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The Long Ride Down

June 3, 2011

Ah, vacation. It’s a time of relaxation, a time of fun, a time of spending time with loved ones without a care in the world. However, before one is at their destination, one must reach their destination. That long car trip down can be anywhere from a couple of hours to a whooping ten hours in that car packed with suitcases, bags, and annoyed people. Luckily, there are things that can help alleviate that long voyage to that week-long (or so can be assumed) recess.

If you are a passenger and will not be driving, you must decide if you want to sleep the whole way down or if you will stay awake. If you want to sleep, a good way to make sure you stay asleep (assuming there are no important stops along the way) is to stay up for the majority of the night. This is really only recommended if the trip is long enough; if the time is too short, you’ll be too tired to unpack the car.

Personally, I prefer to stay awake. Not only is it a fun experience to watch the scenery change from oaks to palms, but it’s also nice to listen to some music while the smell of the sea begins to roll in. If, however, you’re not a music type, there are other things you can do and other suggestions:

  • Bring a handheld game system along, such as the Nintendo DS or Sony’s PSP, with a full battery and plenty of games. Make sure you bring along some headphones or ear-buds so as to not disturb the rest.
  • Reading isn’t a bad idea, since books are always educational. Unless it’s Twilight. Nah, just kidding.
  • If you’re looking for something more productive, you can carry a sketchbook to draw or a notebook to write.
  • Playing games with other passengers isn’t a bad idea, since games can really reduce travel time. If the scenery outside the car is too bland or too fast-moving, you can bring along pictures to play I Spy. Car tag is a fun game to play amongst children.
  • The license plate game can be amusing by those more patient and those that prefer to play alone.
  • Bringing a laptop is ill-advised, since there’s no real way to connect to the Internet, as far as I’m concerned. I could be wrong, but the only way to connect is via a Wi-Fi spot and the only way for that to happen is to not to be moving.

If you’ll be driving, you’ll need to stay awake. Getting a good night’s rest is an obvious way, but also eating a good breakfast can be beneficial, so long as you don’t stuff your face. If you think you might become hungry along the way, pack some granola bars and keep them beside you. The key here is to stay awake. Having someone else drive halfway down is suggested, since it’ll help lift the burden of travel. Make sure you trust them, though; there doesn’t need to be any accidents!

Pit stops are also important, and for good reason! If someone needs to go, they need to go! If you’re entering a different state (or providence or country), it’s a good idea to stop at the welcome center so you can use the restroom, grab a couple of pamphlets, and see if they give out anything to try; at the welcome center in Florida, visitors can try a sample of orange juice or grapefruit juice — Florida’s famous for their orange juice, y’know. Oh, and being the “Sunshine State.” I swear, it rains more there than it shines, especially toward the end of summer. Just saying.

Vacation is fun, but getting there is the other half! To quote Peanut, “Come on, keeping yourself occupied is the best part of a roadtrip! You just gotta plan for it!”

In the next panel, he was shown fast asleep, but the point still stands.

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