Road trips can be long and kind of boring. That’s why car games were created. Everyone won’t be a fan of your favorite podcast, audiobook or playlist but people will enjoy car games. Try one of these games on your next road trip.
Sorry I’m Late
This game is a fun take to guessing movie game. You will say, “ Sorry I’m late...” and describe the movie. For example, “Sorry I’m late. I was in Wakanda.” (Black Panther)
Perhaps movies aren’t your thing. You tell a story with just three word. Spice up the game by setting rules such as a certain word is off limits. You can decide what happens if someone breaks the rules. Take this game one step farther and have a note taker. At the end of the story text the story to a random person.
While you were sleep
There’s always someone that falls asleep on road trip. Usually me! Come up with an outlandish but realistic story to tell the sleeping beauty.
The Letter Game
Very similar to eye-spy, but one person picks a letter and the passengers identify an item. Do this without repeating an item.
The Humming Game
Test your musically knowledge by humming your favorite songs. Try picking a well known song. Set your own rules to determine a winner.
What are your favorite ways to pass the time in the car?
Packing for a trip can be both exciting and dreadful in the same breath. To truly enjoy packing, you must be a planner or be so doggone elated about your trip that you just can’t wait to pack. Over the years, I've learned what matters and what doesn't. I'm pretty keen on being a light packer and only want to bringing what's needed. Shocking, I know. It was learned behavior after trial and error. I used to be the girl that would have such a heavy bag that when the flight rep weighted my luggage I would get nervous. In my defense, I was coming home from college... so ya know, not just a week's vacation. Here are five of my must have travel items.
This is by far my must have item. I don't know if it's just because I'm always annoyed by my hang nails or what but a nail clipper comes in handy when you are thousands of miles away from home. I use nail clippers to cut things. I surprise myself how useful and necessary it is to have something to cut. Whether you want to clip that tag of that new dress or need to open a difficult wrapper, a nail clipper is surprisingly handy.
Scarfs make me feel like I'm on vacation. No matter if it's the middle of the summer or an icy cold of winter, a scarf is a travel must have. Why you ask? Well, on chilly nights, a scarf keeps you warm. If you are enter a church overseas, it's encouraged to cover your bare shoulders, hello scarf. And it can add a pop of color to your outfit. Bonus! I'm not a scarf girl at home but I'm a scarf girl on vacay.
I know what you are thinking, fabric girl? You already said a scarf, what's the difference? This isn't something I bring with me per say. I place a colorful scarf on my luggage, so it can stand out. It's cheaper than purchasing a new bright set of luggage. Although new luggage is definitely on my wish list.. My current luggage is purple so the pink scarf I wrap on the handle really helps me find it at baggage claim. Thank me later.
I have yet learned why I can't bring a bottle of water through TSA. I feel like TSA just wants me to pay for overpriced water bottles. NO! I always pack an empty water bottle with me. No matter if it's plastic (insert store brand) bottle or a fancy one, I'm carrying it. Carry this on your walks so you don't have to purchase a bottle. I personally hate paying for water so I'm quite passionate about bringing a water bottle. Staying hydrated is also a healthy way to travel and frankly live well. Bottles up!
An extra bag
An extra small to medium bag comes in handy during your packing and while you’re on vacation. You can even use a trash bag. No judgement. Here's how I use it. You can place your shoes in this bag to keep the bottoms from touching your clean clothes. You can place your underwear and undergarments in this bag after you have worn them. You can also use this bag to carry your items throughout your travels.
A few other helpful tips I love to do during or after travel are:
What are your travel must-haves?
In between planning a wedding which is already stressful enough, we were tasked with planning our first international trip to Italy. We booked the trip way in advance and had to leave the next morning after the wedding.
Sleepy but excited, my new husband and I wore our matching t-shirts to board the plane. (It matched the movie theme of our wedding. I’m a commitment to the clap kind of girl. So get into it.) Midday, we landed in Detroit. I was ready for a coney and to go to the Foreign Exchange booth. I also recommend using your credit card, Travelex card, and be sure you let your bank be aware of your travel dates. It was odd to have foreign money. I felt like a baller for a hot second.
I was anxious but excited for my first international flight. We flew Delta. After doing some research I knew I would be receiving a few meals and I could have free alcohol. I was surprised by the options available on the menu. It wasn’t basic food. On the menu was Thai Chicken Salad, Herb Roasted Chicken Piccata or Burrata Agnolotti in Classic Pomodoro with Tuscan Tomato and Nut-free Pesto. I mean come on. They were out of the Thai Chicken Salad so I opt for the Herb Roasted Chicken.
I couldn’t sleep. David, my husband, was knocked out. I watched movies until the movies finally watched me. Finally, we landed in Paris. This was not our final destination, but it was so cool to get my passport stamped from Paris.
That airport was stressful! We were told we were late getting here. Sorry! I just got off the plane. But we made it to the gate. I had to get something from Paris. I didn’t know if I would ever come back. (But I am!)
Finally, we made it to Firenze (Florence). We had to wait an hour to secure our rental cars. Don’t worry, they drive on the same side of the road as we do in America. But they drive fast! Learn from my mistake, if you plan to rent a car, bring your own GPS! But honestly, don’t even rent a car. The trains are much easier to help you navigate the city. After we passed the tolls, which was a struggle within itself, we finally made it to the hotel. It was a castle.
We greeted the front desk person and pulled out our passports as identification. Overwhelmed by the ride in and the confusing GPS, it was nice to be warmly greeted. We headed to our room. The bed covered with rose petals, which I kept.
We enjoyed room service and a couples massage. After all the dancing from the wedding it was a relief to have this massage.
Rome was the first stop. We took the train from Florence to Rome. We had our passes for the hop on hop off tour. This offered a ride and a guided tour around the highlights of the ancient city. I had to go to the Vatican. We had a private group tour of the Sistine Chapel. Sorry, no photos were allowed. You’ll have to take my word for its beauty or just see it yourself.
Gelato and pizza were a must-have on the trip. And in actuality, we ate pretty inexpensively on most days.
Pisa was our next stop. We planned to drive down there and have a walking tour. But we got caught up in traffic. The hour trip turned to 90 minutes and we missed the tour. The GPS lead us to underground parking. We were instructed to leave the keys in the ignition. I politely grabbed all my stuff out of there thinking well if they steal the car at least I can get back into the hotel. I put my faith in good people and hoped for the best.
We walked towards the main attraction, the Leaning Tower. I was met by hundreds of people trying to get that perfect photo holding up the tower. What do you think of mine? (Oh before I forget, everything worked out with the car.)
Back at the hotel, we sipped Italian wine and met some amazing travelers. People from America and people from Canada, Dublin, and Amsterdam. The wine was flowing and I was enjoying every sip. I purchased a bottle and have yet to drink it.
We spent a day in Florence to admire the artwork of great artist before I was ever thought of. David loved the art. I was excited about the three-course lunch with wine pairing for about £40 per person. I noticed in those restaurants, waiters are in no rush. In Italy, the waiters don’t need you to tip. So we didn’t.
We purchased leather in a store near the wine restaurant. Florence is known for its leather. Afterward we hopped back in the hop-on-hop-off to visit more sites. Back at the hotel that night we had a long cooking class where I learned to make gnocchi.
Venice. One word, breathtaking. The water gave me peace just when I needed it. It was calming to sit right by the water. The highlight was a gondola ride with my husband down the Grand Canal. The waves and currents were a bit rocky as the Gondolier pedaled us through the waters. I’ll never forget the sun kissing our faces as we held hands. This is what a honeymoon is all about. This was my favorite day.
The final day, a Sunday was sent hanging out around the town of Figline. We didn’t make reservations but were still able to have a table at a luxury restaurant. I wanted the steak but I didn’t get it. The waiter didn’t understand me I guess. But I loved the wine, the pasta, and the company.
Things I learned
The world is a beautiful place. Americans can learn a thing or two about kindness. Not only did I feel no racism but I felt quite welcomed. I felt they just embraced me. Though I was worried about pickpockets, I felt safe. The country felt so peaceful and perhaps it was because I was so full of love in my heart or maybe it was just the truth. I would return to the country again.
Where is your dream destination? Share in the comments below.
I love to get away. Using my PTO for travel gets me giddy on the inside. But there are sometimes you just can’t get away. Which is why I imagine the word staycation was invented. It describes the moment when a vacation isn’t possible so you just stay where you are. There’s plenty to do in Anywhere, USA. You might not think your town is a travel destination but I’m sure there are lots of fun and inexpensive things to do on your next staycation. Here are a few of my favorite things to do during my staycation.
Try out that restaurant or bakery
I just moved to a new city. I’ve been exploring the stores and restaurants. But there is one bakery I’ve been longing to visit. It’s a Gluten-Free Bakery called Morgana’s Bakery. (Yes, part of the reason is that it’s so close to my name.) Visiting a new restaurant can show you a different side of your city. Try restaurants outside of your comfort zone. It’s a vacation, you can be adventurous. For instance, if you only eat hamburgers at the restaurant, (first of all, are you my old boyfriend?) give Mexican food a try. Another thing to think about when selecting a new restaurant or bakery is the location. Is this spot within your neighborhood? Is there a part of town you’ve always wanted to travel to? Start there. Lastly when selecting a restaurant, and this is really just a personal preference, I always aim to visit local restaurants. No chains! Especially if you are a chain restaurant person, venture out of the normal.
Look for events
Eventbrite, local magazines and Facebook events are your friends. I personally believe Facebook is the best. All you have to do to find great events on Facebook is select events, next discover and enter your location. Of course on Facebook, you can let your friends know if you are interested or going to an event. Eventbrite is a bit easier to use. Simply type in your location and events populate. And if you’re feeling a bit more classic, newspapers and local magazines offer calendars loaded with events. You can even read articles about the event. As my mother would say, “I got this article for you baby.” Reading is FUN-damental!
Take a class
Learn a new skill on a staycation. From cooking classes to painting classes to a pottery class, learn something new. These classes can be fairly inexpensive if you visit Living Social or Groupon. I had an excellent time with my sister, mom, and cousin at a sip and paint class. Even though my painting wasn’t amazing, I enjoyed my time trying to be artistic.
I feel as I get older, the night time is the right time to be at home. But sometimes you should go out after 9 pm. Maybe you’re into cigars, search Google for local cigar spots. Try out a jazz club. Usually, the drinks are strong and the vibe is super chill. Are you ready to hit the dance floor? Search Google for lounges. You’re sure to have an amazing night out.
Wineries and Breweries
You can always find me with a wine glass in my hand. I think that’s my dad's side coming out of me. Venture to local breweries and wineries. You may have to drive a little way to find both, but it’s worth it. In Missouri, we have a few spots that are a decent driving distance. Far enough that you should stay overnight. But close enough to not catch a flight. One of my favorite wineries in my city is KC Wineworks.
Ultimately a staycation shouldn’t just be staying in your house. Get out and explore the city with your loved one or just hang solo dolo. What are your favorite staycation activities?
Oh the places you'll go. Oh the places you'll see. That was one of my childhood favorite books. In my early teenage years, I always wanted to ride in an airplane. I didn't know why, but I always wanted to fly. It wasn't until I was 18 years old that I was about to make that first trip.
I was flying back home from Wilberforce University for winter break in November 2008. Nervous didn't even describe how I felt. I probably messed up at TSA checkpoint by putting too many liquids in my carry-on. Or something silly. But I made it on the plane. I sat in the back of the plane on a nighttime flight. Okay it was probably 6pm. Nighttime enough. I actually had a window seat on the very first ride to myself. Taking off was no problem, but the feeling of my ears popping was something I couldn't quite shake. I placed my headphones into my iTouch and try to relax with a little music.
The flight attendant came around to take my drink order. I read that ginger ale was supposed to be good to drink on the plane. Perhaps it calms your nervous or something, so I ordered one of those. She brought back the drink and the warm cookie. This airline merged and I can't remember the name of it anymore. But it merged into Frontier. I ate my cookie and drunk my ginger ale, feeling very adult about the whole situation.
Until it was time to land. Going down wasn't as smooth as going up. The bumpiness of the rough descent had me on edge. The flight attendant could tell as I cried to myself in the back of the plane. She sat down beside me and asked if I was okay. I told her I've never been on a plane before and I'm just a little scared. She said she understood and explained to me this is normal as the plane returns to ground. The next time you do it, it won't even bother you so much. She gave me another cookie and wished me luck.
Tons of flights later, I still for the most part order a ginger ale, long for those homemade cookies and think of that flight attendant. Even when things seem a little scary, I know it only last a moment. Something I long for, for years scared the crap out of me but I pushed through it. And whatever is scary in your life you will push through it too.
Let's explore this beautiful world together through travel, food, drink and fun. Allow me to be your guide as you create beautiful memories. Use my reflections as your guide through this wonderful world.