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Road trips: the good, the bad and the ugly

Written by Julia Rodriquez, Content Editor

Road trips with friends cross country or to another state might sound like a good idea until the A/C breaks, you’re sweating next to your friend’s smelly dog and sleep is a thing of luxury. Unfortunately trips don’t always go as planned, especially when they’re hardly planned at all. Take the time to figure things out and your trip will likely go well.

First of all, know the length of your trip and the comfort level of your car. In other words, five people in a five-seated car for more than four hours likely won’t be comfortable. However, if squished seating is unavoidable, at least be sure to take plenty of breaks. According to Mayoclinic, prolonged sitting can lead to short-term, painful leg swelling and a plethora of other health issues overall with the heart and circulation.

Next to comfort are finances. Driving to a destination may seem like a brilliant money-saver compared to hundreds of dollars spent on plane tickets; however, traveling by car is far from free. Gas alone may cost over $100 depending on the length of the trip, the type of car and states traveled through.

Then there’s the cost of food. Luckily, fast food is relatively cheap, but meal after meal of burgers and fries can get old. Save money for a sit-down dinner where some vegetables or lean meat can be had.

Finally, there’s mental health. Unfortunately, road trips aren’t all giggles and sightseeing. There will be moments of sleep-deprived fits of anger or complaints of sickness. Be sure to have ways of fighting the boredom. You can find games like road bingo at places like Target and Cracker Barrel. It’s a fun way to make the monotonous sights of the highway into a competitive game.

You can also play free games like Skittles and the ABC’s. Skittles is played by yelling skittles every time a yellow car is seen, earning the player a point. If there is a cop car, a player yells “busted,” and all other players lose their points. Set a time limit for the game and whoever has the most points wins. The ABC game is simply played by finding every letter of the alphabet starting with “A” in signs, license plates, etc. The first person to “Z” wins.

Road trips can save you money and be a fun way to make it to a destination so long as they are properly planned. Budget your costs, pick the right car and play a lot of games.

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