I have a love/hate relationship with road trips.
I hate riding in the car for long distances. 2 hours is usually the maximum amount of time I can behave myself. Ask anyone who has driven with me on long trips. I lose it.
My mom even tells me that when I was younger, the same two hour time frame was securely in place. She knew she had two hours to do whatever she needed to get done, unless she wanted to end her errands with a screaming toddler.
I don’t scream anymore.
And yet, I love road trips. Packing up the car with family, friends, endless snacks and playlists creates such an exciting vibe that makes me want to take road trips over and over again.
So I made a list. Here you are:
Things I hate about road trips:
Time. It generally takes super long to get to your destination. I get impatient and bored and make poor decisions. *Insert reference to obnoxious dance moves that distract the driver.*
Crampedness. I don’t like to sit in one position for an extended period of time. During long car rides, (and sometimes even shorter ones) my body will be in all sorts of directions. Legs. Everywhere.
Car Sickness. I am all too familiar with car sickness. I can’t read. I can’t search the snack box for more cheez-its. I can’t do most anything or else I’ll get sick.
Irritating Drivers. I think, in Michigan, we are taught to be aggressive drivers. Especially when we’ve spent some time around the bigger cities. That being said, there are those who drive like they are completely unaware of other cars around them. They, my friends, greatly affect my hatred of road trips. And driving in general.
Traffic. Sitting in traffic is the worst. Most of the time, you’re stuck at a point where you can’t tell what is causing the traffic, which only leads the mind to assume that it’s due to irritating drivers. *see above*
Having to pee. It happens to us all. And when we’re on the road, having to pee is a stressful event. First, it impacts the amount of time the road trip takes. Second, there is meticulous decision-making to be made about the location of the stop. You get your choice of questionable roadside rest stops, fast food restaurants and gas stations that make you feel bad when you pull the “pee without a purchase”, or, the dreaded middle-of-nowhere-squat-and-hope-for-the-best. Luckily, I haven’t endured the latter since my younger days.
Sucky road trip buddies. Sometimes we don’t get to choose our car comrades. We may get stuck with the person who likes to drive 7 hours only listening to talk radio and sports commentary (enter my dad). Or the person who complains. Or the person who just wants to sleep the whole time. The back seat driver. The crappy navigator. Or the person who has a love/hate relationship with car rides and you don’t know when they’ll reach their limit…
Things I love about road trips:
Snacks. Road trips are the one time you can fill a box full of all the snacks that are usually frowned upon, and eat them at will. My go-to car ride snacks? Chocolate milk, sour gummi worms, and Cheez-its.
Sights. Road trips can sometimes allow you to drive through some incredible scenery. Pacific Coast Highway, anyone?? Sometimes, you will only see 247 cornfields. Not that I counted. Thanks, Illinois.
Jam sessions. Probably my favorite part. Whether you are driving alone and cranking the tunes, or have seats full of back-up dancers, the jam sessions can make or break a good road trip. This is also a great time to show off your mad show-tune belting skills. If you’re not hoarse by the time you’ve reached your destination, you’re doing it wrong.
Talks. I’ve had some of the best conversations while riding in the car. Sometimes goofy and lighthearted, sometimes deep and intellectual. Talking also helps pass the time and allows you to get to know your road trip buddies. Or hey, if it’s a solo trip, a nice self-convo works too.
Freedom. One of the greatest things about road trips is the freedom they give you. Roads can take you to so many places. You have the freedom to pull over and take a picture whenever you want. You can stop for more snacks. You can take scenic routes or country roads. You can find kitschy tourist spots and take obnoxious photos.
Cost. Generally speaking, it’s safe to assume that road trips are less costly than other modes of travel. This, of course, depends on length of trip, destinations, how often you stop, gas prices, etc. Still a perk in my book.
Packing. Riding in your car means you are not subjected to baggage fees (unless the driver is a real party pooper). This means you can pack ALL THE THINGS. You don’t have to stress about limiting yourself to only the things you need. Go ahead, bring four pairs of shoes. And some outfits you’ll maybe need. And probably more snacks.
Awesome road trip buddies.Your road trip buddies are the lifeblood of the road trip. Having awesome ones is what solidifies those fuzzygood feels when taking road trips. The ones to share snacks and duets with. The ones who say “yeah! That looks lame, let’s stop there!” And on the plus side, you don’t get stuck having to sit next to that guy.
Do you love or hate road trips? Let me know in the comments below!