Can your friendships survive a several-day road trip? Your immediate reaction might be to say ‘Of course!’
Road trips with friends are a great way to celebrate special events –
- High school or college graduation
- Spring break
- Your one- or two-week vacation
Before spending long hours confined in a car with friends, though, you may want to consider a variety of possible areas of conflict. Here are a few things you may want to think about before taking a road trip with friends.
Exactly Who Will Go on the Trip?
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when planning a road trip with friends is which friends you’ll actually want to travel with. You want to choose companions that enjoy traveling and seeing new sights – friends who get along with one another well.
Even if you get along well with your friends, not all your friends may get on well with each another, so you need to be very careful when you choose traveling companions.
Choose a Destination That is Mutually Acceptable
Get together with the friends who are going to be traveling with you, and choose a destination that is acceptable to everyone. This can be something as simple as choosing how far you’ll go before you turn around and head home.
Or it might involve choosing a destination that you and perhaps even your friends have on your bucket lists – for example, a trip to the Rock and Roll museum or visiting the Grand Canyon. The important thing is that the destination is one that everyone on the trip wants to visit.
Plan Some Side Trips
A road trip should have something for everyone. Maybe one of your friends isn’t so interested in the final destination, but wants to see a place that is near the route you’ll be taking. So plan your route so that all members of the group can stop to do something or see something of interest to them.
This only works if everyone is flexible and willing to experience new things. Actually, the different adventures are likely to make your trip more memorable and fun for all concerned. Just be sure that everyone agrees.
Plan Your Route
You don’t want to find out halfway into the trip that one of your friends would have preferred fewer hours on the road each day, even though you thought you’d made it clear that your idea of a road trip meant spending a lot of time driving.
To avoid that kind of unexpected surprise, get some maps and plan your route to include everyone’s choice of side trips and other activities that you’ve all agreed to. Build some extra days into your itinerary in case of some downtime, unexpected stops, or unexpected discoveries where everyone decides to spend extra time.
Who Will Drive?
Get a feel for everyone’s attitude toward both driving and riding for long distances. The driving doesn’t have to be divided equally. Let those who enjoy driving do most of it. Hopefully, the others enjoy long-distance riding.
Decide On A Budget
Your travel companions are probably going to have different amounts of money to spend for the trip, so it is best to discuss finances and set a spending budget for the trip. You may want to set up a kitty to pay for gas, lodging, food, and other necessities. If everyone agrees to that, collect everyone’s money prior to the trip and record how the money is spent.
Discuss different ideas for keeping to your set budget, such as camping out rather than staying in hotels or bringing along food and drinks for snacks. You could also bring lunches in a cooler for a day or two to save money and stay within your budget.
Expect Some Unexpected Expenses
You should anticipate the probability that unexpected expenses will crop up. When that happens, one of your group may have to pay by credit card. Then you’ll need to have an agreement about how everyone will re-pay their share of those unexpected expenses after the trip.
Taking a road trip with friends can be a great bonding experience and is a wonderful way to enjoy traveling to places that you wouldn’t enjoy traveling to alone.
Doing some planning before you begin the trip can help to reduce the chances of disagreements while you are on the road so that you and your friends will start planning the next road trip before you’re even back home.