The routine of summer is beginning to set in. You work at your internship all morning, not getting paid to fetch water or restructure databases or however it is that you're wasting your time. After work you come home to face your parents as they nag you to mow the lawn or walk your sister. Finally some downtime presents itself, but you have to be up too early to make a wild night out plausible, so instead you end up drinking a case of store-brand light beer and Philadelphia whiskey in the parking lot of a grocery store in the back seat of your buddy's Honda Civic. Yeah, I know, I just got back from doing the same, and I don't even live at home. But there's an easy solution to all this monotony: a road trip. Just don't forget that there are rules, and if you want any sort of credit for your roadway mastery, you best adhere to them.

Earning road trip designation: Planning a trip for three months, taking the family station wagon and driving to a hotel in Nebraska does not count as a road trip; rather, it counts as gay. There are two key attributes that define a road trip: your voyage must either have multiple destinations, at which you'll stay for an absurdly short period of time, or you must spend more time on the road than you do at any one place. If you hit up every town that begins with T in the state of Idaho during a three-day driving binge, that rules. Similarly, if you drive from Atlanta to Anaheim just to catch an Angels game and then turn right back around, you're clearly road-trippin', my man.

The flava': You do not road trip just to "visit someone." You "visit someone" when they're in jail. In the free world, you drive to their town, pick "'em up and get wild. The fellas and I just returned from a baseball road trip – which was conducted under the guise and funding of a job interview in Chicago – during which we caught three baseball games in three stadiums in three days. Sports? Damn straight that they're an acceptable road reason. Cool cities count, spring break counts and Canada always, always counts; just don't stay too long.

Speeding tickets: If you aren't rousing the radars of the local authorities, there's clearly not enough hurry-up sauce on your entrĂ©e of adventure. For bonus points, try for a ticket in every state you visit – what great souvenirs!

No girls: Hey, I appreciate the cleaner gender just as much as the next, if not next few, guys. That doesn't mean they belong on a road trip. In a road trip environment, you'll find that girls, especially those of the "' -friend ' variety, will only prove to be a burden. With thimbles for bladders and temperature swings like a pendulum (and you thought Slush Puppies gave you a cold headache), girls will hassle you right off the road and, if they're driving, into the most avoidable yet dense object in the area. Factor in the cockblocking – whether intentional or not – and the coffin has yet another nail in it.

Dirty car: If you're spending as much time in the car as you will be, litter will become your lifestyle. The general rule is that you should have at least five pounds of clutter for every twelve hours spent in-car. If you're on the road for a week, you should be wading in waste. Driving for a month? Bring a conversion van – but for compost, not comfort.

Spend more money than you expect: Before your trip, establish a budget: determine a reasonable amount of money to be spent on the trip. Then do some quick accounting to figure out how much money you could possibly scrape together in a given month if you were to need an emergency appendectomy. Add this amount to your original budgeted figure, and double the sum. That's how much you'll spend on your trip. I'm still paying off a day trip to Montreal from high school.

And that about does it. If you want to add some additional spice to the road trip, aspire to break something important in your car, such as the radio or the axle, or strive to have as much frighteningly dangerous casual sex with questionable locals as you can. Life is a highway, and you should want to ride it allllllll niiiiiight loooooooong . . . even if it does mean coming home broke and with Chlamydia.

Eric has a new column out today called My Drama Summer so check that out.

This update has been sponsored by the Speaker City polo, which is now available… And be sure to enjoy these hotlinks. Now watch this drive.