8 Elements of Every Great Road Trip

N and I just returned from a quick weekend in Boston for a wedding. It’s a decent drive but between my fear of flying and the fact that it was $400 cheaper to drive, we packed it in for a road trip.

The thing is, I love road trips. Maybe it’s because I’ve driven all the way across the country (twice!) but anything less than 10 hours doesn’t seem that long to me anymore. There’s nothing like settling in to the passenger seat, feet up, shades on, reading a book or chatting with my partner in crime.

Road Trip 2

Every road trip for us seems to have the same elements.

1. Wawa

Every proper road trip starts at Wawa. Snacks on snacks on snacks. Coffee. Hoagies. Happiness.

2. Trashy magazines

I never buy trashy magazines so this is my road trip indulgence. That and Sweedish Fish. So let him drive the first shift and get my trashy magazine on.

3. Nostalgic music

This inevitably happen several hours 37 minutes into the road trip when I decide we’ve run out of all the good popular music and move on to James Taylor. And N inevitably pitches a fit and I. Am. Stunned. Who doesn’t like James Taylor? Get the hell out of here. We argue about it jokingly and I get two or three songs in before he starts to get seriously irked. Being on Mass Pike means Sweet Baby James has to be played. It has to.

When this comes to a close, I turn on some Mariah Carey circa 1992 and sing along. It’s glorious for me and murder for everyone in the car (Archie included).

Road Trip 1

4. The New Jersey Turnpike Rest Stops

Say what you want about New Jersey but they blow every other state out of the water with their rest stops – conveniently located right off the turnpike, chock full of fast food options, clean bathrooms, and usually a Starbucks. Plus, you don’t have to pump your own gas! Can we get a round of applause for New Jersey?

5. Mushy brainstorming

If road trips are good for one thing, it’s that they inevitably lead you to talk about topics that you may not talk about your day-to-day life. After you’ve thoroughly hashed out everything you did that week, short-term goals, random observations, and what not, it’s easy to start talking long-term.

This is the part of the car ride where you plan your wedding, name your future children, and even talk about whether you’d consider retiring in Florida. Just go with it. It’s one of those blessed hours where the guys so bored that he’ll be really in to talking about it too.

Road Trip 3

6. That inevitable fight

Somewhere on a nine-hour car ride you’re going to bicker about something. If you’d like to make a bit of money, you can put $20 down on the fact that around hour three N and I will get into a tiff about the way he’s driving.

If there’s one thing I’m the best at, it’s being a backseat driver. Usually right after this time I try to focus on something else like scrolling through Instagram, tweeting, or pinning things on Pinterest.

7. Let’s learn something

Once I’ve finally shut my mouth about N driving in the fast lane going 68 MPH (yes, he’s one of those people), I throw on a Podcasts. Some This American Life, The Nerdist, Freakonomics Radio, and Radiolab are bound to teach you something and you’ll wind up feeling like the hours you spent on the road weren’t wasted. Then we usually have heated discussions about our opinions about whatever we learned.

Road Trip 4

8. Techno wake up time

The second one of us gets tired, it’s windows down and crazy techno dance parties. Then we just repeat steps 5, 6, and 7 until we get to our destination.

Like I said, road trips are my favorite. And just in case you need it, here’s a road trip playlist that will slowly crush your boyfriend’s soul.

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