Road Trip: Planning a spring break vacation

By Casey Gale

Movies have a way of making life seem so simple. Tragedies have a silver lining, happy days are accompanied by spunky pop tunes, and plans come together seamlessly. It is easy to envision moments in life playing out like a scene from a movie, but achieving big screen perfection requires a lot of work.

When my friends and I first decided that we were going on a road trip over spring break, my mind immediately went to Getting There, a silly Mary-Kate and Ashley road trip movie I saw when I was nine. I still recall it being one of the worst Mary-Kate and Ashley movies I had ever seen (harsh judgment from a little girl), and even still, my excitement at the thought of going on a road trip brought back memories of the film. Why? It showed traveling in its most romanticized form. The movie was all about teenagers gallivanting cross-country while experiencing humorous hiccups, which lead to crazy misadventures and ended with smiles all around.

In reality, traveling is not quite so simple. It is easy to get overwhelmed with all of the necessary tasks that need completion before even leaving for a trip. Many a Post-It note currently stick to my walls, reminding me of all the errands I need to run in the coming week. Hoping to get a jump-start on my preparations, I have been attempting to pack for the last several nights, only to find myself bogged down with homework. Sometimes it seems as though a pre-vacation to vacation is needed. When there are responsibilities that need immediate attention, it can be difficult to make time for the planning of future events.

After the basic gathering of basic trip necessities, there are the logistics of a road trip that need to be discussed. What time do we need to leave? Whose car is the most gas efficient? How much luggage can we fit in said car? For how long will each person drive? And of course the most important question – where will we stop for lunch on the way? These are all questions that require answers in advance in order to go on a road trip in which everyone is happy. While hiccups in movies may be funny, in real life? Not so much.

Last comes the actual vacation planning. Even down south, the weather is hardly predictable. In mid-March, it can be anywhere from the 50s to the 80s, making it difficult not only in planning what to wear while there, but also what activities can be done. Will it be shorts-wearing weather or jeans-wearing weather?  Will it be sunbathing weather, or shopping-indoors weather? Of course, the answers to these uncertainties lie in answers such as ‘bring clothes to layer’ and ‘let’s keep a loose itinerary.’ For those of us who consider ourselves to be “planners,” it can be difficult to accept it may not be feasible to plan every activity in the way you initially envisioned.

At the end of the day, I am just happy to be able to take a trip with my friends, regardless of the stress that comes with travel planning. We managed to all have the same week off for spring break and are fortunate to be able to afford the trip. For those two factors alone, I would say we already have quite a bit of luck on our side. Ultimately, it will all work out because we’ll be enjoying an amazing vacation together. And that is all of the movie magic I could ever need.


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