The 15 Stages of a Family Road Trip

For several reasons, family road trips never seem to be as fun as they look in the movies. Even though ones like RV, We're the Millers and Little Miss Sunshine show the more dysfunctional (and realistic) side of what those days in the car can be like, we still feel like no one understands the love-hate relationship we have with these adventures. From avoiding your dad's road game ideas and ignoring your sister's way-too-loud music, staying sane on a family road trip is pretty much a full time job. Here's our take on the stages of survival in the car.

1. Before you've even gotten in the car, your parents are way too excited about this road trip.

Maybe it won't be as bad as you think. Maybe.

2. You double check that you have everything packed - and you remember to go to the bathroom. Twice.

Next step: Harassing all of your family members to do the same.

3. Inevitably, there will be some fight over who is sitting where in the car - especially when your younger brother tries to take your seat.

The youngest always gets the back seat. Deal with it.

4. It takes you ten minutes, but you finally find a position in your seat that's comfortable.

Well, as comfortable as you can be after accepting that you will never actually be comfortable.

5. Not even half an hour after you've left the house, you have to turn around because someone forgot a phone charger and your dad left the oven on.

Thanks for nothing, family.

6. You're trying not to start any drama, but your sister is playing Taylor Swift so loudly that her headphones may as well be speakers.

You like the remix of "Bad Blood" just as much as she does, but you would much prefer to listen to it on your own.

7. When you finally convince her to turn it down, your dad decides that a better soundtrack for the road would be a family song.

Should you jump out the car now, or wait until you stop for gas to make a run for it?

8. By the time the song is over, all you want to do is sleep and listen to your own music.

You're allowed to be anti-social, even when there are at least four people within arm's reach of you.

9. You've just started to fall asleep when your brother announces that he has to go to the bathroom and can't hold it.

*Cue him climbing over you to get out of the car, spilling crumbs from the Doritos he'd been eating all over your lap as he does*

10. On the bright side, you grab a bag of your favorite pretzels inside the otherwise disgusting gas station.

Your one ray of hope.

11. You've hardly eaten one before your sister says she's going to be sick - and the nearest bag is, yep, the one holding your pretzels.

Because apparently vomit can't wait for your dad to pull the car over. Sigh.

12. You're trying not to be a grouch, but if your brother asks "Are we there yet?" one more time, you're going to scream.

WE'LL GET THERE WHEN WE GET THERE, DUDE.

13. At this point, you actually wish for something to go so wrong on this trip that you end up having to get shuttled to the nearest airport and fly to your destination.

Like a melodramatic 13-year-old girl, you actually contemplate drawing "HELP" on a piece of paper and taping it to your window.

14. If there's one good thing that comes out of it, your followers on Twitter are loving your live tweets of your misery.


It's funny as hell when you're not the one in the car.

15. By the time you arrive, you don't think you've ever been happier to be on land again.

Next family road trip, you'll bring a bottle of wine.