There are a few rules to ensure the success of any good road trip:

  1. You must drive for a while on a road you’ve never driven on before;
  2. You must stop for a coffee or for lunch at a place you’ve never stopped before;
  3. You must travel in both darkness and light, so either leave at dawn or arrive after dusk;
    1. You must have an alternative, easier or quicker route that you do not take; or
    2. You must have been able to take transit or fly, but chose not to; and
  4. 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:

  1. You must cross water, preferably by ferry;
  2. You must face some form of adversity, like a flat tire or heavy rain;
  3. You must discover something about yourself, such as finding a relative in a graveyard, or fixing a breakdown on your own;
  4. You must be surprised by something; and
  5. You must share at least some of the journey with somebody else.

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