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:
If you yourself do not have a car, all that can be said is, you need a car. Beggars can’t be choosers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stubbornness gets the group where? Nowhere. Recruit those that go with the flow.
There is no need to embellish upon this point.
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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