Road tripping with your friends is a fantastic experience that you will remember for a long time. Road trips are great for re-establishing friendships, making memories together, and seeing your country.
Unfortunately, road trips with friends are not as easy as simply jumping into the car and heading out. There are some steps to take to ensure you have an epic road trip to your final destination without any hiccups or conflict.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when planning fun road trips with friends.
Checklist Before You Depart
Before diving in, here is a cheat sheet of what to keep in mind when undertaking the planning process for your next road trip:
- Travel with the right people
- Establish a budget
- Decide on your destination and stops
- Get the right transportation
- Prepare the vehicle for a long car ride
- Spread the responsibilities
- Communicate openly
- Design a well-rounded playlist
- Get healthy road trip food
- Stay safe and connected
Consider car insurance
A road trip with friends is fun, but you also need to be responsible. You should consider temporary car insurance for the journey, to give yourself peace of mind.
If you are driving a standard car or SUV, take out temporary car insurance. For larger vans, you can get temporary van insurance. If your friend group includes someone who has a learner’s license, consider temporary learner driver insurance.
1. Travel With The Right People
You will be spending hours in the car with your friends during your road trip, so you must select the best people to join you. Even your very best friend can test your patience, so you will want to make sure you and your partners are all on the same page about the trip’s goal, destination, and budget.
You don’t want to spend the entire trip arguing about minor inconveniences, so invite friends who have similar interests and a similar budget to you.
2. Establish A Budget
The most crucial step in planning your road trip with friends is determining the budget.
The amount of money you all have available to spend will determine where you go, how long the trip lasts, which fun things you can do along the way, what car you will take, and where you will stay.
The easiest way to discuss a budget is to have everyone over for a meeting. Talking about finances can be touchy, but good friends will understand their financial constraints and be willing to work around them and compromise their expectations.
Splitting the fuel bill
The most significant expense whilst on your adventure with friends will be paying for the fuel for a long road trip.
You can either take turns filling up the car or establish a fuel fund where everyone deposits equal amounts upfront, which the driver can then use to fill up the car.
3. Decide On Your Destination And Stops
The awesome thing about road trips is the freedom to go where you want. It is a fun way to explore your country, but it is still a good idea to decide on your destination and stop-overs before you head out.
Once you have a destination in mind, spend time on Google Maps to find the best way to get there and what to see along the way.
Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding on your road trip destination:
- How much time do you have to get there? This will determine how far you will be able to go.
- Will the weather be warm or cold?
- What is your budget?
- What kind of experience do you want. Do you want to backpack and spend time outdoors or travel to a luxurious resort destination?
4. Get The Right Transportation
If you are going on a more extended trip, you will want a vehicle to get you there safely and comfortably. Preferably, you will want a car with plenty of cargo space, Bluetooth connectivity so you can stay entertained, an aircon and heater, and something fuel-efficient.
Should your journey take you on dirt roads, you should consider getting a four-wheel-drive vehicle to make the long journey more comfortable.
5. Prepare The Vehicle
Before heading out on your adventure, you should make sure the vehicle is in a good condition.
Firstly, the vehicle must be up to date on its services. Secondly, you should check the following to make sure the car is ready for the long drive:
- Have a mechanic check the brake fluids, transmission fluids, and coolants. Top them off if required.
- Check the wear on the tyres. Replace tyres that are worn down. You can also have the tyres rotated and aligned for a smooth drive.
- Make sure the spare tyre is in good condition and that you have a car jack and wrench.
- Check that the headlights, brake lights and indicators are all working.
- Make sure the car battery does not discharge when the car is switched off.
- Pack the following items for an emergency:
- Jumper cables
- Tyre repair kit
- Reflective triangle to use in an emergency
- Charged flashlight
- Fire extinguisher
- First aid kit with disinfectant, scissors, bandages and pain killers.
- Keep these documents in the glove compartment of the car or on your person:
- Driver’s license
- Proof of insurance
- Emergency contacts
- Car’s manual and service booklet
6. Spread The Responsibilities
Don’t let the responsibility of planning the entire road trip fall on only one person. Divide the tasks and responsibilities between all the friends to ease the process and avoid arguments.
How do you spread the responsibilities between a group of people? Simply give each person one crucial task.
- Have someone research accommodation options along the route.
- Appoint someone to research fun things along the route and at the destination.
- The financial-savvy friend can keep track of the budget and expenses.
- One person can be responsible for packing the car.
- Someone can provide the onboard entertainment, such as coming up with fun road trip games, playing music, and providing snacks.
Discuss each other’s findings frequently to make sure everyone is in agreement.
7. Communicate Openly
Your road trip with friends will quickly become a nightmare without proper communication. Before one person dominates the entirety of the road trip planning, make sure everyone agrees. This includes discussing the destination, where to stay, and other bookings and reservations.
Road tripping is a team sport, and everyone should be able to speak their minds and have their opinions heard.
8. Design A Well-Rounded Playlist
You are probably going to want to play music on your drive.
The best way to make the experience in the car fun is to design a playlist that will keep everyone happy. Ask everyone to contribute their favourite music to the playlist and mix in some classic songs to listen to on the road.
You can also incorporate some podcasts and stories to make the time go by quicker.
9. Get Healthy Road Trip Food
You can save a lot of money on expensive takeout if you pack food for the drive.
As you will be spending a lot of time sitting down, it is recommended that you pack healthy snacks for the road that will keep you full without making you feel heavy or sluggish.
If you do not have a cooler or fridge in the vehicle, you will do best with non-perishable or dry snacks. Also, make sure always to have fresh water in the car.
Here are some healthy food ideas for a road trip with friends:
- Nuts, raisins and seeds
- Citrus fruit
- Bananas (although they don’t do well if left in a hot car for too long)
- Yoghurt-based smoothies
- Crackers and peanut butter
10. Stay Safe And Connected
Staying safe is crucial when you are going on an extended road trip. That means you will also have to keep in contact with friends and family back home, so they are updated on your travels. You also want to be able to contact emergency services in a pinch.
Here are some tips for staying connected while on the road:
- Always charge your mobile devices and laptops so that you can call someone in a pinch.
- Invest in a portable WiFi router. This will allow you to stay connected even if your phone does not have data.
- Share your live location with loved ones when driving long distances so they can track where you are.
- Notify people of your expected arrival time and tell them where you are staying.
- Get a paper map so that you won’t get lost if anything happens to your phone or GPS device.
Planning a road trip with your closest friends means you get to make memories, enjoy fun activities, and bond for many hours each day.
By following our road trip planning tips and tricks, you will have an enjoyable experience on your next road trip, and the planning part should go smoothly before you hit the open road.