Road trip truth: women are far more likely than men to ask for directions

You’re on a road trip. Somehow, your directions fall short, and you find yourself not being able to find yourself. Getting lost is no fun, and it’s even worse when you know – you just know – you’re close. So, the moment of truth arrives: do you stop and ask for directions or poke around a little longer?

Well, we all know how this movie ends: women stop to ask for directions, and men resist that step until the bitter end. Sure, it’s a sexist stance, but we’ve all been there, right?

If you were ready to question your beliefs, don’t bother. According to a study by British car insurance company Sheila’s Wheels, the average man behind the wheel will drive an extra 276 miles a year because of getting lost, while the average women will only trek an extra 256. And, it gets worse. Twenty-six percent of the men surveyed wait at least 30 minutes before stopping to ask, and 12 percent will never even get to this step.
ABC News reports:

“Our research not only reveals that men aren’t quite as confident behind the wheel as they make out when it comes to navigation but also that women are in control when it comes to modern motoring,” noted Jacky Brown of Sheilas’ Wheels.

Seventy-four percent of women have no problem pulling over and asking for directions, the study finds, with 37 percent doing so as soon as they realize there’s a problem (only 30 percent of men do this).

[photo by me and the sysop via Flickr]

Hand-drawn directions – Souvenir tip

It’s been said that hand-drawn directions can be a window into the soul of a culture.

When you find yourself not knowing exactly where you’re going, ask a local to draw directions for you. Keep a store of interesting napkins or papers and a pen on hand to take advantage of the opportunity of being lost.

Asking for directions might also lead you to start some great conversations and to gain a deeper insight into the locale you’re visiting. Even if you have an excellent sense of direction, it never hurts to ask for clarification!

Laminate maps and printed directions – Road trip tip

Passengers eat, drink, and frequently move in and out of the car during a road trip. A paper map or set of printed directions easily gets shoved into a seat during a stop, or worse yet, ruined if food or drink is spilled on it. Upon arrival, directions and maps are even more likely to get misplaced or damaged. To keep maps and directions safe during the trip, laminate them.

For around $30, a home laminating machine will seal standard letter size pages. Copy and print stores have the capability to laminate larger maps for a minimal fee. Alternatively, you can use contact paper to cover paper maps.

Pro tip: you can draw your route on a laminated map and easily wipe the mark off, if you change your mind.

Ask for a map of the ship – Cruise tip

Most cruise ships have several floors with long hallways, multiple restaurants and rooms that look alike from the outside. Multiple levels and a variety of things to do means there’s more to remember, including where your room is located. Ask for a map and mark the room’s location as well as other areas you will be frequenting, such as the dining hall.

Make sure that everyone in your party has a copy of the map and never leaves the room without it. This way, if anyone gets lost it will be easier to stop and ask for help.

Grab a book of matches before leaving the room – Hotel tip

When visiting a foreign country, especially one with an unfamiliar language, grab a book of matches from the hotel where you’re staying as soon as you arrive.

If you get lost in town during your stay, and you know just a little of the language, the book of matches will be a great way to show locals where you need to go, and have them direct you to the right place.