Road Trip Etiquette: 10 Tips To Saving Your Friendship

You like road trips? You love to travel? You want to explore the world? If yes, then I suggest that you start being a nice person. I’m not joking. Bear with me here because this topic is important. Now, you want to travel around and go road trips with friends, but then you may wonder why trips seem to always fall through or why your friends never invite you to go on road trips with them (hint: it’s because you come across as annoying). Here are 10 things that you can do that will make you a good road trip partner and make the trips overall more enjoyable. This list will help prevent your friends from hating you after the trip. These suggestions may seem logical, but wow, I have been on too many trips with horrible people to believe that most people know anything about road trip etiquette.

Here’s a quick version and read more info below
1. Get picked to be on a road trip first
2. Don’t complain, just say what you want and offer smart suggestions
3. Help plan
4. PAY!
5. Don’t be passive agressive
6. Let your friend know ahead of time of your restrictions and budget
7. Be enthusiastic
8. Help cook, clean, and set up tent
9. Bring games and conversation starters
10. Put your none serious pet peeves aside

If you want to go on a road trip; here are some day trip suggestions in California

beautiful sunset

1. Get picked to be on a road trip first: If you google “how to road trip”, most of the number one tip is to pick the right companion. Now, if your friends want to go on a road trip, he or she will start looking around and asking friends to come on the trip with them. Because they want to have a good time, they wouldn’t invite people who they know will complain all the time or not chip in to do any chores. If you have always been a generally nice person, then you’re more likely to get picked to go on road trips. This requires that you change your daily behavior. Now, if you know that you’re an annoying person, it’s time to change. If you’re annoying, even if you have money and willing to drive on road trips, no one will want to come with you because you’re annoying. Here’s how you can be a nice person from Wikihow 

2. Don’t complain, just say what you want and offer smart suggestions: What I hate is when people on my trips start complaining about long drive, food not tasting food, or how it’s too hot. Now, I want to punch them in the face and ask if I had not told them about all this before that it was going to be a 10 hours drive and I don’t know how to cook and that it’s freakin’ summer in Southern California. If you ever have problems on the trip, just say it and offer suggestions.
Not Acceptable: “ughhh, my butt hurts, this sucks”
Acceptable: “Hey, I’m sick of being in the car, can we pull over for a few minutes to get fresh air and walk around?”

3. Help plan: Even if your friends have gone camping 20 times and do road trips every since the day he or she was born, don’t assume that they will do everything for you. Try to offer suggestions, let them know what YOU WANT TO DO, share opinions no matter how dumb it may sound. Why? Because it’s better for your friends to see that you care about the trip and that you’re eager to help out which will set a good tone for the rest of the trip.
Here’s how to plan a great road trip by Roadtrip America
Not Acceptable: “So you’re just gonna organize everything right?”
Acceptable: “Hey I’ve never really done this before, but what can I help?”

me driving

4. PAY! This one is a big deal and nothing can break a friendship like a stingy friend who takes advantage of others whenever they can. I’ve been on trips with people who will simply not offer to pay or act like they’ve just smelt a dead fish when I ask them to cover something. If you’re gonna travel, then have some money or be sure to clear it with your friends to let them know that you won’t be able to afford a lot. For example, if you can’t help pay for the cost of gas, then maybe you drive the whole way, or cook, or offer to bring stuff, or sing in the car when the radio is down. Offer to do something in substitution of paying is acceptable.
Here are some affordable road trip ideas for you!
Not Acceptable: “ugh… sure, I guess I will pay…. but… ugh I guess” 
Acceptable: “yea, sure I’ll totally cover this one” or “hey I don’t have a lot of money left, are you okay if I offer to drive for the next two days instead?”

5. Don’t be passive agressive: If you’re friend is pissing you of, say it! Don’t try to do it back to them, it will just ruin the entire trip!
Not Acceptable: (fart in the tent as a revenge)
Acceptable: “Hey I didn’t like how you farted in the tent last night”

6. Let your friend know ahead of time of your restrictions and budget: Tell you friends that you’re allergy to peanut and that you only have $500 to spend on this trip. If they agree to that, then they shouldn’t complain if issues arise from your restrictions because they know before.
Not Acceptable: (half way through the trip) “hey i don’t have money left, can you cover everything for me until we get back? and I maybe repay like a year later?”
Acceptable: “Hey I don’t have a lot of money. I can only spend $500 on this trip, is that okay?”

7. Be enthusiastic: Now, this is the MOST IMPORTANT ONE, because nothing kills a road trip like a boring and unenthusiastic friend who doesn’t want to do anything. I’ve been on a trip with a friend where we were going to go to a really cool place, he simply just kind of said “yea… whatever you want man”, and I seriously was going to throw him out of the car and ask why the hell did he come on the trip. Be happy and glad that you get to do this trip! Many people are stuck working counter jobs at subway! Don’t be boring and just enjoy the moment. If you don’t think that certain things on the trip are not fun, you should still try to enjoy it because going in with a bad attitude will just make things worse. Remember that you should contribute to the planning of the trip early to make sure that you want to do most or all of the things on the trip.
Not Acceptable: “Ugh, i don’t know. Hiking up half dome sounds too hard and not that fun” or “yea… whatever…”
Acceptable: “Hell, YEAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!! #YOLO!!!!!” 

8. Help cook, clean, and set up tent: Chip in to do chores! Yes, you may have just been in the car for half a day but so were your friends!! Stop being lazy and do something.
Here’s a list of good and easy food to cook on camping trip
Not Acceptable: (sit there in on the ground in silence while your friends do everything)
Acceptable: “What can I do to help! What do you need?”

me cooking

9. Bring games and conversation starters: I know it could get boring after a while especially on a long multi day expedition. You may run out of things to do or talk about even with your closest friends and you may start getting home sick. Particularly on backpacking or camping trip where it is physically draining, you may want to bring some conversation starts or games. Print out a list of “ice breaker” or “conversation topics” list and keep in your car, bring a list of car games like “21 questions celebrity guessing game” or “2 truth and a lie”, card games, or something else light weight. Check out the app store or Google play and download any fun apps or games that can be played on the trip. Here’s a great article on road trip apps from CNN.
Not Acceptable: (sit there in silence for 2 days while your friends try to start conversations with you)
Acceptable: “okay it’s too quiet in here, so let’s play movie trivia”

10. Put your none serious pet peeves aside: You may not like snores, you may not like cold weather, you may not like sleeping on the ground, you may be afraid of spraining your ankle or maybe you don’t like hip hop. Put all of these pet peeves aside and don’t be so dramatic. Hiking on rocky terrain is not going to sprain your ankle every 5 seconds. I’ve been on a hiking trip with a friend who will just complain every 5 minutes about how he’s going to break his ankle, knee, or toes because of the rocks. Well, yes, be careful, but I do you need to be so dramatic? NOPE. The last thing that your friends on road trips want to hear is how you don’t like your chicken fully cooked, pasta too overdone, food too salty, or how the ground is too hard. SUCK IT UP AND DEAL WITH IT. It’s just a few days! and to be honestly, you’re well aware that road trips are not going to be as comfortable and convenient as being at home. If you think you can’t deal with roughing it for a day or two, then just stay home.
Here’s a long and funny list of pet peeves I found
Not Acceptable: “Ugh I hate it when wind blows in my face at night”
Acceptable: (not complain at all)

** if you have a serious issue, it is fine to let your friend know. But there’s a difference between complaining and being careful or expressing your concern.

Let me know in the comment section of other ways that we can improve as road trippers

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