Road trips are often long but never boring, or at least it shouldn’t be especially in Queensland. As long as you plan it ahead, road trips can be fun and exciting for everyone in the car.
Here are a few ideas to kill the boredom for when you’re stuck in the car for long hours that does not only elicit a few laughs and chuckles but also strengthen the bonds of the passengers.
1. Embrace random places
You definitely need a plan for a road trip but make it a flexible one without too many micro details or you may risk crippling the happiness of a road trip.
Map out where you would like to spend the night at and plan your driving time to be eight hours or less every day. Take into account plenty of stops for leg stretching every two hours so that you get plenty of rest before purring your engine the next day.
While driving sounds like a tedious monotask, it requires endurance and full concentration at all times for safety purposes.
Getting drowsy behind the wheel is definitely not fun - and not safe. As you ease into the tempo of driving in the following days, you can stop at random gleeful small-town destinations along the way for some unexpected discoveries.
The logic behind is that when you have no expectations, it is quite hard to be let down by what you discover from the place. In fact, you may be pleasantly surprised by the hidden gems considering you won’t likely spending time at tourist packed attractions.
2. Play road games
Unlock the child within you and get creative to make time fly.
Simple activities like counting how many times you see the word “cow” or “mining” as you approach a mining city may sound silly but will definitely crack up everyone in the car.
Below are other examples to keep the atmosphere in the car lively with laughter.
a) The Alphabet Categories
In this game, you name things in alphabetical order from a category. You start by naming a category such as food, animals, drinks, and so on. Begin with A and go down the alphabet list. For example, in the category of food you can start with Alfalfa, and the next passenger can say Burrito, and so on.
b) The Name Game
The players connect the first and last names of famous people by starting with the name of anyone famous. The next player then says a person whose first name begins with the first letter of the previous last name. For example, Bob Marley, Michael Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and so on.
c) Going on a picnic
This is an excellent game to test everyone’s memory in the car.
First, someone says “I’m going on a picnic, and I’m going to bring…” and lists an item. The next person begins the entire sentence again and must list the first person’s item before adding theirs. The list then keeps growing longer until the person who is not able to name all the items in the list is the loser.
d) Travellers Alphabet
This game is especially fun for children as it helps them to master the alphabet too. Each player must finish the sentence “I’m going on a journey to…” using a word that begins with the specific letter of the alphabet.
It goes on through the alphabet from A-Z. For instance, the first player says “I’m going on a journey to Mount Isa” followed by other players asking “What will you do there?” and the first player can answer “I will do some mining.’
The play then moves onto the next player using “B” and then “C” and so on. The player who cannot name a place or activity shall be eliminated.
3. Play a CD with your favourite songs
Oh, you don’t know how important this is on a long drive. Your favourite songs must be ones that you don’t mind listening to over and over again for the entire road trip. Of course, you can turn on the radio and go with the flow with whatever is being aired.
However, belting out the lyrics to your favourite tune when you are hitting the highway, and with people in the car next to you singing together, is even better. Road trips are a special time for contemplation and self-reflection.
So don’t forget to select a few songs that are nostalgic and hopeful that could stir the emotions as it is bound to be stirred a little more profoundly on the road. The good old classics by Prince, U2, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Eagles are just amongst the long list of favourites for a getaway.
4. Make new friends
Whether you are fleeing on a short getaway or braving an adventure in the wild, travelling is a great opportunity to meet new people and cultivate companionship on the road. If you don’t want the vision of curling on the bed alone in an unfamiliar place to befall you, try out simple ways like joining a walking tour, taking your meal at a bar or just a simple hello which are good enough to foster friendship.
5. Trust the local when it comes to food
Forget about the recommendations in the guidebook if you only have the time for a good meal before leaving the town. This also means tossing up between eateries recommended by TripAdvisor!
Directly approach the locals who look like they are born and raised there and ask the simple question. More often than not, a local will suggest or even lead you to some hidden gems tucked away from the tourist spotlight where the food is tastier, more affordable with a better ambience.
For example, if you happen to be at Mount Isa, you will most likely be told by the locals to have a go at the award winning steak in the Isa Hotel.
6. Use your electrical gadgets
Yes, movies and games in tablets and podcasts can do wonders to bust your boredom, but they also draw you away from the present and make you isolated from the others.
Limit your usage and try the other methods above to make your road trip more fun!