How to survive a long road trip
Long road trips can be great couple time for busy couples. They also can be an exercise in trench warfare. We put together some handy tips to make your next trip a little more civil.
Bigger is Better
A confession: I am a bit of a petrol-head so this is area that I feel passionate about. One of the most often overlooked “secrets” to a happy road trip is the choice of car. Now I know the first thing that you are going to say is…but I don’t have the budget to rent an S-Class Mercedes. You don’t have to. First off, when you do your initial car rental search, don’t just select the economy class only, search three or even four levels above. Check out the luxury level. We have found that at times the luxury or even the SUV price is cheaper than the mid size. Crazy huh?
If you headed out on an extended road trip, don’t skimp on the car. Pay a little extra for size. You are likely to spend more waking hours in this metal box. Skimp a little on the hotel. Size does a number of things for you: larger cars ride smoother, are more safe, give your more “personal bubble space”, and typically have dual climate controls (very helpful). Although tempting, never, ever rent a convertible. I know, they are sexy and the desk clerk is going to give you a great deal on one. Don’t do it. The problems with convertibles are many. First off the are small. Trunk (boot) space is at a minimum. Convertibles (unless they are a BMW, MB, Porsche, ect.) are LOUD. The outside noise is going to get annoying. Driving in any sort of weather can also be harrowing. Convertibles are great for a day or two in places where going “topless” is a must. Leave them at the rental agency on the long trips. A few more pesos on the right car will go along way.
Lets recap: cast your rental car search wide. Price out a number of different car class options, and invest a little more than you would normally. Rent the largest car that you are able. Our last pointer would be to ask for an upgrade at the rental car counter as well.
The Three F’s
We classify stops into three general categories: food, fuel and fun. A word about food. If you follow our posts at all, food is extremely important component to our relationship. I know all of you health-nut types out there are going to mummer…but fast food makes for the best option on road trips. You can defiantly make healthy choices at fast food places. Get out of your car and order to go in the restaurant. This gives you some much needed vertical and lou time, but why sit in the restaurant and eat? If it takes 30 minutes to sit and chow down the whopper you could be 30 miles down the road. The sooner the road trip ends the better. Fuel-let your blater define fuel stops. Don’t wait till the tank is on E. Fill up mid tank during a bio break. Save yourself time. Stops equal slow. The last F is important. Build in some fun on the road trip. Find stops where you can get out, and do something active. Get the blood flowing again. We have found outlet malls to be great stops. It gets you apart (very helpful). They also get you walking. Make the most of your food, fuel and fun stops!
Many wars have been fought over control of the radio dial. The Fighting Couple are not immune from this clash. Luci loves Broadway tunes. She really does. She loves to sing along. Me….not so much. On the flip side…I do enjoy me some bluegrass on occasion. Luci….not so much. On our most recent auto expedition we chose an audio book: Catch Me If You Can: The True Story of a Real Fake by Frank Abagnale Jr. Great book! Books on tape are amazing “time killers”. Most novels are 8 hours long and if you pick the right one, time flies. It also give you a topic for discussion. Cool huh?
The Little Things
The little things on road trips make a big difference. Buy/borrow/rent a gps. This small item has almost single handedly saved our relationship. This little devices of genius save time, prevents arguments (darn!) and most importantly they find food and fuel. Gotta have one. Don’t rely on an Iphone or worse a wireless connection to navigate. Trust us. The other small thing is keeping the car clean. Junk and clutter are distracting to the driver and they invade on the “personal bubble space”. The little things can make all the difference.
Couple road trips can be a ton of fun. It gives you quality time to talk, listen and fight! These are just a few of our hints to make the trip a little more enjoyable. So what have you found that works? How do you avoid killing each other on long roadies?
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