I enjoy road trips. I’ve been on plenty, after all. Growing up in the US, we always drove if we wanted to go somewhere. From a young age, I did road trips of various lengths to go to places on the East Coast.
When I was a bit older, in 2009, I did a West Coast road trip from Los Angeles to Vancouver, Canada, and back down to San Francisco. It was an epic three-week journey and, mostly, totally awesome. So I have some ideas of what makes a good road trip.
Companions: Pick people you know you can stand! You will probably see the worst of whoever you’re traveling with during a long-term road trip at least once, so make sure you consider that in advance. Someone who already gets on your nerves occasionally is not a good pick! Think of who you want a concentrated, 24-hours a day dose of. For me, I choose Jeff and one or two close friends (there are plenty of people who would work, who I’ve road tripped with before).
The Car: Something fairly spacious compared to the amount of people. So in other words, not my 2002 GMC Sonoma pickup… a regular sized sedan is enough for 3, maybe 4 people comfortably (or if necessary, you can always cram in 6 people for an 11 hour drive, right Austin/Hannah/Becky/Karin/Gavin?). Ideally, for four people I’d have an SUV that can seat 7 so people can spread out.
Snacks: Chips, popcorn, Cheez Its, kale chips or salty crispy seaweed (for a bit of healthiness), juice and soda, plenty of water, sticks of carrots and celery, chocolate, cheese, trail mix. Variety is good! It should be easy to eat one-handed, and stuff you won’t get bored with (but let’s face it, you will get bored with it anyway).
Music: A blend of stuff that everyone knows and love to sing, and stuff that is the favorite of individuals (and not hated by everyone else – so, no show tunes, sorry). For me, a mix of 90s and 00s hits, Metric, Mumford and Sons, and Florence + the Machine would be great. You want to have at least 12 or 14 hours of music available so it doesn’t get too repetitive. I always just put my iPod on shuffle but end up getting bored and skipping everything. I have not mastered the art of the road trip playlist.
Location: The road trip I want to do most at the moment is the American Southwest – especially a bunch of national parks.
So there you have it, my perfect road trip. It seems like a total possibility, and I very much expect it to happen in a couple of years.