A Driver's 7 Step Guide To Mastering The Long Ride
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A Driver's 7 Step Guide To Mastering The Long Ride

The Tampa to Orlando route has taught me a few tricks.

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A Driver's 7 Step Guide To Mastering The Long Ride
Patrick Tomasso

Car rides can be fun if you make it that way, otherwise, you will be sitting in boredom and anxiety until you finally arrive at your destination. Here are 7 steps to master the ride:

1. The rise is all about the jams.

I believe the jams set the tone for the long ride you seek to partake. Pick a factor of your trip and let that be the deciding factor for the genre of music you want to listen to for the ride. Traveling up north I like to listen to Zac Brown Band and goodies from Carrie Underwood. Traveling to Miami, of course, Pitbull has to be in the mix. When I head back to school I get updated on my pop music, and as I head home I turn on the old hits like Diana Ross. There are songs to jam to, songs to mellow in, songs to sing along to and songs to just listen to. The jams set the mood, they set the tone, and they set the ride up for a good time.

2. Good snacks eat up the time.

Literally, at one moment you start to eat the Tupperware of grapes, and next thing you know you’ve had all 30 grapes and you’re already halfway through the drive! The snacks keep you occupied and can take up your time as you enjoy the ride. My go-to on the road snack is grapes. Since they are healthy, I don’t feel bad about eating a bunch, and they are easy to grab and eat as I try to focus on driving. A few other great snacks are popcorn, trail mix, and Sour Patch Kids. All have been proven perfect snacks for a long car ride, both perfect for your lonely rides and perfect for sharing when your car is full of passengers. No matter what your preference is, whether it be salty or sweet, make sure you have a good variety and also make sure you have a compatible drink to wash it down. Grapes go well with black tea, popcorn is perfect with soda, trail mix is complemented by fruity drinks such as lemonade, and candy, well candy goes well with anything. If you find that perfect go-to pairing of snack and drink, you’ll have a smooth ride.

3. Following the rules can simplify your drive.

Speaking of smooth rides, take your ride smoothly. There is no reason to speed and bob and weave and tailgate people on the highway. Reckless driving is not enjoyable driving. If you are driving such a far distance, whether it be two hours or fourteen, why not make it enjoyable? The speed limit is there for a reason, the lanes are there to guide you, and cars are there to help you stay mindful. And if none of those seem to get to you, the cops surely will. Getting pulled over, having to talk to the cop, explain yourself, and probably deal with the ticket or violation you get are all ways to add more complications to your life. Try to avoid those complications. Follow the rules of the road and keep the ride simple.

4. Driving is not a contest of skills.

Like I said, speeding, bobbing and weaving between cars, tailgating those slower than you and racing against those who are faster than you are all ways that not only make your ride more complicated, but they also get you nowhere. You as a driver cannot control the other drivers you share the road with. You are only in control of your car. But even then, you are not in control f the traffic or the slower speed limits or how many cars are in the fast lane. So there is no need to race them or try to compete against them or show them how you think they should be driving. Driving is not a competition, it is meant to get you from point A to point B. So leave point A with an open mind, and get to point B safely.

5. Let the scenery affect the ride.

There is nothing like the open road. And there is so much of the open road to see. Each road has its own scene to be seen. So as you drive along the long winding road or the straight highway, take it all in. Of course, keep your eyes on the road and be mindful, but also don’t be so tense to where you cant take in where you are going. Isn’t there a quote about how it’s not the destination but the journey? Whatever that quote may actually be, apply it to your long car rides. I actually get excited when I see recognizable landmarks between my Orlando and Tampa drive. Like when I see the Mickey Mouse ears, my heart skips a few beats. So be grateful the pine trees are blocking the blinding sun, and let the rolling hills turn into a pretend rollercoaster. Enjoy the journey’s scenery, and get excited about the destination.

6. Be adaptable to your passengers.

Driving with your grandmother is very different from driving with your best friends. So be ready to adapt your snacks, tunes, and driving skills for your passengers. Maybe let grandma pick the tunes like Frank Sinatra. And maybe let your friend pick out some snacks for herself when she agrees to go on a road trip with you. Being adaptable to your passengers is both nice of you but also lovely for your passengers. I try to make my passengers as comfortable as possible especially since they agreed to get in a car with my crazy driving. So drive slowly for grandma and jam hard with your best friend as you take on the open road.

7. Let your mind wander as you steer straight.

Whatever you are going through in life, there is nothing like the open road to help you deal, think, and reflect on what life has in store for you. Most of the time I am driving back to Orlando I spend those two hours thinking about school and my friends and all the things I want to do when I get back. And when I am driving back to Tampa all I can really think about is my family and that overwhelming feeling of being home. Sometimes I have someone on my mind, sometimes I have a problem to solve, and sometimes I have an exciting story stirring up in my brain. So no matter where you are going, follow your Map App directions and let your mind wander in thought and reflection. Recently I’ve found the open road a great time to reflect and admire all that God has given me, especially the opportunity to write to you.
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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