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A Tip for College Road Trip Planning: Choose Friends Wisely

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Summertime defined for the college student can most certainly be the “college road trip,” one of the quintessential experiences of life after high school.

However, if I address its stereotype: “adventure without the calculation of consequence on a more than likely token budget,” without adequate planning and precautions, it could become a life experience you may want to forget.

Therefore, whether you decide to go camping, sightsee a city, lounge at the beach, the most important thing in wise choosing during the pre-planning is the people you really, truly, want to go with. Though you may have a fantastic rapport in short sporadic social gatherings, spending a concentrated amount of time cooped up in a car can break the very back of friendship, hurdling it into a shallow grave.

Unfortunately, there are certain things that you’ll never find out until circumstances arise and having the ability to discern major road trip personality flaws is a gift only a few people have. It is best, then, to choose the following types of people:

A Person That Has a Car

If you yourself do not have a car, all that can be said is, you need a car. Beggars can’t be choosers.

A Person That Has a Credit Card

Cash is a rare commodity; however, costly “incidents” can come in multitudes. Choose a friend that has a credit card and doesn’t mind covering the costs of things that aren’t necessarily planned for or necessities that weren’t budgeted in.

A Person That Doesn’t Get Car Sick

This is a little detail that can turn into a monumental ordeal later on. Finding this out about a person you are considering taking a road trip with is, well, useful. And, if you bring bags, make sure they’re not clear. (I know this only because I have a brother that would get sick in practically three hour intervals, and as a mess prevention measure, my mom would bring gallon Ziplock bags.)

…I will say that pukers can remedy the weary, fatigued driver in a flash.

A Person That Knows How to Change a Flat Tire

Without an operational car, you will A) have to walk B) not reach your destination C) succumb to murderous thieves or a serial killer posed as a good samaritan D) all of the above. In the least, make sure someone knows how to change a flat tire, that being the typical automotive hiccup.

A Person That is Good at Navigating Maps

One person and one person alone should be the one in charge of directions, and they must be, without a doubt, the more responsible and focused of the group. Getting lost means more gas, more time, more irritations. Do not leave the navigating up to the dunce.

A Person That is Flexible

Stubbornness gets the group where? Nowhere. Recruit those that go with the flow.

A Person Who Doesn’t Whine or Complain

There is no need to embellish upon this point.

A Person Who is Without Expectations

Ultimately, the people that will enjoy themselves the most, who will add instead of detract from the experience, are those that understand expectations are a vacation’s cancer. A college road trip is a spontaneous, slightly impulsive exploit. As the old proverb says, “a hope deferred makes the heart sick,” so too will a friend melt into a pile sullen antagonism if the trip doesn’t end up as they anticipated.


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