with ice packs, snacks, turkey sandwich rolls, drinks, chips, and my all time fave - chocolate milk. Successssssss

  • Pick a movie, play the movie over the speaker so the driver can hear as well. I recommend stand-up comedy. If you’re riding with passengers, they can view the screen but the driver gets to enjoy the material just like everyone else

  • Podcasts. Know your audience and strategically choose a podcast that best suits everyone’s needs. If learning about sleep medicine and titration are your thing, cool - I like it too, but others may not.

  • Audio books

  • Personality Quizzes/Buzzfeed Quizzes

  • Adlibs. Step it up by adding water into the mix. One person reads, the rest hold water in their mouth and try not to lose it

  • MY FAVORITE: Pick a song everyone sings the wrong words to. Have a passenger recite their version and compare it to the actual. It welcomes laughs and time flies by. Some examples: Sugar We’re Going Down - Fall Out Boy. Boom Shaka Laka - Boom Face, Y.M.C.A. - Village People

Shoutout to the old friends I reconnected with, the new friends made along the way, and the generosity provided by everyone while I made my trek up and down our beautiful country.

How do you manage long car rides? How do you pass the time?


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