Taking a road trip with friends can be an incredible experience. It’s the perfect way to reconnect with old friends and get to know new ones. It’s also an awesome opportunity to create amazing memories that’ll last for years to come.
That said, there are some things you should know when planning a friends road trip. Knowing these simple tips and tricks will help ensure your adventure is full of fun and laughter rather than bickering and hurt feelings.
Let’s dive into our top tips for having the best road trips with friends!
Pick Your Friends Wisely
It’s good to have a wide variety of friends. That said, not all friends are good friends to travel with. It’s important that you’re very careful about who you choose to road trip with. Remember that you’ll be spending hours in a small space with this person. Make sure you pick people who don’t tend to get on your nerves after spending a long time together.
Make a Loose Plan Together…
Having a plan is generally a good thing. However, it’s important that all plans are made together. Consider everyone’s opinion, try to fit in the things that each friend considers a must-do, and make sure everyone understands that some level of compromise will be necessary.
…But Be Flexible
The reason your plan is a loose one is because things tend to happen to mess up road trip plans. Therefore, it’s a good idea to be flexible, having a few different backup plans and rolling with the punches when things go wrong. Try to think of the trip as an adventure!
Split Up Sometimes
Making plans with friends can be difficult, particularly if there are a number of things you don’t want to compromise on. The more friends you go with, the more difficult this becomes.
If planning a trip that includes everyone’s preferences turns out to be impossible, don’t be afraid to split up from time to time. This will allow everyone to do the things that are most important to them. It’ll also give friends a break from one another, something that might prove helpful.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
When planning your trip and then throughout the adventure, it’s important to remember that communication is key. Too many arguments happen because of misunderstandings, so ensuring you communicate will help keep things friendly and fun.
Things you’ll want to be sure to communicate about include what vehicle you’re taking, what each person is expected to bring and/or do, how costs will be split, and the dates when you’ll be gone.
Boundaries are another important thing when traveling with friends. You do love your friends of course, but sometimes we all need a break. Unfortunately, everyone has a different idea of when those breaks need to come into play and what they should look like.
For this reason, it’s incredibly important to set boundaries before you ever leave home. Consider having designated “alone time” throughout the trip so the introverts in your group can recharge.
Go in an RV
In order to fully enjoy your road trip with friends, we highly recommend taking an RV. This will allow you to be comfortable no matter where you end up, and gives you the opportunity to choose a space with plenty of beds for everyone. On top of that, an RV provides a kitchen for making meals, as well as a nice clean bathroom even in the middle of the wilderness.
Don’t have an RV of your own? Rent one!
Take Turns Driving
Some people enjoy driving and some people hate it, but hardly anyone wants to do all the driving on a long road trip. For this reason, we highly recommend taking turns driving, splitting the time on the road as evenly as possible. This will help ensure nobody gets too tired of being behind the wheel, will give everyone a chance to nap along the way, and will help mitigate fights.
Put Away Your Phones
When you go on a trip with your friends, you’re there to connect with those people. Because our phones can be so distracting and have a way of pulling us away from what’s going on around us, it’s a good idea to put the phones away except when they’re being used to find a route or a place to stop. This will encourage everyone to connect during the trip rather than spending that time being buried in a screen.
Find Ways to Connect
Once your phones are put away, make an effort to find fun ways to pass the time on the road and connect. Believe it or not, doing this can actually make the journey more fun than the destination.
Some of the best ways to spend time in the car with friends include playing road trip games, listening to audiobooks or podcasts, jamming to music, and chatting and telling stories.
Take Plenty of Photos
Lastly, you will want to make sure to snap plenty of photos throughout your trip. This gives you something to remember the awesome friends road trip by, and hanging these photos in your home or office is sure to bring a smile to your face on a daily basis.
Top Places to Visit
Now that you know how to plan a friends road trip that goes off without a hitch, let’s talk about where to go and what to do on a road trip with friends.
If you want to take an incredibly long, epic road trip that is full of quirky roadside attractions and delicious diners, we highly recommend hopping onto Route 66. This famous road runs from Chicago to LA and is over two thousand miles long.
If you decide this is the trip for you, be sure to stop at Cadillac Ranch, the Blue Whale of Catoosa, the Petrified Forest, and Meteor Crater.
The Pacific Coast Highway
Another fantastic option is to follow the Pacific Coast Highway. This stretch of road runs right by some of the most beautiful places in the country, making it our favorite choice for those looking for a west coast trip.
Those taking this route should make sure to stop at Muir Woods, Stinson Beach, and Hearst Castle.
The Blue Ridge Parkway
Looking to be on the east side of the country? The Blue Ridge Parkway is an absolutely gorgeous, 469-mile road trip route that goes from Virginia to North Carolina. It’s one you’re sure to love, especially if you can visit in the fall.
We recommend stopping at Little Switzerland at milepost 334, as well as Crabtree Falls and Meadows. You’ll also want to make plenty of stops for hiking and picnicking along the way.
The Florida Keys
Travelers looking to escape the cold of winter or fully enjoy the summer sunshine will adore a trip to The Florida Keys.
Miami is a fantastic stop on the way down. From there, you simply head south, making stops at Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen for a slice of delicious key lime pie and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park for fantastic camping and amazing snorkeling opportunities.
Texas Hill Country
Texas Hill Country is a lovely place to do some road tripping. This is particularly true in the springtime when the Texas bluebonnets are in full bloom, painting the rolling hills a beautiful blue color.
While you’re down there, make sure to make plenty of stops at the many different swimming holes and spend some time in the tiny towns of the Hill Country. Try some local eateries and wineries, and visit some of the museums scattered throughout.
Any National Park
Lastly, we must mention our country’s national parks. These parks are excellent road trip destinations no matter who you’re traveling with, and friends are no exception. Whether you choose to check out the Grand Canyon, hike Yosemite, or see the geysers of Yellowstone, you’re sure to be thrilled with your choice to spend time with friends in one of the most gorgeous places on earth.
Want to see several parks? Check out this awesome road trip itinerary.