Road Trip Tips: How To Survive 30 Hours in the Car


To say we started off the road trip with a bang would be an understatement: 27 hours of driving in two days. There were only two ways this could have possibly ended. The first in the strangling of one another after what seemed like endless hours in a confined area, or a strengthened bond after long chats of life contemplation and many off-tune sing-alongs. Luckily we pursued the latter.

All together, the group consists of myself, my sister, Sam, her friend, Kelly, and a friend of mine from college, Pat.

The road trip crew! Left to right: me, Pat, Sam, Kelly

We drove from New Jersey, through Pennsyvannia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinios, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and finally made it to South Dakota. The trip went surprisingly well, but I have to say there were a few keys that helped us survive:

1. Good music. There’s only so much talking you can do in the car. When the chatting dies out, having music to fall back on is key. Not to mention, it can set the mood for that scenic sunset or keep you awake during the graveyard driving shifts. (Highly recommend some Jo Bro throwbacks.)

2. Snacks. Quite possibly the most important asset of any road trip, snacks are vital to avoiding hanger fights as well as avoiding excessive pit stops for food. But bring them at your own risk. We learned the hard way. Our snack box was large and full, so rather than a snack here or there, we seemed to be on a continuous munch for the 30 hours…

3. Proper rotation etiquette. According to Pat, proper driving rotation includes a driver, a good passenger, and someone snoozing in the back to prepare for their driving shift. With four of us in total, I’d say we passed Pat’s standards with flying colors.

4. A solid road plan. Depending on what’s available to you, scope out where you’ll be driving ahead of time to avoid traffic and find quieter, more scenic roads. We knew we had to go through Chicago, but drove on Sunday morning to avoid any kind of rush hour traffic. We got to see the skyline of the city without the hassle!

Being in the car certainly isn’t my favorite kind of travel, but with these pointers it definitely wasn’t as painful. We’ll see how I fair for the rest of the trip!

For more snapshots of my trip, take a peek at my Instagram!

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