Hey, everyone! Summer’s almost upon us. Gas up the car, grab some snacks, and fire up your GPS. To follow are Ken’s suggestions for planning an absolutely unforgettable cross-country road trip.
How to Plan a Cross Country Trip
Some people start planning their road trip months in advance. They’ll map out routes, get the car ready, talk to family and friends etc. Skip the planning; the trip is all about the various adventures you’ll create. The adventure will not only be for your family, they’ll also be for people you know such as coworkers, friends, family, neighbors, and maybe a few strangers. Remember, follow this “How to Plan a Cross County Trip “and it will truly be the adventure of all adventures. The most important rule of this “how to” is to not tell anyone what you are up to; it will only spoil the adventure. Let’s get started.
For the first adventure, don’t worry about putting in for vacation at work. You’ll give your coworkers their own adventure trying to figure out what happened to you, what you were doing, when you are coming back, etc… Your boss will have his or her own adventure as well; He or she will be working with H.R. trying to figure out if you’ve abandoned your job.
Your next adventure will be your house and yard. For your yard, don’t have the postal service or newspaper hold things when you’re gone. Let the grass grow and the newspapers and mail pile up. Your neighbors, vandals, and maybe a homeowner association will benefit by having their own adventures. Your neighbors will have their own adventure trying to figure out what happened to you and your family. Vandals will see an unkempt yard, that has newspapers piled up and a mailbox door wide open and know that they are in for an adventure collecting some of your goodies. Oh and those homeowners association board members have such a great sense of humor. While they are out scouring the neighborhood looking to award this month’s “Best or Most Improved Yard”, they’ll see yours! Wow, will they ever be impressed!
For your house adventures, clean out your refrigerator and put all of the leftovers in the trash. Don’t bother to take out the trash or wash the dishes. Just in case your house is broken into, it will give your house the “We’ve just stepped out and we’ll be right back” look.
Next you’ll play the utility game adventure. Forget about paying your bills before your leave, you’ll be able to party with the extra money. While other travelers are counting out of state plates, cars of different colors, or other mundane road trip games, your family will be playing games of their own. Play the “what if” game. It goes a little like this, what if the electricity is off? What food article will collect the most mold? Will it be in the freezer or refrigerator? Another game you can play is what food article will stink the most.
The next adventure is to get the car loaded. Make sure that the car is in the garage, no need to tip the neighbors off. First you’ll need to disconnect the phone and collect all cell phones. You’ll want family togetherness so you’ll need to leave everybody off the grid. The secondary purpose is to keep the primary rule intact, nobody will know what happened. Next wake your family up in the middle of the night. Tell them they have one half hour to get the car packed and on the road. If they ask why, tell them they’ll need to wait until you’re on the road.
For the packing adventure, leave the tools, extra fan belt, quart of oil, gallon of water, Hand Wipes, flash light, tire pressure gauge, car manual, garbage bags, tire chains (it doesn’t snow in the summer), matches, can opener, pillows, babies special items, portable first aid kit, sun screen, lip balm, power inverter, GPS, personnel electronics, cooler, and picnic items item at home. This will ensure the packing will go much quicker. If you need some extra room, you can also leave the spare tire and jack at home. You probably won’t need them anyway.
Don’t worry about having your car serviced, you only need to have a mechanic ok your car for short trips around town. Road emergency kit with jumper cables and a gas can aren’t needed for cross country trips either. Since you’ll be traveling in the summer, other travelers will carry these along. If you have a problem, a good samaritan will stop and help you. Just think of the satisfaction they feel by a lending hand. Be sure to properly thank them by completely ignoring them or using bad language. Make sure each person has their own set of cars keys. They don’t have to work on the cars you’re driving, but they’ll feel important by having them.
Once on the road, take one of the back roads that you never use and drive for a couple of hours. Then decide where you want to go. Pick a place that you’ve never been too before and stop at the next hole in the wall gas station and ask for directions.
One the way to your destination, you’ll need to stop and get a road atlas. Stop at a used book store and find the oldest one in the store. With the budget cuts, you never know if they put a planned route on one of the newer atlases. Buying an old atlas will eliminate that uncertainty.
If you’re going during July and August, don’t worry about the crowds at the national parks and other popular destinations. It’s too hot for most people and reservations will not be necessary. If you think you’ll run into long lines, skip taking a shower for a couple of days. Other tourists will slowly move away and you’ll move closer to the head of the line. This won’t work at a zoo as the animals may smell a familiar scent and come after you.
Forget about following the rules and regulations of the places you are visiting. They’ll see your out of state plates and think the rest of the state is full of moron’s and idiots. Because of your actions, less people will want to visit us, your fellow statesmen will be proud that we’ll have more room for ourselves. Never be nice to the small town locals. They already know you’re not from there and will be less suspicious.
Here’s a favorite west Texas adventure that’s best played in the summer month’s. When there’s nobody for miles and there is a car hugging you bumper, wait for the next dead skunk. Slow down just a little before you hit the dead skunk so the car behind you gets to experience the full aroma. Gradually slow down a little over the next few miles until the tailgater passes you. Record on a fast food restaurant napkin, how many people where holding their nose. The expression on those people’s face will be priceless. See how many miles you can go without laughing. Don’t forget to put the napkin in a safe place. This will be used for your English 1301 journal assignment.
Since your adventure wasn’t planned, you’ll have plenty of extra time on your trip to be spontaneous. Try to drive in congested areas during rush hour traffic. You’ll get to see driving styles that bring out the best personalities. For extra points, try rush hour traffic near and major event such as the opening of President G.W. Bush’s library. Driving long distances is never tiring so there’s no need take breaks or share the driving. You can add to your paper napkin journal by documenting the time that one child tells you the other has looked or touched him or her. Don’t forget to document how many times you hear “Are we there yet?” Leave your sense of humor at home as you won’t get under each other’s skin because not sleeping well, not eating good and being out of your comfort zone. Nobody us susceptible to irritations from travel mates on long distance trips. Be aware that this only occurs on short trips.
You final adventure starts on the way back home. Your family has had a great time to bond so know is the time to come up with a story to tell all that ask. Make your story is as boring as possible. If everyone finds out what fun and excitement you had, they’ll all want their own adventure.