If you’ve got a long distance trip ahead of you, the first concern after making sure you pack appropriately is usually how to keep yourself entertained. An incredibly long flight or drive can certainly make you stir crazy, and if you’re covering familiar ground or stuck in tight quarters there won’t be much that’s enjoyable outside of getting to your destination as quickly as possible. While you can’t make the hands on the clock move any faster, you can help the time feel like it is passing more quickly by bringing along some great music as your traveling partner. But how do you select the best music for your long distance journey? Here are a couple of tips to help you on your way.
First of all, try to balance new tunes with your all-time favorites. In most cases you’ll want songs you are familiar with, so you can bop along to your favorite beat or sing the lyrics you know so well. But pepper in some new stuff at the same time. If your iPod or stereo is blasting a playlist that you haven’t changed in an entire season, you might be sick of the lineup right at the outset of your trip. You don’t have to put together an entirely new collection, but if you can spend a little bit of money to buy a handful of new albums it will lessen the chances of monotony.
Above all other considerations, you must make sure you travel with enough music that you don’t repeat that often. As a general rule of thumb, try to bring along a playlist that you only have to repeat one time during the trip. This will be much easier during a long flight than on a long drive, obviously. So if you need to get creative, mix things up by switching around the order. Play your collection from A to Z first, then mix up the order when you need to repeat it more than once.
A lot of people make the mistake of starting on shuffle, but if you want to stretch your collection out for a long trip you are better off listening to full albums. This is especially true for quality albums that play off of one concept or give you a certain feeling. Go with the full album, and don’t skip over the songs you don’t like quite as much. That will help you stretch your collection, and you won’t make the mistake of burning through all of your favorite songs in the first few hours.
You’ll also want to make sure that you bring music along to fit your various moods. Sometimes it’s nice to match music to the scenery. At other times you’ll want to mix up the tempo, to help pick you up if you need an energy boost. Whatever you do, don’t bring along a massive collection of the same type of songs. No matter how much you love classical music, reggae, punk rock or electronica it will always get tired after countless hours. That’s why the networks that still show music videos program different genres at different times of the day. There’s a rhythm to it that usually fits the natural rhythms of life. Mimic that with your selections and you’ll help maintain a positive mood no matter how slow your progress.