8 Funny Road Trip Revelations from the Passenger Seat

a husband and wife driving along a highway in a convertible at sunset

Road trips. If you’ve ever been on one, you know they can be one of life’s greatest adventures. They can also be one of life’s greatest frustrations.

My husband and I were each raised in ‘road trip’ families. Destination? Has to be by car. Planes weren’t an option since neither of us were raised with excess funds for those things. In my family, we got shoved in our white Chevy station wagon (with a really sweet red racing stripe on the side that my dad was geeked about), fighting over who would get to sit in the back facing the rear.

Seatbelts? Optional. McDonald’s for lunch? Nope, here’s your three-day-old PB&J sandwich smashed to oblivion in a baggy that may or may not have had apples or ice on top, making it soggy. Hot? Roll down the window. Bored? Look out the window. Can’t hear the radio? Tough luck. Motion sick? Here’s a shopping bag that hopefully doesn’t have holes in the bottom. Potty break? Nope, here’s the kiddy toilet for you… don’t splash.

It was a time of simplicity and chaos, making the adventure all the more… ahem… adventurous.

Carrying On the Family Road Trip Tradition

Fast forward 25 years, and my husband and I unknowingly made similar memories for our children. While the vehicles have changed, as have the safety protocols (thankfully), we also pinched pennies to take our kids on adventures and experiences. We’ve upgraded from PB&Js to crackers and cheese or Pop-Tarts, we stop to use the bathroom regularly because the mom in our house can’t hold it very long (don’t judge). Radio issues? Here’s your headphones. Bored? Here’s your tablet.

Simple Guidelines for Traveling with Kids and How to Enjoy ItMy husband and I are now empty-nesters living in Michigan, and one of the things we’ve done since this glorious stage of life began a few years ago is take regular road trips. We have trekked via car to Nevada, Utah, Arizona (barely, but we did it), the Smoky Mountains, Georgia, Washington D.C., and have plans for additional road trips. Yes, we like to fly and do it when possible, but there is something almost religious about traveling in a car, taking in the sights and sounds of our country.

But here’s the thing—we are not the same type of traveler. I’m not sure where we diverged on this, but I have completely different expectations when traveling now than he does. When our kids were younger there was a camaraderie in our travel. We had to be unified or all hell broke loose with the kids. It’s like they could sense our dysfunction!

On our most recent trip, I decided to keep a journal of my annoyances and observations. Keep in mind, he probably has a longer list, just not one he was petty enough to write down. Ahh, marriage.

So, here ya go—road trip revelations.

Traveling with My Husband: Road Trip Revelations

1. Me: “The speed limit is 55mph.” (He’s going 70ish on a curvy mountain road.)
Him: “That’s just a suggestion.”

2. Curvy roads are a challenge to be accepted at full speed and not ignored.

3. When passing another vehicle, the look of solidarity between the two front seat passengers as their partner pretends to drive “safely” through the mountains. Both passengers are simultaneously holding on to the ‘oh, crap” handle, as well.

4. Me wearing joggers and three shirts and a blanket because the temp is 63 degrees for “comfort.”

5. Line of cars in front of us all braking.
Him: Keeps accelerating, then hits the brakes hard. Acts surprised that I am vocally and physically annoyed.
Him: “What?!? I didn’t hit anything.”
Does this on repeat for the entire road trip with intermittent periods of the silent treatment.

6. Why yes, Google Maps, we’d love to take the “alternate” route that adds 1 hour and 24 minutes to our trip. (What?!)

7. Me: Calls mechanic when returning home because “brakes are acting weird.” Happens after every single trip. Weird.

8. Me: Plans out all the bathroom breaks because I can’t not drink my soda and all the other stuff as we travel.
Him: Whips into the nearest rest stop last second.

I do my share of the driving on road trips. These are annoyances from the passenger seat. And know this—there is no one else I’d rather road trip with. This man tolerates my nuances and ADHD better than anyone I’ve ever known. I’d just like to not have to put my foot on the fake brake once in my road tripping experience.

Need some ideas for a summer road trip? Listen to this podcast episode for some underrated locales: 17 Summer Vacation Destinations the Whole Family Will Love – 240

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