Top Ten Things Not to Do on a Road Trip

Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash

 

This post ran on February 20th, 2017. Since folks still take road trips, it might still be useful. I hope you enjoy it.

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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.

Top 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 Buck-ees without a pre-set budget. If you do, at best, you can justify the expense with the bonus points on the credit card. At worst, the manager of Buck-ees 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. (Is 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, your 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 the kids 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 every 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 realized how strong those kids are, did you, Jake?)

79 comments

  1. Fun memories of road trips and the games we would play. We often filled the back seat with comic books to read…not that we had not already read them “hundreds of times.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember those days too. My mom was always concerned we would get car sick from reading. (I don’t think it ever happened.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My mother had the same concern about reading and car sickness.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think it must have been universal.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I never liked the car games, I had magnetic games to pass the time. But Stuckey’s? you HAVE to stop at Stuckey’s!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think so too, GP.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Number one brought to mind a certain ‘road trip’ from League City to Nacogdoches during the Rita evacuation. About twenty miles outside Lufkin, my mom said, “Stop this car — I have to go!” I looked at that miles long line of traffic ahead and behind, and knew we’d never get going again if we stopped. I told her to pee in the seat; we’d deal with it later.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Some of this rings true. I just made a long road trip and those advertising signs are important.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In some cases, vital. (Giant ball of string comes to mind).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I remember the license plate spotting game. We kept it going even after the trip. Took about a year for an Idaho plate to finally turn up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would be exciting once spotted.

      Like

  6. Like Charles, I used to do the license plate game. Did it on our road trip to DC a few years back. If I recall, we saw plates from almost every state in the union, including Alaska and Hawaii.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would be cool. Thanks, Joan.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Also for consideration is to insure (by blood pac if necessary) that the question โ€œare we there yetโ€ will not be spoken.๐Ÿค—

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. Forbidden words for sure.

      Like

  8. Hilarious, John, especially #1. With 7 kids, my dad bought an old bus, and fitted it with bunk beds on one side. Yep, that’s how we traveled in pre-RV days. Lots of memories of kid squabbles and even a mutiny or two. ๐Ÿ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like a fun way to go with that converted bus, Gwen.

      Like

  9. When Son #1 was in high school, he went on a day trip with another family and experienced #9. He was banging his head against the car window by the time he got home. They sang it there and back – the whole way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh goodness your poor son.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Excellent road rules! We had to stop playing I Spy with My Little Eye when whatever was spotted became ridiculous. And my brother and I drew a line down the middle of the back seat to mark our respective territories. Not a real one, mind you, so there were lots of complaints about crossing the ‘line.’

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, unless someone took some tape and drew a line it was always moving.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. My brother and I had the same imaginary line in the backseat. Squabbling ensued.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    We had many fun road trips. This brings back good memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad, Denise.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ve seen some of these broken, John, although the 100 bottles of beer was in a bus on a field trip. Good to see little Tiny.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t mind the idea of 100 bottles of beer in a cooler.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Sound advice, John! Now, a road trip for me is a trip to the Barnes & Noble 5 miles away, but I do remember back in the day … “MOM!!! She’s looking at me … make her stop!!!” ๐Ÿ™„

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Brings back memories of my childhood. Thanks, Jill.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yeah, the good ol’ days, eh? Actually, now that I think about it …

        Liked by 1 person

    2. In addition to “She’s looking at me” there was “She’s making faces at me.” My poor mother . . .

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh yeah, that one too … and “Mom!!! He touched me!!!” Fun times, yes?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yep, that one, too! ๐Ÿ˜€

        Liked by 2 people

  14. I’ll bet there are lots of parents who can relate to this post, John. I remember most of these from both childhood and adulthood. License plate games and singing were givens. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I remember the old “are we there yet?” inquiries every ten minutes. One time as we were cruising along at 70 MPH I suggested that the kids go outside and play.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My parents used to threaten to leave us at the side of the road. It didn’t phase us, but I think now about how inappropriate that was. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

      2. CPS would have a field day with stuff like that.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. ๐Ÿ™‚ They would have been all over my parents for the crazy things they did with us.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Great list, John, that brought back wonderful memories of when our kids were little.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad it brought back good memories, Lauren.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Lol! This brought back lots of road trip memories (some I’d rather forget). #1 is the main one not to be ignored! Especially with small ones in the car.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the visit and wise words, Jan.

      Like

  17. Good things to keep in mind on a family road trip, John. Without rules, it can be pretty chaotic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it can get out of hand.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Haha, John, I can really relate to this one as we’ve done several road trips with the kids.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can imagine.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I hate to be a grouch, but reading this list makes me happy for the times when I’ve traveled solo! Stop when you want/need to, buy what you want for lunch, no goofy car-games, and no sibling claiming she only could avoid carsickness by riding up front!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like a good deal.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Today is the start of the Post A to Z Road Trip, so this is perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Too bad there aren’t 26.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Ah, the family road trip memories! Thanks, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are very welcome. Glad you liked them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ๐Ÿ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  22. So many great road-trip memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sign of great parents. ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

  23. petespringerauthor · · Reply

    We played that license plate game on many trips. Sure, it was fun initially, but I don’t know if we ever got to the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m in the same place, Pete. Not sure we got to the end either.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. petespringerauthor · ·

        The goal was to kill time. I have a funny story about my son when he was a little guy. He always loved construction vehicles; we used to count those on our travels. On one trip, he drifted off in his car seat and wanted his mom and me to keep counting while he slept. (I’m guessing he was about 3-4 then.) When he woke up an hour later, he asked what the count was. I said something like, “Uh, I think we’re up to 57.”

        He was a smart little bugger and replied, “But that’s less than what we had before.”

        Haha! Busted!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Kids never forget. Fun story, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Road trips with kids… no thank you! Mind you, today’s kids won’t play any games except the ones on their phones so, hopefully your co-pilot doesn’t ignore you and read her book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a rule in our house. Pilot and co-pilot stay alert.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is a must, no doubt about it!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Not an option!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing my post, Michael

      Like

  25. Great tipps, John! But who’d said having (the) kids onboard? Lol Road trips with children could be so tiring. Only the several stops for filling up icecream and beverage are acceptable then. ๐Ÿ˜‰ xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Michael. Need lots of Ice Cream stops for sure.

      Like

  26. Firstly, I want that VW family bus. In that color.

    I have never been inside a Buc-cees but for some reason it’s very familiar to me. Either I watched a YouTube video about it or it was featured in a television show or movie. Not sure which. But I am familiar with Stuckey’s. It’s been a long time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Buc-ees is unbelievable.You probably saw a feature about it. Their jerky is famous.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s it! Yes, it was a YouTube video.

        Like

  27. What? No phones? I believe this post might need to be refreshed ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  28. As usual, you’ve covered all the bases. I don’t remember any road trips with the family. But back in my hitchin’ days, I saw many Burma Shave signs (an advertising gimmick of posting humorous rhyming poems sequentially along the highway) and large painted signs on barns. “Mail Pouch Tobacco” was the most prevalent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember those Burma Shave and Mail Pouch signs. There were also Wall Drug signs everywhere too.

      Like

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