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10 Road Trip Rules to Drive By

Author Mary Chong
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Road Trip – Yeah or Nay

What is a road trip by definition? = An extended trip in a motor vehicle or automobile

The phrase “Road Trip” is either met with glee or horror. I often reminisce about the Chevy Chase movie National Lampoons Vacation and believe that as long as none of those events happens during my trip, it’s a success. If you ask me, I’d much prefer the car to the plane, bus or train. The car embodies an element of spirituality and catharsis, which is seldom found in the last three. 

This is the reason why I enjoy road tripping now and then. When else can you have some quality time with loved ones in an enclosed environment? Granted, taking a road trip is only memorable if your fellow travellers are of your liking. Otherwise, it’ll be a different kind of memorable. Not the kind that you want.

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My husband and I documented a road trip driving from Toronto, Canada (one of the best countries for road trips, if you ask me) down the east coast to Fort Lauderdale Florida to board a weeklong cruise holiday. We decided to go on this road trip because we found it much cheaper to drive than to fly. Also, our favourite experiences on any road trip is seeing the varied rural and urban landscape outside as it passes by our car window.

We spent 22 hours on the open road. Like I said, your fellow crewmates have to be of your liking. If not, this adds up to 22 hours of hell in a moving box.

Check this article with some road trip tips for couples.

If you find yourself cruising along the highway, fuelled by a deep-rooted drive for nomadic salvation, here are my personal set of travel tips to follow when you’re on the road.

Rules for a safe Road Trip

10 Rules for a Safe and Successful Road Trip.

1. Whoever is driving chooses the music.

Who controls the radio on a road trip? The driver, of course. The point of music is mainly to keep the driver alert and happy. Don’t want to drive? Bring your own tunes. Either that or start singing along. Someone else will want to drive REAL soon.

What’s the best music for road trips?  Anything that keeps you awake!

2. Two drivers are better than one.

If driving at night, one person must stay awake alongside the driver to help keep the driver alert and occupied. Either that or change drivers now and then. It’s very strenuous to drive when dark. We like to listen to audiobooks at night. It’s as if there is another person in the car telling you a story and because you are busy concentrating on the story, you won’t feel compelled to talk continuously. Do make sure that the story is a worthwhile one.

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Road Trip Games are also a great way for the driver and passenger to stay alert but make sure it isn’t a distraction. If you’re on a road trip with the family, make sure one of the rules is that nobody distracts the driver.

3. The navigator is as important as the driver

It’s not only difficult, but it’s entirely unsafe for the driver to be looking out for cars, pedestrians, other obstacles etc., and have to worry about the map at the same time. It’s the road trip responsibility of the navigator to track the current location, look out for the next turn and give the correct instructions. In this case, a “back-seat driver” is a good thing!

4. No silent stink bombs.

(A fundamental road trip car rule)
Give your fellow travel companions ample warning to open a window. I’m talking BEFORE not AFTER!!

5. No messy, stinky, sticky foods and snacks.

A road trip is not the time to pack salmon or egg or any sandwich with lots of onions or a drippy saucy meatball sub. You’ll smell it for hours afterwards, and you’ll make a mess in the car.

6. Eat light on the road.

Gas station bathrooms don’t normally win the clean bathroom award. In fact, my worst nightmares involve a gas station bathroom of sorts. It’s best to get in and out of there as fast as you can.

road trip

PRO TRAVEL TIP: Read these articles about bleach wipes, and baby wipes.

7. No unscheduled pit stops.

If you’re stopping at a gas station, use the facilities even if you don’t have to go. You don’t know when the next rest stop will be and whether it might be unsanitary. Trust me; you don’t want to be desperately looking for a gas station or be the one person who delays the trip for everyone else. This rule especially applies if you are travelling with kids!

8. Stay on schedule and on time.

No one is looking forward to the 3 am wake-up call either, and it’s not fair for your travelling companions who woke up early to be on time to wait for you.

9. Don’t hog the motel bathroom.

If you are stopping to sleep on the road and share a motel room, let your travelling companions hit the shower first if you plan on taking a long hot bath.

10. Be honest, take care of yourself and stay safe.

If you feel tired and can’t drive anymore, say so. A road trip is not the time to try to be a lionheart and push it when driving. I personally commiserate with that advice as I’m well-aware of the horror of being asleep and being awoken by the sound of the rumble strips under the tires as we were starting to veer off the road. Fortunately, no harm was caused. 

11. Bonus Tip: Pack essential items.

The things you bring can make the difference between a joyful, scintillating experience and a strenuous and regretful one. If you’re of a restless personality, then bring a book or an MP3 player. If you’re going camping, then make sure to bring extra batteries and a first aid kit. One of the worst feelings in the world is when you ruin a road trip for others and yourself because you didn’t bring what was required. Only bring what’s necessary, though. Don’t clutter your already packed car.

10 Road Trip Rules definitely not to be broken the next time you go on a driving adventure in your car! #travel #trip #tip #car #road #driving

Listen up, people! Rules for any road trip are not made to be broken!

Follow these rules to a “T”, and you are sure to avoid being in the next National Lampoon road trip movie!

Do you have any more rules for a successful road trip to add? Join the discussion!

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