Questions to ask friends before going on a road trip
With the fresh, invigorating fall air and the vibrant fall colors everywhere you look, leaf gazing is fun this time of year. It’s also a good excuse for a road trip! Before you start planning your own crime-free version of a Thelma and Louise adventure, take the time to make sure that you and your friends are compatible road trip partners. To determine if you and your friends will have fun on the road, ask and answer all of the following questions.
What kind of music do you listen to in the car?
You might know your best friend is a Swiftie like you, but he might listen to totally different music while he’s driving. Unless you plan to listen to talk radio, mutually enjoyable podcasts, or the sound of silence, you need to agree on what music you will listen to on the trip. Otherwise, when you add in the other stressors that may appear during the trip, you could both end up in a miserable race.
Additionally, you might want to ask if it’s okay to sing loudly in the car when you know all the words in a song. Hope you will agree that the songs to sing along are fun.
Is it still okay to pick up hitchhikers?
You might think you know someone, but their level of risk-taking may be very different from yours. If you don’t want to pick up hitchhikers on your trip, make sure your friends traveling on the road don’t want to either.
Who will be driving most of the time?
While on a road trip, driving responsibilities can vary depending on what car it is, who likes to drive, who can drive, and how tired you are. Be upfront about whether you want to drive during the trip. If you own the car that will take you all on the adventure, be very clear about whether you want others to drive it.
If you share driving responsibilities, set ground rules about who will drive. Also discuss when they will be driving and what will happen if someone is too tired to drive while they are scheduled to be behind the wheel.
How would you feel if I wanted to end the trip early?
Road trips sometimes seem like fun in theory, but you may feel homesick or just want to complete the trip if it isn’t as interesting as you thought it would be. Be sure to discuss these kinds of catastrophic scenarios with your friend. Discuss how you will handle things if either of you decides to cut the road trip short.
Are you okay with playing by ear?
A road trip can be a lot of fun if you improvise. You may want to go in one general direction and stop when you feel inspired to explore a city as you pass or find a roadside attraction.
On the other hand, a heavily programmed road trip with a clear destination is more fun for many people. Be clear if your friends want a scheduled or impromptu road trip. You should all be on the same page before embarking on your journey.
What dining experiences do you want to have?
Eating on a road trip can be a lot of fun. If you’re going on a long trip, you might find yourself in parts of the country with culinary specialties you’ve never tried before. So if you want to eat in sit-down restaurants and try the local cuisine, be clear on that before you start the road trip.
Make sure you all have the same expectations. That way, it’s not miserable for budget travelers who can’t afford to eat out. Sometimes a mix of snack wrappers, stops at fast food restaurants, picnics, and meals at more fancy restaurants can be a great solution.
Who will pay for gasoline and other travel expenses?
Discuss who will pay for gas and other travel expenses before agreeing to go on an adventure together. Speak before the trip and don’t agree to anything that doesn’t feel right to you. Unraveling things now will be a lot more fun for everyone than the disagreements over money that escalate and eventually come out.
The car owner should be responsible for any major repairs to the vehicle that might occur, but other unforeseen expenses while traveling could be the responsibility of everyone on the trip. For example, if you don’t realize that you will have to pay some tolls, park entrance fees, beach access fees, or a few extra hotel nights if the trip takes longer than expected. Make sure everyone is prepared for any unforeseen expenses that might arise during the trip.
What pandemic safety precautions will you take?
Next, the ongoing pandemic is a major concern for any traveler, so you and your friends need to agree on what safety precautions you want to take. For example, if you want your friends to wear masks while you’re in the car together, be upfront and clear about it. Also discuss other safety precautions like frequent use of hand sanitizer and whether you’re comfortable eating inside. Make a list of all the safety precautions you want to take and bring everyone on board with them before planning the trip.
How are you going to handle the bad weather?
Some people want to keep driving in bad weather, while others will immediately want to get a hotel room and wait for a storm to end. You and your friends should agree on what action you plan to take when encountering rain, snow, fog, or other harsh weather conditions on the road.
Finally, keep in mind that just having these chats can teach you a lot about each other. It can be a good thing and might even bring you all closer before the trip. By showing that you care about compromising and watching each other’s feelings and preferences even before the trip begins, you’ll set the stage for a happy and peaceful road trip with your friends.