Laura is a Toronto-based lifestyle writer known for profiling international artists and retail marketing campaigns. When she's not pretending to know lyrics or dancing in public, she likes to hit the gym, (over)eat and spend time with family and friends. Connect with her on Instagram: @elleeshirk
At first it seems fun – maybe even adventurous. Stocking up on junk food, making throwback playlists, and squeezing in two to a belt. It’s just you, your besties and the open road. Worst-case scenario: it’s you, your family and bumper-to-bumper traffic. Either way, whether camping bound or heading cross-country, it only takes a couple of hours before excitement turns into a request – or demand – to exit the car.
Between the fight over everything from seating to driving style, survival skills are essential. Before hitting the road again with a bunch of your closest ones, prepare with the following ways to make it through a jam-packed trip and to your final destination.
1. Be sure to choose wisely
When planning a road trip, other than final destination, there are two main choices to be made: company and car. You need to think about who is tagging along for the ride and whose car you’re taking. Consider all the options and in both cases, choose the safest one. Have a good idea of what it’s like to travel with the people joining in and when the last time was the car selected passed a safety inspection. While most of us like to meet and make new friends and show off our half-finished fixer-upper, neither is fitting for a lengthy drive. Stick with ones who aren’t afraid to drool in public, and keep beater cars for local cruising.
2. Make a plan
Avoid extra groaning and moaning by making a group-based plan. Have a general time for changeovers, pit stops and arrival, but remember to keep it flexible. After all, going on a road trip is all about taking your time and checking out the sites. Side notes: decide ahead of time how much everyone is expected to pitch for gas, and in case of roaming charges write down or print out directions.
3. Keep it comfy over cramped
Depending on the number of people and type of car, cramped space is associated with car sharing. Make space by packing light and tossing bags and backpacks into the trunk. Shoes off and tunes up, make room for pillows and get used to crossing limbs and losing phones between seats or beneath stacks of snacks.
4. Don’t be that one
There’s always one. The one who needs to stop for hourly washroom breaks, takes control of the music, sneaks their way out of driving and forgets something kind of, super important (like a passport). Don’t be the person that the others walk away from the ride either needing space from or holding a grudge against.
5. Sleep on it
When all else fails and voices start to rise or tempers start to flare, plug in and fall asleep. It’s perfectly fine to turn over, remove yourself from conversation and catch a snooze – even if you’re riding passenger. You shouldn’t feel the need to entertain the driver, especially if you’re up next. You won’t miss out on anything other than the scenery and everyone needs equal rest.
What are your tips for road trip survival? Let us know on social by tagging @BeMakeful