8/2/2012 9:28 AM
It sounds idyllic: alone together as you cruise through winding mountain roads, discovering charming little inns and cafes along the way. But then, you wind up stuck in traffic with no AC while the car makes a weird whining noise and you’re not entirely sure where you are. A little preparation can help ensure that your road trip is heavenly instead of a trip through hell:
- Check to make sure your license is in good standing before you go. One friend’s romantic road trip came to a screeching halt when her boyfriend was hauled off to a jail overnight in rural Pennsylvania. It turned out that his license was suspended for failing to pay a speeding ticket on time. Most states allow you to check the status of your license online in minutes.
- Take turns picking destinations on the trip. Make sure that each of you has plenty of your choices represented.
- GPS. I cannot stress just how much better those three little letters make everything when you are on the road. Nearly every fight I have ever had on a trip had to do with being super tired and hopelessly lost. If you don’t have GPS on your phone, drop the cash for a standalone console. While it won’t completely protect you from getting lost in a strange city (GPS directions can be notoriously bad in some areas) it will definitely cut down on wrong turns.
- Clean out your car before the trip. You’ll be a lot more comfy if you can find where everything is.
- Pack plenty of snacks, sunscreen, drinks, and a range of clothing. If one of you is better at organization, consider assign packing duties for both of you to that person. Realizing that you don’t have a sweater and you’re freezing while you are 1200 miles from home takes some of the fun out of a trip to see the leaves change color.
- Delegate a few other tasks, as well. If one of you likes driving a lot more than the other, have that person take more time behind the wheel. The other can be on navigation duty.
- Bring plenty of music. If the two of you have different musical tastes, make sure that each of your collections is well-represented.
- Be flexible. If things don’t go the way you planned, that’s okay. Focus on the experience instead of your expectations. Remember that the trip is about discovering things together.