Time to Hit the Road!

Road Trip withFriends – Image by Barron Roth

Taking a road trip with a friend can make or break the friendship. It stands to reason that just because you get along in shorter, less stressful situations does not necessarily guarantee you will have a smooth journey together. When considering a prospective travel partner for the road, there are particular dynamics to factor in before inviting someone to tag along.

So ask yourself some of these questions before getting in the car and setting out on that great adventure…

Do you have compatible travel styles?

If you enjoy going with the flow and really experiencing the highs and lows of a road trip you will not do well with someone who’s high maintenance. Before setting out, really look at what both of your expectations are.

Sure you can find ways to compromise (like a low-cost motel instead of camping) but you would have much more fun if you travel with someone who has a similar travel style. And it’s not just about levels of quality, it’s also about how you both like to spend your time. For instance, if you love thrifting or scouting out quirky places unique to each specific town, a high-brow companion who sniffs their nose at such a thing will be a major damper to your fun.

Are you a foodie who loves to scout out the great Mom’s and Pop’s of this land? Then leave your perpetual dieting friend at home and take someone else along who can appreciate such things.

How do you each face adversity?

When doing a road trip it is a guarantee that something (or several somethings) will go awry. When the car breaks down or your hotel reservation falls through and leaves you “homeless” are you the type that would be able to laugh it off? Is your travel companion able to do so?

Sure there’s something to be said for each having traits that balance each other but you never really know a person until you face adversity together, so think it though before hitting the road together.

How do you look at time and money?

If part of your joy stems from wandering and having the time to explore, you will be incredibly unhappy traveling with someone who wants everything planned down to the last second. You also don’t want to be the only one footing the bill. Does your travel companion have the means to help with fuel, lodging and food? Or do they only magically have money when it suits them?

A successful road trip involves partners who can each carry their own weight, so be sure to look at your friend as objectively as possible before hopping in the car.

Don’t let these guidelines make you feel daunted; they’re here to help you set out on the trip of a lifetime with someone who will enhance your fun instead of hindering it. So take a little time to find that perfect travel companion and then get out there and enjoy!

Author Emma Bell writes for a London media agency.