The Technological Revolution has brought with it the age of Always Having Something to Do. These days, it’s not hard to find something to keep you busy while you’re on the road. Here are a few of the tried and true ways to pass downtime in an era with countless entertainment options
Podcasts are a perfect way to pass time on the road. The format allows listeners to enjoy engaging storytelling without having to watch a televisions screen.
Podcasts have become so popular that there’s a chance a podcast exists for every possible subject matter. For example, want a good story? You should check out storytelling podcasts such as Homecoming, Welcome to the Night Vale, and Sandra. Some storytelling podcasts are based on real-life events and combine facts with an engaging plot line. Popular podcasts in this genre include Serial, Dirty John, and Last Seen.
Informational podcasts are great because you can learn about fun, new topics without ever leaving your truck. Some popular informational podcasts include Stuff You Missed in History Class, Stuff You Should Know, and the Clark Howard Podcast. Lastly, there are comedy podcasts like My Brother, My Brother, and Me if you’re looking for a good laugh.
To access Podcasts on an iPhone download the Podcasts App
. For Android, download the Google Podcasts
While podcasts are like a new, improved version of talk radio, audiobooks are published books that are read aloud by a narrator. Unlike Podcasts, audiobooks work offline, so you can be in the middle of nowhere and you’ll still be able to enjoy them.
You can download audiobooks using an app from Amazon called Audible
, which charges $15 per month for one book, plus you get your first book free.
A more cost-conscious option is Google Play Books
. You don't have to pay a monthly fee and can purchase the books you want on your own schedule. The app also allows you to create a "Google Family," which allows your family members to access the books you've purchased. That means you and your family members can listen to the same book while you’re away and have something to talk about when you get back from the road.
Finally, the most inexpensive way to access audiobooks is at your local library. Libraries have loads of audiobook selections, usually on a CD. You can either borrow an audiobook, or visit their “bookstore,” which typically consists of donated books and audiobooks they sell for very affordable prices.
Start an Instagram travel account
You get to see some amazingly beautiful views on the road. But sometimes you can get accustomed to the scenery and soon you won't blink twice as you pass the sand dunes of Imperial County or the red rock formations in Arizona.
If you’re tech savvy, starting an Instagram account to take pictures of the gorgeous views or interesting spots you see on the road will help pass the time and give you a renewed sense of the beauty all around you. Using the “Stories” feature on Instagram is a great way to stay connected to your family and friends back home - they get to see what you’re up to and where in real time!
All you need is to download the Instagram
app onto your smart phone and make an account. You don’t need a fancy camera or special filters, just the camera on the back of your phone, a steady hand, and a good eye for detail.
All you need for mindfulness practice is two things: your brain and your time. Mindfulness practice has been proven to be great for your brain and can help improve your mental and physical health. Mindfulness can also give you tools to cope with difficult emotions like anger, anxiety, and depression. There are many books and audiobooks that can teach you mindfulness techniques, so you can listen to an audiobook on how to practice mindfulness for the first half of a short journey and then put it to practice for the second half.
There are also several apps you can download that offer guided mindfulness sessions, such as Headspace
, and iMindfulness
Streaming music apps
Thanks to the internet, you are no longer at the mercy of your radio. If you get a subscription to Spotify
, you can create your own playlist with your own favorite songs without commercials and can even listen to it offline.
There’s also Pandora
, which works like a radio, except you get to curate your own specific taste in music. For example, if you only like folksy rock songs with a bit of country, Pandora will help you narrow down your choices until you create the perfect radio station, just for you.
If you’re a musician, have friends who are musicians, or are really into local music, then SoundCloud is the perfect option for you. While Pandora plays famous songs and Spotify offers artists with officially released albums, SoundCloud is for the everyday musician. SoundCloud is like YouTube for audio, where virtually anyone can upload anything they want. So, if you’re the lead guitarist in your hometown’s bluegrass band and want to share your music, take advantage of your truck route downtime and upload some songs!
The hardest part about the truck route is being away from your loved ones. Luckily, with video chat options such as Facetime
(available only for iPhone users), Google Hangouts
, Facebook Messenger
video chat, and Zoom
, you can feel like you’re right there with your family and friends. Just don’t video chat and drive!