When I was growing up, we went on a lot of road trips. Every summer we would go on vacation to Hilton Head Island, S.C. and there was also long trips to my cousins.
With the amount of trips that we took, my parents became very educated on how to travel with four kids. To get through a long car ride, my parents made their own method. Stops for gas, food and the bathroom were always made as quick as possible.
First off, my dad would only stop the car when we needed gas. For people who didn’t grow up with this, it is hard to understand.
I think “normal” families probably stop frequently to go to the bathroom or stretch their legs. Isn’t that what rest stops are for? Those are something I never saw up close.
Dad would drop us off at McDonalds while he went to fill the gas tank. Mom would get in line and start to order the food while we kids went to the bathroom.
Then either my brother or I would take my mom’s spot in line or wait for the food while she went to the bathroom. When the food was ready, Dad was normally back with the car. While my dad took his bathroom break, the rest of us got ready to get back in the car. That included taking the trash out of the car, stretching and goofing off.
The second thing that my family did was leave for road trips at off times. Normally we would leave around 3 a.m. for the long trip down south. This allowed for us to miss most of the traffic and still arrive to the destination at a decent time.
Now when I take road trips with friends, they don’t feel the same urgency that I feel. Normally they want to stop multiple times or stop at a sit down restaurant for a break. That’s something that I could never dream of doing growing up.
Sitting down somewhere makes me feel like we are just wasting time. That is so much time that we could be on the road.
Being on the road is just multiple hours that seem to drag. You can only read so many books, listen to music or tell stories for so long before it gets boring.
The thing that we tried to do was play games. Buying a little booklet of mad libs was enough to entertain us. It always made the time go by faster.
I just want to get on the road to get it over with. Taking longer than necessary at stops is just denying the inevitable.
If stops are made quickly, you leave at a decent time and try to pass the time by playing fun games, road trips aren’t so bad.