How to Survive A Road Trip With Your Significant Other

Black couple in car on road trip

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Road tripping with your significant other (or anyone other than yourself) this holiday season? There’s no time like the present to plan for success. 

After spending the last five months as digital nomads, long drives together have become a routine part of our lifestyle. 

We’ve traveled by car from South Carolina to Louisiana to Texas to Tennessee back to South Carolina and then up to the DMV. Last month, we even made a few trips back and forth between Columbia and Atlanta for routine doctor visits and the fall holiday.

With all of this road warrior activity, one of the questions people ask us most is: “How do y’all stand each other after all those hours together in the car?”

The simple answer? We work to make it work!

And overall, we’re pretty chill people.

While we’ve definitely had our Diddy stare-down meme moments, we’ve learned a lot about how to make even our longest drives feel like a breeze. Following the tips below keeps us cool, calm, and collected for hours on end.

Clear Your Schedule the Day Before

The one thing you don’t want to do while you’re on a long drive (at least for us), is have to take care of work for business. 

Whether you’re self-employed and have client calls and deadlines on the calendar, or you work a 9-5 and have Zoom meetings and other obligations on your plate, try your best to set aside a 48-hour window that you can fully commit to focusing on travel.

Long distance travel requires proper preparation well before the day you leave, as well as time to recalibrate once you arrive for longer drives. Keep this tip top-of-mind and remove work-related distractions from your road trip experience.

Get Good Rest the Night Before Departure

If it wasn’t cancelled before today, go ahead and drop that membership to #TeamNoSleep, y’all.

Rest is as essential as food, sun, and water, especially when you’re behind the wheel of a multi-ton machine. 

In fact, driving while you’re tired has been proven to have similar effects on your body as driving under the influence of alcohol. If you’re yawning, struggling to keep your eyes open, or swerving in your lane, you’re endangering lives–yours and others’.

We won’t belabor this point. The necessity of proper rest is clear.

Hit the sheets at a decent hour the night before your trip and make things safer for us all.

Pack Snacks and Water to Keep Your Body Properly Fueled

Road tripping for long distances is a bit of a sport.

If you don’t take care of your body before, during, and after the drive, you will definitely feel it. 

Early on in our journey, we’d pop into a gas station and walk out with snacks more fit for three-year-olds. The salt and sugar overloads quickly made us feel less than our best, so we committed to stepping up our game on the road trip snacks.

These days, you’ll find us loaded up with:

Turn Up to Your Favorite Music

After food and water, nothing fuels a long drive quite like a solid road trip playlist.

Before hitting the road, you can each curate a playlist of 20-30 songs that will keep you alert, attentive, and excited for the trip ahead. If there’s more drive time than playlist left after each of your playlists have run through, let the algorithm on your music platform take over to keep the vibes going.

We’ve always bonded over our love for music, so our road trip playlists are not only a must, they’re pretty top-tier.

Listen to Podcasts that Spark Conversation

Road trips provide an excellent opportunity to connect more deeply with your partner. Every now and then, take a break from the car-aoke and learn something new about each other.

Tuning into a podcast and debriefing after is a great way to spur enlightening conversations with depth.

Sometimes we’ll pick a new podcast at random, but often times, we’re catching the latest episodes from some of our favorites.

Jess’ Picks:

Steve’s Picks:

Show Appreciation for One Another Upon Safe Arrival

Highways tend to be even busier than usual during the holidays. Thicker traffic can make a long drive feel more risky or dangerous, and anxiety can rise for the driver, passenger, or both.

Once you’ve finally reached your destination, give each other a warm, long embrace. (The kind that makes anyone else around you a little uncomfortable.)

Express sincere appreciation for having someone you love by your side and down to ride.

Trust us, this tip really makes a difference.

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