Driving across the whole country with your significant other can be difficult, but it can also be the best time. Here's a couple of tips to plan your adventure to ensure both of you survive and thrive.
1. Plan your stops ahead of time
This is integral to the trip itself, figuring out where you each want to stop. For long road trips, you have a lot of opportunities to stop and sightsee. Others may just want to get the drive done as quickly as possible. Get in tune with your significant other to see what they want to do stop wise and try to find a happy medium between what you both want.
2. Pack snacks, both healthy and unhealthy
It's important to pack healthy snacks like dried fruit and protein bars, but don't forget a few guilty-pleasure snacks! After eight hours of driving straight through the flattest state you've ever seen, it's nice to get something sweet or salty into your system.
3. Understand that you’ll learn a lot more about each other’s bathroom habits than you wanted to
You'll definitely find out very fast about your pal's bathroom habits. How often they need to stop while driving can be an indicator of a really small bladder or an inability to control how much water they drink, but whatever it is, they'll probably tell you all about it.
If you haven't reached the stage of your relationship where you can freely discuss your poop yet, you're about to.
4. Pick out podcasts and playlists to listen to before you start driving
We learned this the hard way. Unfortunately, we could never decide exactly what we wanted to listen to until we were already driving, and then it was deciding between podcasts or music. When you can finally narrow it down, it's still hard to find the right song or podcast you want to listen to. Do yourself a favor, pick them ahead and adjust when necessary.
5. Don’t backseat drive your significant other, no matter how much you may want to
DON'T. DO. IT. It's so not worth it to nitpick how your significant other drives, unless its dangerous or they're getting too tired and you need to switch. Let them do their thing when they drive, do your own thing when you drive, and try not to hurt each other when you make each other crazy.
6. Be an attentive copilot and navigate when necessary
Driving through states you've never been to can be ridiculously complicated, especially when it gets dark or when it rains. Pay attention to the map or GPS so your partner doesn't have to, and give them ample time to make turns. (Don't tell them after the turn has passed, they won't appreciate it.) Be a good Goose to their Maverick and keep them in line.
7. Take time to stretch your legs when you stop
You're gonna get all cramped up sitting in the car for hours, but when you've gotta drive... you just gotta drive. Take the opportunity when you do stop to use the restroom or get gas or food, and walk around! Do some toe touches. Shake your legs and arms out and get the blood flowing. You'll feel better if you do.
8. Realize humans get upset and angry when they’re tired and hungry, so don’t take it out on each other
Humans also get ridiculous when they drink too much red bull and have a combined sugar/caffeine crash two hours from their destination. Sometimes you just have to turn music on and let them ride it out while they get over their grumpiness.
9. Be comfortable with the long stretches of silence
If you spend a ridiculous amount of time with someone in a car, you're gonna run out of things to talk about every now and then. That's just a given. You'll have to get used to it and be comfortable with not filling every quiet moment with talking. Find a good podcast, let your copilot rest every now and then, and get comfy with the quiet.
10. And finally, enjoy every minute of it because sometimes being stuck in a car with your SO for hours on end can be the best time
Take every chance you can to enjoy this trip because you'll have the opportunity to make some great memories between the two of you. Every random stop you make is an opportunity to have a new experience somewhere you've never been before. Even just sitting in a car driving through the worst hailstorm of your life can become an interesting memory you both share, once you're not worried the hail is gonna kill you through a window. Just remember to enjoy every minute, because you have no idea what will happen next.