Are you looking for couples road trip activities to make a long drive a lot more fun? I’ve got experience and ideas! Here are some romantic things to do on a long drive.
But first, what does “romantic” mean to you and your significant other? Think about this a bit as you scan the list of ideas below. Some will be spot on and others totally off. Obviously, pick what works for you on your couples road trip.
WARNING: Whenever you want to make something “romantic,” it can put a whole lot of pressure and expectations on you guys. This is the exact opposite of romantic. A better question might be, How do you two have fun together? What makes you laugh together? Aim to make a couples road trip FUN, and the romance will follow.
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What Are Some Romantic Things To Do on a Long Drive?
1. Make your car romantic.
You’re going to be spending a lot of time in your car, so make it a place you WANT to be romantic in. Clean it up. Add some cozy blankets and cushions for rest stops. Maybe string up some lights or get some lights that sync to your playlist. Find more ideas at How to Make a Car Romantic.
2. Bring along fun conversation starters.
Simple but useful couples road trip activities are conversation starters. Order a box of conversation cards for couples from Etsy, or print off these conversation starter printables. Both show questions that are actually fun and not super cheesy.
3. Pack a few games.
When looking for great couples road trip games as romantic things to do on a long drive, aim for something that actually sounds fun. Not everything needs to be “romantic” relationship focused! Backpacker: The Ultimate Travel Game is a low-key and super-portable travel card game where you travel the world, right from your car. Other great ideas are Mad Libs word games, 21 Questions and a roll-up checkers set to get outside on your rest stop.
4. Plan a few car dates.
You can find plenty of car date ideas out there, so plan a few of them as romantic things to do on a long drive. To turn a couples road trip activity into a car date, you need just a few things. A special snack or treat. Some type of activity. And agreement that it’s a date! It can be as simple as watching the sunrise from the comfort of your car while sipping your favorite coffee. Or as elaborate as a fancy takeout dinner at a favorite local lookout, with interior lights dancing to your playlist. (Tip: Check out How to Make a Car Romantic for more ideas!)
5. Take selfie breaks.
Something romantic to do on a long drive is to take plenty of selfies. Don’t just take the traditional smiling selfies (although these are great, too!). You’re bound to see odd, quirky things on your couples road trip. So, get out of the car and take those goofy selfies to capture the fun! A fantastic helper is this flexible tripod that you can wrap on any random tree limb or stick on your car with the magnetic feet.
6. Take a few dance breaks.
You have to stretch anyway, so make it a dance break for a fun and romantic thing to do on a long drive! Turn up your favorite song, roll down the windows and twirl it up! (Isn’t this pic SO fun?!)
Before heading out on your trip, beef up your playlist with a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime Music.
7. Stop to meet the locals.
Local animals, I mean. One of the funniest moments when exploring Islay’s distillery tours was when we came across some cows and sheep grazing by the road. My husband makes a pretty good moo, but it was pretty hilarious when he got a moo back. And nuzzling a horse that came up to our window and chatting with the shaggy highland cows was pretty great, too.
8. Explore a few sideroads.
Highways just aren’t nearly as interesting as the sideroads. On a long couples road trip, you do have to be selective so you don’t add a ton of extra time to the already long drive. But with a bit of advance planning, you can take a few side treks to cute little villages or through pretty scenery.
9. Climb a tree.
Yup, you read that right. Climbing a tree together is such a fun and romantic thing to do on a long drive! Yes, it’s a bit silly and makes you feel like a kid again. And because of this, it’s a couples road trip activity that gets you laughing and helping each other, connecting physically and purposefully. Plus, climbing a tree together gives you a shared, elevated view. Perfect for a fun selfie.
10. Plan a few picnics.
Picnics are a classically romantic thing to do on a long drive, so plan a few of them. Ideally, do a little research beforehand to find some pretty lakes and waterfalls you might want to stop at anyway. Before you leave, pack a baguette and a cooler of cheeses, meats, antipasto and olives. Then, either top up your stash along the way at local delis, or pick up take-out and eat it in a pretty spot.
My favorite picnic accessories include a wine cooler, roll-up waterproof blanket, and folding picnic table. For colder weather and picnics inside, bring a portable kettle and delicious international organic teas to try.
11. Bring along a hammock.
Even though long couples road trips typically mean you wanna get there, romantic things to do on a long drive include cuddle breaks. Combine your stop with a picnic or meal break at a pretty spot. And while you can cuddle in the backseat, a much better idea is to string up a double hammock overlooking a view!
12. Bring some fun snacks.
With a bit of advanced planning, you can pack international snack boxes to make a couples road trip fun. Trying new treats not only helps to fill your snack quota, but makes for fun conversations, too! Check out the Turkish snack box and Japanese snack box available on Amazon.
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13. Plan some great stops.
Sure, you wanna just get there on a long couples road trip. BUT you also want to make fun memories! Do a little research before you leave and pick a few stops that look fun. This obviously depends on the road trip route you’re taking, but maybe it’s as simple as a quick stop at hot springs, a paddle-boat on the lake, or a short hike at a national park. A round of golf at an epic course or checking out a highly-rated museum. Pick a couples road trip activity unique to the area. (It’ll also give you something to talk about.)
14. Plan a few date nights.
When researching great places to stop, plan in a few places you can have fun date nights, too. Again, this obviously depends on fun things to do along your long drive. This might be a wine tour, sports game, festival or other big event. Maybe a hot air balloon ride, escape room, or indoor skydiving (unless you’re both up for the real thing!).
15. Stop at local eateries.
Stopping at top-rated local restaurants and craft breweries on your long drive is a fun thing to do on a couples road trip. You need to eat anyway, so you might as well turn it into a couples road trip activity that gives you a taste of the areas you’re driving through. It’ll also create memories and conversations!
16. Stay at great local accommodations.
A fun and romantic thing to do on a long drive is to pick great accommodations along the way. And change it up, by embracing the area you’re stopping in. In a cute little town, go with a highly-rated bed and breakfast or boutique inn. When passing through a city or resort community, indulge in an elegant hotel or spa resort. And don’t forget cozy cabins or glamping at national parks. Changing it up again gives you awesome couples road trip memories and conversations.
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17. Remember the simple things.
Among the most romantic things to do on a long drive are the same as those things we do when first in love! Hold hands. Open the door for each other. Talk (and listen!) to each other. Bite your tongue when they do something that bugs you. Let them choose the playlist or audiobook (or, if it’s truly awful, negotiate one you’ll both like!).
18. Pre-discuss what’s off-limits.
Before you leave, talk about what’s off-limits to head-off any serious annoyances. Maybe you each veto three albums the other can’t pick for your playlist. Or agree to what your default volume will be. If one person is a no-stop road tripper, negotiate a few quick stops per day and maybe a date-worthy event every few days. You need to stretch and fuel up anyway, so you might as well make the stop count!
19. Pre-discuss what you most want to do.
As above, it’s a good idea to talk ahead of time about what each of you thinks could be fun and romantic things to do on the long drive. Do your best to include couples road trip activities you can both enjoy, and take turns picking.
When my husband and I drove from London to Edinburgh, we each picked a main stop. Him: Sherwood Forest. Me: Oxford University. Neither of us rushed the other through their stop, and we were both happy!
20. Agree to a general budget.
A practical way to keep the fun and romance on a long couples road trip is to talk about the budget before you go. Get a sense of where each of you is at, so both of you can manage your expectations and negotiate where you’ll prioritize your spending. Do your best to meet in the middle, so you’re both comfortable. Comfortable = fun and romance.
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21. Gift something for your couples road trip.
Something fun and romantic to do on a long drive is to build some anticipation! You can do this by giving your significant other a gift related to your trip. Maybe it’s something they’ll need for it, like a cozy car blanket or new backpack. Or, maybe you use a scratch-and-reveal card or gift box to share a couples road trip activity y12ou’re planning.
22. Count down to your trip.
Another way to make the lead-up to your couples road trip fun and special is a countdown. This could be as simple as a cute text every day during the week before you leave. Or a little love note tucked into their briefcase. Maybe a piece of a puzzle they build at the end to find out about that special romantic accommodation you booked along the way.
23. Plan some low-key backup activities.
No matter how thoughtful you are with finding fun and romantic things to do on your long drive, chances are you’ll have some down time. You’ll likely want some down time, without pressure to fill the time with “meaningful” couples road trip activities. Plan some low-key, low-pressure things to do, like a few audiobooks and podcasts you can alternate between, depending on your moods.
24. Choose comfy, cute road trip outfits.
A very practical thing to do to make a long drive romantic is to carefully pick road trip outfits that are both comfortable and cute. Choose undies and clothes you can comfortably sit in for hours, AND that you’ll feel great in when you stop for that picnic or round of golf. If you’re planning a more elaborate date one day, keep your backup outfit handy so you can easily and quickly change.
25. Get a GPS!
My husband and I agree that our GPS saved our marriage on our UK road trip. Mobile phones can be fine for short local road trips where cell coverage is strong and reliable. But on a long drive with weak or unpredictable cell coverage and signage, getting a proper GPS is a very good idea (we love our Garmin GPS). Another benefit is that it keeps your phone free for managing your playlist and for last-minute research on local stops. A GPS is also ideal for exploring those sideroads!
Need a new car adapter for all those gadgets? Check out this fast-charging car adapter charger with four plugs and an LED light display to tell you the voltage level.
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Featured photo credit: John Alvin Merin from Unsplash.