How to Survive All-Day Drives

Movies make road trips sound like non-stop fun with a bunch of people for hours. In reality, if you are stuck in a four-wheel drive for more than three hours, things get messy. Especially if that trip involves kids. Cramped and small spaces combined with really hot weather can easily make you agitated. If that isn’t bad enough, the company you travel with can make the journey less painful or dreadful.

Not to worry, here are 10 tips that will help you survive a long drive without having a yelling match with your kids.

Plan Ahead

They say success is when preparation meets opportunity. To have a successful trip, you must be prepared before the actual day. The secret is in the details and miscellaneous expenses.

First, you need to know who you are traveling with. Once the passengers have been identified, agree on who is driving or rather how you will split the driving. If you are driving with your kids, arrange their seating patterns beforehand.

If you’re traveling to the destination for the first time, ensure you have an offline map. Also, book your accommodations early. You can go as far as checking the restaurants along the road.

Budget for the trip with an extra allowance for miscellaneous expenses. You tend to incur all kinds of expenses along the way. Whatever your budget is, give yourself an extra 20% to 30%. The allowance can go as far as covering any emergency along the way.

Check Your Car

Before up and leaving ensure that you have checked your car. Make sure that there is a spare tire and it is well inflated. Check if you have all the necessary tools to change a tire. As for the oil, be sure you have changed it before the trip.

Confirm if the car is missing any important tool that needs replacement. Your first aid kit must be fully equipped. In case you don’t know how to do the car check, take your car to a mechanical shop. They will look through everything for you at a small fee.

A great car secures a great journey for you. It saves you roadside surprises such as mechanical problems.

Pack Your Snacks

Snacking is a great way to stay in the car and enjoy the trip. Before starting your trip, start by preparing the snacks you will need. You can opt to make sandwiches for everyone. This is both cost-efficient and healthy.

 Buy snacks such as mixed nuts, fruits, protein bars, and potato chips. To ensure they are not forgotten, pack all of them in one bag.

If you are traveling with kids, plan the kind of snacks they enjoy most. Remember, kids, tend to be sugar hyped. After the high, they are prone to be irritable. To avoid this, let the kids snack on healthy foods that will keep them energized.

Pack Your Comfort

A good trip is as good as your comfort. When dressing for the road trip ensure you are comfortable in your clothes. Tight clothes in hot weather tend to make you feel itchy and suffocated. Dress for both the weather and the journey.

Carry your comforts such as neck pillows, sandals, comfy socks, eye blanket, and shawl. For the kids, you can carry their comfort clothes, toys, and favorite blanket. The idea is to enjoy the trip or at least survive it.

Choose Your Music

An open road without music can be very boring. When choosing the suitable music for your road trip, you have to consider the people you will travel with. If you’re driving alone, choose your music upfront. This could be from your favorite genres to an album you been meaning to listen to.

When traveling with people, consider everyone’s request. Create a playlist of songs that everyone can enjoy and mix it up. Remember to prepare your playlist before the journey.

Rest Well

To get the most out of your trip, ensure you rest well before the trip. If you are the driver, make sure you get plenty of rest two nights before the trip. This will keep you awake and energized throughout the trip.

Road Trip Games

They may sound like kids play but road trip games keep everyone engaged through the journey. There are games for adults such as 20 questions, guess a song, rhyme, never have I ever, kiss, marry kill and the license plate game.

A family game would be punch buggy, I spy, spelling bee, would you rather, rock paper scissors and car bingo. The games will keep everyone entertained and active, you wouldn’t notice you have arrived.


Water is life, just ask the experts. Hydration is not only good for your skin but it helps cool your body in an air-conditioned car. Sip water all through the journey. You can supplement this by eating fruits rich in water such as watermelon, pineapple, and cucumbers.


An all-day drive means you are stuck with each other for hours. This is a great time for people to reconnect and bond. To achieve this, you need to unplug from all forms of technology to get the most out of the trip.

Ensure that everyone is entertained with the music, conversation and games. Screens provide short term thrill for kids. Pack plenty of books, coloring books, comic books to keep them busy.


Let’s be honest, there is no way you can drive non-stop for more than six hours. Not only will you be exhausted but you will be endangering the lives of the passengers.

Have pit-stops after every three hours. This allows everyone to relax and stretch out. If someone needs a stopover for whatever reason, be mindful of this. They could be car sick or in need of some air.

All-day drives don’t have to be a traumatic experience with your kids or friends. Remember, it’s never about the destination rather than the journey. Make your journey an unforgettable experience.

Resources: Smarter Travel, Wander Wisdom, Lemon Lime Adventures

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Reed Hamilton

Mason Reed Hamilton: Mason, a political analyst, provides insights on U.S. politics, election coverage, and policy analysis.