Those of you who follow me on social media would probably have been unable to escape me banging on about our extremely long journey up north to visit my brother and his family. It’s actually meant to take six hours, but I always add on an hour to that as you should always have a break on long journeys (plus when travelling with a baby it’s kind of unavoidable).
Our journey up on Friday actually ended up taking 9 hours. 9 long hours, with only a half an hour of that not spent on the road. That half hour was filled with a rather disappointing McDonald’s double cheeseburger and an even more disappointing Krispy Kreme donut (it tasted weirdly of soap – what the hell?).
There are loads of posts out there with helpful tips for children on long journeys but not so many focusing on adults who are bored. So, how did I prevent myself from going insane on such a long journey? Well, if you saw my tweets to Mark Thomas aka The Honest Father on Twitter including this rather unflattering selfie, or my instastories featuring a sing along to Despacito, you may argue that I didn’t…
Either way, here are my five top tips on how to survive a long car journey, as an adult passenger.
Pack Road Snacks!
There is nothing worse than being stuck in traffic on a long journey. The minutes tick by and after an hour you’ve barely moved more than a mile. One way to pass the time, and stave off the inevitable pit stop when you get peckish, is to pack some road snacks.
Grab yourself an extra bag and fill it with things like crisps, sweets, biscuits, maybe a pasty or two – basically anything yummy which will make the fact you’re stuck in a car more bearable. Personally, a weekend away is a time where I can binge on the junk guilt free, but if you’re more disciplined than me then swap the treats for healthier options (this will also prevent you going off plan at the services).
If your journey is really long, there’s also no shame in packing that bottle of wine with a couple of plastic glasses – just make sure you don’t offer one to the driver!
Stock up on CDs
At the start of our journey my mum excitedly produced the latest NOW CD and asked me to pop it in. I did. We spent an enjoyable few minutes singing along to Despacito at the top of our lungs, and then we spent the next ten minutes skipping through the majority of the album, before giving up and putting on her trusty housework CD.
Always, without fail, make sure you’ve checked your route before you head off. See if any of the main roads are closed or already have incidents, and come up with a plan B. Avoid busy roads where possible. Travel at off peak times and try and avoid being on the road during busy periods such as first thing in the morning on weekdays.
It may seem like the best idea to leave bright and early Saturday morning for your weekend away, but that’s also what the other hundred people on the road thought as well.
Install travel apps on your phone, set your radio to kick in with traffic updates so you can try and avoid standstills, and ensure your car is in tip top shape and ready for anything for each and every trip (there’s nothing worse than the roads being clear for once and then your car breaking down from lack of fuel or oil).
Bring a Charger
Smart phones are brilliant. They provide hours of endless entertainment on long journeys. I was able to live tweet our progress on our journey on Friday, which I’m sure my followers appreciated… but this would have been short lived had I not of had the foresight to charge up and pack my portable battery charger. An alternative option is an in car charger.
Comfort is Key
Wear something you will be comfortable in, whether that’s your tracksuit bottoms, a pair of jeans or a nice floaty light dress. Obviously pack for the weather and time of year so that you will remain warm or cool, even if the worst were to happen and you broke down.
I always kick my shoes off as soon as I get in the car for a long trip, if it’s winter I’ll take along my big fluffy socks to change into. Again, if it’s due to be cold, take along some big comfy blankets to cuddle up in.
I hope these tips help on your next long car journey. One last thing to mention is that it’s actually incredibly dangerous to put your feet up on the dashboard as a passenger, or even to bring your knees up and have your feet on the seat. If the airbag were to go off in an accident, your legs would be broken. It’s not worth it, even though I know from past experience it can be tempting when you’re travelling long distance.