11 Memorial Day Weekend Road Trip Ideas

by Dacy Knight

It's finally time to usher in the summer with a long weekend chock-full of adventure. If you're hitting the road with your friends this Memorial Day weekend, make sure the journey is just as fun as the destination. With an open mind and a little planning, these fun road trip ideas promise to make the most of your time behind the wheel.

Set the soundtrack to your road trip with a killer playlist everyone in the car is guaranteed to enjoy. For a break from the music, have a captivating audiobook on hand, or queue up an engaging lineup of podcasts you won't be able to pause. Ready yourself for adventure with entertaining goals that will get you excited about everything along the way. While you're mapping out your route, consider culinary pit stops for your stomach, and sample the best regional selections each place you pass through has to offer. Get out to explore touristy roadside attractions, and pick up some wonderfully cheesy souvenirs. Snap photos along the way, being sure to document every time you enter into a new state. By the time you reach your destination, you'll have already had an adventuresome vacation, brimming with memories (and refrigerator magnets).

1. Curate A Collaborative Playlist

Before your trip (and while you're on the road), make a collaborative playlist with all the riders. With everyone adding their favorite jams, there'll be no arguing later about who gets to control the music. Once you're on the road, start the playlist on shuffle. Each passenger can look forward to hearing their selections, while also getting introduced to the new music curated by their friends. Need a little inspiration to get you started? No one can argue with the '90s.

2. Craft A Food Passport

When you're planning out your trip and figuring out where you'll likely stop along the way, do a little research to determine some of the best eats in the area. Map out approximately where you'll be by lunch and dinner, and find local favorites with specialty dishes. Record your foodie feats in a small journal, ticking off each culinary pit stop along your route. Planning out your stops to enjoy specific meals will help to keep you on a timeline, get you excited about making it to each destination, and avoid loading up on gas station snacks instead of well-rounded meals. Your stomach will thank you later.

3. Make An Album Of "Welcome To..." Photos

If you're passing through a few states, have your camera ready to take photos with each "Welcome to..." sign on your route. At the end of your trip, organize them all in an album, and add to your collection of states with every future road trip. For some more immediate fun, keep all your friends updated on your road trip progress by adding each capture to your Snapchat story.

4. Take In A Podcast

Watch the time fly by when you tune into a podcast you won't want to pause. The options are endless, with topics from fashion to love to murder mysteries (think Serial). Pro-tip: download your podcasts ahead of time so you can enjoy uninterrupted listening, regardless of the service.

5. Or Enjoy An Entire Book

You can also opt to commit to audiobooks to keep you sane on a long road trip. Discuss with your driving companions ahead of time so everyone is on the same page (pun intended), and pick audiobooks for your road trip with NoveList.

6. Stop At Roadside Attractions

As silly as some of them can be, roadside attractions can be downright delightful to break up a full day of driving. Give in and pull over to check out the ones on your route. You never know what you'll see or who you'll meet, and you won't regret having a photo with an Apatosaurus or in front of a house made of beer cans.

7. Be A Souvenir Collector

Play the tourist and pick up a cheap memento at every significant destination along the way. Decorate the dashboard with your favorite finds for a visual representation of your journey.

8. Indulge In Some Car Karaoke

Let loose with a casual round of car karaoke. Turn the audio down just enough so passengers can sing over the music. Whip out the lyrics on your phone if you have to, or see just how well you each know the words. The ad-hoc karaoke session will bring about some much needed laughter hours into a long driving day.

9. Try Some Trivia

Download a trivia app and test each other on random facts. You can take turns asking questions and keep score for the duration of the trip.

10. Play Games Adults Can Enjoy

Make the miles fly by with amusing road trip games for adults. You're never too old to enjoy some old-school fun, and when you make the reward a round of beers (once you stop for the night or get to your destination), you can really up the ante and upgrade the entertainment.

11. Stargaze

Come nightfall, take in the stars unobstructed by city light pollution. Download an astronomy app like Star Chart or Star Walk to pinpoint stars and planets without a telescope, then do some stargazing when you're out in the middle of nowhere.

Images: MTV; Giphy (11)