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June 11, 2018

Tips for not losing your mind in Jersey Shore traffic

Traffic Tips
Carroll - Beach chair at the Jersey Shore Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

A chair on the beach in Margate City New Jersey.

Whether you’re traveling with kids or roommates, wading through the joys of Shore traffic is about as fun as eating stale bread. It speeds up, it slows down, and then it may never speed up again. While nothing can magically cure your friend from having to stop every five minutes or that thing kids do when they kick your seat repeatedly for no apparent reason, these tips can – at the very least – help you savor the ride to the beach without getting too hung up on the little things. Shore traffic is something we all (usually) must deal with, so we may as well learn to enjoy it together.

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Good music can make everything better. Instead of tuning in to a Spotify radio station, try building a playlist so you know what’s coming. It gives you something to look forward to while you’re stuck in traffic. Have kids with you? You can still listen to some of your music, too. Try to appease your children by making a playlist with some of their music and mixing in yours.


You know you’re going to get hungry at some point. It’ll save you money and time to bring these beforehand, so that way, you don’t have to stop. Just pack an easy sandwich to eat later or bring chips and cookies. Try to splurge a little bit on some of your favorite snacks, so you’ll enjoy it even more.


The worst part about being stuck in traffic is how tight your body feels after a while. Roll your neck from side to side, let it linger on each side for a couple of seconds. Roll your shoulders forwards and back a few times. While sitting straight, rotate your torso to one side and then another. This will help break up some of that tension.


It’s important you remain comfortable. Nothing makes a road trip worse than stiff clothing or uncomfortable shoes. Wear leggings, an easy pair of jeans, loose-fitted tops and tennis shoes. Also, know the person you’re traveling with. Do they like it cold? Do they like it hot? Try to find a happy balance for the A/C, but also knowing their preference ahead of time can help you dress appropriately so you can all be comfortable.


Another fun way to let the time go by is listening to a riveting podcast like "Serial," "True Murder" or "Here Be Monsters." For the kiddos, "What If World" and "But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids" may leave them intrigued. "Bonus: Story Time" podcast, with its soothing tone, may put your kids to sleep, allowing you to get more out of that curated playlist.


This one is kind of a no-brainer when it comes to kids. There are numerous games for a tablet or iPad. Not into tech? Mini magnetic board games exist and they’re cheap! Even if you don’t have or want either, a game of “I Spy” can always be fun. (It can be fun for adults too, you know.)


Know there’s going to be traffic and that’s just part of the experience of going to the shore. Try to embrace it and enjoy your ride there. Don’t get too hung up on the guy in front of you who keeps inching every five seconds without really moving. Take a breath, enjoy the podcast or playlist, and just let it go. You’ll be at the beach before you know it.