There are plenty of entertainment options available for passengers during a road trip. Thanks to modern technology, they can enjoy their own personal music, movies, and video games, or, if you prefer the oldies of in-car entertainment, there’s always literature, magazines, or activity books. Personally, I always go with naps.
Unfortunately, most of these options are closed to the driver. Especially on longer road trips, highway hypnosis can quickly take hold of the driver, decreasing their reaction time and general awareness of the road. Really long trips can create crushing boredom that’s impossible to shake.
There are a few alternatives for the driver’s entertainment. Exploring these is a great way to make your road trip more enjoyable, and safe.
- Modern music streaming – While in the past you may have been limited to what you can find on the radio or your CD collection, modern music technology has a lot more to offer. Many vehicles are equipped with either Bluetooth technology that can stream music from your phone or an auxiliary input cable for your MP3 device. If your vehicle is enabled for Satellite radio, you can access your favorite programs wherever you are in the country.
- Audiobooks - Driving is one of the best times to listen to an audiobook. Today everything from science fiction to classic literature, and from comedy to history, is available on CD. Many local libraries have a large selection of audio books that you can borrow. Websites like Audible.com allow you to borrow and download audio books right to your iPod, as well.
- Stimulating conversation – Make it the special responsibility of whomever is sitting in the passenger seat to engage the driver in conversation. It may be tempting to passengers to lose themselves in their own activities, but road trips can be a great opportunity to learn more about each other, and keeping the driver engaged is important for everyone in the car.
- Switch off – No one said that the first driver had to stick to their role. If there are other available drivers, switch it up. Before you leave, set up a rough driving schedule for when you’ll switch between drivers. This will make sure that everyone stays fresh, alert, and more willing to do their part.