Is it time already? The snow melts away. The flowers come up for breath. The tank tops resurface from the back of the closet. Yes, it’s finally time for a weekend getaway. You answered the call of the road, but now are cursing Pandora for playing your favorite jam while packing because you left your aux cord back at home. Here are some road trip tips for when you forget the most important thing ever.
1. Selfie time
This is the prime opportunity to show the friends who bailed on the trip just how much fun you are having. Rub it in their face. If you are headed down the west coast, stop down near Laguna and take a picture with the sign that made Lauren Conrad famous. If you’re traveling the east, stop by DC and be Frank Underwood for a day (without the killing though). Or if you are traveling somewhere in the middle, take a picture with some farmlands and live 1800s-style for a day. Either way, take a bunch of photos: for yourself, for your friends, and most importantly, for social media.
2. Tell a story… even if it’s fake
Game time. You all are in the car with nothing but words, so pick up a Mad Libs-esque game, if you will. Have one person start the story with a random line like, “I was so wasted the other night that…” and then go on from there. You can make a college version and talk about a wild party, or channel Clue and make a murder mystery. See how long this game can go on. You know you have some interesting ideas in you, so try becoming a mini-TV writer for a few hours.
3. Channel your inner doomsday prepper
Time to be prepared. You forgot the cord, but you’re not about to be that dude who gets stuck on the side of the road. Look up how to change a tire. Look up nearby gas stations in case you need help. You’re in college to expand your mind, but they aren’t going to teach you how to get yourself out of a fender-bender.
4. Stuff your face
There’s no music, so why not pig out? You’re inevitably going to need to munch on something in between cities. Try lots of different foods. Be adventurous. There are bound to be cute little diners, drive-ins and dives in the way. Try a local delicacy or maybe even just stop at a Walmart and pick up a rotisserie chicken everyone can share while driving down I-95.
5. Blast your iPhones
You’re going to get desperate. You’re going to run out of things to talk about—even if it’s just for an hour until you remember that thing that pissed you off three years ago. Whip out that iPhone. Put on that Spotify playlist. Sing at the top of your lungs. Several iPhone apps can amp up your volume (just a warning, they may ruin your speakers for good). So whether you go with a mega-blasted sound or just the regular iPhone, let loose your inner Mariah for a few miles.
6. Be a teacher’s pet
On a typical road trip, you wouldn’t be worrying about work that you have back at school. But as the drive drags on, you might as well be productive. Shoot out those few emails you left before you hopped in the passenger seat. Grab that book you never read for that gen ed class and actually be prepared for the final. You have all the time in the world right now, so become the college student your grandparents brag about.
7. Channel your inner Dr. Phil
You do it on a regular basis with your friends, and now’s the perfect time to make conversation. Talk about that one girl who won’t give you the time of day and it’s pissing you off. Talk about that hookup three weeks ago that was the best time of your (drunk) life. Talk about that one guy you had a crush on back in middle school—you know, just because. This is going to be a long drive, so you might as well spend it getting the romantic therapy that you so desperately need.
8. Sleep… A lot
You know you love me, XOXO sleepy time. If you’re not manning the wheel, then why not get a few ZZZ’s in? Or better yet, make an adventure of it and sleep in the car overnight. Camping: road trip edition. Cover the windows with a t-shirt for some privacy and crack ‘em a little bit for ventilation. Kick off your shoes, cozy up with a blanket and lounge out. Back at school the recommended number of sleep hours is a huge joke, so clock in some of that missed time now.
9. Text the bae
It will make your friends gag at how cute you two are, but you are in deep, right? They are who you see the most at home, but how are you supposed to breathe with no air? (remember that song?) In between chatting with your life long friends who will forever and always be there for you, hit up that one person in the whole wide world who can consume all of your thoughts. Wow, that got emotional.
10. Just Drive
You’re with your best friends, Enjoy it. Road trips make memories out of Slurpees and sing-a-longs. Kick back with your friends, eat cheap gas station snacks and see the world from the backseat of a used Toyota. You never know when you’ll get another chance.