I’m a big fan of road trips, and yet I’ve never actually gone on a real road trip myself. How is that possible?
Growing up, we’d make a 3-hour trip to St. Louis at least once a year to see the Cardinals play and visit the STL Zoo. I vividly remember those small little weekend excursions to the city. We would always pack up our suitcases, a few pillows to rest our heads on in the car, and whatever handheld video game system we had at the time (likely GameBoy Colors). And within the first 30 minutes, we would undoubtedly stop at some gas station for beef jerky, sodas, and candy boxes.
While I know I reminisce on the trips simply because I was young and innocent and with my parents, I really do know that I’d absolutely love to travel the US by car to invoke the same sense of childlike wonder and pure fun experienced riding in a car with friends. It would certainly help to be able to switch off driving with everyone, to the point that it wouldn’t be taxing for anyone to drive so long as we switched shifts often enough.
The other part about road tripping is how cost effective it can be with multiple people. If you’re taking a van or SUV with a few friends and everyone can fit their gear in, gas is split amongst the group, and so would camping costs if you pulled over at a KOA for the evening. From there, it’s just setting up camp, hanging out, sleeping, and getting on the road again.
While I may not opt to take some candy boxes along at this age, I definitely would still grab a few sticks of jerky along with a six pack for camping.
I know it’s cliche, but at some point I really have to take a trip out west with a handful of friends and just rough it for a week or two. It’s the best way to take on such a road trip, being able to stop anywhere you like, sightsee, camp anywhere, eat whatever, and honestly save a heck of a lot more money than if you were to do it with only one other person or if you were to fly to a specific spot.
The more I write about this, the more inspired I am to get something planned with a handful of friends for this summer. I know it’s not always easy for people to take off work at this age, but if we could make it work, it would be a trip of a lifetime.