It might be less than an hour. Or it may mean a full day’s drive. Some RVers travel a short distance to get to their destinations while others drive much longer. RVers are all different. Well, except in one way: We all have at least some travel time. For a few moments (or perhaps hours) we are a “captive audience” inside our vehicles as we move on down the road. How can we make the most of our RV travel time? Here are some ideas that work for my husband and me.
Important: Safely driving your RV from point A to point B is an RVer’s most important objective. If you are easily distracted, some of the following suggestions may not be for you. Again, we want you to remain safe and arrive alive! Always use common sense and safe driving tactics whenever you RV.
If you are traveling alone in your RV or RVing with others, there are several beneficial ways to pass the time as you drive. Here are just a few… (Some suggestions may require pre-planning.)
Podcasts are a great way to learn and be entertained. There are many free podcast sources. Check out these apps before your trip begins. Stitcher, Google Podcasts, or Spotify apps will get you started. Once you have an app, choose podcast titles that interest you. You can listen to a variety of topics as you travel.
If music won’t make you drowsy, consider updating your playlist. Not sure how? Google directions for your particular device. Want a good road trip playlist? Check this one out!
(Use Bluetooth capabilities to keep this activity hands-free. Or let your travel buddy dial and put the phone on speaker.) As we travel, we’ve spent hours reconnecting with long-lost cousins, RVer acquaintances, and far-flung friends. A phone call may not only help pass the time, but it can also bring unexpected joy and fond memories to the ones you call. If you’re the passenger, you can even FaceTime to make it a little more personal and show them where you are as you drive down the road.
Listen to an audiobook
The truck we use to tow our RV still features a CD player. (I know! Right?) Audiobooks are available for free from our local library, so we listen to books as we travel. Our library will renew the audiobook and/or extend our “return by” date if we’re gone for an extended period of time.
Alternatively, you can download audiobooks to your Google Play Books library or join Amazon’s Audible, where you pay for audiobook credits each month.
Investigate destination attractions
If your smartphone can be voice-activated, simply ask: “What is there to do in (destination)?” If you travel with a partner, talk about the activities, and then have them make a list of the places you’d like to visit during your stay.
Develop a fantasy story about the next person you pass or who will pass you while on the road. For example: “This person is retired after a long stint with the FBI. S/he is currently searching throughout the U.S. intent on finding missing cash from a heist that was never solved.” (This is a fun game to play individually or with those traveling with you down the open road.)
ROYGBIV (The Rainbow Game)
Beginning with the outer color of the rainbow, watch for something red. It can be another vehicle, something on a billboard, or simply an object visible from your windshield. See how many miles it takes to see every color in the rainbow. Then, try to break that record—not by increasing your vehicle speed, but by being more attentive. Kids like this game.
Goals, hopes, and dreams
Often our travel time means conversations that we never seem to have otherwise. We talk about goals and the steps needed to reach them. Or we discuss the hopes we hold for our children and grandchildren. Future trips are also identified and sometimes generally outlined.
When the road ahead seems to stretch into infinity, we’ll grab the “Conversation Starter” list I found here. You can find similar lists through an online search. My husband and I enjoy the silly conversation starters as well as the more serious ones. They make the miles quickly pass. (Hint: You need not purchase the book. Just copy the sample questions in the article. Or take screenshots of questions on your cell phone.) You can also purchase tons of different conversation cards here.
There are many additional ways to make the most of RV travel time. Can you add to this list? Please do so in the comments below.
I travel to see what I can see. My motorhome has a very big window and along with watching the road and traffic I want to see as much of this country as possible. There is always something to see and I have stored up a lot of memories of what I have seen through that window.
Thank you, Gail. We listen to the radio once we are well begun each travel day. Well begun can be as short as 5 minutes, or as long as 60, or even 90 mknutes
It all depends on how much focus the beginning of our route requires. In addition, and sometimes in stead of music, DW and I will discuss whatever is the most urgent topic. This could be the day’s route, the timing of the next fuel stop, who sang the current or previous song, who we hope to see or what we hope to do at our destination, our next trip, or perhaps something else entirely. Safe travels!
Remember when you had to learn state capitals many moons ago? Do you still remember them? We name all the states and try to remember the capitals….it was harder than we thought. Ashamed to say that we actually had to confirm some in the road atlas.
Public libraries often subscribe to free on line and audio books. Mine uses the Libby app.
As the driver, I am concentrating on the driving – what is ahead of us, behind us, beside us, using all the mirrors available and the GPS on the dash.. In the wide open spaces we might have easy listening music playing or talk about plans, investments, news or anything else that might come to mind. In traffic around major cities, my wife switches her iPad to mapping programs to assist in providing driving instructions; otherwise she is playing games or reading books on her iPad.
I’m with you on this Herman. And as to “As we travel, we’ve spent hours reconnecting with long-lost cousins”, nothing says I love you like “I couldn’t be bothered to call these last 10 years now I need you to entertain me and keep me awake”.
You can download audiobooks from your library with Libby. It works where ever you are and books are always available. No need to buy anything.
Here’s a game to play It’s called don’t trust you GPS. When it starts to take you down to sandy desert road and you blindly follow it try and guess how stuck you’ll get
Ha! Sounds like you’ve played this game, Seann. Unfortunately we’ve played it, too!
Sounds like a lot of distracted driving for the driver. Games may be played by others but IMHO the driver needs to be concentrating on everything around them. Personally I’ve not been on a road that didn’t need my total concentration as there is so much traffic these days and about half of them are driving distracted, on their phone talking or texting.
Amen to that.
I do like to listen to music but my wife’s an old hippie and love hard rock. I’m a country boy so we don’t listen to music while driving together.
Forgot to add that sometimes we find old Trivial Pursuit games and we just use the cards and I read them as we go down the road. I don’t look at the answers either and I keep track who the winner is.
LOL! We do the “character game” all the time.
When we’re with the grand kids, we play the alphabet game – tho the kids “help” Poppi since he’s the one driving.
“Character game” Wow, we’ve been doing this for decades. Whether the “character” is a new face walking (or driving) past our trailer in an RV park or someone unfamiliar walking past our sticks-and-bricks, we’ve got a story about them. If they only knew! Truck drivers, RV’ers, car drivers, no one escapes – unless we’re listening to ‘old-time-radio’ on Sirius. And they still may be ‘characterized’ . . .