5 Rules for Keeping Busy During Long Car Rides

original photo via.
Anyone else traveling for the holidays? Since all of my family live at least an hour away, I've perfected the art of keeping busy during long car rides, through trial and error. A lot of things go into an enjoyable and productive car ride and I've brought you all the specifics:
(These rules are for passengers in the car. Do not follow if you are driving.)

Boden Winter 2014, The Careful Use of Compliments, by Alexander McCall Smith, Dover Saddlery Elite Edition 2014-2015, Vogue, December 2014, The Art of Fashion Neiman Marcus, September 2014 magazine.

Rule #1: Print-
(Print in the noun form, not the verb.) 
Always bring along some sort of publication or literature, whether that's a magazine, newspaper, book, catalog, or even a journal and a pen. You can get a lot of work done writing during a long car ride, especially because there's a limited amount of distractions. Leading up to a trip I always save the magazines and catalogs coming in the mail; I forced myself not to read the December Vogue or recent WWD's because I'm saving them for the ride to my Aunt's house on Thanksgiving. Use your print elements while it's still bright outside.

Rule #2: Electronics-
When it starts getting dark or when you become tired of reading, you'll want to have some electronics with you. Phones, iPads, even laptops can be useful to keep busy in a car. It's pretty easy to stay occupied when you have reception, but I like to edit and organize photos when I don't. On a long car ride coming home from Georgetown over the summer, I got through an entire season of Project Runway. Only allow yourself to use them when it's dark out because otherwise you'll run out of battery.

(Also, remember to bring headphones for listening to music and for blocking out annoying sounds (read: siblings in the car with you). Earbuds or headphones are lifesavers; having them can make or break your perfect car ride.)

My beautiful knitting! I have so much pride in my soon-to-be scarf.

Rule #3: Long-Term Projects-
Car rides are perfect for working on long-term projects. Find a project that is calming and easy. My current obsession is knitting, but crocheting or other similar hobbies would be helpful (writing stories, free drawing, etc.)

Rule #4: Food-
Eating during road trips is all about balance: if you eat too much then you have to stop for bathroom breaks, but if you eat too little then you're hungry. Bring snacks so you don't have to stop; mostly light, sweet foods; dried fruits work well. Stay away from salty foods because they will make you thirsty and if you drink a lot of water then you'll have to stop.

Rule #5: Smell the Roses!-
Not literally. Just take moments to stop what you're doing and look out the window. Observe your surroundings. Note the passing countryside farms or even trees on the side of the highway. Look at the sky and see shapes in the clouds. Car rides are what you make them, so make them enjoyable.

Use this checklist "to have a productive and entertaining trip there and to ensure no boredom during your travels." Catchy, I know.

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