Since I am the Road Trip Mom for Traveling Mom, it only makes sense that my family is on the road. A lot. What I take from my teen daughter’s learned lessons while on the road is way more than she takes from me at this point, so I asked her to give me five driving tips. Here responses will surprise you and make you giggle at the same time.
We spend hundreds of hours a year driving from one place to another and I personally wouldn’t have it any other way, as education on the road is one of my favorite teaching tools. My 13 year-old daughter is an avid fan of road trips, and with all of her electronic devices, books, and homework, she certainly keeps herself occupied and busy in the back seat.
In only three short years and at 16 years of age, she’ll probably be asking to drive. Just thinking about my baby girl behind the wheel gives me a sinking feeling in the gut, as I’m sure it did for every other parent who now has a teen driver. Since I’m a responsible parent, I recognize that every opportunity I get to let her in on my safe driving tips and tricks is an opportunity I shouldn’t pass up. I tell her about proper tire pressure, show her how to add windshield washer fluid into the proper tank, and mention that it’s not a good idea to use your car’s cruise control when it’s raining. Another biggie: pretend your cell phone doesn’t exist when you’re in the car. You know, those are easy tips that she will casually hear but hopefully remember forever.
So, what else has my daughter learned about driving and navigating safely in heavy traffic, on unpaved back roads, and in the middle of nowhere? Getting driving tips from a teen is not only informative, but fun!
I Will Pull this Car Over- for Photo Ops
I love fun, kooky, quirky photo opportunities that you just don’t have the pleasure of viewing when you’re flying in an airplane thousands of feet above the ground. As a travel writer, I’m always snapping pics of my family to use for the next article or “just in case”. I have stopped the car for photos of cool signs or unusual buildings and always ask her to pose beside them, so always be photo ready.
Don’t Ever Expect to Take a Road Trip and Not Be Stuck in Construction
My daughter is well aware that orange road signs generally mean additional time in the car. As soon as we see those tell-tale construction warning signs I know I’ll hear, “ Great. Construction.” from the back seat. I’m all for improving the roads and making them safer and more efficient for drivers, but when we’re really excited to visit a place, it seems that there’s endless construction going on. And on.
Yelling at Other Drivers to Move Over Does Not Mean They’ll Listen to You
No matter how frustrated I get with other drivers to move over out of the fast lane when they’re creeping along, or how much I complain about another car tailgating our vehicle, they can’t hear me. Even if I’m yelling at the top of my lungs.
Expect the Unexpected
I’m the type of driver that tries to think two or three steps ahead. I treat driving like a game of strategy and am continuously checking all of my mirrors, keeping tabs on cars and where they are, and looking for obstacles in the road. Having written that, there’s always the unexpected that pops up like a semi’s tire in the middle of the road or a another driver that is having car issues. You need to be confident when driving, but not so confident that you’re oblivious to your surroundings.
The Best Family Chats Happen on Long Road Trips
There have been road trips when we’ve driven 15 hours straight and some of the most amazing conversations happen on those types of trips. I adore the fact that I have all of that time in our car with my family, and some of our best topics have arisen from those chats. We have silly phrases that we still quote and knowing we’ll be in the car for an extended length of time allows us to not rush a conversation and really delve into a topic. I encourage my daughter to talk about any and all subjects of her choosing. I cherish our road trip conversations and my daughter loves sharing personal stories, which really let her personality through when we’re on the road.