How to Survive a Multi-hour Road Trip in Five Easy Steps

Our trip is nearly over, and by “nearly” I mean absolutely, definitely.

All we have left is the drive home, and that’s never any fun.  Can you blame me?  I should think not—it’s 30 hours in a truck (albeit a truck with lovely heated seats) driven by a guy who cares more about fuel economy than personal sanity, and a whole lot of twangy country music blaring through the speakers.  [It’s a rule in our minuscule family that whoever is driving gets his or her iPod™ on the transmitter in the vehicle.  Poor Kyle always drives.  We always listen to country.  Simply a matter of cause-and-effect.]

And not that I have a problem with country or anything…but I have a problem with country.

Luckily, Poor Kyle and I have figured out a splendid routine for road trips, since we’ve taken so many together [more than I can remember enough to number] in the past three years.  Here’s the run-down:

How to Survive a Multi-hour Road Trip in Five Easy Steps

1.  I am not a shotgun [backseat] driver. I just don’t do that.  Poor Kyle knows what’s up, and I know that he knows what’s up.  I trust him with my life and then some, and he has basically driven for a living his entire adult life.  He can do it without my help. If I ever do have reason to believe he’s missing something (like a pedestrian crossing or a coming-up exit), I tell him only once to watch out for whatever it may be.  And then I apologise for being a shotgun driver.  He knows I don’t mean to nag, and I know he appreciates it when I’m concentrating right along with him.  We’re a team like that.

2.  He lets me eat. Poor Kyle has learned if I go any extended period of time without food, I get antsy.  And by “antsy” I mean HELLO, WICKED WITCH OF THE NORTH, SOUTH, EAST AND WEST—NICE MOLE YOU’VE GOT GROWING ON YOUR NOSE THERE.  Seriously.  I pack snacks and backup snacks, and if those run out, there had better be a hamburger in my husband’s pocket or very seriously nearby.  I don’t like to be hungry.

3.  I give at least an hour warning prior to necessary bathroom breaks. I try to be as convenient as possible and only go when there’s a stop planned; sometimes, however, that’s simply not possible.  In such situations, as soon as I feel the need, I tell Poor Kyle that we’ve got 30 minutes or so—maybe an hour—before it is going to get urgent.  And then I wait it out.  No sense in whining if it won’t get me closer to a toilet.

4.  I ask before I doze off. I know it sounds silly, but it’s not so much that I’m asking permission to take a nap—it’s just common courtesy.  I mean, if Poor Kyle is nice enough to drive for such extended periods of time [Who am I kidding?   He loves driving and doesn’t trust me with the FWhatever50 anyway, so it’s not like it’s a huge burden on him.], it seems kind of rude just to sleep the day away and let him do all the hard work.  Especially at night on windy roads when he’s already been awake for lots of hours.  Keeping my eyes open along with his seems like the least I can do.  [Not that I’m naturally so courteous…I may have gotten rebuked once for sleeping during a road trip when he needed help staying awake.]

5.    We own a GPS. Enough said.

Image from here. Highly recommended, if you don’t already have one.  Everyone in PK’s family (and mine, too as of Christmas Day) owns one of these, and we all swear by them.

I am convinced these five tips can make anybody’s road trips pleasant, at least until a kid gets thrown into the mix.  Kids always seem to foil even the best-laid plans, so if you’re a parent looking for road trip tips, try a different website.  I got nothin’ for ya here.

Otherwise, happy traveling!

About Camille

I'm Camille. I have a butt-chin. I live in Canada. I was born in Arizona. I like Diet Dr. Pepper. Hello. You can find me on Twitter @archiveslives, Facebook at, instagram at ArchivesLives, and elsewhere.
This entry was posted in Married Life, on the road again, Poor Kyle, theories, Travel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to How to Survive a Multi-hour Road Trip in Five Easy Steps

  1. Joel says:

    Yeah, kids make that 30 hour drive turn into 4 days… We don’t drive that far. Nor would we. Ever.

    Though I’m attempting to toss together a trip to Montreal, which may push the limits of my driving sanity…

  2. anonymous says:

    Dang funny post Camille, thanks for a good morning chuckle.
    Yah, i don’t know how them driver people do it. Good thing you’re there for support. It’s warmed up a bit here, but not much. Sorry, it’s no Disneyland. You lucky ducks. Aren’t Kyle’s nieces adorable?

  3. Camille says:

    Joel– Yeah, sorry. I got all done with my post, and then I was like, “Oh, wait. Kids.” Oops.

    anonymous– It’s true: Kyle’s nieces are officially two of the cutest girls on the planet. You should hear them talk! It’s precious.

  4. HeatherPride says:

    Wow. Skip and I almost killed each other out in Hawaii during an outing around the island. I know for a fact our marriage would never survive 30 hours in a car together. Holy smokes. Good for you and Poor Kyle!

  5. Holly Decker says:

    what a simply courteous passenger you are, indeed! i am never that pleasant.
    thanks for giving me some things to think on.

  6. Allison says:

    Fun post. I wish Mike would learn from these lessons. I always drives and he breaks all those rules. Maybe I will post them in the vehicle the next time we go on a road trip. Or maybe I should make it a contract and force him to sign it prior to leaving.

  7. niki says:

    No.2- hilarious! No.4- agreed. After all, ‘it’s common’ however, I’ve never driven more than 8 hrs with my babe. I might not be so polite after 30!

  8. WhoNose? says:

    You’re well on your way to achieving the Wife of the Year Award!!!

  9. anonymous says:

    A greater blessing you will have: Perfect Wife for Kyle Award.

  10. anon10 says:

    Ugh… driving for 30 hours sounds awful. But, I guess if you have snacks it will be okay!

  11. Geneva says:

    Sweet. I’m the same way with food. Must always have snacks and back up snacks. Both sweet and salty varieties.

  12. Carmen says:

    You are amazing in the number of times you have gone back and forth to Arizona and where ever else you and Kyle have gone. I’m not a huge fan of road trips but I agree, you gotta have snacks and lots of them. Oh and yes, Jeff and Jaycie cleaned up after themselves :) It is the same thing with my carts at shopping places, I always take them back now because Jeff had to go fetch carts at Costco for a couple of months (until he moved into the pharmacy) and he grew a great dislike for people who didn’t take the effort.

  13. Anonymous says:


    Well, I’ll just be grateful when I know you made it home safely. Please stay awake so PK doesn’t drive off the road accidentally. I do still wish you were here, though. Your trips are always too short, no matter how long they are.

  14. sarah says:

    Hey Camille,
    Can I get your address??

  15. Whitney says:

    30 hours!!!!! Yeah I would have pulled all my hair out by about 12 hours. I dont do long car trips. Driving to Utah is horrendous enough for me. I totally agree with you on No.2. Food and I, we be best friends

  16. sarah says:

    Yeah I’m kind of a perfectionist too like your sister. I try not to be but sometimes I can’t help it. You are so funny with your 5 tips for roadtrips. Just so you know, when you get pregnant, even though the child is not born yet all of your tips won’t work either. You’re going to need lots more snacks and more frequent potty breaks. I always try and stay awake when someone else is driving too. I feel the same way as you. Be safe!

  17. anonymous says:

    I forgot to say in my last comment, that Perfect Wife for Kyle award lasts more than a year. An eternity some say. Long time to be perfect.

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