Oh, summer. More hours of daylight, warmer temperatures and nothing but the road and the blue sky! But no matter how interesting the songs you download to your iPhone or how interesting your passenger is, everyone can get bored after a few hours in the car.
With that in mind, here are four simple ways to have fun on your next trip.
Play the game
When my brothers and I travelled together when we were kids, we didn’t have smartphones or iPads to keep us busy and distract each other. Instead, we play games, we play as adults! Some of our favorites are
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Select a category and rename items that start with the last letter of the previous item. For example: if the category is animals, the game can be something like “Antelopa”. “The elephant. “The Tiger.” “Giraffe back.” Be creative! If you can’t think of an item that isn’t being used, you’re out of the house. You can also change game elements and names in alphabetical order. To take the issue of animals, for example, I could say “Antelopa”. “Bulldog. “Cat. Calico”. “Crazy.”
I’m going on a picnic.
It may be our favourite game, but it is also one of the most difficult. The first person starts by saying “I’m going to the picnic and I’m taking items A and B. These two items should fit into the model, and other passengers should ask if they can also take two items with them until they guess the model. For example, if I had said: “I will picnic and take a giraffe and a bubble blower”, the pattern would have been things with double letters in the words. If someone said, “I’m going to go to a picnic and take a hippo and a Pogos stick,” I would say, “You can take a hippo with you, but you can’t take a Pogos stick with you. The first person who enters the correct name of two objects and checks the pattern wins and can start the next round. (Psst – the possibilities are endless.)
There are loads of video games that you can use nowadays – especially handheld games. With recent reports that esports could be the future, there are many great mobile games coming out, so the likes of Tetris could be a thing of the past. Honestly, if you can’t find a handheld esports game for you nowadays, you must be very hard to please.
A person thinks of a person, place or thing, and other people in the car ask yes or no questions to try to guess a person, place or thing. There are rules of order here; if you just give your fortune 20 questions, then OK, but we are known to keep the game moving until someone knows it. A good guesser first gets another mysterious element.
Read funny websites
Laughter might be the best medicine. But it’s also the best way to pass the time. You know what they say: “Time flies when you’re having fun”. You could tell jokes, check out a funny website, or make funny faces at each other — whatever, it doesn’t matter, just as long as you’re laughing.
Listen to a podcast
Podcasts are not only a great way to travel, but also a great way to spend time on a long journey. One of my favorites is Ask Me Another, NPR trivia podcast. Don’t tell me, but with less news and more coverage. And since podcasts deal more with general curiosities than with contemporary events, you can listen to old episodes without boredom or confusion (until 2012).
Tip: Many podcasts are freely accessible via the Podcasts application. Remember to download a few episodes to your phone before you leave so that it does not absorb the assigned data.
Getting lost in an audio book
In addition to podcasts, an excellent audio book can be the perfect entertainment for a long trip. Audio books with surprising accents are particularly amusing, like the Scottish characters in the Outlander series or the Australian story of Liane Moriarty’s audio books. Mysteries and sensational movies are also excellent opportunities for road tours, which have two objectives: play with history and talk (also called speculation) to other travelers.
For an audio book you don’t want to turn off, try something by Robert Galbraith (also J.K. Rowling), Dan Brown or Gillian Flynn. You can download free audio books from your local library or order a service such as Audible, which offers a 30-day free trial for new subscribers.
Bring the hours you need to learn something new in your car. Maybe you always wanted to learn all those words about how quickly Bust Rhyme helped to look at me now. Play, practice, practice! Maybe you don’t want to talk about different American capitals. Ask your friend for help!
Depending on the company, a car trip can also be an excellent opportunity to learn a second language, speak a language and/or listen to podcasts or radio stations in a foreign language. You can also challenge yourself during