Road trips, much like going to Disney World or drinking juice with a bendy straw, are just something everyone should do at least once in their life. And if you're going to have the quintessential experience, there are a few key ingredients every road trip needs:
Someone who will keep you on schedule, if you have a schedule. Some may refer to this person as a “wet blanket” because they’ll have to interrupt your whimsical shenanigans with nagging and anti-fun. But the truth is, a road trip without them is just an aimless, gas-guzzling drive fest. (If your road trip has no schedule, a gas-guzzling drive fest is totally permissible. Just plant a tree or something.)
A cool name. Don't call it a "road trip." Call it a "Crusade of Vehicular Awesomeness" or a "Quest for Mischief and Hilarity."
A car with a few quirks, like maybe the windows don’t go down all the way or the radio's broken and the CD player plays the same song over and over. These quirks will not be detrimental to the road trip but will create memories you can all look back on fondly. You want to be able to say "Remember when we listened to 'Call Me Maybe' for so long that we entered an altered state of consciousness and actually started to like it?" as opposed to "Remember when that small child ran into the road and the car ran out of brake fluid and our Quest for Mischief and Hilarity came to a sudden tragic end?"
The obligatory car games like I Spy or the Alphabet Game, or the less popular 20,000 Questions or Name That Infectious Disease.
A GPS, if you're not the kind of person who can just look at which way the moss is growing and then point to civilization. Double points if you name your GPS and give it a fancy accent. Triple points if somebody gets irrationally furious halfway through the trip and pitches the GPS into a large body of water because it told them to take a right turn that clearly wasn't there. (This almost always happens, so maybe chain the GPS to the dashboard?)
What else do you need for a road trip?