When someone thinks of a road trip they think of fun, friends, and adventure. When I asked a few GSU students, “What’s your number one rule for a road trip?”, the answers were pretty similar.
Rebecca Franklin, junior pre-pharmacy major said, “Shotgun has to DJ and it must be something we can sing along to.”
Franklin wasn’t the only one who found music important, Keionna Wallace, a sophomore education major said, “Good music is an essential part of a successful road trip.”
While music seems to play an important role, one student had a piece of cautionary advice.
“Plan ahead so you know where the fuck you’re going and don’t run out of gas in the middle of nowhere,” Derika Sommer, a junior business major, said.
Rule Number One Good Music, Good Travels
As the eloquent Dean Winchester, from the CW’s “Supernatural” once said, “Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cakehole.” The person riding shotgun is responsible for playing DJ so that the driver can focus on what they’re doing – driving.
Rule Number Two Shotgun a.k.a. Co-pilot
If you are riding shotgun the unspoken rule is that you are the driver’s co-pilot. That’s right that means no naps (I know – but it’s for a good cause). You have to be alert and able to assist the driver with directions, etc.
Rule Number Three Plan Ahead for Smooth Sailing
It is without a doubt a good idea to know where you are going before you get there. If you look up the directions beforehand you can be a little more familiar with the names of roads and exits. While GPS is a wonderful thing, they can sometimes be inaccurate.
Rule Number Four Electricity is Your Friend
I don’t think I have to mention this one, but just to be safe, make sure you bring a phone charger and a car charger. This way if you do happen to get lost you can either call a friend for directions, or use your phone for a GPS to at least get back to a main road.
Rule Number Five Only One Type of Gas is allowed on a Road Trip
And that gas is for your car. You should always make sure that you have enough gas. Never let your gauge get too low because you never know when you will hit a dead spot where there are no gas stations (i.e. most of I-16).
Rule Number Six Pay Attention to Signs
The last thing you want to do when you’re far away from home is get your car towed just because you didn’t read the sign that you parked right beside. If you are in an unfamiliar area it is a good idea to make sure you know that it is okay to park in certain places.
Rule Number Seven Snacks are Your Friend
Make sure you stock up on snacks before you and your crew head out. This will minimize the amount of stops you have to make and it will be convenient to get a snack whenever you are hungry. Plus, if you end up getting stuck in stopped traffic, having your favorite snack handy is an instant mood lifter.
Rule Number Eight Don’t Break the Bank
You want to plan ahead and make sure you have enough money for your trip. You want to do this not only because you don’t want to over spend, but you want to make sure you have enough to get there and back. You also want a little spending money for wherever you are going, just make sure you don’t dip into the gas money to get you back home.
Rule Number Nine No Vacancy? No Problem
If you know where you are going to stay, then you would be better off calling ahead and reserving a room at a hotel in the area. If there is a huge event in town it is more than likely that the hotels are going to fill up fast. You don’t want to be left with nowhere to sleep when you get down there, or worse, having to sleep in a hotel where the bed is so questionable you wonder if you’d be better off sleeping on the floor.
Rule Number Ten You’re All in This Together
We all know that road trips, while fun, can sometimes cause a good amount of stress. Make sure that you don’t take your frustrations out on your traveling companions. If you do decide to use them as your human stress balls there could be many negative side effects. You could make the rest of the trip awkward and much harder to enjoy, you could get so caught up in the drama that you get yourself lost, or if you’re bad enough you may end up traveling back home alone.