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!