Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday five: road trip rules.

Sure, the driver gets to pick the music (or other listening entertainment) - that goes without saying.  Albums that sustained us for almost four months on the road included Frank Turner's Tape Deck Heart, Jared Mees's If You Wanna Swim With the Sharks..., REM's Eponymous, REO Speedwagon's The Hits, and Family of the Year's Loma Vista.  We also relied heavily on old podcasts of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me.

After 10,000+ miles of experiential learning, here are five additional road trip rules we know are true, in no particular order:
  • Rock, paper, scissors should determine who gets the first driving shift.
  • U-turns for ridiculous photo ops are mandatory.
 carrying a stuffed cow to participate in photo ops: optional
  • Mad Libs are fun no matter how young or old you might be!  We kept a bunch in the glove box and pulled them out when driving got really tedious (starting somewhere around Manitoba, continuing off and on through Ontario).  This Mad Libs version was specific to road trips, vacations, and saving money, so the story lines were particularly relevant.  The best one-liner was from one called "Sing Along", about singing to pass the time on long road trips - "Old MacDonald had a yurt." 
  • Always have a paper map, especially when exploring new territory.  Before we left Portland we ditched our GPS and loaded up on Canada maps from AAA.  Every province also had a welcome center that provided free, detailed provincial and local maps.  Tree-friendly?  Nope.  Absolutely invaluable?  Yes!  You crazy kids can keep your electronic handheld pricey mapping devices - paper maps are generally cheap/free, they don't require charging, they're totally reliable, they make good campfire kindling when you're done with them, and figuring out how to refold them can provide hours of entertainment for your co-pilot.
  • Fritos are a perfectly acceptable road trip snack! 
And you?  Leave your road trip tips or suggestions for driving music in the comments!


  1. i like to see how long i can keep my eyes closed before the passenger notices and/or another motorist honks their horn

    1. The bonus is that you don't get stressed out watching all the other insane DC(ish) drivers almost plow into you...