Okay, I’ll admit it, when one of my friends suggests going on a road trip, I cringe. Think about it: You’re agreeing to sit in a confined space with several other people for hours. And once you’re in the car, you realize you have drastically different tastes in music, you can’t get a cell signal in some areas, and there’s always that one person who needs to use the bathroom every 10 minutes.
As much as I dread road trips, it can be the cheapest way to get from A to B, and with the right tips, it can actually be enjoyable. Here are my seven road trip tips for people who hate road trips:
1. Make a collaborative playlist
Just because you’re co-pilot doesn’t give you the right to play Luke Bryan on repeat when everyone else wants to listen to Migos. Spotify lets you create collaborative playlists, which makes the role of DJ easy and fair. Have everyone pick their top 10 songs for the road and put the playlist on shuffle.
2. Learn road trip games besides the license plate game
We don’t need another reminder that we’re in bumper-to-bumper traffic and can read the license plate of the car in front of us; this is an opportunity to truly get to know the people you’re with. I love playing “21 Questions,” “Would You Rather,” or “The Name Game.” Here are some other games you can play if you need to keep the conversation going.
3. Make sure everyone knows road trip etiquette
Remember when your parents would start talking to you about uncomfortable subjects in the car because you couldn’t escape? Let’s not be our parents. Keep the conversation fun and light. Ensure the driver rotation is evenly split. The Highway Code recommends taking a 15-minute break for every two hours of driving. And the person who asks to stop the most during the road trip gets last dibs on bed preference and shower times for the night.
4. Pack the right snacks
The problem with road trips is that no one will come around to clean-up afterwards. You’re responsible for any mess you create and there are some snacks that are more problematic than others. Greasy pork rinds, smelly foods, and anything that leaves your fingers covered in orange dust are the worst snacks to pack in the car. On the road, stick to snacks like beef jerky, pretzels, dried fruit, or candy-coated chocolate. They’re clean, easy to pack, and won’t be a burden to the owner of the car.
5. Download mobile payment apps
One of the main reasons I agree to go on a road trip is because of how much money I can save. However, that isn’t always the case if the costs aren’t split evenly. Using apps like Splitwise can organize expenses and make sure everyone is repaid their fair amount. Venmo is another excellent app to make transactions quick and easy. No one has cash on them anymore, but people always have their phone on them.
6. Check yo’ self (and your car)
You know what’s worse than being crammed in a car? Being crammed in a car that breaks down on the highway. Before you go, get your car tuned, change the oil, check the air in your tires, and always have a spare tire and jumper cables. You should also have your car’s registration, insurance, a real map, a spare key, and some change for toll roads. Remember to be honest with yourself, if you don’t know how to change a tire or jump a car, print out an instruction guide that can help you avoid looking clueless on the side of the road.
7. Remember to have fun
Maybe this wasn’t your first choice in transportation but you know what, car rides are where memories are made. You can’t have thorough discussions about conspiracy theories on a plane ride, and you will never discover your friend’s secret talent for rapping if you take a train, but that’s what makes road trips fun. Play games, blast some music, and enjoy the company of the people you’re with.
Do you hate road trips? What are some of the tips you have? Comment below!