Nearly all of us have been on a family road trip kind of like the movie, “Vacation.” While they’re not all as action-packed as a Griswold adventure they certainly all have a few things in common, and it’s not forgetting the dog is tied to the bumper (or so we hope). There’s always the grand destination, but just like the storyline in the movie, the road trip becomes more about the journey than the final stop.
Anytime you’re packed in a vehicle with the same people for hours at a time there’s a chance your storyline will have some heated dialogue. If you’re planning a group trip, here are a few things to keep in mind so that your trip is drama free and working toward that goal: Walley World!
Managing the music
Just because you are best friends with everyone in the car does not mean you all have the same music taste. That “Little Monster” Lady Gaga playlist might be perfect for lounging at the pool or a morning jog, but keep it playing in the earbuds (seriously, we can only take so much “Poker Face”). Start a Pandora account and let everyone take turns choosing a station to listen to. Best of all, no repeats.
Passing the pump
Even if you’re all cramming into a Prius, paying for gas is not going to be cheap. Do not assume it is the driver’s responsibility to front the fees, either. There are two ways to do gas that work pretty well. Either have one person put all of the gas-ups on their credit card, then at the end of the trip, split it between everyone in the group. Or, you can rotate turns each time you stop to gas up (obviously less exact). Be nice and give the driver a pass on a round since they’ll be changing their oil sooner than expected.
Just like we don’t all have the same music taste, there’s a good chance not everyone in the car has the same taste in food. Take turns picking restaurants and try to find places that will have a variety of options. Sorry, but that means not going to your favorite taco joint for lunch and dinner.
Break it up
Sure, you can do that 15 hour drive straight through, only stopping for cheeseburgers and fill-ups, but you might never want to talk to your fellow passengers again. Find a few stops along the way that will get everyone out of the car to stretch and most importantly, have some fun. Find a few quirky places (like these) to spend an hour or so away from Joe, who just polished off a bag of Funyuns and a spicy beef jerky.
Don’t forget to utilize your smartphone on the trip. Check out our recent post about road tripping for entertainment and travel apps that will make life on the road easier.