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10 Ways to entertain yourself on a solo road trip

People seem to have one of two emotions to road trips.
1) Excitement to see all the sites and travel the world or
2) Dread, knowing that they’ll be spending the next 15 hours in boredom.

Generally, those that get most excited, look forward to traveling with their friends.

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But traveling solo, well, that’s a just an entirely different story.

Let’s face it, 15+ hours in the car on your own can be excruciatingly boring.

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I’ve done it enough times to know. I also know that there are some things that have helped me to survive the boredom, and even forget about it completely.

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Here are 10 ideas that can help you make the most of your solo road trip.

1. Learn something new from a podcast

If you’re anything like me, you hate sitting around. One way I’ve found to be productive while just driving mindlessly for hours is listening to podcasts. Listening to thought-provoking podcasts can teach you new things and open your eyes to new possibilities. Not just that, but they’ll help keep you awake.

I personally love listening to the Ted Radio Hour, but there are tons of podcasts to choose from in all kinds of different niches. Pick something you love.

2. Listen to your favorite music

Sometimes singing to your favorite music is the best way to go. Dance along to it, keep your mind busy, pump a jam and stay awake.

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3. Phone a friend

Just hearing another person’s voice is enough to keep me from nodding off. Road trips are a great time to catch up with old friends. I mean, you’re just sitting in a car mindlessly driving for hours on end.

4. Stop at a local attraction

Take a break sometimes. This has saved me multiple times. Maybe you see a sign for a national park or the world’s biggest potato. Take a couple minutes to stop and enjoy yourself. Just taking a few minutes to stretch and see the towns you’re passing so quickly makes the hours of driving seem more worthwhile.

world's largest ball of stamps nebraska
The world’s largest ball of stamps located off I-80 in Nebraska.

5. Listen to an inspiring audiobook

Similar to listening to podcasts, audiobooks follow a little more structure. Plus, we all probably need to catch up on some reading.

6. Answer probing questions about yourself

Record your thoughts using a voice recording app on your phone. You’ll be able to write it in your journal when you stop or even pass it down as a unique keepsake to your kids. Talking out loud doesn’t look as odd as you think.

7. Count the rest stops

You can count semis, the mile markers, or the rest stops. Either way, it’s nice to know you’re actually making progress. At one point in Wyoming, I counted how many billboards there were for the truck stop in Little America.

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8. Daydream

In my mind, road trips are the epitome of new opportunities. While keeping your eyes on the road, you can think of how fun this trip will be. Maybe you’re going on a vacation. Maybe it’s a move. Whatever the reason, it’s always nice to daydream the opportunities awaiting you at the end.

9. Make up life stories for passing drivers

A person’s car can tell you a lot about a person. I’ll start making up a life story for the driver next to me. I’ll give him a name and answer questions about his job, family, goals in life, and even embarrassing moments. I’m probably 99% wrong 100% of the time, but at least it’s fun!

10. Roll the windows down and enjoy the ride

Sometimes, just enjoying the beauty of the world as you take it all in at 80 mph is the best way to entertain yourself on a road trip.

Whatever you decide to do to keep entertained, remember to stay safe.

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