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Plan a Roadtrip With Your Friends

Almost everyone has longed to take a road trip with their close friends at one point or another. Somehow, being crammed together in a car for five hours sounds appealing if it’s along the way to a monumental memory. However, for too many people, the possibility of such a trip seems to slip further and further away as responsibilities accumulate with the years. Don’t be one of them! Here’s how to plan the trip and make it happen.

Choose the Right Companions

The most important part of a road trip is who’s along for the ride. The Grand Canyon’s majesty might be lost on you if a fussy friend won’t stop complaining about the heat. You’re looking for people who are easygoing enough to shrug when things go wrong, but driven enough to make sure the group stays (somewhat) organized. Brainstorm a list of friends and invite them all to dinner to hear your pitch for the trip. It’s not a bad idea to leave the destination open ended; it will work out better if you come up with that together.

Once you’re agreed that a trip is a good idea, your first step is to start scheduling. Who has how many days to spare, and when? Unless you’re still in college, this will probably be the biggest hurdle to making your trip happen. Remember, your journey doesn’t need to be a two-week odyssey. It’s better to plan a short, manageable trip that everyone can attend (and maybe next time extend) than one only possible in your fantasies.

Choose a Vehicle

After aligning everyone’s time and destination interests, a dependable ride is the most important factor in a successful road trip. Roominess is an important criterion, but reliability takes the top spot. Better to be squeezed together in a sedan on the way to new adventures than enjoying your personal space on the side of the road in an SUV with a faulty transmission. If you can have both roominess and reliability, great!

Figure Out Your Itinerary

You should start a shared online document to spitball ideas about where to stop along the way to your main destination. Ultimately, however, one person should be in charge of nailing down all the details for hotel rooms, campsites, routes, day planning, etc. Otherwise, you’re more likely to run into arguments about which highway is the best or whether you should stop or not at roadside novelty attractions. Just make sure the friend in charge takes everyone’s budget into consideration and is familiar with the word “flexible.”

Agree on Your Musical No-Nos

Sometimes a group of friends is lucky enough to have the same musical tastes. But that’s not always the case. There’s a good chance at least one person in the car just can’t stand country. Maybe arena rock drives you up the wall. Petty drama and minor disagreements are common trimmings to the road-trip experience, and are usually easily overcome. However, an hour-long block of the wrong genre music can make a small problem fester into a serious argument later in the day. Make sure your DJ(s) know to keep the tunes varied enough that no one feels the need to pop in earplugs.

Remember, communication before the trip is just as important as it is once you leave town!