How to survive a road trip

How to survive a road trip

Dante Frattini


The weather is changing for the better, which means school will soon be over and college kids will be coming out to play.

Road trips, a staple of the young person’s vacation arsenal, will be responsible for immense amounts of fun, adventure and air pollution this summer. Mexico, Florida and L.A. are all popular vacation destinations, but regardless of where the road trip is set to end, it’s equally important where and how it begins.

The key to a successful road trip is preparation. Also, having someone you can stand for days on end at your side is good too. A lack in either could have you damning William Shatner for convincing you to purchase non-refundable hotel rooms.

Preparation starts with knowing where you’re headed and what you’ll need to survive the trip there. Keep in mind that the old “it’s the journey, not the destination” saying is absolutely true. What it doesn’t say is that the journey can be a disaster just as easily as it can be awesome.

Make the journey as memorable as possible by bringing plenty of practical supplies. Water, snacks, paper towels, wet wipes, phone chargers and music are essential to a comfortable and enjoyable trip.

Other “luxury items” might include blankets, pillows, beer and leftover Hooters chicken wings.

Wait a minute. What am I doing putting beer on the luxury item list? It’s an absolute essential. I apologize for my lack in judgment. And as for the wings, trust me, you’ll understand when you’re on that lonely open road and the only friend you have is a couple ounces of meat attached to a brittle little bone … No, you’re the unstable one!

Beware: Road trips can make you crazy, especially if they’re more than just a couple days – as any good road trip should be. So you’re going to want to make sure that your companion is someone with whom you are car-compatible.

What does that mean? I’m glad I rhetorically asked myself on your behalf.

There are rules of the road that any two people should abide by when they embark on a trip together. Here’s an obvious one to get you acclimated to the concept: it is customary to alternate paying for gas. I know it seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people are ignorant of that sort of thing.

Possibly even more crucial is having a road trip partner who can tolerate your musical taste. And even more important, someone whose musical taste is tolerable. Sometimes you have to settle for someone who refuses to choose anything besides “Iron and Wine” from your iPod.

Unfortunately, not everyone is born with a mind for road trips – also known as a “road head.” And as we all know, a lack in road head can really limit your fun.

For example, willingly driving past any In-N-Out Burger is considered road trip blasphemy. Another classic rookie mistake is to try to arrive at your destination before the estimated time provided by the almighty Google Maps.

Look, as much as you feel affirmed as a man by making good time, you’re only hurting the overall experience.

Don’t lose focus on the spirit of the trip. You should be giddy with anticipation of the unknown, the unknown of what lies ahead on whatever virgin road you’re on. If the wonder of new places doesn’t excite you then why are you even traveling? Stay home and watch more “House” and tell yourself that you’re edgy.

But mainly, have fun, stay safe, and remember – when you cross certain nothern international borders it’s important to know the type of knife that you have. Not all knives that flip open are butterfly knives. Trust me, they’ll ask … or so I’ve heard.

Eh, forget aboot it.