Road Trip Rules

1. Things will not go to plan, but plan we must!

2. Planning is fun and going is fun, get through the packing and you’re on your way!

3. Helping your kids learn to navigate with a map is a must.

4. Do not complete rule number three while pulling an RV through downtown Denver (trust me).

5. Budgeting is important. Its never fun to get home and be paying for last summers vacation the following January.

6. If you are traveling with family and friends set out the split on gas early.

7. Go dutch. Trying to pay for this meal and them for that meal just makes a mess of things. Pay your way as you go.

8. Don’t travel with folks you don’t know. This seems like a no-brainer, but take it from me discovering on day two of a two week road trip that your great friends from town who you saw every week for a couple of hours are very different people will likely make the remaining 12 days interesting.

9. Be kind. In most cases the only family that you have to live with 24/7 is your own. So, when Aunt Edna decides to be a pain in the neck, let her…all the while realizing that its a short term situation.

10. In regards to rule number 9: Don’t invite Aunt Edna next time.

11. The funny thing about talking about religion and politics on a road trip is that everyone is locked in with you. Likely even those who initially agreed with you may change their minds just to gain some peace. Here’s the secret, you don’t really care what they think and…surprise…they don’t care what you think either.

12. Don’t revisit Grandma’s will. Families all have stories of who got the candy dish and where the bank account ended up. Its in the past and won’t be changing. Don’t bring it up unless you plan to be ostracized and not invited next time (see rule number 10).

13. Don’t have an opinion on how others choose to spend their vacation dollars. It will irritate you and they really won’t care…so better to just say, “Good for you” and move on!

14. Don’t trust Siri. As I started with the RV over a mountain road to Cripple Creek, Siri assured me of my path. The signs in the side of the road warned not to trust Siri. Trust the road signs and the locals!

15. Reply with your own road trip rules in the comments below!

About Hiram

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It and Other Stories
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1 Response to Road Trip Rules

  1. Sue says:

    Before deciding to take a road trip with those outside of your immediate family, have a conversation about what is important to everyone in a road trip. If your idea of fun is taking your time and stopping at whatever looks interesting, and Aunt Edna believes in driving straight through for 8 hours a day, you may want to reconsider traveling together.

    Consider the ages and interests of the children. If your children are teens who are very interested in the arts and want to stop at museums and their cousins are all under the age of 8 and are only interested in sports, careful planning will be needed for everyone to have a good experience.

    The point above also relates to adults.

    If you do end up traveling with the cousins, understand that it is OK for the groups to separate from time to time to enjoy different activities. In fact, it can help maintain sanity if some separate activities are planned ahead of time.

    If someone on the road trip has specific dietary needs (allergies, etc.), do not negotiate. “Sally is allergic to wheat, so we will not be going to the pizza place,” is perfectly OK. This is, of course, different from Sally waking up with a different food preference every day.

    Finally – if at all possible, take off of work the day before you plan to leave so you have time to do all of the last-minute things that always seem to crop up and can leave feeling excited and refreshed, as opposed to being grumpy and exhausted from trying to do all of that after you got off work.


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