The Character Movement

Upcoming summer road trip? Follow these tips!

As the school year comes to a close and you start planning weekend trips or family vacations, we wanted to share a few fun tips from our travel experts – or at the very least, our Retreat Staff who spend close to half the retreat season on the road! While few people love sitting in a van for six hours to drive to locations like Madison and Omaha, our Retreat Staff have mastered the art of successful road trips. We interviewed our staff to get some professional insights and the following are just a few suggestions before you pack up the car and go this summer:

What makes a long car ride enjoyable?

“If you make a trip consistently to the same location, find some ‘must-stop’ places along the way that you can make a habit to visit. Whether it’s an outlet store you like, a gas station or a geocaching location, it’s something to look forward to that helps break up the trip!”

“Word games and snacks. Lots of snacks.”

“Come prepared with new music to share, good podcasts and conversation. You don’t have to plan the whole time in the car, but it can help to come prepared as a co-passenger with some ideas.”

“Good company. Long car rides are one of the best ways to get uninterrupted quality time with people that I care about.”

What can make a long car ride miserable?

“No snacks.”

“When all the passengers are sitting on their phones or laptops. Sometimes people do this when they’re bored, but odds are if they’re bored, everyone else in the car is probably bored too.”

“Getting caught in rush hour traffic can be awful, so know when you’re planning on leaving and what towns you’ll be passing through in advance. The same goes for road construction – taking a different route can be a lifesaver if you know you’re going to hit bad construction.”

How often should the car stop?

“Once every two hours.”

“Once every three hours at the most.”

“As little as possible.”

“As much as needed!”

… Well, we agreed on most things. One thing is certain though, one of the best ways to ensure your road trip is a success is to set clear expectations. Before you start the drive, have a conversation about how often you plan on stopping and how long you will stop for. Time spent traveling to your destination can be painful and exhausting, but it doesn’t have to be. For every horror story our Retreat Staff shared – from getting food poisoning while on the road to running out of gas in the middle of Nebraska – they have another story highlighting meaningful connection with coworkers. The quality time shared on the road can build friendships and trust. We’re more likely to enjoy our time with the people we’re with when we feel our needs are being met, so bring some good stories, decide how often you will be stopping and don’t forget the snacks.

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