The exciting appeal of road trips is obvious. You have a long period of time in which your main priority is simply to explore, to experience things you might not be able to experience at home in your day to day life. With the right company and the right car tunes, a road trip can be a delightful adventure. But road trips can also have their moments of frustration, exhaustion, and confusion. How do you keep your cool on the less than ideal moments of your road trip? Here are a few of our survival tips.

Stock Up on Food

Sure you can stop at fast food restaurants in the middle of a long drive, or even splurge on a sit-down restaurant if you have time. But the cost can add up, as can the effects on your health if you’re spending hours sitting and eating McDonalds. Sometimes it helps to pack sandwiches and other easy-to-eat food from home before you leave. That’s not to say you should leave out the indulgent junk food altogether. At your first gas station stop, stock up on chips, sodas, trail mix, and other munchies to keep you sated in between meals. Try to structure a time when you’d like to stop for each meal, as well, and stick to it as best you can.

How to Stay Awake

If you have friends with you, take shifts driving so that no one gets too tired behind the wheel. However you might be on a solo road trip, or you might be the only one in the group who can drive. What then? It helps to have entertainment that can keep you up, like upbeat car music or audiobooks that demand you actually pay attention to what’s being said. Snacks and drinks can also help to keep your energy up. Even if you’re the designated driver, talking to your friends can help you stay alert. And of course, it helps to have a good place to stay at the end of the night so you get plenty of sleep for the next day.

Play Games

While road trips can be exciting on the whole — you’re seeing exciting new things, stopping at exciting destinations, and headed towards an exciting goal — they can also lead to restlessness sometimes. This is especially true if you have kids. So ease some of the tension by playing car games. There are classics, such as “I spy” or the timely “going on a trip” game, the “Alphabet” game in which you attempt to spell out the alphabet using only road signs. If you’re traveling with people that you’re just getting to know, consider playing 21 questions to learn more about them. If you have some kind of common interest between you, consider making a game of that.

Find a Great Place to Stay For the Night

Whether you’re stopping in Ann Arbor or just passing through, you want to be sure to get a full eight hours of sleep in order to stay refreshed going forward. The key is to find a great place to stay for the night before you hit the road again. At The University Inn, we have excellent rooms and a convenient location near coffee shops, restaurants, hospitals, and The University of Michigan campus. If the goal of your road trip is to visit the college campus, we’re an ideal destination. We even offer 10% off to students and parents visiting the UM campus as well as discounts for parents of student athletes for both UM and Eastern Michigan University. Contact us today to book your stay or learn more information.

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