Road Trips

Friends + snacks + car + vague idea of where you’re headed = adventure

There’s something about four to eight students piling into a van and hitting the open road that screams college. Road trips are a cheap way to see the country and a surefire way to make some memories that will last a lifetime. Seriously, if you don’t come out of your trip with a laundry list of inside jokes, you’re doing something wrong.

Road Tips

In order to ensure that your road trip goes as smoothly as possible, make sure you do the following things before you depart:

  • Make sure your car can handle it. Check your vehicle’s belts, hoses, fluid levels and tires before you leave. Bring a cell phone, tool kit (with flashlight), first aid kit, fire extinguisher, jumper cables, your AAA card and a credit card. You need to be prepared in the event that your car breaks down on the road.
  • Set some ground rules. Who will do the driving? Who will pay the ticket if you get pulled over for speeding? What kind of places will you be staying at along the way (5-star hotels or seedy motels)? How will you split the cost of the trip?
  • Bring enough gas money. Without gas, your road trip will include very little road and an equally miniscule amount of trip. Of all your expenses, gas should be the No. 1 priority. It’s more important than food and - brace yourself - it’s more important than booze.
  • Bring some maps. You’ll want to have at least a partial idea of where you are and what direction you’re headed in. The Rand McNally Deluxe Road Atlas & Travel Guide is great because it has maps of all the states and their major cities, as well as other helpful tidbits.
  • Be flexible. The best road trip experiences are usually the spontaneous and unexpected ones. Take backroads and eat at local diners. If you get the urge to make a detour, go for it. If you stumble upon something you want to see more of, pull over and check it out.
  • Get some sleep. Driving tired is almost as dangerous as driving drunk. Always have someone who’s well-rested behind the wheel.

Recommended Destinations

Road trips are less about where you’re going than about having fun getting there. That said, it’s pretty sweet to end up at a cool place. We recommend:

  • New York City, New York. Bright lights, big city. What else needs to be said?
  • Las Vegas, Nevada. What happens on your road trip stays on your road trip.
  • Cleveland, Ohio. Home of the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame. Seriously, it’s in Cleveland.
  • Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. A natural wonder that everyone should see at least once.

Games to Play in the Car

Standard in-car games to pass the time during road trips include 20 Questions, I Spy and “who can spot the most out-of-state license plates?” When these get boring and lame (likely within the first 15 minutes of your trip), give these other games a try:

  • Would you rather? What could be more fun than debating conundrums like “would you rather fight 10 fifth-graders or 100 first-graders” and “would you rather have sex with a girl who used to be a guy or a guy who used to be a girl?”
  • Acronyms. Come up with a phrase using the letters on the license plates you see. Bonus points if the phrase is dirty.
  • Word-builders. Build words one letter at a time. Go back and forth between players, adding another letter each turn (you must have a real word in mind).
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