By Jenny Ortakales
Photo by thetoyspy.com
Car rides can be very therapeutic. Windows down, music blasting, nowhere to go – they can be one of the best ways get your mind off things. But what happens when your entire family comes along, the ride lasts twenty hours, and you’re going across the country? It can get a bit stressful! Your little sister asks, “Are we there yet?” on the hour, your dad and brother fawn over every sports car they see on the way, and your mom is always telling your dad to stop speeding. Never mind carsickness, fast food meals, and public restrooms!
Although sometimes everybody can get on each other’s nerves during the ride, family vacations can be a lot of fun, and cross-country road trips are a great way to have more family time. Here are some ways to fit in alone time and reduce the stress, so you can be in a better mood to have fun with your family.
Put plenty of songs on your iPod to last the entire car ride. Music will definitely make the endless amount of highway more fun, and with so much time with nothing to do, you’ll probably cycle through your entire iPod. It’s also a great opportunity try something different. Discover new music right before your trip, or look into some artists you’ve wanted to listen to more.
Read! Set your cell aside and pick up the rest of Tina Fey’s book of essays you set put down last summer. It’s the perfect time to finally catch up on those reads you neglected during the school year.
Catch up on some zzz’s. Napping in the car makes the trip go by so much faster. Get a soothing eye mask with a calming fragrance or big comfy pillow to cuddle. Before you know it, you’ll wake up and be halfway there!
When your whole family is together on vacation it can involve a lot of sharing. You might have to share a bathroom or staying in a hotel room will mean going to bed at the same time as everyone else. Cutting down on your routine as much as possible will help it all go smoother. Take quicker showers, let your hair air dry, or simplify your makeup essentials. Anything you can do to be ready faster will help the entire family get out the door sooner, and that means more time for the fun stuff.
It’s easy to get off schedule with your workout routine, but with everything else so hectic, keeping up with it can be your only escape. Running is an easy way to get exercise when there isn’t any equipment available. Going for a run or renting a bike can double as sightseeing and they offer a unique way take in the new environment. If you’re stuck at a hotel, go to the gym or swim some laps at the pool. Pick up a couple workout DVDs before your trip so you can pop them in whenever you have some spare time. Research some simple moves to do in a small amount of space. You might even be able work those biceps while you’re on the road!
Above all, have an open mind. When you’re family is planning things to do, it’s okay to have a say in doing what you’re interested in, but also keep an open mind to things everyone else might want to do. Be willing to try something new at least once on your trip and you’ll find that it will ease the stress of everyone agreeing on activities.