You may have noticed that we write a lot about family road trips and romantic getaways here on the RVshare blog. But even if you’re single and child-free, RVing is a wonderful way to see the world!
While some adventurers like to hit the road solo, traveling alone isn’t for everyone. But a road trip with friends is a fun way to explore in good company — not to mention splitting travel costs, which can be pretty steep when you’re on your own.
(Psst: Want to know one great way to save money on the road, no matter where you go or who you travel with? Passport America is a discount camping club that offers its members 50% off campsite accommodation fees at almost 1900 campgrounds across the country. Considering that some premium sites are as much as $70 or more per night, that’s a pretty incredible savings … especially since it costs less than $50 for the whole year! Click here to sign up.)
But before you get busy marking up your road atlas and getting ready to knock destinations off your bucket list, hold up a second. Because without a little bit of planning, you might find yourself butting heads — even with your very best friends.
So read on to find out how to take on your first road trip with a group of friends without going crazy.
Road Trips to Take with Friends
While a road trip with your #squad might sound like instant, unmitigated fun, it’s not always that simple. Close quarters and the need to compromise on travel decisions might reveal some very deeply-seated differences you didn’t know you had.
But if you take the time to plan things out beforehand and set some simple rules to keep everyone happy and calm, your adults-only road trip will basically be a party on wheels.
Here are our best road trip tips for adults who don’t want to end up hating each other at the end of the journey.
Tips for a Long Road Trip
Planning an epic, cross-country road trip with your friends? Then these simple tips matter more than ever. After all, you’re going to be spending some serious face time together in a cramped vehicle — even a camper doesn’t have that much room!
Here’s our best advice.
Plan your itinerary and route together.
Although it’s likely that one member of the friend group might naturally emerge as a leader (and yes, you likely know who you are), it’s best if all campers can participate in choosing destinations and planning the route. That way, no one will feel left out or silenced when everyone else is enjoying some spot or activity she doesn’t really care for.
Looking for some fun places to road trip with your friends? Check out the following guidebooks.
- National Geographic Guide to Scenic Highways and Byways: The 300 Best Drives in the U.S.
- Lonely Planet Guide to Route 66 Road Trips
- Lonely Planet Guide to Pacific Northwest’s Best Trips
- Lonely Planet Guide to San Antonio, Austin & Texas Backcountry Road Trips
- Fodor’s Guide to California with the Best Road Trips
Compromise is key!
Make sure everyone gets something they want out of the trip. Maybe one friend is really outdoorsy and looking forward to doing tons of hiking and kayaking, but another is mostly excited to eat brunch at every stop along the way. Try to find ways to fit in as many peoples’ interests as possible. Other members of the camping party might just discover a new favorite pastime!
Girlfriends Road Trip
Here are a few more road trip ideas for groups of guy friends and girlfriends traveling together.
Don’t be afraid to split up.
Even if you think you’re totally in sync, everyone’s got slightly different interests. And it’s not a problem to split up once in a while to accommodate everyone’s travel wishes. After all, you’ll still be spending a lot of time together on the road!
Plus, splitting up from time to time can also give you a break from each other that can keep annoyances — and thus fights — from forming. It’s important to maintain some distance and space!
If you’re planning on staying together every waking moment, you might be surprised at how quickly your fun road trip turns sour. Even best friends can grow tired of each other’s little quirks and individualisms after days of living in close quarters, especially if you’ve never done so before!
That’s why it’s important to set boundaries ahead of time so that everyone understands how much space each other needs and when. Try to give everyone a little corner of the camper that’s just their own. Having some semblance of privacy can go a long way towards making people feel more comfortable — and enjoying their time with others even more!
Checklist for Road Trips with Friends
One other quick piece of advice for figuring out how to plan a road trip with friends: ask the right road trip questions. Here’s a big one.
For each destination, what are your non-negotiables? Grab your road atlas and travel guide and have each friend create a “must-see” checklist, and then get together to see what’s covered. If several members share an activity or spot, they can plan to knock it off their lists together, while other party members might go off to see something that only they’re interested in.
For example, if three friends all want to take the 6-mile hiking loop, two friends are interested in the shorter 2-mile trail, and one friend would rather be at the nearby nature museum, you can split up and all enjoy exactly what you want from your road trip without anyone feeling bored, guilty, or like they’re missing out. Figuring out the daily schedule is way easier with this approach!
If you follow these simple tips and always remember to stay compassionate and open-minded, your friend-group road trip will draw you closer to each other and easily become one of your most-cherished memories. Enjoy your time on the road!
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