By Jennie Lee Williams
Once you've been together for a while, you and your partner might find yourselves running out of new things to talk about. This can lead to very quiet car rides when you are on a road trip together.Instead of the passenger packing books to read while the driver chooses the music, look at your next road trip as a chance to really bond with your partner and rejuvenate your relationship. Whether you're going on vacation or just heading to an out-of-town wedding, here are some ideas to make your next road trip one to remember.
Listen to old mixes. I don't know about you, but I've got CD mixes from high school and college that seem to be the soundtrack of my younger years. Get out your old mixes and tell your sweetheart the stories that accompany each track. Even if the songs don't mean anything, you'll both be able to reminisce about the time in your lives when these songs were the hippest on the radio.
Create new mixes. Along the same lines, challenge one another to make a brand new mix for the road trip. A friend and I once did this for an eight hour car trip, and in a way, waiting to hear each song was like waiting to receive a much-anticipated gift. You might choose a theme (90s music, songs that remind you of the relationship), or perhaps try to cultivate a mood (excitement, relaxation).
Take spontaneous side trips. Leave early enough that you can allow for spontaneous side trips. If you see a sign for an attraction that piques your interest, a funny or interesting town name, or a restaurant you've been dying to try, pull over! So often, we live according to a schedule, and deviating from a set plan can bring a little excitement back into your relationship.
Play a favorite childhood game. As kids, it was as if road trips were not long enough because of the fun games we always had to play. My friends and I could pass hours playing the "Name Game." We'd set a category (people's names, food, movies), and each person had to say a word in the category that started with the last letter of the word the last player had chosen. You could play license plate games, Twenty Questions, or memory games. RoadTripPlanning.com has a great list ofroad trip games to choose from.
Ask questions. Even when you think you know everything there is to know about a person, there is often more to learn. Playing "get to know you games" can lead to learning deep, random, or funny facts about your partner that had never come out in the past. You could each make up questions ahead of time, put them in a bag, and occasionally draw one out over the course of the trip. There are plenty of websites that can give you ideas for questions or conversation starters, such as100questionsbeforemarriage.com. You could also make a game out of it by planning Two Truths and a Lie or coming up with questions based on whatever song is playing on the radio.
Document your trip in pictures. When you're making a photo documentary of your trip, even the most mundane events suddenly become Kodak moments. Bring your camera along and be ready to take a picture at any moment. Ask your partner to smile while he's pumping gas, snap a shot of oddly worded signs, and convince a stranger to take your picture together in front of the rest area. Put together a scrapbook or album later to remember your run of the mill trip turned romantic!
Pray. If you're religious individuals, consider taking some time to pray together, especially if you don't normally think to do so during the course of your day-to-day lives. From listening to a Christian talk on CD to praying a rosary, there are plenty of ways to incorporate prayer into your road trip. See this list of ways to pray in the car for ideas.
It just takes a little energy, foresight, and perspective to turn something ordinary into something exciting. Don't miss the opportunity to turn your next long car ride into a romantic adventure to remember!