I've road tripped a lot: on tour playing music, moving across the country, and traveling by car in general. Here are my simple rules to happiness on four wheels:
  1. 1.
    No phone calls over 5 min.
    this is a big one. it ruins the experience for everyone else in the car and it's rude. answer on speakerphone and then hang up.
  2. 2.
    Know where you're going!
    there needs to be a navigator who takes their role seriously. wandering aimlessly is cute in theory but actually not fun to experience when you're a passenger. it's annoying.
  3. 3.
    Have the right road trip gear:
    Drinks, snacks, mix CDs (or offline Spotify playlists), and even a pillow / blanket. Exponentially important for any drive longer than 10 hrs. I used to road trip with a large dry erase board to write messages to nearby cars. ALWAYS funny. I also had large plastic magnetic letters on my bumper to spell out a message of the day!
  4. 4.
    Brake for roadside attractions:
    I like to combine the use of a Magic 8-ball I keep in my glove compartment with use of the website/app Roadside America. I recommend this method! 🔮 AS I SEE IT, YES, you should stop at the crochet museum! YES, you should go to the Big Well!
  5. 5.
    Don't emit gasses
    don't burp or fart in the car if it can be controlled. 😷 I road tripped extensively with a companion who burped apple juice the whole time and it was funny for a moment but then repulsive and just completely unforgivable after days and then weeks of this hourly behavior. we are sharing air.
  6. 6.
    Make plans to see friends
    the best part of traveling by car is the flexibility it gives you to meet up with friends in remote places. reach out to people you barely know! reach out to total strangers. make friends. see friends. friends are more memorable than road signs.
  7. 7.
    Eat green things 🍏
    Make a point to eat vegetables and fruits and go to farmers markets in towns you pass through. Road food is terrible for you and you will wish for a quick death if it's all you eat.
  8. 8.
    Eat weird road food 🍟yummm
    Experience the weirdness of hush puppies at a truck stop. Hot and cheap regional fare. Diners. Waffle House covered and smothered. Roasted chestnuts.
  9. 9.
    Get an oil change, fill your tires, rotate them.
    tune up regularly or you'll regret it.
  10. 10.
    Send postcards and call home. But don't live tweet your experience. leave something to the intimacy of your memory.
    stay connected but not too connected. live in the moment and enjoy it.