7 Random Road Trip Tips and Thoughts

Back during a time when I was making many road trips for my first–and last–long-distance relationship, I wrote an entry about how I’d pimp my ride for long trips if I could. Today I have a few follow-up tips and thoughts for long road trips, particularly those for which you’re alone for 10+ hours.

  1. Crunchy foods help keep your mind awake, as do spicy foods. I’d particularly suggest baby carrots since you typically don’t eat much healthy food on road trips.
  2. I would pay double for fast drive-thru food on road trips if there were healthier, organic options available. I still like burgers and chicken tenders on the road, but I don’t want processed crap, and I’m willing to pay for it if it’s fast.
  3. Idea: Drive-thru restaurants where you get your gas pumped while you wait in line for your food.
  4. I unabashedly unbuckle and unzip my pants during long road trips. You don’t realize how constricting your pants are until you undo them. I also tend to wear my oldest jeans since they’ll end up serving napkin double-duty during the drive.
  5. I’ve discovered the key to taking fewer bathroom breaks is to take longer bathroom breaks. Don’t rush them. Pee, then simmer down for a 15 seconds, and then pee again. It’s almost as if you have two separate bladder–the first is immediate relief, and the other is long-term storage. Empty both of them.
  6. The hands-down scariest vehicle to see on the road is a stormchaser van.
  7. My number one new tip is that you should get some stand-up comedy CDs for the ride. They’ll jolt you awake and keep you that way for a full hour. My favorite from my recent trip was Aziz Ansari (you can borrow mine if you know me). Buy them used on Amazon. I tried to find a Netflix for comedy CDs, but there is no such thing. You could make tens of dollars if you started one of your own!

What tips would you add to this list?

13 thoughts on “7 Random Road Trip Tips and Thoughts”

    • Louis CK is absolutely hilarious. Do you watch his show, Louis? The new season just started, and it’s great.

      I think healthy fast food does exist in little pockets here and there, but I specifically want it on major interstates. It’s been on my mind quite a bit after watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution this season.

  1. I love this list – especially #6. A true LOL for me. Did you actually see a storm chaser van on a road trip, and was there a twister in sight?

    As I tweeted you, I think #5 might be a guy thing. However, I’d be happy if another girl jumped in here and set me straight. Anyway, not that I’ve lost sleep thinking about this, but I can’t remember any bathroom visit when I’ve ever done less than empty my bladder to the last drop. Now, contrary to popular myth, it is possible for a girl to stop peeing mid-stream, if she must. But it’s not easy. I think perhaps it’s because we sit or squat when we’re taking care of business, which puts extra pressure on the bladder. TMI? Sorry, but you started it.

    In any case, now I’m curious. So on my next road trip I’ll keep tip #5 in mind, and give it a shot… so to speak.

    • I don’t know Cara, I think sometimes I have had to go back to go #1 a 2nd time 🙂 But I don’t know that sitting and waiting would’ve done that, maybe moreso just having a long enough stop where I could go immediately, maybe eat or walk around, and then go again before getting back in the car.

      • Ah, yes, Emma. That makes sense. Next road trip, I’ll try Jamey’s approach, and if that doesn’t work, I’ll use yours as Plan B (or should that be Plan P?). I usually use those stops to eat and drink anyway, so it makes sense to go again… before I go.

        • Let me know what the results are, Cara! I’m glad it’s yielded some results for you, Emma.

          We think we saw a storm chaser van, but it didn’t have “stormchaser” written on the side. And no, fortunately no twisters, but we went under some clouds that were threatening to twist. It was really scary.

  2. I highly recommend, and T-Mac will probably agree, that Eddie Izzard is a phenomenal choice for stand-up comedy. Dress to Kill, Circle, Glorious, and Definite Article are my personal favorites. He’s a genius. I quote Eddie Izzard at least daily.

  3. Road trips or the daily commute, I love listening to comedy CDs in the car! I don’t know of a Netflix for comedy CDs but I find swap.com is a great place to trade for used CDs.

  4. Podcasts. I drive home to Michigan a few times a year, it is over a 10 hour drive and podcasts not only entertain me on my farm filled journey but they make me laugh and allow me learn a few things. My absolute favorite is Stuff You Should Know by howstuffworks.com. Chuck and Josh have taught me about the Muppets, the Innocence Project, grow houses, the MARS turbine and more. They basically pick a topic do independent research and have a 30-45 minute conversation about their findings.

    My other picks include Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, the Moth, This American Life and Stuff of Genius. Comedy albums are a close second though. Jim Gaffigan and David Sedaris are few that I am found of.

    Check out SYSK though and let me know if you want to be their friend as much as I do.

    • Kate–Good call on podcasts. I’ve tried a few of them (the most regular of which is Radiolab), but I haven’t tried SYSK or those others. I’m going to subscribe to them right now!


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