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5 Ways to Pass the Time While Driving Home for the Holidays

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

It’s that time of year again where college students are cramming for finals, rushing to spend their last dining dollars and packing up their dorm or apartment to come home for the holidays. For some, it may be their first experience driving home and for others, it may be their first long-distance drive since the pandemic. Whether your drive is 60 minutes or eight hours, here are five ways to pass the time on your trip back home.


After an hour or two of listening to songs you know from start to end, it may be time to change things up. Listening to podcasts is a great way to learn more about something you’re interested in or to have some laughs. Emma Chamberlain’s podcast, “Anything Goes,” is a personal favorite that makes me feel like I’m having a conversation with a friend. When I’m in the mood to try to make the most of my time, I download podcasts to learn a new language. This is a great way to pass the time as well as keep your brain awake.

Call Friends

As a part of generation Z, the thought of calling my friends instead of using Facetime is not one that normally crosses my mind. However, the more long drives I take, the more I look forward to the chance to call my friends and not get interrupted. Whether it be my best friend, a distant friend or a family member, it’s easy to talk the time away by catching up or spilling some tea. I always try to send my friends a heads up that I’m going to be driving and for them to call me when they get the chance, that way it’s something I can look forward to. Calling friends will not only help your drive feel shorter, but it may also brighten your friends’ day. 

Enjoy the Scenery

Since many of us students are driving home after a stressful week of studying for finals and submitting those last assignments, enjoying the scenery on the drive back can help you de-stress and pass the time. Taking in the sights — whether it be cityscapes or fields of trees — allows you to appreciate the time away from screens and take a moment to enjoy the journey. Although rolling down your windows is optional, it will definitely make you feel like the main character returning home and is strongly recommended.

Create a Playlist

Undoubtedly, the majority of long drives are spent listening to music. With the help of Spotify or Apple Music, you can make your perfect road trip playlist to keep you awake and help pass the time. If you have an album you’ve been wanting to enjoy or just some old songs you haven’t listened to in a while, add them to your playlist and turn up the volume. My next long drive will definitely be filled with lots of Taylor’s Version songs and Adele.

Play Games

If you have a plus one on your drive back home, playing road games will make the time fly by. There’s the popular license plate game, where you try to spot all 50 states. The twenty questions game, where one player asks questions to find out the other player’s object. Lastly, my personal favorite is Mad Libs. While the passenger is responsible for reading and writing during this game, it is always fun to hear the end result as the driver. If your drive back home happens to be a solo one, find a song you’ve never heard of before and try to memorize the lyrics. Unless you have an eidetic memory, this solo game will knock out a good amount of time.

As the holidays approach and cars are packed full, don’t stress over a long drive home. Find ways to enjoy the journey and look forward to taking a break from school. If you have a long drive ahead of you, start downloading podcasts and creating your playlists today!

Lacy is currently a sophomore at the University of Central Florida studying information technology. Although born in Florida, her favorite place to be is Washington, D.C. She loves trying new places, cooking, and getting outside. She is passionate about caring for the environment and helping others. When she's not in front of a screen, she is getting coffee or volunteering. You can keep up with her on Instagram @lacybrookeh.
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