5 Ways to Be Productive While in a Traffic Jam

If you’ve been an RVer long enough, this will have happened. You get on the freeway with your GPS pointing north (metaphorically) and plans to be at your next destination by mid-afternoon at the latest.

Unfortunately, this rarely happens. There is unexpected construction, or you must go out of your way to find a suitable gas station or the wait at Subway is 20 minutes. But the biggest frustration is when a highway shuts down and you are stuck for hours without moving in a traffic jam. Now, not only are you “wasting” time, you are wasting precious gas.

I try little things to make myself feel better. If it’s a wreck I’m thankful we weren’t in it and pray for those who were. If it’s construction, I try to keep it in perspective. We will still get where we are going…eventually!

However, if you are in an RV, you can do more than just not whine. You can be productive!

1) You can call or text a friend that you haven’t talked to for a long time. Just scroll through your contacts and when you find someone who you have been missing, tell them so.

2) Find a small section of your RV and clean it up. Organize a pantry or start cleaning out your fridge. This is a win/win because if you get it finished it’s a yucky chore out of the way and if you get halfway done and you start moving again, that’s good too.

3) Make friends with your fellow travelers. Most of the poor goobers around you are stuck in their cars without a month’s worth of food on them. You probably have bottled water, beer and snacks. If you offer them to somebody in line near you, you will be their hero!

4) If you are traveling with kids, have an “emergency” bin with games that you only get to play at times like this…or when three days of nonstop rain has you all a little stir crazy. That way the games are special, and they won’t drive you nuts with the “When will we be there?” questions.

True story: When I was young, my mom bought me a little slot machine and we drove from Indiana to Maine and that’s all I did the whole time! (We won’t delve into what this says about either my mother or me, but the point is that it was a special toy and I played the heck out of it on that trip!)

I was going to say that if you are traveling with adults you might want your own emergency bin, but I don’t want to condone drinking on the road! 😊 (Although my special bin would have Hostess cupcakes in it!)

5) Brainstorm about anything you want. Work on your bucket list. make a list of books you want to read or places you want to visit. Read up on how to add solar to your RV or how to make your RV homier. The point is to give yourself permission to think outside the box.

Whether you like it or not, you are going to be stuck as long as it takes to clear the road. Making the best of a tough situation isn’t always easy, but if you have a good attitude, you can make any unexpected road stop fun (or at least bearable) and productive.