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* By Doug 'WeriiEwt Weekend Magazine Edit
Having a good seat can make all the difference. Due to the
length of some trips, being crammed into an uncomfortable
position can put an immediate damper on the journey. Everyl i Ia
traveler is a little different in where they prefer to ride.
"I rock the backseat where I can lie down," said Engineer-
ing freshman Gabe Pak, who recently made a five-hour drive to Chicago with his
LSA freshman Jennifer Cocariu, fresh off her 10-hour trip to Newark, N.J. with
three of her friends, shares a similar belief. "(I) definitely (choose) the backseat so I
can sleep," she said.
Still, some prefer the different benefits that the front seat offers.
"The backseat is no fun. You feel left out of the conversation," said Nursing fresh-
man Lindsey Glover.
School of Education junior Carrie Veldman, who recently spent a weekend in Chi-
cago with three of her friends, agrees that the front seats are ideal. "You can control
the music and you get more leg room," she said.
F I A 1 SThe argument between arriving at the destination quickly
and taking time to see the country is never ending. For every
Matt Cochill, who 'just stopped for gas and food," there is
a Tony Heaphy, who said his group "definitely pulled off the
road if we saw something cool." Still, no matter what kind of
trip it is, the most important things to remember are to be safe,
keep a positive attitude and above all, have fun. Some final tips:
"You just have to be with people you like. If I'm in a car with people I like, I coup
sit forever," Berndt said.
"Small bladders and Nalgene bottles aren't a good combination," she added.
"Have good music, good directions and people you enjoy going with. Make sure yoi
have something to do. Pack light and take some magazines," Cochill suggested.
"Don't go with someone you don't like, and it's really impossible to drive to France
Just trust me on that one," Heaphy said.
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and the .open
road lies ahead.
With warm weather
on the horizon and
students eager to get
out of Ann Arbor one
more dime before the
,semester ends, it can
meatn one thing: road_
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ABOVE: Life on the
road c~an become
borng quickly. See
right-for tips to
spice:up your trip.
a one erk ofong-
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As the trip goes on, it's important to keep plenty of
good music coming from the car speakers. Music can
set the tone, keep the trip lively and boost the spirits of
everyone in the car. L
"Because we had different interests with six different
people, we used the iPod and played it through the radio,"
said LSA junior Matt Cochill, who spent his spring break in Key Largo, Fla. with
nine of his friends.
Some prefer to have the music as the main source of entertainment for the ride,
selecting tunes familiar to everyone.
"My request was always the songs we could sing to, like '80s music," said LSA
junior Kelsey Berndt.
"We liked poppy fun music like the Backstreet Boys," added Cocariu.
On his trip to Daytona, Fla. last summer, Music fresh-
man Tony Heaphy had a different idea for three of his best friends.
"I made them listen to showtunes the whole way there. We sang 'Mr. Mistoffelees'
from 'Cats' for like 20 minutes," he said.
Others even try to have the music fit the trip itself, as was the case for Veld-
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"We were listening to a lot of classic jazz because we thought it would be cool
to look at the Chicago skyline while classical jazz was playing in the background.
Frank Sinatra is sing-a-long stuff. We sang the whole way there," she said.
As with any trip, there are bound to be a few road-E
blocks along the way. Veldman recalled her trip, where
her friends decided on a Wednesday to get away the fol-
"It was the dead point where Spring Break was over
and we just wanted to go. The spontaneity of it was fun,"
However, when her group arrived in Chicago, they found lodging to be more
expensive then they had anticipated.-
"We just decided to go. If we had just planned before ... we would have saved
a ton," she said.
Berndt shared a different problem that occurred on her trip as her hotel was
destroyed by a hurricane, forcing her group to scramble to find another hotel fur-
ther down Florida's panhandle.
If finding a cheap place to stay is easy, there's always the problems that
arise with navigation. A wrong turn can add considerable time to the trip.
Glover recalled her navigation horror story, as a wrong turn led to an embarrassing
"We went two hours out of the way, and I realized we were going the wrong way,
but I didn't let on," she said.
"Know where you're going and don't get lost. That's key," she added.
For those without an internal compass, maps can be purchased at any local gas
station. Better yet, AAA Michigan provides free maps to members, and their Ann
Arbor branch office is located at 1200 S. Main St., across from Michigan Stadium.
As the miles pile up, travelers can become antsy, and the
music can grow stale. Finding a distraction can help the
hours pass by quickly.
"We played this ridiculous game with celebrities w hose 1 .
names started with each letter of the alphabet," Heaphy
said, who also mentioned playing the game "Six Degrees of
Kevin Bacon" as a time-filler.
"I prefer driving, but we had a TV, DVD and video game player (in the backseat),"
Sometimes, the road itself can provide entertaining opportunities to pass the
"We made fun of people in another car, so the guy made a 'You Stink' sign for
us," Berndt said.
Glover recalled the Bruiser-Cruiser game, where one person spots a PT Cruiser
and immediately punches the person sitting next to them. Other favorites are the
"Would you rather .. ." game, the license plate-spotting game and a game where
passengers look for cars with burned out headlights. If none of those appeal to the
passengers, there is still one age-old solution.
"Making fun of each other helps a lot," Pak said.
Many factors go into making a
weekend getaway get,,hte
it's a two-hour excursiun up north
or a 20-hour drive to4frdhere are
some tips to help ensure a successful
Pack your bags. It's going to be a wild ride.
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