Tips to Maintain Your Sanity on Your Labor Day Road Trip

04 SEP 2015
by: Adam | posted in: Guide, Travel | comments: 0
Excited about Labor Day weekend and your final summer getaway? You're not alone. According to AAA via The Chicago Tribune, over 35.5 million Americans will be on the road and taking a trip over 50 miles away from their home this weekend. So, yeah, you're going to hit some traffic. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a simple guide to surviving the slow, grinding chaos that is Labor Day weekend highways.


Step 1: Leave early. I know it's hard, but take Shia Lebeouf's words to heart and just do it.

Step 2: Make sure that your A/C works. Most of the country will be seeing July-like temperatures according to Accuweather.

Step 3: Snacks, pack lots of snacks! Need inspiration? See below for a few of our favorites. 

  • Sunflower seeds - The effort required to open these little gems enhances the reward....and they provide a good prop if you need to give someone the Clint Eastwood stare.

  • Gummy bears - Good for literally every occasion - weddings, binge-drinking, corporate events, etc.

  • PB & J sandwiches - Crust optional.

  • PB & fluff sandwiches - When it's really a special occasion.

Step 4: Reduce your road rage by imagining these animals are what's holding up the traffic.


That one to the right is just daring you to honk. Don't. Do. It.

via Imgur

Elephants are like New York taxi drivers - they don't mess around.




Look, you're stuck in traffic for one weekend. This is their life. At least your head isn't right next to someone's butt....unless you're sitting down on the subway during rush hour, but we don't like to talk about those times.

For the readers living in New Zealand, this is actually most likely why you are stuck in traffic. How do I know this? Well, their Labour Day is on October 26th, and the ratio of sheep to people in New Zealand is 7-1.


Looks like they're not going anywhere soon -- which is great, because for awhile there, things were touch and go for the American buffalo.

Buffalo Fact: These guys were a common sight for Oregon Trailers of old, until their population was nearly driven to extinction during the 19th century. Fortunately, they have bounced back in a big way and now have only a "Near Threatened" conservation status. So while you personally are stuck in traffic, you can feel good that the American buffalo are roaming the country once again (and that you're not in a horse drawn carriage battling dysentery on the Oregon Trail).


Fact: Camels are awesome. Fact: A camel appears in the Project Expedition logo. Look, I'm not into conspiracies or anything, I'm just do the math.

Another fact: In 1856, the U.S. Army experimented with using camel trains in the U.S. Fail. The 33 camels eventually escaped into the desert. A population of wild camels then came about in the American southwest, with the last one being spotted in 1941....Some say they're still out there.


"This moose is actually walking backwards. It's called moosewalking." -Dad

Moose Fact: The giant lumbering moose is easy to spot during the day, but night is a different story. Unlike deer, or cats, the eye of the Moose does not reflect light, which makes them incredibly hard to see in the dark of night.

Growing up in Maine, I was actually once stuck in a traffic jam caused by a moose. Then again, anytime you have to slow down in Maine it is considered a traffic jam.


Sometimes it's easier to just fly, but good old-fashioned road trips serve as great opportunities to strengthen the bonds within your family, among other things*.

*Engaging in repeated arguments, including, but not limited to:

  • Music tastes, including whether Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" is being played for the 4th or 5th time this hour

  • Clothing choices - a true mother/daughter tradition that spans the ages

  • Restaurant choices - for the record, a hot dog isn't a sandwich

    • Pro-tip: as far as interstate food fare goes, WaWa is consistently a solid bet

  • Meta-debate - if you're running out of ideas, arguing about whether you are actually arguing is a good fallback

One of my favorite road trip memories is the time our cat got loose in the back seat and peed in the brand new Coach purse my mom had gotten as a birthday present the week before. My mom could have easily gotten grumpy and let that incident sodden the mood, but she just took it in stride, calling herself the ringleader of our family circus and partaking in the fits of giggles I was having.

So, to wrap things up, I'll leave you with one of my main travel pro-tips: treat it like an adventure -- when possible, try to go with the flow and and laugh things off.


Remember when you were a kid and everything was an adventure -- when a trip to Home Depot or the grocery store wasn't a chore, it was an opportunity for exploration (and possibly free cookies)? Channel that mentality this weekend and have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!

What are your road trip stories and pro-tips? Send us an email or comment below for a chance to be featured in one of our posts!

Source for title image.

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