There are a few rules to ensure the success of any good road trip:
- You must drive for a while on a road you’ve never driven on before;
- You must stop for a coffee or for lunch at a place you’ve never stopped before;
- You must travel in both darkness and light, so either leave at dawn or arrive after dusk;
- You must have an alternative, easier or quicker route that you do not take; or
- You must have been able to take transit or fly, but chose not to; and
- You can drive fast, but you must not hurry.
Those elements alone will turn a drive into a good road trip. They ensure a bit of adventurous exploration while also offering some sort of challenge. You don’t have to go far; you can drive away now and return this evening with a sense of accomplishment. This is one welcome occasion when length doesn’t matter.
But do you want a great road trip? Then you also need as many as possible of these:
- You must cross water, preferably by ferry;
- You must face some form of adversity, like a flat tire or heavy rain;
- You must discover something about yourself, such as finding a relative in a graveyard, or fixing a breakdown on your own;
- You must be surprised by something; and
- You must share at least some of the journey with somebody else.