My husband John and I recently took a six-week road trip from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada south to Arizona, then northeast to Yellowstone National Park before returning back to Vancouver Island. We traveled over five-thousand miles during that month and a half with our 2002 Thor Wanderer 21.5RL fifth wheel trailer in tow. That’s a lot of miles!

We saw some fabulous sights and stayed in some amazing places while traveling the lesser-traveled blue highways. John likes to drive so that leaves me lots of time in the GMC three-quarter-ton-truck passenger seat to do whatever strikes my fancy.

My objective on this trip was to enjoy the journey as much as possible. For those of you that have traveled as a passenger on four- to eight-hour driving days, you know how important it is to have ways to entertain yourself.

I made sure to have the my favorite supplies and equipment ready to go (meaning with fully charged batteries and in easy-to-handle -in-a-moving-vehicle containers) and in the truck each day:

  • camera and lenses in the camera bag
  • electronic reader and internet access device with earphones
  • Wifi device
  • drawing and painting journals that fit in my purse
  • paint brushes, small watercolor set and a variety of my favorite markers all in a handy plastic container
  • laptop computer
  • my nifty lap desk/tray
One-line pencil drawing of imaginary dog character colored with watercolor markers.

One-line pencil drawing of imaginary dog character colored with watercolor markers.

This was the first trip that I’ve taken in decades of travel where I gave so much attention to taking care of my desire to enjoy every moment of the travel journey. The result was that I had a blast and hardly ever wondered “When are we going to get there?” In fact, I sometimes wondered just the opposite – “Is today’s journey long enough for me to finish what I’m so enjoying working on?”

How did I come up with what I was going to take to the passenger seat with me? First, I inventoried my favorite sitting activities: reading, meditation, drawing, painting, writing, photographic image editing.

Since my camera was handy, I was able to capture this shot of a sheep-herders wagon approaching us on a blue highway in Wyoming.

Since my camera was handy, I was able to capture this shot of a sheep-herders wagon approaching us on a blue highway in Wyoming.

Next I thought about what of those activities were feasible to do on an RV trip. Luckily they were all possible to do to some degree given the right tools. My process was that the evening before travel, I gave some thought to what I might like to work on the next day. If I needed to do some prep work so I’d have the supplies I needed the next day, I’d do it.

With just a little thinking ahead and planning, long drives as passengers can be quite enjoyable. This applies as well to adults as for kids. I would love to hear if you have some favorite passenger-friendly activities that you love to do when you’re out on long trips. Happy planning and happy travels everyone!