Spring break is next week and we all have somewhere to be. Being a college student means money is tight. There isn’t much cash left over after the price of a hotel, spending money and airfare. A road trip sounds like a good idea to save a little cash at first, until you’re four hours in and want to kick your friends out of the car. You may want to look over these guidelines to ensure that by the time you get to your destination with your friends, you still want to spend time with them.
To start, get your car checked. You want to make sure that your car is in great travel condition before you take it out on a long trip. Get the oil changed, check all the fluids and make sure your tires are safe. Remember to put things like a jack and jumper cables in the trunk. There is no bigger mood killer than being stuck on the side of the highway instead of at your destination.
Pool money for gas before you leave (also suggested for toll money). Make a set amount everyone has to put in. Always make the amount more than you think so you don’t find yourself short for gas money on your way home. Doing this will make gas pump visits less aggravating while avoiding the arguments of who’s turn it is to pay. At the end of the trip, any left-over cash can be split between everyone.
The GPS is a great device, but technology is not always the most reliable. Aside from it not having service in some areas, maps are not always updated. Also, if it breaks, gets lost or stolen, you just lost your only sense of direction. Always bring a map. It won’t hurt to have a second set of directions.
Keep snacks in the car. Go shopping with your friends the night before the trip. This kills two birds with one stone: First, you won’t have to stop as much to get food. Just fill a cooler with ice, and put all your food in it. Second, people get cranky when their hungry, so this can eliminate confrontations within the car. Not to mention the money you’ll save not having to buy overpriced food at all the rest stops.
Always use the restroom when you have the chance. We have all experienced that one annoying person who needs to use the bathroom right after you leave the rest area. This also gives you a chance to stretch your legs after being crammed in a car for hours.
Encourage your friends to bring all the technological devices and books that they desire. We all have different tastes in music, and fighting over the radio can be very distracting to the driver. Everyone should bring their iPods, iPads, books, and video games. These are great things to keep people entertained when conversation dies down in the car.
Be safe. Drive the speed limit. You may be in a hurry to get to your destination, but go the pace. A speeding ticket is the last thing you want to worry about after having to pay off an enormous bar tab. Also, keep a first aid kit in the car; you never know what could happen. If you’re the driver and you’re getting sleepy, don’t be afraid to ask someone to take over for a bit. Always make sure that at least one cell phone in the car is fully charged at all times. You can’t call for assistance if everyone’s cell phone is dead.
Have fun with the road trip. Instead of viewing it as a chore, look at it as a part of your vacation. Enjoy the drive with good company. These rules should help eliminate unwanted frustration. Relax, have fun, soak up sun and make the most of spring break 2013.