While solo travel tends to come with more independence and self-development, going on a trip with a friend can make the adventure more worthwhile. Beyond freedom and alone time, it brings deeper relationships and makes the trip more bearable. Some people tend to have more courage and motivation to try new things when they’re with someone. A friend can encourage you to get outside your comfort zone.
Traveling with a friend allows you to have more laughs, strengthen your bond, and create vivid memories. You can even pack up more food and try more activities. However, navigating a road trip may get more challenging if there are other individuals involved. To help you plan a successful trip with a friend, here are some steps you should follow:
1. Carefully pick the friend
Choosing your travel companion can either be easy or hard, depending on your current relationship status with people around you. But if you’re planning to go with just one friend, there are three things you need to consider. Ideally, you should be able to stand each other for three or more days. In reality, people have friends they can only stand for three hours.
Besides that, choose someone whose priorities and travel style match yours. Remember though that your personalities, interests, and status don’t have to match. Traveling is a way to learn more about each other so don’t be too restrictive with your qualifications. If you’re comfortable with him or her spending days with you driving and exploring, then that someone might be a great travel buddy.
2. Get real with your finances
Money can be a huge problem if you and your friend won’t discuss it before hitting the road. Decide if you’re planning to stay at hostel dorms during nighttime or if there are entrance or environmental fees you’ll pay for during the trip. List down your possible expenses and talk to each other about how much you can afford. Understand though that it’s always you’ll both have the same budget for everything.
For this, be clear with your budgets and goals, then try to meet them halfway. Ask each other what activities, meals, and other things you’re comfortable spending money on. Set your expectations. You don’t necessarily have to agree on everything. Other factors that might affect your travel budgets include the type of accommodations, length of trip, complete itinerary, and the date of the trip.
3. Prep the car and drive safe
You can easily prevent car problems by doing a maintenance or service check. If you’re not familiar with this, find a local auto shop. Besides experienced mechanics, a shop equipped with alignment vehicle lifts is a clear sign that they can work efficiently. This time-saving equipment is also beneficial for the safe check-up of your car, especially if there are worn-out parts underneath that require replacing.
The last thing you want to happen is for your car to get stuck in the shop for days because they don’t have the complete equipment to get the job done quickly. What’s more, always prioritize driving safely. If your friend is a lousy or inexperienced driver, sit behind the wheel when you’re driving on highways or rough roads.
On the other hand, don’t spend too much time driving. You’re more likely to have a car accident when you’re tired and out of focus. Take regular turns and remind one another about the importance of driving safely.
4. Set some ground rules
In most cases, friends go on trips without setting ground rules thinking that no bad surprises can ruin their fun. However, if you want to enjoy your road trip to the fullest, setting ground rules is not a bad thing. For instance, you can agree to minimize the use of phones during the trip. Bring a camera instead of using your phones to take photos. Or, you can both go into social media detox and only activate messaging apps to stay in touch with family and other friends.
Try to find ways to make your phones less distracting. These devices are serious conversation killers, and they can ruin your trip. Surely, you don’t want to go on an adventure with someone who’s not paying attention.
If you’re looking to forge stronger friendships, experience new things together, and have someone to talk to during long journeys, traveling with a friend is worth considering. The right companion can provide you with better safety and support during the trip. Just follow the simple steps in this guide to avoid conflicts during the trip.