The summer is a time to relax, spend time with your family, enjoy the outdoors, and most of all, it is a time to travel. Depending on your final destination, the time you spend sitting in the car, on a train, or on a plane can seem endless. If you are like me, you quickly become antsy. If I’m required to sit for over an hour in a cramped position, I will likely become irritable and fidgety. However, over the years I have acquired a few activities to keep myself sane that are worth the try. The days of playing the “License Plate Game” and “I Spy” are over. From individual games to group activities, these are sure to keep your restlessness at bay until you reach your final destination.
- Catch Phrase (on the go):
- Yes, the family favorite can join you on your trip. The newest electronic models of Catch Phrase are only as big as your head, and they don’t require bringing along a pack of discs to change the words. Everything is contained within the handheld toy. Whether two people are playing or the whole crew wants to join, this game more often than not turns into a lot of excited flailing, gestures, and heated competition. Just be sure to bring an extra set of batteries.
- As if we don’t already spend enough time on our phone during a long journey, downloading a few fun games on your phone can prove to be a lifesaver. One of my favorite apps is called LogosQuiz. In the game, you are given a piece of a company logo (for instance, the signature B in the Barbie logo) and you must type in the correct brand name. You will be surprised by how many graphics you recognize just from passing glances and through the media. This game is bound to have you asking those around you for help once you get past the first round of “no-brainers.”
- “What’s Their Life”
- Time to get creative. I already have a habit of looking in the windows at the drivers in passing cars or at the passengers in the airport, so I turn this tendency into a game. The game involves making up a crazy (or realistic) story about each passerby’s life. Perhaps the woman driving the red Fiat grew up in Italy and moved to the states after meeting the love of her life on a ski trip in Colorado. Maybe the man in the black BMW is a former spy and has an underground house in the mountains of California. The crazier the stories, the more fun the game becomes.
- Mad Libs
- Remember these? Although the game first appeared in the early 1950’s, it is far from outdated. The Mad Lib creators update their products and stories every so often, and the assortment of booklets is endless. For those who have never heard of the game, Mad Libs are small booklets that feature a collection of short (usually one paragraph-long) stories with intentional blanks throughout the text. Each blank must be filled in by a word that fits the description given underneath (ex. Noun, verb, adjective, animal, person’s name, etc.). However, the point of the game is not to read the story until you have filled in the blanks with random words. The best way to play is to ask those around you for a random noun, verb, adjective, etc. Then, when all the blanks have been filled, read the story aloud. It is inevitable that you will start to laugh ‘till you cry when you hear the ridiculousness of what you created.
- Come up with a Bucket List
- Everyone loves to make goals for themselves. We do it everyday. So with the extra time on you hands, why not come up with a list of crazy (or not so crazy) things to do on your trip. If you’re feeling more inspired, come up with a list of 20 things to do before you turn 20 or 10 new words you will use everyday in the next month. Whatever list you choose to create, do not make it a to-do list. Remember, this is vacation.
- Freestyle Rap
- Drop the beat and channel your inner Nicki Minaj with some freestyle rap. If no one can keep a steady beat, try looking up a beat on Youtube that suits your taste. Whenever you’re ready, spit out some rhymes and have others pick up where you leave off. Not sure what to rhyme about? Anything! This is when you can let out your most random train of thought that you have been holding in since you sat down. Needless to say, once you get started, it’s hard to stop.
- Pointless Debates
- This is one time when it is acceptable to argue with others. First things first, you have to come up with a topic. Perhaps you want to create two sides to an argument by playing it similar to a game of “Would You Rather.” For example, “Would you rather have Beyonce’s dance skills, or an endless supply of Chick-fil-a?” Now that’s a tough question. Once you pick your side, argue why you chose it even if you and others all agree. Another way to play is with a more open-ended question: “The US government has just put a ban on candy. How would you react/respond to this tragedy?” This undoubtedly will provoke a conversation to keep you preoccupied for the next few hours, if not days.
As the anticipation of reaching your final destination increases with every mile covered, remember, half of the experience is the journey.