Everybody loves road trips. Even people who hate driving love them, because they can be a passenger. But even as a passenger, you can still be captain of your road trip. I’ve driven thousands of miles, or at least sat by while others drove and I accomplished other trip necessities such as snack management, music coordination, audiobook pausing/playing and dog wrangling. I can confidently say I am an expert on how to be awesome at road trips.
1) Learn to dance in your seat.
It is your job to entertain yourself and others with erratic dancing. If people in cars passing by give you weird looks, you’re doing your job. If you need some tips on how to dance – check out this first lesson. If you’re ready to take it to the next level, try out some of these for primo car dancing moves – guaranteed to start a flow of jealousy so huge, you’ll need a super jumbo tampon to stopper it.
Pack all the fruit and nuts you want – you will not happily eat these things. You know what does make you happy? Buy one, get one deals from Jack in the Box! Finally using those free taco certificates you won at the Laker game! In-n-Out! These are the bricks along the road to nirvana. Being healthy on the road is ridiculous – fruits don’t stay fresh, nuts are too salty and vegetables belong on the farm. If your teeth don’t feel like individual garbage dumps and your tongue doesn’t feel like a carpet by the time you arrive at your destination, you have failed.
3) Choose an amazing book-on-tape. NOTE: Call ‘audiobooks’ books-on-tape because I sure as beans still do and that is awesome.
At some point, the radio will fail you. You will be sucked into a vortex in which there are only static and religious sermons available. You will want to have an audiobook ready to go. Audiobooks are amazing when you have the right narrator. Make sure the voice who will be reading to you for hours on end is not obnoxious. I’ve passed by many a book due to the annoyance of someone’s voice. Also pay attention to the length of the book you’re selecting; a book that’s too short might leave you bored when it ends, while a book that’s too long might leave you irritated that you have to get out of the car when you arrive at your destination.
Some of my past trips have involved listening to such wonders as Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, Willem Dafoe reading Stephen King’s The Langoliers, Graham Greene’s Our Man in Havana, Tina Fey verbalizing her own Bossypants and Michael Showalter narrating his Mr. Funny Pants. Can’t go wrong with pants.
4) Bring a dog.
If you’re bored, you pet it. If you’re bored, turn around and laugh at it sleeping upside down. If you’re bored, spot a tick on it’s neck and freak out. If you’re bored, do a voice for the dog. To sum up, dog equals boredom buster.
5) Learn to judge a song’s worth within seconds of listening and develop a cat-like reflex for changing the station when an unworthy tune arises.
Try to consider everyone’s musical preferences in the car. Hopefully, all your tastes will converge in an explosion of a car dance party. This cannot always be the case. Be at the ready with a hand on the dial when a truly repugnant song comes on the line. Be considerate of the fact that some people hate certain pop songs with a burning passion. However, also be ready to use your magic fingers to not change the station when you need to punish the car with your favorite horrendous pop song when they cross you. Above all, be like a jungle cat of radio DJing. If you simply haven’t the skill, stick to pre-made mixes.
6) Don’t Pandora while you drive.
I once listened to Pandora for a shorter road trip and almost drove off the road twice while trying to dislike a song and/or desperately trying to type in a new artist when bad songs on other stations kept on coming. Do not do this! Save yourself from danger by creating a pre-made playlist with songs you definitely will want to hear no matter what they are and just leave it once you turn it on. If you have to fuss with your music, get off the road. Save yourself and others. Also, don’t text for basically the same reason. Feel free to use your hands-free device to call people, as well as just to talk to your car when you’re bored.
7) Get excited about local fauna.
Look – cows! Look – sheep! Look – horses! Look – bears! Look – yaks! There’s a wonderful world of adorable animals surrounding you. Don’t ignore them. They are cute and funny. On a road trip, you need all the entertainment you can get. Just be sure to roll up your windows and breathe through your mouth when you go by a cow herd. You’ll thank me later.
8 ) Drive without shoes. If you must – wear one shoe and only on your driving foot.
While driving great distances shoes can become constricting, stifling your creative juices and moistening your toes. I don’t even know why we have to wear shoes when we drive. I would imagine it would be so we could sprint to safety in the event of an emergency. But you know what? I don’t even want to be part of an emergency that requires me to wear shoes.
9) Take off your pants.
Sometimes you’re in a car without air conditioning. Solution? Take off your pants. Also, sometimes you’re bored in the car. Solution? Take off your pants.
10) Buy loads of sugary chewing gum. Accept the fact that your teeth are going to hurt.
I am not built to drive long distances. I need a constant stream of sugar, caffeine, and snacks to keep me going. One of my staple foods is sugary bubble gum. Preferably in the cotton candy flavor. You have no idea how many times I’ve been saved from falling asleep at the wheel thanks to chewing bubble gum. Minty gum does not have the same effect. You will need to chew that sugar til it hurts.
Simply follow these steps and you’ll be as awesome as can be, or at the very least you’ll learn to dance your way across the USA.