Whether for business or pleasure, you might be called on to hit the road for an extended trip. Traveling with friends and family can make such trips livelier, plus you have an alternate driver when you get bored or tired. But what if you’re on your own?
Distractions can lead to poor driving, which can cause accidents. Make sure you stay alert, alive, and focused on the road by keeping your brain active.
Here are several useful tips for fighting boredom while driving alone on long trips.
Plan Your Itinerary and Entertainment
Before putting your hands to the wheel, plot how many hours you need to fill with entertainment and alertness options. Having a plan in place means leaving your hands and brain fully focused on driving. Most modern driving distractions involve fiddling with phones, radios, navigation devices, and the like.
Have audio selections and directions cued up before you leave, then hands off for the journey! Set songs and playlists to play at random, so you don’t know what to expect. Also, consider playing louder songs for later in the journey. Naturally, get ready to sing along!
Don’t Overdo It
Boredom provokes unwise decisions, like driving while exhausted. The destination becomes a dangerous focus, inspiring you to speed up and throw caution to the wind rather than experiencing one more hour of endless black ribbon. Ignore the urge to barrel on. If you’re feeling bored and uninspired by the tedium of seeing tree after tree rushing by, stop, pull over, get out, and enjoy the view.
Watch for billboards advertising roadside attractions and consider visiting someplace you might not otherwise have thought of visiting. You might be surprised at what you find, which can keep you even more alert.
Catch Up on Your “Reading”
When you’re all alone, the best companion is a book. Fighting boredom while driving alone on long trips is always easier with stories. Obviously, you can’t page through the latest bestseller while driving, so set up your phone or other audio player with an audio book or podcast that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Many libraries allow you to download audio books for free, and most digital music services have thousands of books available. Pick selections that make you think and provide a sort of simulated companionship for the ride. You’re alone, so don’t feel silly about engaging in “conversations” with the speakers!
Pick Snacks That Pick You Up
You might think beverages like coffee, tea, energy drinks, and other caffeine-filled refreshments are the best to guzzle on a long trip. Caffeine can keep you alert, but also leaves you feeling jittery and anxious, and is often accompanied by sugar and other additives.
Add to that the multiple pitstops you’ll make, and you can see caffeinated drinks are best in small amounts. Consider healthier snacks that keep you alert like sunflower seeds, peanuts, granola bars, and fruit.