Travel can be stressful.
After all, more than 80,000 flights were cancelled in the United States last year. Another million-plus flights were delayed — that’s nearly 20 percent of all domestic flights.1
But wait; there’s more cautionary stats for the road warriors out there. Last year, more than 450,000 motorists reported flat tires. And those are just those called in by AAA members.2
Sometimes, you need to be able to laugh at your transportation mishaps. Having a sense of travel humor may not be quite as clutch as having a travel insurance plan, but it can help calm you down, gain perspective, and forge ahead to put your trip back on track — even if you’re not travelling by train.
They say laughter is the best medicine, after all. And it’s more than a saying. Not only can laughter relax the body, but it can also help your heart, boost your immune system and release endorphins to help you feel groovy.3
In that spirit, we’ve put together a few ideas to help you spread the travel humor during your next getaway. Enjoy!
Are you hitting up RV parks, campgrounds or roadside motels as you crisscross your way across the country — or even just across your state? Do you have a travel companion who can sleep through an 18-wheeler riding the horn in the back of a muffler-less Mazda Miata? Great!
Here is the plan. First, sneak out of your sleeping accommodations — and bring your bags. Second, move your car. And finally, place a phone call to your unsuspecting travel buddy that goes something like this…
“OH. MY. GOSH. We’re so sorry, we wanted to get on the road early, and in the rush, we forgot something: You. No wonder the backseat was so much roomier... Listen, we’re already 350 miles down the road — yes, we’re making excellent time — but we called the front desk / campground / etc. and there is family of four coming to the same place we’re at and they can squeeze you in. Great news, right? They have two colicky babies and a couple cats, but they’re totally cool with you hopping a ride. Just cover gas and lunch. And they’re swinging by right now… OH, we’re about to lose our signal. Bye!”
Now, have everyone in your party turn their phones off quickly. Because confused, potentially angry texts and calls will follow. Then wait five minutes. Jump back in the car and go pick up your friend. Hopefully they have a sense of travel humor, too!
Planes and TSA lines aren’t the best place to crack one-liners or concoct intricate travel pranks. In fact, they’re one of the very worst. But that doesn’t mean you can’t lighten the mood among your travelling party with a little travel humor that doesn’t land you in hot water.
So here is some harmless fun. A day or two before your scheduled flight, call one of your trip mates and tell them you’re not sure what to wear to the airport. This is a perfectly reasonable question to ask; after all, it is often difficult to choose the right outfit for mile-high adventures. Do you dress for comfort? Do you wear your heaviest clothes to preserve valuable baggage space? Tough calls, right? When they tell you their dress plan, it’s time to go through your closet and drawers (and maybe even take a quick trip to the thrift store) to find something that matches your friend, family member or co-workers outfit to a ‘T.’ Are they going with low-maintenance Crocs? So are you. Will they have their lucky EPCOT Center fanny pouch? You will, too. You get the picture. To complete the look, get to the airport first, buy each of you the same drink before they even realize they have a doppelganger. Bonus points for snapping a selfie and posting it to social media before they can attempt to run into the bathroom and change. Might we suggest the hashtag #TravelTwins!
If you’re going on a road trip and taking your car, then you’re in charge of the music, right? Those are the road trip rules. And why choose popular, timely tracks when you can have a little fun?
The goal here is to come up with the worst mix tape or playlist ever. Does your friend have heavy disdain for The Eagles? Perfect! Include “Hotel California” on your tape, CD or iTunes playlist three times in a row (in English and Spanish). Ever rock out to the B-52’s “Rock Lobster” in bumper-to-bumper, rush hour traffic (with the windows down)? Now you will! The key to making this sound pollution flow is two-fold: only include potentially irritating songs that you can semi-tolerate. And also, you need to be the one piloting the vehicle. Because as soon as you hand over the wheel, you hand over the radio. And we’re guessing your road trip mates are going to take over the radio lickety split.
Finally, if you need some more muse for your travel humor, then look to billionaire businessman Richard Branson. The inventor, investor and all-around genius has hatched some brilliant pranks right around April Fool’s Day in the past. But our favorite by far was when the Virgin Airlines CEO shared he would be moving his company to the aptly named Branson, Missouri. Yes, Branson wanted to take over Branson, the kitschy tourist town know for 55+ nostalgia shows. The announcement also included plans to run air service between the Missouri city and San Francisco, build a luxury hotel and even film a major motion picture in the small city.4
Here is a video news story that’s a little bit skeptical about the announcement:
You don’t need to be a famous billionaire to punk your fellow travelers come April Fool’s Day or any day. Just get a little creative with your travel humor, don’t do anything that’s going to get you interrogated in a tiny room in the back of the airport — and remember that next time the joke will probably be on you.