Family Road Trips are Not Your Friend

20120811-000305.jpgI’m going to make a rash generalization and say that you’ve probably been on one road trip in your life. 

However, I have no idea how long this trip was. It could have been an hour’s drive to the beach, a twelve hour drive south, or a 4 year drive to some close-by star.  Regardless, this will apply to you.

At this point, you’re probably either thinking “Yes. I HATE road trips, with my seven siblings and four parakeets in the back seat of the smartcar and the baking temperatures that follow,” or “How can you say this? I love spending quality time with my brother’s back smushed against my legs and a parakeet on each ear.”

If you’re in the latter group, let me say that I am not saying road trips are 100% bad. That would be a generalization, and I don’t make generalizations on this blog. 

There are a few good aspects to road trips. For example, you don’t have to go through airport security and get turned into a cancerous tumor by the radiation scanning machines. They can be cost effective as well. Plus, if you have any pets, it’s much easier to drive than to fly. 

All I’m saying, though, is that there are some pretty awful/annoying/irritating/oh-god-why-me parts to road trips.

The Departure

The nice thing about road trips is that you can leave whenever you are ready. In a family, though, that is a terrible thing. 

For the sake of this example, let’s say that you live in the average family, meaning you’ve got a mom, a dad, and 2.13 siblings. 

Your family has just finished, after 18 hours, packing and cramming everything into the car. As you are all about to leave, sibling 1, probably a teen girl, decides that she needs to use the bathroom “one last time.” She returns quickly, though, and it appears you are going to leave immediately.

That is, until sibling 2, probably a younger boy, decides that using the bathroom sounds like a terrific idea. So, he goes off to the bathroom. At this point, your mom realizes she forgot to get drinks for the road, so she gets out and goes to the fridge. Of course, while rooting around, she finds that the leftovers from a leftovers night five years ago are still in the fridge, and have rotted and spilled.

Obviously, as you are leaving for a road trip is the ideal time to clean this up. Meanwhile, sibling 2 returns from the bathroom. Because of the peer-pressure and apparent delays, your .13 sibling, probably a fetus-y thing, imaginary friend, or stuffed animal, goes to the bathroom. 

For some reason, your dad suddenly decides that “since everyone is still going to the bathroom and cleaning up,” now is a prime time to mow the lawn for the fifth time that day (‘don’t want it to get too long while we’re away’).

Because sibling .13 and both your parents are out of the car, you figure that you might as well take a quick stretch. Your timing is terrible, however, for just as you leave the car your mom returns, sees you leaving, and decides that since only two people are left in the car, she has time to make a twelve course picnic lunch. After all, it’s almost lunch time at this point anyways. 

Your dad finishes mowing the lawn, eventually, but he feels that he needs to thus repack the car to make room for the picnic lunch. During this time, sibling 1 leaves to ‘refresh’ her hair, which takes twenty minutes. She returns to the pandemonium of you, sibling 2, and your father frantically searching for sibling .13, who got lost during the repacking. After a bit, sibling 2 hears a banging coming from the trunk, and, well, you find sibling .13.

Your mom comes back with the picnic lunch, and you’re all finally really about to leave. 

But then sibling 1 decides that they need to use the bathroom again, since it’s been so many hours, and it starts again. Depending on your family, you may not end up leaving until the next day.

For reference and perspective, that is the scenario disregarding things such as pets, neighbors who ‘just came over to say hi’ for 3 hours, and GPS programming.

The Driving

The first and last parts of a road trip are always exciting. The 1 to 89,473 hours in between, though, are not.

Sure, you’ll have your smartphone, PSP, Nintendo, or palm pilot, but we all know you’ve an attention span of 40 minutes, max. After that, you will slowly slide into what I believe is medically referred to as “road-trip induced loopiness.”

You will take a number of actions that show just how crazy the boredom has made you.

First, you might try to play cards with your siblings, something you’d only do if, well, you were on a road trip. This is because, as you discover, sibling 1 doesn’t know how to play, sibling 2 is cheating, and sibling .13 is slowly eating/absorbing the cards into it’s plasma or mouth-like apparatus.

After you’ve scratched that, you might try to read. This is another crazy idea. You are going to be reading of your own free will. There’s nothing wrong with that at home, but in a place where you could be seen? Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, even though you’re three states west of home you could be seen by a Facebook friend of a Twitter follower. Then your reputation would be ruined.

Also, reading, as you very well know, can cause motion sickness. You probably ignored this fact because of how bored you were, thinking that motion sickness is no worse than boredom. 

Hopefully, you are still sane enough to stop reading before you hurl your mom’s twelve course gourmet picnic lunch*, but if you’re not, well…You know how if you see someone yawn, you usually yawn? It works that way for vomit, too, and you’ve got 4.13 other people crammed in the same car.

*although one of the courses was the leftover leftovers from five years ago.

Regardless of what you choose to do, you will be cramped. Your legs hate this, and will take revenge on you by freezing up and refusing to move again until you endure what’s known as pins and needles. Pins and needles is a very aptly named sort of pain. For short drives, you endure this only once, but for long drives, you have to suffer through it multiple times, because of:

The Stops

Sadly, you will make stops during your trip. Stops are very bad for two reasons: they prolong your trip, and you have to un-cramp and re-cramp your body. 

One of the fun things about family road trips is that at every stop, people will want to use the bathroom. This ranges from ten to fifty minutes. And yes, that’s including stop signs. That’s why the freeway was invented.

Another fun part about the stops is that they are almost guaranteed to bring in more stuff to further cramp the car. Whether it’s shopping at outlets, food containers, or illegally trafficked exotic snakes, your seat will become more and more crowded.

After what seems like years, you will hopefully reach your destination. You can finally enjoy yourself and un-cramp your legs (if you’re really stuck, try the car jack).

However, don’t enjoy yourself too much. After all, you’re only halfway done with the road trip part; you still have to drive back. Which is even worse, because your legs often go into shock from anticipated trauma and your car is now five times more cramped. But hey, at least you didn’t bring your .93 pet. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Additional Resources

Want more?

Like this post? Want more just like it? Have a strange rash on your arm that is slowly turning into an alien life form? Subscribe to get more-convenient and free (yes, that is even the solution to that last question).

Grab our Ebook!

Our ebook cover

Want more hilarious content? Get our ebook! It's 5,500+ words with 19 exclusive pictures. You can pick up your copy on our ebook page.

Grab the Badge!

my badgeIf you want to share this blog with your readers, you can copy and paste the html code below.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: