A road trip is a trip in which you drive a vehicle a long distance, typically from Point A to Point B. It takes a lot longer than flying, but it’s a whole lot faster than walking. I just went on a road trip over the weekend for a wedding in San Diego. It took me a little less than nine hours to drive the five hundred plus miles from San Francisco. It would have been less than eight hours but Los Angeles is a traffic cesspool.
That was my first road trip in a couple of years. It’s a lot easier to go on road trips when you actually have a car. It wasn’t a bad drive, but I was driving solo so I got a little bored from time to time. I definitely went a little crazy. I know that I was talking to myself and splashing cold water on my face to keep from drifting off the road. It didn’t help that I was driving on the I-5, which is one of the most boring interstates in California. There’s no scenery and practically no landmarks (the one exception being the massive cow slaughtering house that reeks of death for miles around).
When you driving down the same stretch of highway for hundreds of miles, you make friends. They aren’t really friends, they are simply other cars, trucks, and busses that are keeping the same pace as you. Every now and then you pull off to get some gas, go to the bathroom, and stretch out your legs. Then you jump back out on the road and try to catch up to them again. I also like to use fast moving trucks or busses as mobile reference points. I followed a giant purple tour bus like a minnow for over seventy miles because the driver was cruising at 85 mph. I figured that he would be the one to get a ticket if any cops saw us speeding.
I have a few tips for a successful road trip. First off, make sure your car is up to the task. Make sure the oil is changed, the tires are ok, and that you have a full tank of gas. Nothing sucks out the momentum from hitting the road like needing to get gas twenty minutes into the trip. Also make sure that you have drinks and snacks. You can’t go wrong with a bag of trail mix and some beef jerky. For drinks, I’d recommend some energy drinks to keep you awake and a few bottles of cold water. I like to freeze a couple of bottles the night before so they stay as cold as possible. Every now and then I’ll splash water on my face when the energy drinks aren’t enough. And make sure you have music or a podcast or something to listen to. It helps to break up the monotony.
Road trips are fun. Flying saves you a lot of time, but driving is how you really discover things.
Critically Rated at 15/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young