If you’re on the road and get bored when driving, you probably won’t enjoy the trip. Fortunately, you can do several things to stave off boredom and make driving more fun. In the interest of safe and happy trips for all, here are 10 tricks to ensure your road travels are less boring.
Switch things up to alleviate boredom while driving
Take an alternate route
If you drive to work the same way every time, explore another route. If you’re heading out for a long road trip to a place you’ve been before, plan another route. Google Maps and other navigation apps make it easy.
In Google Maps, enter your starting point and destination. Once the search results appear, click on the Directions button to reveal the recommended route in blue. As navigation is in progress, tap the Route icon at the bottom of the map near the time-remaining clock. If there are alternate routes, they will appear in gray, WikiHow explains. Click one, and enjoy a change of scenery on the way to your destination.
Try a new commute drink or snack
If you can’t change the way you get to work, add interest to your drive when you stop for coffee or a breakfast snack at a new location. If you typically order a cinnamon roll and coffee on the way to work, have a bagel with cream cheese and a cup of chai instead.
Listen, laugh, and learn while driving
Tune in to a podcast
Take a tip from long-distance truckers, and check out a podcast. Unlike radio broadcasts that require listening as they happen, an on-demand podcast can keep you entertained for hours. An interesting podcast alleviates boredom while keeping you alert while driving, Truck Driving Dynasty Academy advises. Many podcast apps, such as WTF with comedian Marc Maron, let you download previous episodes for hours of uninterrupted entertainment.
Listen to an audiobook
Audiobooks are a great way to keep boredom when driving at bay. Sign in to a streaming site such as Audible or Learn Out Loud, and be sure to check your local lending library too. Plenty of libraries let you check out audiobooks for free. Alternately, you can download an audio reading app to enjoy everything from novels to self-help books, the American Association of Owner Operators recommends.
Learn a new language while driving
If you’ve ever wanted to learn a new language, do it while you’re driving. Rosetta Stone offers easy-to-use recorded programs that teach more than two dozen languages, including French, Japanese, Spanish, German, and Chinese. Pimsleur provides three learning levels that guide you through basic, advanced, and expert levels to help you order food, ask for directions, and otherwise communicate in a new language.
Sing along to music
Everyone loves music. Not only can a catchy tune make a long drive feel shorter, but singing along with your favorite songs can also make the time pass more quickly.
Improve your mind while driving
Practice driving meditation
Mindful, meditative driving can go a long way toward easing boredom and frustration, Psychology Today reports. Pay close attention to what’s in front of you while feeling the sensation of your moving vehicle. Feel the steering wheel in your hands, and hear the sounds of the wind and road. Remain focused on the present while reminding yourself that you can’t control things like other drivers or whether the traffic light turns from green to red.
Revel in roadside attractions
Start an audio journal while driving
These days, lots of road-trippers document their travels. You can do the same when you record your thoughts along the way. If you use your smartphone, be sure it’s in hands-free mode to prevent a dangerous driving distraction.
Take a friend along for the ride
This one is a no-brainer. Instead of going alone, bring a fun friend along for the ride. Trade driving duties so that each of you has a chance to relax and enjoy the scenery.
But one thing you should never do when driving is reach for your phone. Texting while driving is not only dangerous but also illegal in many states.