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Road Trip Boredom Busters

August 13, 2019 3 min read 0 Comments

Road Trip Boredom Busters

Iconified by the misadventures of Jack Kerouac, the road trip has been a staple of American culture for generations.

Kerouac passed the time on his trip in less-than-admirable ways, but you can follow in his footsteps — no rampant drug use or questionable life decisions required — using these simple boredom busters.

Road Trip Boredom Busters


Unlike Kerouac, we live in a digital age. Put a dent in that ever-growing list of podcasts, and in turn, knock a few hours off your drive.


Same for audiobooks. Google says there are more than 129 million books out there in the world. Now that audiobooks are so prevalent, hours of time otherwise wasted can be a bibliophile’s dream come true.


Want to impress your trivia team when you return? Dedicate a few hours to rote memorization — state capitals, the periodic table, U.S. Presidents, you name it. Prepare a quick-reference guide or enlist a passenger’s help. Record yourself iterating the data set you want to memorize. According to, it takes 8 minutes to memorize a 50-word passage. Think of what you can do with a 10-hour road trip!

No-selfie zone

Time in the isolation and mind-numbing monotony of a car often sparks interesting mental activity. Spend some time with the radio off to dwell on an upcoming presentation or project. You may find that your brain functions differently on the road — good or bad, an influx of new neurons firing away with nothing else to do can jumpstart some interesting ideas.


Add a little zen to kill time and find a better headspace for the road ahead. Road rage is real, folks — focus on your breathing and count to 10. Rinse and repeat. There are a number of guided meditation audio tracks available online if you’re unpracticed.

Skill Development

The resources available for skill learning today are practically unlimited. Check out some language learning apps or other skill development programs that are audio-based, and turn a long drive into a professional development opportunity.

Stops & Detours

There are only so many ways to occupy your mind while on the road, so when necessary, get off the road. Plan a few extra hours for stops — spontaneous and otherwise. The in-between bits are what a good road trip is all about. No one ever wrote a book about the stretch of highway running through Nebraska.

Take the Scenic Route

Be mindful when planning your route — faster is not always better. Exchanging time for scenery is better than saving an hour along the most boringest stretch of interstate (at you again, Nebraska). No matter where you are driving, take some time to consciously appreciate the scenery. Every place has some beauty to find — even Nebraska.

Verbal Games

There are countless mind games that people have come up with through the years. Twenty questions, the license plate game, etc. There are even a few designed for solo trips. Take five minutes before embarking or during a stop to find a handful, and they should kill a solid few hours.


My favorite way to kill time, road trip or not: eating. Pack snacks that you can eat one-handed, easily accessible from the driver’s seat or by a passenger. Be careful, and never jeopardize your safety for the granola bar under the seat. Plan out your food stops too — pick interesting and unique stops (food or otherwise) to break up the monotony and give you something to look forward to, instead of just picking up some junk food at the gas station.

Though not as exciting as the road trip shenanigans seen in movies or read in Kerouac-style memoirs, with a few tools and some planning, you can have a road trip that even Jack himself would be proud of.

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