Taking a Road Trip | A True Test of Any Relationship
Aug 19th, 2014
Ah, road trips. Long stretches trapped together in a car with one goal in mind: get to your destination safely and without driving each other crazy! My other half and I had not even been together a year when we decided to take our first road trip together. And, naturally, (us being us) we didn’t choose a simple, quick route. Oh no. That would be too easy. Instead, we drove from Idaho to Colorado; a solid 14 hour drive. This trip was either going to bring us closer together, or make us realize that maybe we should not take trips together. Ever.
First things first…packing the car.
My S.O. has a certain way he likes to do everything. This includes packing a car for a road trip. I’m more of a “throw it in and go” kind of girl, but when he began to methodically pack and repack the car until everything had a place, I was at first thinking, “This is going to be a LONG trip.” But as I watched more closely, I became more relieved because 1) I didn’t have to do anything and 2) we managed to get an absurd amount of stuff and gear into my small car without it feeling like it was taking over the entire vehicle. So far, we survived the first step: packing the vehicle.
Who does what?
This is far more crucial than it sounds. But before you even leave town for your road trip, it’s important to establish one thing: who is doing what. Does one prefer to drive more than the other? Do you want to take turns? What is the “nap” protocol? All sound silly, but they are crucial questions for any harmonious road trip.
My S.O. preferred to drive, which meant I had the important role of passenger. Now, for some people, they might think that being a passenger means you get to sit there without doing anything, maybe take a nap, put your feet out the window, not having a care in the world. But to be a truly good passenger, your job is actually a multi purpose one. As a passenger, be expected to be responsible for:
Have your iPhone maps, or if you’re old fashioned – regular map, ready! It’s your job to let the driver know when there is an exit coming up, when they need to turn, etc.
This is one definite perk of being the passenger: you get to play DJ! Have great tunes ready so you’re both engaged throughout the whole trip. Maybe try mixing in some old favorites from each others’ childhood or teenage years; this can spark some great conversations.
The driver should only be focused on one thing: Driving. Therefore, if they get hungry, you need to be at-the-ready to grab them a quick snack! My preferences for road trip snacks are those that can be eaten with one hand and are easy to get to. The best place for your road trip snacks: in the back on the floor. We always wedge a bag of snacks and cooler on the floor that is easily accessible for me to reach around from the front seat and grab something.
Designate a bag for trash and collect it all there. This keeps the car cleaner and makes for easy clean-up when you arrive at your destination
How do you keep it entertaining?
We both love music, so conversations about certain songs are definitely a favorite road trip pastime. But, after awhile, that can become telling the same stories over-and-over. An important part of any road trip is to make sure you’re taking it all in! Along the way, we stopped at any spot that had a cool lookout or a photo op! This allowed us to get out of the car every once in a while, stretch our legs, and take in the beautiful scenery around us.
The Best Test
Taking a road trip together fairly early on in any relationship is the perfect way to truly get to know your partner. You’re stuck in a car together for long stretches of time so take this opportunity to talk. Discuss everything, tell stories, sing songs. But most importantly: LAUGH. Don’t freak out if something goes wrong along the way. Just think of the great story it will make. Laugh it off and enjoy the journey and you’ll be better together at the end of the experience than you were at the beginning.
On the road: Taking in the scenery outside Meeker, CO. One of our many stops along the way
We survived! Taking a quick photo-op at the Continental Divide just outside our destination.