I love road trips. I’ve been on many with my husband and have become quite accustomed to the drill. I recently completed a two-day 800-mile road trip with a couple of female friends. I knew almost immediately it was going to be a horse of a different color. We barely made it 80 miles when someone needed a bathroom break, we stopped at an outlet mall, and, three hours and untold dollars later, we were finally back on the road.
The dissimilarities between husband road trips and girls road trips were striking and amusing. If I were a sociologist, I might explain the cultural, biological and psychological reasons. But I’m not, so instead, I’ll present my, cheeky, light-hearted, and completely non-scientific compare-and-contrast observations.
|Husband Road Trip||Girls Road Trip|
|Preparation Required||Extensive. I prepare detailed itinerary, with destinations, stops and activities; then submit to husband for navigational planning. I must be ever ready to respond to random “where, when and how” questions (which means committing said itinerary to memory).||Minimal. As long as we know where we are headed and what day we get there, we’re good.|
|Ease of Departure||Low. Actual departure typically 2+ hours after estimated time; follows a stressful and complex on-boarding and loading process. Mood out of gate typically tense.||High. Actual departure time same as estimate, onboarding process a snap, all in good spirits on embarkment.|
|Driver open to passenger instructions||Minimal. Unless collision with incoming vehicle is imminent, better to keep suggestions to myself||Maximum. Driving considered group activity with suggestions (“look a gas station!” “hey, there’s where we turn”) appreciated|
|Permissible stops||Minimal. Mainly to eat or pee (but only if medically necessary) or other planned stops.||Maximum. Mainly to eat, pee, Starbucks or shop, but really anything goes.|
|Sight-seeing stops||Usually outdoor or museums (preferably military, not art); NO shopping||Usually indoor, maybe museums (preferably art); shopping always|
|Likelihood of making planned stops||Very high. If stops are programmed into itinerary, we will stop at each one, according to schedule. Even if it kills us. One of the benefits of doing the planning is that we go where I want to go.||Mixed. Depends on what “group” wants to do. High likelihood planned stops ditched in favor of shopping. Even if it kills us.|
|Activities enroute||Listening (and singing to) loud music or “can’t miss” sporting events, talking when necessary||Talking constantly, with occasional breaks for audiobooks or podcasts|
|Potential Conflicts||A big game (e.g., Navy, 49ers, or Giants) may take precedent over planned activity. (Or I tour while husband listens to game.)||Frequent calls from husbands, kids (usually daughters) given high priority and may cause stops or detours.|
|Syncing with time estimates||Usually make up for late start with aggressive driving and total ban on stops. Somehow complete trip within 30 minutes of time estimate||What time estimate?|
|Number of GPS devices used on board||At least four – car GPS, Garmin and two iPhones. Oh, and a radar detector.||Just one iPhone. (We don’t know how the car GPS works and no one brought their Garmin)|
|Overall trip satisfaction||High. I get to see lots of things and spend time with my husband.||High. I may or may not see much, but I get to shop, talk, and spend time with my girlfriends.|