One of the must-take vacations we all should plan in our lives is a road trip with our BFF'S. There's nothing more thrilling than loading up the car and hitting the road for a cross country adventure. However, have you really considered what you're signing up for? Long car rides, navigation, possible road side hiccups. I've been on vacations where everything is planned three weeks beforehand, and we have it figured down to the minute of each day.
I've also been on vacations where we're figuring it out as we go, unsure of where we're staying for the night, and we realize we haven't planned for a number of possible outcomes. To make sure you all are going to have the maximum amount of fun possible, consider these 8 things before committing to a road trip, or any type of vacation, with your besties.
1. What type of vacationer are you, and what type of vacationers they are?Giphy
Are you a history buff with a love for the cultural highlights? Are you set on seeing the main tourist sites and checking out the nightlife of wherever you go? One of the first steps when planning out a vacation is figuring out where you want to go, what you want to see, and what you want to do. If your friends are adventure-seeking backpackers who like to fly by the seat of their pants, while you prefer to be in the city or on a beach, then you may want to make sure you're all on the same page.
2. Are you a strict planner, or can you allow for a little spontaneity?Giphy
Going along with my first point, what type of vacationer you are often includes what kind of planner you are. Do you need everything figured out ahead of time? Do you need to know exactly how each day is going to go, where you're staying, etc? If that sounds like you, you should definitely consider how laid back your friends are. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to plan a trip with someone who is not a planner, no matter how mild or extreme. You don't want to be the one that has to take on the burden of having to figure everything out.
On the flip side, if you're more spontaneous, think about whether you'll be able to make and stick to a couple of firm plans for the sake of your friend. It's important to meet people halfway. Being stubborn will get you nowhere, and it will bring tension towards your trip.
3. What are your must-see's, and what can you afford to skip?Giphy
The best part of planning the vacation is deciding what you all want to do. You can get carried away with all the pins you find on Pinterest and start dreaming up what the ideal version of this vacation looks like for you. Keep in mind that everyone has different interests, and you only have a certain amount of time and money to spend. As you're planning, sort your list into two categories: what are your must-see's, and what can you afford to skip. We don't always get our way, so be prepared to compromise with your friends.
4. How much are you willing to spend?
This is a key part of your vacation! Nobody wants to arrive to the destination and then your friend rejects a number of restaurants, attractions, etc. because they don't have the money to spend. Money is an uncomfortable subject, but one of key components to ensure a good time is coming to a consensus on what the budget should be. Determine a base amount for food, lodging, attractions, spending, and whatever other categories, then decide among all of you how much you can afford to go over.
5. What type of music do they listen to?Giphy
You're about to be stuck in a car with these friends for an extended period of time. Will you be able to survive their favorite artist is Kenny Chesney, and you absolutely despise country? What if they're a Belieber? Do you hate pop music? Not that you should call off your trip because of your friends' music tastes, but prepare yourself mentally to tolerate it, as they should yours. A good system is to go in a rotating order choosing an album or artist, that way everyone is happy.
6. What is the longest amount of time you've spent with these friends?Giphy
Seriously, if you've never spent more than a couple hours with these friends, you may be in for a rude awakening. Be prepared to find out what they're like when they're tired and grumpy, not just when they're in high spirits. Who knows? You could find out that these are friends you can only spend a maximum of a day with. There's a good chance you will get annoyed and sick of each other at some point. Unless you're the lucky ones, in which case you can spend an unlimited amount of time and still not get tired of each other.
7. Are any of you car or navigation savvy?Giphy
Do you know how to change a tire? Does anyone know how to jump start a car? Who is good at navigation? Can anyone read a map? With the amount of technology we have these days, chances are you haven't had to read an actual road map while driving around your local city. Unless you have someone in your group who knows a lot about cars and navigation, it might be in your best interest to take a couple notes or print out instructions before embarking on your adventure.
8. Are you an early bird or a night owl?Giphy
You may across some conflict if you are someone who rises at the crack of dawn, and your friends don't wake up before 10 am (or vice-versa). Planning a trip with people who have a very opposite sleep schedule from you can cause some conflict with your plans for the day. If you have a, b, and c planned, but you don't start your day before noon, you are likely going to have to cut your day short. And while you may be ready to hit the hay, your friends could feel otherwise.