A road trip with friends can be the experience of a lifetime. But it takes some planning to make a group trip as stress-free as possible. While spontaneity is one of the best parts of hitting the road, there are still some things that should be figured out in advance.
Troupe’s group travel planner is the perfect pre-road trip tool to help you sort out your adventure. Share ideas for destinations and let trip members vote on their favorites to help plan out your route. You can also suggest dates that group members can approve and Troupe will let you know which dates work before for everyone.
Check out these top tips and ideas for a road trip with friends:
- Plan a road trip based on a shared interest
- Take the scenic route
- Everyone plan a day
- Rent an RV or camper van
- Leave some wiggle room in your schedule
- Have a plan for splitting shared costs
- Play car games to pass the time
- Take lots of photos
- Don’t be afraid to split up
- Share driving responsibilities
- Have a positive attitude (and a backup plan)
Fun road trip ideas for friends
Plan a road trip based on a shared interest
Maybe you all love music and want to catch a show in each city you visit. Or maybe you’re avid hikers who plan on tackling bucket list hikes across the country. Whatever you all love, consider basing the road trip around a shared hobby or passion.
Simply take the scenic route
Half of the fun of a road trip with friends is the time you spend on the road, listening to music, laughing, and enjoying the drive. There’s nothing wrong with taking a road trip simply for the sake of taking a road trip. Choose a scenic route near you, whether that’s a coastal highway or a mountain pass, and hit the road.
Everyone plan a day
If you’re taking a multi-day trip, consider planning out a general route and splitting it up into one-day chunks. Then let each person on the trip be responsible for planning a leg of the journey. You can even keep the plans a surprise to make them more exciting. Each person would choose the city to stop in for the night and an activity at that destination or along the route.
Rent an RV or camper van
While road trips in cars are great and everything, a road trip in an RV is a next-level experience. You and your friends won’t soon forget the week you spent in your home on wheels.
Top tips for a road trip with friends
Leave some wiggle room in your schedule
Don’t plan such a strict road trip itinerary that you don’t have room to stop and smell the roses along the way. Whether that’s literally stopping to enjoy a beautiful, flower-strewn vista or deciding that a quirky pitstop town is worth spending an extra night or two.
Have a plan for splitting shared costs
Make sure you have a plan in advance for how to split costs or someone will inevitably get the short end of the stick. Using apps like Splitwise and Venmo are great for calculating who owes who what and to send payments instantly. Check out more tips for splitting expenses on a group trip.
Play car games to pass the time
No matter how much good music you listen to or how beautiful the scenery is, you’re bound to become a bit bored after full days spent in the car. That’s where car games come in. Everyone knows the license plate game (keep track of all the out-of-state plates you see and try to spot all 50).
But you can also play more thought-provoking games to keep you alert. Try choosing a letter and a category (e.g. ‘C’ and animals) and go around in a circle naming items that correspond (cheetah, cockatoo) until someone is stumped.
Take lots of photos
Don’t hesitate to take photos. Everything about a road trip with friends is meant to be remembered. Take photos (safely) in the car. Pull over as often as you’d like to take pictures of the scenery. Just don’t forget to take it all in without the camera, as well. Snap a nice shot and then put the phone or camera away and just enjoy the view and time with your friends.
Share driving responsibilities
Very few people would be happy to get stuck behind the wheel for the entire trip. And it’s also not the safest way to take a road trip. Rotate drivers every few hours so you’ll all have a chance to kick back and you’ll be alert when it’s your turn to take the wheel.
Dont be afraid to split up for a while
If you and your friends only have one or two days at any of your destinations and some people want to do a grueling hike while others want to visit a museum, don’t stress! Everyone’s interests aren’t always going to align. As long as everyone feels safe on their own, don’t be afraid to split up for the day. Meet back up for dinner to share your different experiences.
Have a positive attitude and a backup plan
Things can, and will, go wrong at some point during a road trip even if it’s just bad traffic at some point along the way. Have a plan in advance for what to do in case of an emergency.
Does someone in the group have AAA? Is there a spare tire in working condition? Consider learning how to change it yourself if you don’t already know. Do you have chains in case of snowy conditions? Who is going to hold on to the spare set of keys?
You should know the answer to all those questions that are frequent road trip mishaps. In addition, remember to roll with the punches. When planning a road trip with friends, carefully consider who you invite to spend all those hours with. No one wants a fun sucker along for the ride.
Most importantly, have fun, be safe, and enjoy the time together with your friends. While you’re at it, start planning your next epic group adventure. Check out these articles for group travel inspiration.