There are a few pointers that anyone should know if they are travelling with boys, especially boys named Andrew and Mitchell.
1. Abundant car tapas are vital to an overall enjoyable experience. Let me elaborate. Here in Spain, all you need are some cured, dried meats (think jamón serrano, chorizo or lomo), crusty bread, tomatoes, paté de atún and maybe some cheese. The possibilities with these few ingredients are endless. For example: tuna and tomato, tomato and cheese, lomo and cheese, lomo and tomato etc. The wonders of dried meats are that they don’t need to be refrigerated (I don’t think). Just take a plastic container with a lid, a serrated knife to slice the tomatoes and a roll of paper towels. Violà, endless meals at minimal cost.
2. On the subject of food, a baked treat like blondies, brownies or banana bread go a long way to keep everyone’s sweet tooth satisfied. And for a little nutrition, apples, bananas and oranges all travel well in the back shelf of the car.
3. Make sure that the boys’ Nalgene bottles are reachable at all times. We all know the negative effects of dehydration. We have all suffered with you in your epic dehydration episodes. As a female, you may not drink enough water to stay hydrated, since this will result in too many potty breaks that would hinder our progress to said destination.
4. As far as navigation goes, it’s best left up to the boys. Failure to direct correctly could lead to a costly mistake. No one wants that on their shoulders. Just be sure that when the boys do take a wrong turn, you point out how you told them that turning right was the best option. Nevermind if you muttered it under your breath, just in case you were wrong.
5. Hot meals are the number one way to boost morale. Want to have a content group to travel with? Let us have enough time at the restaurant to enjoy a leisurely meal and order dessert, which should ideally be followed by a coffee. We’ll be a little less surly once we have to get back into the car, and if you’re lucky, we might even nap for a little while.
6. Be prepared for more seat time than they will let on to. A quick drive between cities today, with a seat time of no more than an hour and a half? Don’t believe it. Even if they mean well and truly believe in their heart of hearts that car travel time will be minimal, us ladies know to take the estimate they give us and double it. Sorry boys.
7. Every city that is deemed worth the time it took to stop by and visit will henceforth be called a gem, jewel, diamond in the rough (what?), handsome or some other odd adjective that you would have never chosen to describe said location. It’s okay.
8. Free parking is your best friend and your worst enemy. It saves you beloved euro change that we all know is worth way more than their US counterparts. On the other hand, precious time that could be used to explore given location is wasted driving in circles looking for that coveted spot. I bet you can guess where I stand on this issue…
9. The windy curvy route that the boys say will be a scenic driving tour is being incredibly romanticized. It will instead be cliff hugging, dippy, long and you will inevitably get stuck behind an 18-wheeler on that scary mountain pass. For this reason, be sure to bring along plenty of dramamine.
10. Even though this all may sound unappealing to you, a good road trip really is a blast. Plan well, make reservations so that you have somewhere to lay your head when the sun goes down, and don’t get too stressed out about what you might’ve missed. The reality is, you’ll probably see something amazing you’ve never laid eyes on before, and better yet, you’re surrounded by friends. It’s a win-win.