We all have this romantic notion every now and again to gather your closest friends, pack a suitcase and hit the road for a trip. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a few Buzzfeed’s with road tripping as something to do in your 20s or in college or whatever. In any case, we’re young and we’re free so why not, right? Especially when your beloved Buckeyes are playing in Miami, you have a friend with a house in Naples, and you’re all graduating (well, mostly, we all have a few victory lap pals in our circles).
However, I’m here to tell you that it’s not all sunshine and daisies if you decide to go, but that’s natural when you travel with 13 people, 3 cars, and for at minimum 18 hours each way. I had the best time of my life and if you spring break consists of an elongated drive, be smart.
1.) Be practical
Have a plan and stick with it. My car rotated drivers every 4ish hours with a partner riding shotty. Your partner should stay up, be your entertainment, and keep an eye on the road. We also all downloaded the Groupme application to keep tabs on each other, warn about traffic, etc.
2.) Follow the Rules
Even if you think it’s late, no one’s on the road, and you’re excited, resist the urge to speed. Seriously. It puts a damper on events if you get pulled over, I don’t know, 1 hour into the drive and face a lady cop who doesn’t care that you have 17 hours to go.
3.) Pack Carrots
Really. I attribute much of the success to purchasing a 5lb bag of carrots in Kroger before we left. We ate them on the road, at the beach, there’s zero mess. Plus, some say they’re good for your sight – so a definite plus!
4.) Don’t sweat the small stuff
Stupid stuff is bound to come up because those pullout sofas are painful and you aren’t sleeping enough. Don’t be dramatic and fight about things you will laugh about later. Let’s be honest though, sometimes your friend needs to know he’s being stupid. That said; if you do fight pick a great location because you’ll all find it hilarious later. A Chinese Buffet is a great place.
5.) Establish who the mom is of every outings
Think of this like the grownup buddy system because having at least one group mom is really beneficial. Group mom’s are responsible for things like making sure everyone has sunscreen on, water was packed, volume is kept to an acceptable level, and remembering to move the cars.
6.) When in doubt, follow your intuition
Sometimes that voice in your head is right, listen to it. Don’t buy that specialty drink to cap off the New Year’s Eve celebration and don’t walk home, take a cab. Likely, no one needs that drink anymore and the walk home consists of a 1.5 mile run after 30 minutes of walking.