How to Survive a Long Vacation Car Ride (Teens)

Three Parts:Preparing for the TripKeeping Busy on the RoadRoad Trip Help

Were you excited about your upcoming vacation, until you heard about the long car ride? Do you just keep thinking of all those hours, sitting in the car, bored? This article provides guidance and activities to keep you occupied and prevent death, so read on!

Part 1
Preparing for the Trip

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    Plan ahead! Planning ahead will make you have a more enjoyable car ride.
    • Dress comfortably, don't wear makeup (if applicable), and relax! Rest stops are full of people dressed casually. It is not a crime to wear pajamas!
    • Charge electronics the day before, and pack a charger for the car.
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    Help your parents clean the car. you dont want to be accused of stealing your siblings possession just because it happens to be next to you!
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    Get some rest. it is important that you get some rest before a car ride because you dont want to be overly tired in the car or you can also rest during the car ride if you prefer (this is only recommended for very long car rides).
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    Bring magazines or books. Buy a few books and/or magazines before you go, reading also helps time pass, and puts you into another world. However, skip this step if you get carsick easily.
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    Pack some entertainment. Bring a small bag with gaming consoles, magazines, magnetic board games and other things you enjoy. Also pack a few healthy snacks such as cut carrots or nuts to keep you full!!
    • Make sure all of your electronics are charged! This includes your iPod, gaming console, laptop, and any other device you may bring with you.
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    If you have a DVD player or laptop, charge it before you go and bring some DVDs. Don't forget headphones or earphones though! The last thing you want is to be forced to stop the DVD because it's too loud or inappropriate for a younger sibling, or too annoying/childish/distracting for anyone.
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    Bring some pens and paper! Drawing can really help pass the time and you can even write in a journal about your time on a road trip.
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    Pack the right foods. Try bringing a healthier snack instead of candy or chips, because it will help keep you from getting sick and will also keep you fuller. Some good foods are cut carrots, raisins, assorted nuts, and apples.
    • Don't bring chocolate or any other kind of candy that can melt- it'll make a huge mess.
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    Pack two bags. A backpack or suitcase for your clothes (to put in the trunk) and a small shoulder bag for on-the-road entertainment (to keep with you) this way you won't have to root through clothes to find something to do.

Part 2
Keeping Busy on the Road

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    Talk to the people with you! Discuss what you want to do as soon as you get to the destination, or talk about anything... It really passes the time. Try and make the most of what you have, so the people around you can't be so bad. Try playing a game to take your mind off the toilet if you need to go to the restroom!
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    Enjoy some snacks, along with bottled water. Staying hydrated is important. However, don't drink too much, you might have to use the bathroom!
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    Avoid salty foods. Salty food will make you thirsty and being thirsty means having to drink more water, which means going to the bathroom more often. Only eat salty foods if you know there will be a rest stop close by.
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    Don't fight with your siblings. It makes things tougher for everyone. Someone is going to get hurt, and the driver will get distracted.
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    Share! Make sure you keep your sibling entertained too because you do not want to have to listen to complaints or be called self-centered.
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    If you have your phone text and call people, or play phone charades. You can also play pictionary with your siblings if you have a drawing app on your cell phone or iPod.
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    Take pictures! If you have a camera, bring it along and take pictures of all the amazing sites you see or even of you and your family. They will keep memories and later you could make a scrapbook if you want.
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    Have fun! Don't be grumpy either. No one wants to be stuck in a car with someone who complains every 5 minutes.
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    Wear your seat belt. Seat belts prevent death and help you survive car accidents. Wear your belt properly and use a booster seat if you need to in order for the seat belt to be effective.
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    Don't distract your driver. You are more likely to survive a long car journey as a teen if you don't distract the car driver in any way. Allow them to concentrate on reaching your destination safely.
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    Don't embark on a long car journey with an incapable driver. It is tempting, as a teen, to head off on a road trip with your mates but ensure who ever is driving is a competent, licensed, insured driver with a vehicle in good working order.

Road Trip Help

Road Trip Checklist

Road Trip Tips and Tricks

Sample Road Trip Games


  • Generally speaking, If you look down at the floor for most of the car ride, you're gonna feel sick after a while. So be sure to keep to look up and take a break from what you're doing for a few minutes. Open a window if you start to feel sick.
  • This isn't true for some people, but if you get carsick easily, don't read for long periods of time. You might vomit or get carsick!
  • Sleep. It passes the time...but try to keep on 'your side'. How would you like it if your sibling stretched out as far as they could and shoved you into a tiny little corner?
  • Stay away from caffeine. Try a smoothie instead.
  • If you look at a far distance, there's a lesser chance of you throwing up.
  • Put on the radio. The downside is you will have to keep searching for stations every few hours. Consider bringing an iPod or MP3 player instead.
  • It is very easy to get a glare coming off an electronic screen. Drape a blanket over your head to cut it off.
  • Play some mental games such as eye spy, guess who etc. It will keep your sibling entertained as well as you!
  • Sometimes you can also just look around at your surroundings it can be very comforting.
  • Items you could bring:
    • Extra pillows and blankets, especially for long night rides. Build a fort around yourself or a sibling, or simply bury yourself in them as you sleep.
    • An entire DVD series, such as Friends or The Simpsons. Each episode is a half an hour, so if your ride is six hours long, watch 12 episodes and you'll be done. You have no idea how fast that goes.
    • A thick book like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or another classic!
    • A few decks of cards so you can play a game when you and another person find yourselves bored.
    • A travel version of your favorite board game.
  • If a sibling is annoying you pretend to sleep for a bit.
  • If you have a cell phone, text or call one of your friends. Getting into a really interesting conversation can also make time pass.
  • Have fun! Try to talk with the other people in the car, the conversation may end up being really funny or interesting.
  • Don't expect the car ride to be perfect- but try to make it fun.
  • Play word games with siblings or look for license plates from all 50 states.
  • Change your clothes at the end of the ride. Sitting in the car wrinkles your clothes and makes you seem sloppy and tired.
  • If you are alone, use your imagination! Pretend your best friend/boyfriend/girlfriend is with you and do their side of the conversation.
  • Be childish if you want! Lightly annoy your siblings by acting silly/ignorant when you talk to them, but be pleasant and stop courteously when they ask you to.
  • If you have a tablet or iPad, let your younger siblings play on it for a few minutes, it will keep them entertained.
  • If you like origami, you can bring a packet of square paper in the car with you. It's good as it creates no mess and does not require little pieces that can be dropped.
  • On the way home, you can ask to go a different way to see different things!
  • On the long drive home, you might not have a cool vacation to look forward to, but you do have your own bed to look forward to!
  • Keep extra batteries and phone chargers on hand, so that you won't be bored when your electronic device dies.
  • Bring a small pillow or blanket, so that you can comfortably take a nap or rest during the car ride.
  • Download good music beforehand so you're not stuck listening to the same songs over and over.
  • Make sure the driver isn't driving relentlessly or starting to nod off. Try to switch out capable drivers so they can rest!


  • Don't keep looking at the clock. It will make the car ride seem never-ending.
  • If you are bringing a dog or cat with you make sure to let them go to the bathroom frequently. Also, give them lots of water, animals can get dehydrated very quickly.
  • Do not annoy your parents. It puts them in a bad mood for the vacation, and that can only hurt your chances to have fun.
  • Don't leave garbage everywhere. Things will soon get messy, and you will be very uncomfortable.
  • Also in bumpy rides, if you do use your laptop, make sure water and other beverages are away from your laptop, because when you go over a bump you don't want water going all over your laptop and fry it!
  • In bumpy rides, you may not want to use the laptop as this will cause the CD-ROM Drive or the DVD to skip while you are watching.
  • Don't eat too many sugary things they will make you feel sick!
  • Don't keep asking, "Are we there yet?!" (Are we there yet, are we there yet, are we there yet...) This will really annoy the driver and could possibly distract them.
  • Don't drink too much.
  • On bumpy rides, the hard disk in your laptop can be scratched so be very careful.
  • In the unlikely event that a parent is sad during the trip (relative died, job offer fell through) be as supportive as you can, but don't push! Quietly lay off for a while and let them alone.
  • If you look at the computer screen for too long, it can hurt your eyes.

Things You'll Need

  • Snacks and drinks
  • Travel sickness pills (if you have travel sickness)
  • Electronics such as a laptop, music player, magazines, iPods, electronic games, or a cell phone
  • A book or two to read during quiet moments on the car trip
  • Toys and snacks for siblings and yourself
  • A pillow and blankets
  • Gum
  • Paper and pen (alternatively you can have a white board marker and miniature white board, which is more environmentally friendly)
  • Peppermint Candies(If you get carsickness)

Article Info

Categories: Teen Holidays | Travel Tips