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How to Pick the Perfect Road Trip Partner

By Sarah Baird

May 5, 2015

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Photo courtesy Pathé Entertainment

Which of these road trip personalities would you want as your co-pilot?

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There are very few things that can make a road trip go sour faster than having the wrong travel companion. While sometimes we can’t pick the people we’re stuck driving with for hours on end, if given the choice, it helps to think both practically and (somewhat) scientifically. Behold, the three best types of people to take on a road trip—and the three that will make the journey from Planes, Trains and Automobiles look decidedly calm.

Highway Heros

1. The Technical Guru

Whether this person is a car-repair wizard, navigational maven or simply reliable enough to work all apps properly without handholding, it pays to have someone who is at least a little tech savvy riding shotgun.

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2. The Enthusiast

Sometimes, road trips are best organized around a common theme or interest. In this case, it’s imperative that someone is along for the ride who shares (or exceeds) your level of enthusiasm for the topic at hand, whether it’s Oregon wineries or the Mississippi Blues. This person will most likely be a great researcher for your trip, too.

3. The Long-Haul Trucker

This person has either a) watched Convoy too many times or b) could take up a second career as a truck driver if their current gig doesn’t pan out. They love driving and can do it safely and reliably for hours (and hours) at a time, ensuring you’re not the pilot the whole time.

Road trip zeros

1. The Worrier

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Is there enough air pressure in the tires? Do you think we’ll make it to the next gas station? Am I getting a rash? Did we accidentally run over a coyote? You’ll be ready to drop them off on the side of the road.

2. The Bathroom Attendant

This person—for whatever reason—seems to have the bladder the size of a jelly bean. This will begin to wear thin almost immediately.

3. The Strong, Silent Type

Unless you’re really looking the road trip to be a solo adventure with another warm body present, you’re going to need someone who completely understands the art of chit chat versus quiet time. The companion with the permanent mute button is worse than a Chatty Cathy because even the most talkative among us have to sleep, eventually. The silence? It’s forever.

>>Next: The Best Road Trip Routes for Any Kind of Person

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