Travel, by nature, is stressful. Before astronauts are shot into space, they endure stress tests so insane they could have only been developed by former Nazi scientists. Sadly, the two of you don’t have a crack team of lab-coated sadists to help you prepare for team travel. So on every road trip you strap yourselves into a steel capsule, pack it with provisions, and blast off down the open road in what is essentially a four-wheeled pressure cooker.
Of course, technology helps keep the shuttle on course, and can ward off your desire to drive into the nearest and deadliest highway guardrail ten minutes after takeoff: iPods, portable DVD players, cell phones, and satellite radio all help pass the time. But the open road should take you out of your element, not deeper into it. Instead of slapping on a headset, why not use this time in close quarters to reconnect—and rediscover what brought you together in the first place?
When packing, just remember that while road flares, a can of Fix-a-Flat, and a jug of antifreeze could get you a merit badge—and save your ass from calling AAA—it’s the little extras that will keep the two of you from breaking down:
1. GAS STATION SUNGLASSES FOR TWO
Along the American highways, classic eyewear styles never die. Buy two pairs of the sweetest, cheesiest sunglasses on the rack (aviators are a safe bet), and wear them with pride. It shows that you guys are a team—and the mirrored lenses will deflect all those jealous stares.
2. AM RADIO
You haven’t lived until you’ve listened to AM radio at 3 a.m. on a piece of road like, say, the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge in southern Louisiana. Out in the swamps of Creole country, or on any winding road to perdition, the combination of tent-revival evangelism, good-time jazz, and homespun wisdom makes endless conversation fodder.
3. BEEF JERKY
High in protein, low in fat. Doesn’t take up much room.