Six Reasons Why Solo Road Trips Rock

I arrived in Columbus yesterday afternoon to spend a couple of days with Momo (we’re lunching with Christina while I’m here, too!). It took about six hours to get here (plus an extended lunch stop and visit with Tabatha in Dayton), and the drive was positively glorious.

Nothing against my husband, boys, sister, or anyone else with whom I’ve ever hit the road, but solo road tripping is pretty darn amazing. Here’s why:

1. It’s quicker to get out the door when you’re traveling alone. I was only ten minutes behind my planned departure time of 5:00 a.m., easily made up before my first restroom stop. Not too shabby.

2. Speaking of restroom stops, when you’re traveling alone you can stop as much–or as little–as you want, and there’s no need to wait for someone else to have to go so the stop is worthwhile. (I should say on the record here that there is no “Sorry, I don’t have to go to the bathroom yet so you’re going to have to wait” going on when we are on an average road trip: it’s understood by all that it’s a better use of our time if we make fewer stops.)

3. If your GPS goes away at the least convenient time, like when you’re approaching Indianapolis and the signs say that the highway you want is closed, there’s no verbal discussion in which you quickly try to figure out which way to go before it’s too late; you just follow your instincts and figure that if you’re wrong, you’ll just silently turn around and go another way. (Bonus: high-fiving yourself when you’re not wrong.)

4. There is no group decision process when it’s time to stop for something to eat. Have a taste for a burger? You go get one. Soup? Get it. Stop somewhere specific so you can meet a friend? (See above.) Do it.

5. The stereo system is all mine for the duration. We already have a rule in our house that says whomever is driving is the one who gets control of the music. On a solo road trip, I can listen to all of my favorites all of the time. Sometimes twice.

Exactly like Bebe Neuwirth

6. Singing at the top of one’s lungs on a solo road trip is not only allowed, it is ENCOURAGED.

Of course, that leads me to one of the drawbacks of traveling alone:

Strained vocal chords

That, however, is another list for another day.


  • Liz

    Solo road trips are awesome, but 6 hours is about my limit of “SOMEONE TALK TO ME, PLEASE!!!!” Living with 5 other people will do that to you 😉 BTW, we can’t wait until it’s our turn for you to visit 🙂 Say “Hey!” to Momo and Christina for me!!!

    • Melisa Wells

      I think maybe my six hours of singing compensated for the lack of conversation because I didn’t miss it. 🙂

      I can’t wait for November either!!!! I wonder if the people on the plane will be annoyed by my singing. It’s only a two-hour flight; they’ll probably be fine…right? 🙂

  • Shannon

    The last solo road trip I went on was to Kentucky. I listened to an audio book the whole way down – Bossypants. It was like Tina Fey was in the passenger seat.

  • Mags

    Hi! 🙂

    I had a chuckle about the soup. I don’t know why, but it doesn’t strike me as road trip food….and then I remembered you’re brilliant and therefore proved your point.