Summer Road Trip Survival Guide
If you’ve made it this far into your late twenties without experiencing the great, All-Canadian Road Trip, then congratulations on successfully living life as mole for the past 20 years and also welcome to adulting.
For the uninitiated, road trips are great ways to explore new areas of the province while experiencing the joys of hot cars and friends who emit gas after fast food breakfast. While we’ve all been there, done that, with the 5-6 hours’ worth in a 1993 Toyota Camry with no air conditioning, a tape cassette (wait, what?), and questionable gas gage, for those who want nothing more than a smooth and comfortable road trip this summer, we have you covered. Here are 6 simple and effective tips to ensure that you and your fellow road trippers arrive to your destination with your friendships intact and a hold on your collective sanity.
1. Crank the Tunes
Ah, technology. Drowning out our friend’s bad sing-along voices since the days of Spice Girls. Also home of drowning out your parents’ ABBA and No, I don’t like Country, thanks for not asking. A designated car DJ is only second to a solid road trip playlist. Make like Switzerland and go the neutral/diplomatic route: gather everyone’s top picks before embarking on your journey and keep it on shuffle. Be it Top 40, Weird Al, or Drizzy, everyone has an ample amount of time to listen to their fave’s and not-so-fave’s on the drive.
2. In-Ride Entertainment
Who says you can’t make a 10 hour drive and catch up on the latest episode of Game of Thrones? Well, you can’t if you’re the driver. But there is always a slew of podcasts, and not to mention if you’re feeling inspiration, you have all the time in the world in-between pit stops and photo ops to listen to the newest Ted Talks. If you’re one of those people who can read in moving cars without inducing nausea while simultaneously blocking out the people around you, then catch up on your summer reading or continue the fabrication that is pretending to read Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, you Vancouver hipster you.
3. Take Detours
Everyone needs to stretch their legs at some point during the trip. Road side attractions, scenic lookouts, and larger than life beavers can all be a welcome distraction and selfie opportunity to the long stretch of highway ahead. Bonus: it’s been proven that frequent breaks prevent you from wanting to punch your friends for chewing their gum so loudly. We’re only trying to help.
4. Channel Your Inner Summer Camp
Nothing says quality bonding time like punching someone repeatedly in the arm for every Volkswagen ‘buggy’ you see. Oh, nostalgic car games of yesteryear: License plate games. The alphabet game. Seeing who can spot the most ridiculous bumper sticker. Bonus points if it’s one of those Honk if You Love stickers. People usually forget that they put one of those on the back of their car, which means that when you go to test out if they really love scuba diving enough to elicit a bumper sticker and they’re glaring at you in their rearview mirror for honking at them, you’ve successfully reached new levels of taking things literally. When all that fails and playing road trip games isn’t as cracked up as it used to be, revert back to your anti-social self-preservation habits with Candy Crush.
5. Switch It Up
To avoid possible cases of road rage or simply pure exhaustion, rotate through your licensed passengers to break up the trip into manageable chunks. Yes, that means even Lead Foot and Overly Cautious Shoulder Checker need a chance at getting behind the wheel, despite what you make glean of their driving skills.
6. Plan Ahead
Don’t be the hero and try to drive all night, no matter how much you swear by your five cups of coffee and one can of Red Bull. If you’re tired, brah, you’re tired. Find a motel or plan ahead and check in an Air BNB. Do you know where to stop when the car runs low on fuel? Are you prepared for when someone in the car gets hangry? Do you have a fully stocked supply of pretzels and water in case the world apocalypse happens? Plan ahead. Be prepared. Always have aluminum foil on hand for aluminum foil hats (in case of alien invasion) and you’ll save yourself and your travel companions a lot of stress.