"How to Make the Most of Your Spare Time on the Road" was written by Rachel O'Connor. Rachel is a freelance writer and a self-proclaimed "Travelholic". She enjoys traveling to parts unknown, sampling local cuisines, and sharing her experiences with the world. In her free time, you can find her planning her next trip, running with her dogs, or heading to the closest farmers' market.
Driving has to be the main method of transportation for most people, and we often spend a good amount of our day on the road. This is especially true during road trips, which are a great adventure because they give you time to enjoy not only the destination but also to enjoy the journey. You may not think about it, but during a long drive you have a good amount of time to be productive and enjoy yourself. Plus, what better way to spend time with you and your loved one than on the wide, open road enjoying all the scenery and attractions that come your way?
There are many ways to make the most of your spare time on the road, including stopping at attractions, spending more time enjoying each other and less time fixing up the car, playing games in the car, creating the perfect playlist for every occasion, and having some good old-fashioned conversation.
Here are a few ways to make the most out of your spare time on the road, whether on a road trip or part of your daily routine, and have fun doing it!
Stop at Attractions
What's a road trip without some stops along the way? Spend some quality time with your loved one or friends by stopping along the way to experience, the weird, unique, and crazy things along road trips. No matter where you're headed, every state has a must-see attraction. Here are some of the most popular road trip stops in some states along the way:
California is full of great road trip stops, from the classics like Disneyland and the Golden Gate Bridge to more obscure spots, like The Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz. Whether you’re looking for a quirky stop or something more breathtaking, the Golden State has you covered. When driving along the Pacific Coast Highway, make sure to make time for a relaxing coffee in Union Square in San Francisco, an art gallery in San Jose, Hearst Castle in San Simeon, and many more Northern California stops (don’t forget the beach!).
As you head down south, you can’t miss Malibu, Los Angeles, or San Diego. Make sure to grab some carne asada tacos before you hit the border.
Driving through Colorado, it’s not hard to make the most out of your time on the road. There are countless fun and quirky stops that you have to see when you’re on your road trip, including the UFO Watchtower, an Antique Washing Machine, and The Sasquatch Outpost. Check out this post for even more weird and fun stops in Colorado to enjoy your spare time on the road!
The Sunshine State has a lot more than sunshine to offer road travelers. Guests can visit Juniper Springs, one of the oldest recreation areas on the East Coast. Here, you can bathe, kayak, or canoe through the sparkling springs. Or for something a little more off the beaten path, check out the house inside a redwood tree!
Spend More Time in the Car and Less Time on Breakdowns
Nothing puts a damper on spare time in the car than a costly breakdown, so before you hit the road, make sure to get your car checked and all tuned up. Head to your car dealer’s parts department to examine all of the parts you may need and ask them any questions you have about how your car is running. These service and repair centers will help you:
- Check the oil in your car
- Check all of the other needed fluids in your car
- Rotate and align your tires
- Check your lights
- Check your engine and transmission
Making the most of your spare time on the road means being productive or making memories, not waiting in the car shop office for a repair.
Learn in the Car
All the hours you spend in the car aren't for nothing. Whether you're on a road trip or driving your daily commute, use this time to better yourself and learn something new! This could include listening to an audiobook, downloading your favorite podcast, or even learning a new language!
For the budget-friendly listeners out there, also check out your local library for books on CD. Even better, many libraries offer an eBook platform (free with your library membership) where you can read or listen to books. Just make sure to request the ones you want before your big trip if you're headed out because there might be a waitlist. Or you could even check out a book too! There's something remarkably nice about having a hard copy of a book in your hands.
Podcasts are also a great way to better yourself and make the most out of your time in the car. College Info Geek breaks down some of the most educational podcasts, and some favorites include:
- Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders - This series is produced by Stanford, and it’s no surprise why. The podcast is “A candid exploration of the entrepreneurial journey where informed leaders share personal stories of the secrets and setbacks behind real success.” Ever want to pursue that professional dream that’s always been in the back of your mind? Now’s your chance!
- The Mission Daily - The Mission Daily is “Your daily dose of news that matters, scientific studies, and actionable insights designed to improve your health, wealth, and wisdom.”
- TED Talks Daily - You’ve likely witnessed at least one TED Talk. These speeches are inspirational, motivational, and educational. Bring that experience to the car with their podcast!
- The Tim Ferriss Show - There’s a reason why “The Tim Ferriss Show is generally the #1 business podcast on all of Apple Podcasts, and it’s been ranked #1 out of 300,000+ podcasts on many occasions.” According to the website, “It is the first business/interview podcast to pass 100,000,000 downloads, and it has been selected as “Best of” Apple Podcasts for three years running.”
If you’re in the mood for a more entertaining podcast after a long day at work or long hours on the road, check out 2 Dope Queens, Comedy Bang Bang, or How Did This Get Made? They’re sure to have you in a giggle fit in no time.
Whether you're headed out on a long road trip and want to make the most out of your time on the road, or you're trying to learn something new on your commute, time in the car is a perfect chance to brush up on your skills and learn something new about the ones you're with.