Ten Things Not to Do on a Road Trip

Road trip

The inspiration for this list came with President’s Day weekend. A lot of people are on road trips, and at least maybe they will read this before heading back home today. I always look back fondly on those road trips so many years ago.

Ten Things Not to Do on a Road Trip

10 On a road trip, do not let the kids claim their own space in the back. If you do, at best the territory claims will be endless. At worst, you’ll have to separate them and sit with your knees under your chin. (You forgot about the hump huh, Bunky?)

9 On a road trip, do not start the 100 bottles of beer on the wall song. If you do, at best everyone will get tired after ten. At worst, one of the kids will insist on going the whole distance. (How’s that toothache doing, Ferd?)

8 On a road trip, do not miss stating all the rules of I Spy. If you do, at best a small loophole will allow multiple winners. At worst, forgetting the “in the car” rule means little princess will hold out for 100 miles before declaring her item was a bird on the wire. (Yes, Tex. It was the bird 100 miles back.)

7 On a road trip, do not allow anyone into Buckys without a pre-set budget. If you do, at best you can justify the expense by the bonus points on the credit card. At worst, the manager of Bucky’s wants to sell your car to cover the bill. (What kind of rest stop has diamond covered boots huh, Pilgrim?)

6 On a road trip, do not think every tunnel is short enough to hold your breath all the way to the end. If you do, at best you’ll hit a long one and will have to breathe. At worst, little Tiny the future WWF champ who is a great competitor will be blue by the time you emerge. (No one told him to give up, Buster.)

5 On a road trip, if you are the driver do not hold up your feet over the railroad tracks. If you do, at best you won’t have a close call. At worst, you might be caught short if you need to make a quick stop. (If that semi in your lane, Buford?)

4 On a road trip, do not set unreasonable expectations around the number of license plates needed to be spotted to finish the game. If you do, at best everyone will be discouraged and quit. At worst, you most competitive child will keep going until they have all fifty. (Good luck on that Hawaii plate, Pal.)

3 On a road trip, do not allow the kids to pick their own snacks. If you do, at best you’ll need to run the car through a car wash when you get home. At worst, you will be peeling them off the ceiling after the mega sugar high hits. (You enjoy the screaming too don’t you Slick?)

2 On a road trip, do not let anyone in the car read the Stuckey’s signs. If you do, at best you’ll have to stop everyΒ hundred miles. At worst, you’ll have so many log rolls, divinities and clusters you will be able to open your own store.( Not to mention the dentist bill, right Ralph?)

1 On a road trip, do not insist that everyone hold it until the gas stop. If you do, at best the last ten miles will be very tense. At worst, you might be on the receiving end of a family mutiny. (You never realize how strong those kids did you, Jake?)


  1. Aw gee – I always liked stopping at Stuckey’s!!

    1. I know right? “Yes sir, one pecan roll coming up.”

  2. Gwen Plano · ·

    Road trips are hilarious and your list is as well. I’ve never heard of #5 – is that a Texas thing? πŸ™‚

    1. I think it might be Midwest. Mostly a backroads thing where the railroads cut across main highways. I think freeways did away with the fun. Thanks, Gwen

  3. Oh, my parents violated so many of these. My father once packed me in with the luggage in our station wagon. We were traveling overnight, and he just made a place for me and my pillow. Stuckey’s and HoJo’s – remember them well. Good list John.

    1. Ah HoJo’s. Home of the tender sweet fried clams. Thanks, Dan.

  4. Great list, John! This reminded me of being stuck on the Pennsylvania turnpike as a kid. After drinking a soda, my sister’s bladder was about to burst. My dad suggested she use a sandwich bag, not knowing there was a hole in it. Happy Monday! πŸ™‚

    1. Ha ha ha. I can imagine that scene. Happy Monday, Jill.

      1. Wet chaos. πŸ˜€

  5. Now I’m really curious about what a Stuckys is. Keep imagining something with a porcupine mascot and a lot of kitsch.

    1. Bucky’s has a Beaver and tons of kitsch. Stuckey’s is pecan centric. Lots of food items and candy.

      1. Sounds delicious. Though I’m more of a cashew fan. By the way, somebody commented on my reblog of your interview if you wanted to take a look.

        So would National Lampoon’s Vacation be a bad choice for a rule guide?

      2. Perfect inspiration and one of my favorite movies. I din’t want to go near the grandmother or dog thing. I’ll pop right over.

      3. Good idea to skip those. Avoid them like the remake/sequel/whatever they did a few years back. πŸ˜›

  6. So Tiny was a strong competitor right from the beginning. I can’t picture Tiny ever being “little”. πŸ˜€ — Suzanne

    1. Yup. He has been at it for a long time. πŸ˜€

  7. I learned the hard way about #1 on safari trips – you gotta go while you got ’em! 😦 This means that you try and use the facilities wherever and whenever you stop – whether you want them or no! This is of more importance on a trip in the wild of course, where even the insects will bite you in the rear end should you need to stop and use the shrubbery… πŸ˜›

    1. Rear bites are the worst. seems to take forever to stop itching. Thanks, Jan

  8. We were shooting for #1 on one of our trips and got stuck in standstill construction traffic for over an hour. Let’s just say empty gatorade bottles can be invaluable and leave it at that.

    1. I know what you mean. I had passed a rest area and then discovered the Big Gulp wanted out. Thermos for me.

  9. Where were you about twenty years ago when I needed these rules? I think I’ve violated all of them at one time or another.

    1. I was violating them myself.

  10. Ha ha! I can relate to a few of these. πŸ™‚

  11. 9 On a road trip, do not start the 100 bottles of beer on the wall song.

    I abandoned my children at a Stucky’s in Nebraska for less.

    I have often wondered how they are doing.

    1. Maybe they’ll write. πŸ˜€

  12. I completely forgot about holding your up your feet when crossing a railroad track. Thanks for the chuckles….and the memory!

    1. Ha ha ha. So much fun back then.

  13. Road trips with the family — so many memories, like the time my sibling got carsick and threw up, right into the dog’s food bowls! (I know — you really didn’t need to know that, right?!)

  14. What great reminders from the past! I miss Stuckey’s but now we have Bucky’s for those trips to Houston. Great snacks! Good one, John!

    1. I Love Bucky’s. We used to go to horseshows near Houston and would stop.

  15. Love the chronological flashback. Oh the high school band trips with 100 bottles of beer on the wall. Damn that song gets old! Last one made me laugh. A story about Hawaii license plates. After returning from Hawaii, I was telling people that the biggest surprise was that with so many visitors there, I didn’t see any non-Hawaii license plates. Oh the looks I got.

    1. Ha ha ha. I can imagine. “Oh look ma, a plate from Ohio.” “Yes son the man and his car came all the way by canoe.”

      1. I knew you would like that story.

      2. I did. Thanks, Frank. πŸ˜€

  16. Great list. On the topic of Stuckey’s, you should explain to your kids the the difference between a Pecan Roll and a Pee Can Roll. One will stink up your car. The other will get the floors wet and stink up your car.

    1. Ha ha ha. Never had a pee can but seems the difference needs to be pointed out. Thanks for the laugh Don. πŸ˜€

  17. I miss Buc-ees in Texas!! They had the best club sandwich around. And jerky. We never left spending under $40. This list made me wish for a road trip.

    1. Yeah, I spelled it wring. You are right. I love that place.

      1. Took me four years to spell it correctly.

      2. I spelled wrong wrong. I give up

      3. Ha ha ha. Fat finger John

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