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Road Trip 101 for Teens

Updated: Feb 12, 2019


Road trips are awesome! You get to travel to new places and make memories with your fam along the way. But being in the car for hours and hours can make you pretty restless . . . especially when your family is really driving you batty. That’s why I created a list with things that will keep you from going totally c-r-a-z-y on your vacation! Comment below where you’re going, if you’re traveling anywhere these holiday months, and your fave road trip location. Hope you enjoy!


1. Headphones

These things are a lifesaver! They don’t have to be expensive, you can even just buy a cheap pair of earbuds from the store. You can use them for playlists, lessons, and audiobooks (see #2, #3, and #4), or even for simply shutting out the noise when someone’s singing American Pie at the top of their lungs (looking at you, little bro).


2. Music

Playlists are awesome for road trips! Pop your earbuds in and listen to some tunes while you’re on the road. Mine’s loaded up with Christmas songs right now (yayy, it’s that time of year!!), but you can add whatever songs you want. Have you heard Sabrina Carpenter’s “Sue Me” yet? I recommend that if you like pop! The soundtrack to Funny Girl is great if musicals are more your thing, and piano music is nice if you want to relax and rewind.


3. Learn something new

Road trips are the perfect time to tackle something you’ve been wanting to learn! You have time to just sit and really focus your energy on learning something you haven’t been able to fit into your busy schedule yet. I went on a trip to Europe over the summer (post on that coming soon) and learned a little bit of Italian for it. Italy is such a beautiful country! I want to move to Napoli, Italy once I’ve graduated college! I’ve been wanting to learn some more of the language since I’ve been back, but I haven’t had the time. I downloaded some lessons from the site I use to learn Italian, and now I can listen to them on the go. You don’t just have to learn a language, though. Interested in the Renaissance? Check out a book or two from your library to read! I decided to pick up a biography about Catherine the Great called Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman. Definitely recommend it for your upcoming vacation!


4. Audiobooks

Audiobooks are awesome for a road trip! Your whole family can listen along as you drive, or you can plug in your headphones (see, they really are great!) and listen to that novel you’ve been wanting to read forever. One of my favorite things to do on a road trip and listen to The Selection audiobook as I color in my Selection coloring book. If you haven’t read the Harry Potter series yet (or even if you have, they’re so great, you can totally re-read them!) I would check out the audiobooks of those. The person who reads them is awesome: it’s British, cozy, and all sorts of lovely.


5. Coloring Books

Take a page from your four-year-old cousin’s book and whip out a coloring book! Adult coloring books are a great way to pass the time. Thin sharpies or thin markers suited especially for them are great. My favorites are The Selection coloring book and Johanna Basford’s Enchanted Forest!


6. Snacks

Do I even need to tell you that snacks are amazing? Grapes are good for staying hydrated on the drive without having to pee every five minutes. Sweetened coconut flakes, pretzel crisps, dried cranberries, semi-sweet chocolate chips, baby carrots, and snap peas are also all great for road trips!


7. Baby Wipes

It sounds silly, but these are great for wiping off greasy fingers after the McDonald’s drive-through! I picked up a pack of cucumber scented wipes at Wal-Mart. My family laughed at first, but we went through about half a pack on our last trip!


8. Air freshener

When your whole family is packed into a car for 10+ hours, it can get a little . . . well, smelly. My favorite homemade air freshener is just water, imitation vanilla extract, and lemon and orange essential oils. A warning: spray sparingly! You don’t want your van to smell like perfume on wheels!



9. Activity Books

Pick up a few of these at the dollar store for a fun way to pass the time. Crosswords, sudoku, and logic puzzle books are all good options!


10. A Notebook

C’mon, this pretty much a staple. Pick a notebook with a pretty cover, lines or no lines, and a pack of gel pens or pencils and you can doodle, draw, or scribble stories to your heart’s content!

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