Making the most of your Labor Day road trip

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Labor Day weekend is a great time to partake in the American tradition of the road trip. An opportune time to visit family, see the sights, or just camp. However, after a couple of hours driving through the corn fields of Indiana, some of the novelty and romanticism of the Great American Road Trip can wear off. Time drags on and the miles only trickle by. And at your destination, there is the opposite problem — taking in and holding onto your experiences.

Here are a few strategies you can use in order to make your travel time more enjoyable and your memories more vibrant.

For the drive

Audible

Audible let's you try out their subscription service for free for a month. And with the subscription, you get discounts on their audiobooks as well as credit to download one audiobook for free. So, by taking advantage of the free month, you can get a free book.

Are you going on a short road trip? Their are short audiobooks like the funny and insigtful Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan (about five and a half hours). Long road trip? Long books or even book series.really help the time fly, such as the Hunger Games Trillogy (over 11 hours each) .

Spotify

Like Audible, Spotify will give you a month-long subscription for free. With that, you can download albums from Spotify's library onto your phone. You also have the option to stream songs on the go, but that might not be preferable on the road where cell service can be spotty and battery life is at a premium.

So what should you listen to? You can catch up on albums you missed, get suggestions from friends, or get retro and ask your parents about some of their favorite songs. And one great thing about Spotify that isn't immediate obvious is that they host a good amount of comedy albums. So if you are like me and have an unhealthy obsession with Jim Gaffigan and finished his book, you can listen to his four comedy albums.

Podcasts

Another plentiful and free source of audio entertainment is the podcast. And podcasts have the added benefit of constantly being updated. So if your trip is somewhat long, you'll get a new batch of podcasts, provided you have good internet access. Choosing a podcast can be difficult, but thankfully, The Verge has put together a big list of some of the best.

Making memories

Vine/Instagram video

My parents always have a video camera for special events and vacations. We are all well aware of the irony of experiencing life second hand through a lens or screen, but there is another, more practical reason to not record video of everything — time. My folks have so much video, and I'm willing to bet most of it hasn't reached their eyeballs in years and years. That's part of the brilliance of short form video — it's quickly taken, shared, and consumed. Don't feel too much pressure to try to make the video amusing, a more documentary approach is equally valid.

360 Panoramas

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We frame how we take our pictures in order to show a certain story or subject. So in some way, a 360 panorama is a more honest sort of picture that gives a greater context for your experiences. And using something like a Google Photosphere, the end product is more experiential than a simple photo — though harder to share, as evidenced by a lack of an embed here. You can click through on the picture to interact with it on Google+.

Cloud storage

And for all of your photos and videos, you definitely, absolutely need to back them up, lest you lose your phone on your trip. There are a multitude of options, and The Verge has the breakdown of what's best. I prefer Google+ for the autoupload, as well as the ability to make spontaneous gifs and panoramas.

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Hopefully, with these tips, your trips will be enjoyable and memorable. And if you have other bits of road trip advice, share them below!