By: Melena Esposito
Oh, road trips. Your favorite people headed to your favorite place, blasting your favorite music as the warm summer breeze brushes against your skin. You’re ready for a spontaneous vacation, starting off with a fun and unexpected travel experience. WRONG. That only happens in the movies. Real road trips consist of holding in your bladder for hours on end, losing all feeling past your waist, cursing at the crazy driver next to you on the highway, and sitting in your own throw up — or worse, someone else’s. Sure, road trips can be tolerable — if you like staying in eerie stink bug infested motel rooms and perpetually looking at the same green grass with an occasional barn. The truth is, road trips are one of the worst ways to travel. Here’s a few of the many reasons why.
It starts off with planning the trip, or lack of. Road trips are supposed to be spontaneous and fun. Why wreck it with thoroughly preparing what to eat, where to sleep, or where to go? That’s exactly what ruins it, because soon enough, you’re on the never ending staircase of death and you’re so hungry you could eat whatever’s next to you.
Then, before you know it, it’s the crack of dawn and you’re being rushed to get on the road before traffic hits. What’s worse than getting up while it’s still dark out, only to remain completely stationary for an entire day, or sometimes even more? You already feel disgusting, and now you’re immobile. Just think about it — your hair’s a mess, and you probably haven’t changed, showered, or brushed your teeth. It’s not even like you have access to fresh water or clean clothes, either. On top of that, you can’t even recline your seat back because the trunk is filled to the top. Before you know it, your claustrophobia is emerging, the windows are closing in, and you’re about to be consumed by your own belongings.
What about the time spent on the road, though? Sure, you get a good nap every once in awhile, but then what? Gawking at miles and miles of dull green countryside and old billboards? Bickering over who gets the AUX cord and which exit to turn off of? Holding your bladder tighter than you’d hold your phone? It’s an endless cycle — sleep, stare, argue, complain, repeat.
And then of course, the food situation. It’s an entire process all in itself. More often than not, snacks are packed, whether it be chips and soda or carrots and hummus. However, there seems to be an expectation that road trips are the perfect excuse to order fast food. Because of this, you don’t even want to eat what you’ve packed, especially if you’re trying to keep it healthy. Then, everyone has to decide where to eat, which normally results in a compromise at the quickest place on route. Some want Chick-Fil-A minis and milkshakes, some want McDonald’s all-day breakfast, an odd person out wants a burger and fries from Cook-Out, and the closest stop is Wendy’s.
Do not even get me started on what happens if you bring your dog. Taking care of a dog is great, but taking care of a dog with multiple people in a confined space? Not so much. You have to deal with barking at cars, whimpering to sit with the driver, being unable to find a comfortable spot, using your pillow as a potty, begging for food, spilling water everywhere, wanting to stop every half hour, and throwing up because of carsickness. Fun.
All in all, as much as I personally don’t like road trips, that doesn’t mean that they’re completely miserable. For some, although they might not be the best, the most memorable times occur on road trips. So go on and enjoy the sweatpants, arguing, carsickness, and window staring.