With midterms behind you and nothing but school-free days and sunny skies in your future, spring break is the perfect time to hit the road with some awesome tunes and some awesome friends in search of an adventure. But planning the perfect road trip isn’t easy. Here’s what you need to know:
Choosing Your Road Trip Buddies
Regardless of how cool your rommie/sister/lab partner/BF seems to be, you don’t really know someone until you spend multiple hours in a confined space with them and virtually have no way to be apart. Although a road trip can bring you and your friend(s) closer, it could also test each your last nerves, so be sure that they are good road trip buddy material.
Before inviting someone to join you on the road, evaluate your relationship. If one minute you’re slamming doors in each other’s faces and the next you’re French-braiding each other’s hair, you may not want them sitting shotgun on your Spring Break trip. Choose someone with whom you rarely fight with, as arguments in a smaller space escalate much faster.
Driver’s License Please
To be a good road trip buddy, a person must also have a driver’s license. You may think you won’t mind being chauffeur throughout the entire mini-vacay, but you’ll probably get sick of staring at vast expanses of asphalt after a while. Bringing along other licensed drivers will allow you some well-deserved mellow-out time. A good road trip buddy should also be familiar enough with you that they don’t mind splitting a hotel room, which will help you save your spending money for important things, you know, like that oh-so-adorable snow globe in the souvenir shop.
More the Merrier?
It’s also a good idea to bring two or three people, so that you feel safer in sketchier areas (there’s strength in numbers), unless of course you’re planning a romantic getaway with your significant other. More people also means more fun, but invite any more than four and you won’t get anywhere, because everyone will have a different idea of what to do. You should also consider asking your best guy friend along for the ride, because they make for terrific sleazy guy-repellant.
Pack Heavy, Store Light
People always say to pack light, but being prepared means your suitcase is going to be a little hefty.
Here are few tips for wardrobe packing:
- It won’t be very convenient to do laundry, so you should bring at least one outfit per day you’ll be away from home.
- For days you know you’ll just be bumming it in the car, racking up miles on your odometer, opt for comfort.
- Choose clothes with smooth material over itch-inducing ones and if you must pack some pumps, leave them in the trunk until you arrive.
- Be sure to have attire for any kind of weather and for any kind of occasion.
- Your mom might raise an eyebrow when you pack your LBD, but who knows when you could stumble across a totally A-list event.
- To keep your wardrobe from hogging all the space in your vehicle, neatly roll up your all your tops and compress as many as you can in the same Ziploc baggy.
Other items on your packing To-Do list should include:
- First Aid Kit
- Non-perishable snacks and water bottles
- Cell phone
- Cell phone charger
- Your car’s owner’s manual
Busting Backseat Boredom
When packing, you should also consider bringing things to keep you entertained when you’re not the one behind the wheel. Magazines and books are always a great way to pass the time. If reading makes you car sick, playing an audio book on the stereo can be a lot of fun. Somehow, classic novels are way easier to digest and way more fun when read aloud.
If the maturity level in your car is a bit low, embrace it and play some MadLibs (Pro tip: Choosing ‘fart’ for every blank does not guarantee humor). If anyone has an iPad, consider downloading a movie or two off iTunes and have everyone squish in close to view it.
For some free fun, make a list of all the continental US states and give it to each road trip buddy, telling them to check off a state when they see its license plate. The first person to get them all gets to choose where dinner will be that night and the last person has to fit the bill for said dinner!
– Karina Stow
Photo credit: Patxi Izkue