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How to endure long distance travel by car.

Old Sep 16th, 2006, 09:17 AM
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How to endure long distance travel by car.

What are some tips you would recommend? Maybe we all could learn something. I'm thinking of distances 150 miles plus.

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Old Sep 16th, 2006, 09:30 AM
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Nothing makes a driving trip go faster for me than listening to audio books. I borrow a bunch of them from the library, so I can have a selection, depending on my mood. I remember specifically having to drive by myself to Kentucky to visit my son in the service and "Cold Sassy Tree" read by Richard Thomas made the hours fly by!

I know Cracker Barrel restaurants also "lend" audio books, but you have to pay for them up front with your charge and they return it to you when you turn it back in. But they don't have the selection a good library has.

Stopping regularly and stretching your legs is another good thing to do. Someone told me once that eating potato chips when you were in danger of falling asleep could keep you awake (and fat...)
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Old Sep 16th, 2006, 09:31 AM
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Well, for starters, I don't consider 150 miles long. I probably have a different mind set in that I actually enjoy car trips. I'd rather drive than fly. Both because I don't like to fly and because I enjoy seeing what's between "here and there" so to speak.

If we're driving somewhere new, I prefer to watch the scenery rather than being distracted from it. But if it's territory we've covered a million times before (like the 5 or so hour drive from here to my MIL's), I read. I bring along the magazines I haven't had a chance to read. It's a great opportunity to get caught up!

For really long distance trips, such as the drive from here (Chicago 'burbs) to take our daughter back to school in MA, my son and I always take along a list of license plates. We're pretty cut-throat about trying to see more than the other person!
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Old Sep 16th, 2006, 09:35 AM
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Just realized that my response was from the perspective of someone riding. I certainly don't recommend getting caught up on your magazines if you're driving!
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Old Sep 16th, 2006, 09:40 AM
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I clicked on this thread because I thought it might be relevant to the 700 mile trip I am embarking on Wednesday morning, though I have made that drive at least 4 dozen times in my lifetime. Heavens to Besty! I drive 150 miles to meet my sister-in-law for lunch. I guess everything is relative. LOL!
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Old Sep 16th, 2006, 09:55 AM
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I agree that 150 miles isn't that long - unless you've got little kids in the car with you.

For long trips, these are my rules:

1. Slow down - don't worry so much about reaching point B as seeing the sights along the way. It's much less stressful, and you'll enjoy the trip that much more.

2. Stop along the way - especially if you have older companions and/or children. Jump around, run, or just walk a bit. It will keep the blood flowing and the legs awake.

3. Make a "drive" CD/Tape/Playlist - make sure there's enough not repeating music on it/them for the entire drive. Include songs that make you want to sing, dance, etc. Upbeat and bouncy stuff.

4. Open the windows and turn off the air conditioning (contingent on the weather and air quality). If you open the rear windows rather than the front, you reduce the hair messiness.

5. Bring snacks (family favorite: necco wafers), gum and water or drinks.

6. If kids are in the car, get some flash card games. rei has road trip cards about wildlife, ecology, etc. that kids will enjoy. Works with many adults too.

7. Stay away from fast food stops. Instead go a little further off the highway and eat at a local diner.

8. Stop at every "Historic Site" sign along the way.

9. Bring a camera and take photos along the way. If more than one driver, switch places ocassionally so each can take photos. If just one, stop and take a picture whenever you get the urge.

10. Kick out the whiners and complainers before you start the road trip. Nothing ruins a long drive more than someone who sits and complains the whole way.
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Old Sep 16th, 2006, 10:07 AM
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Well- I don;t understand the question since I love driving - as long as it's on the open road (I must admit I don;t love driving in Manhattan - but do frequently for the convenience - it is if you own a car and a monthly garage).

But here are the rules:

Have a lot of really great driving music stacked in the CD player

Stop at least every 2 hours - even for only 5 minutes to stretch your legs

Make sure there's always chilled water in reach

Drive only with people who enjoy my style of driving (NOT the ones who are pressing on a non-existent brake pedal or - god forbid - say anything). But this rarely happens - because my car fee s like its going about 25 mph slower than it is.

With that I love up to 8 hours - will do 10 in order to get somewhere. Don;t enjoy more than that. (Toronto to NYC in one day was fine - but wouldn;t want to go a lot further.)
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Old Sep 16th, 2006, 10:18 AM
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There have been quite a few threads on this.

150 miles is a morning's drive for me. I'm just getting started at 150 miles! It's also a daily commute for many folks.
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Old Sep 16th, 2006, 10:54 AM
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We just got back from the summers drive, a little less than 11,000 miles. Most of this was done in an 8 weeks period. Learn to enjoy your trip, stay off the Interstates if at all possible. As Charles Kuralt once said, you can drive the Interstates from coast to coast and see nothing. Stop often, especially when you see a "brown" sign. Keep involved if you are the passenger. If you know how to read a map thats great, if not learn. If kids are along learning to read a map is a way of getting them involved. Our grandson learned to count and read by reading the mile markers, road signs and maps. Travel with AAA travel books, read about the towns you are going thru. Stop often...... Bring your own cooler, snacks and drink water, not a lot of soft drinks. The drive portion will be what you make of it.
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Old Sep 16th, 2006, 11:12 AM
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150 miles is not long where I live (Arizona).

Frankly, when on a long trip (and we mostly fly if it is over 3 or 4 hrs drive) we enjoy the scenery .. remember the old days, people actually looked at scenery No books, no DVD's, no t.v. in the car --- and that was not that long ago !!!!
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Old Sep 16th, 2006, 12:36 PM
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The best tip I can think of is:
Good Audio-book.
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Old Sep 16th, 2006, 12:46 PM
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One tip would be to read all the great Driving Trip Reports posted here. That is what I did before our 5 day drive across the US.
It helps to have a good travel companion, good music, audio books and a good sense of humour.
Lots of patience helps too, since bad drivers and traffic can spoil a trip if you let them.
Read up on the route you will be taking, there might be stops that you would want to take to sightsee and give yourself a break from sitting ..
We used to drive to Montauk NY all the time, that was around 100 miles, Montreal was 400 miles and we did that in a day...150 miles is no biggie
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Old Sep 16th, 2006, 01:08 PM
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150 miles is a loooong way if you have children in the back seat asking every half hour "are we there yet?", lol.

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Old Sep 16th, 2006, 03:09 PM
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150 miles was a hop, skip and jump for my little ones compared to the 1400 mile round trip we took at least 3 times a year! They became good travelers in the days before minivans, video games and onboard tvs and video players. A long trip is like beauty...in the eye of the beholder!
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Old Sep 16th, 2006, 04:17 PM
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I'm new to this board, and don't know if this suggestion has come up before.
If traveling with kids, give them their spending money($1's)before leaving on the trip. Each time they ask, are we there yet, or fight, etc., take back a dollar. Believe me this works! Also, if they have all their dollars when they get there, $5 or $10
bonus.
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Old Sep 16th, 2006, 04:21 PM
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From Stephanies postings on Fodors, I don't think kids are in the car.
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Old Sep 16th, 2006, 04:27 PM
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suebeoh, wish I had known that trick back when the girls were in the back seat, lol. They would have been broke by the end of the first day!
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Old Sep 16th, 2006, 04:30 PM
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As long as mine did not "breathe on her, touch her/him, look at her/him, ", they did ok in the back seat LOL
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Old Sep 16th, 2006, 04:36 PM
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LOL Scarlett, those were the days my friend!! And how we wish we could relive them. Wasn't it GoTravel that started that fantastic thread about the Rules of the Road or something like that. A survival guide for parents.
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Old Sep 16th, 2006, 04:49 PM
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I have no problem on long car rides unless my kids are screeching in the back. When they were young and we went on long trips (400 miles+) I gave them "Mile Bags". Every 75 miles they got a bag with something in it (candy necklace, new movie, crayons and paper, a few dollars, book, etc.). It was some work preparing it, but boy did they behave or they had to wait another 25 miles for the next one. I also liked that I could control their eating and drinking (cutting down on the bathroom stops). Anyway, they loved it!!! Now they are 12, 15 and 16....they're all content with an Ipod and some fun conversations.
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