What to know about road trips with your best friends

Summer vacation is fast approaching and there will be a fair share of road trips. A break away from home is just what we all need once in a while, who better to share it with than your closest group of friends? Many memories will be created even in a weekend, whether in a bustling city or a trip to the sandy shores. It can be difficult to plan a road trip, what do you pack? What do you do when you arrive? If you decide to take a trip with your best friends, buckle up, we’ve got you covered.


A road trip isn’t a road trip if the team can’t stretch out on a bed after those long hours of driving. If you plan to stay at an Airbnb or rent a room, make sure there’s enough space for everyone and that it’s safe! On the other hand, you may already have a friend’s vacation home or a family’s accommodation, think about having a room prepared (… and the fridge well stocked). Maybe if you’re impatient enough you could hunker down in your car you’ve been driving in, just make sure you won’t be completely off the grid for the duration of the trip.

Drive to destination

Once everyone is in the car it will be an adrenaline rush, don’t panic. Make sure you have a plan. The driver must stay focused and keep their eyes on the road; the front passenger has to make sure the driver doesn’t take the wrong direction and control the music… if only it were that simple. Trust me when I say everyone wants to control the music. Expect at least one argument over the music, it’s a given road trip.

More driving…

Any road trip means you are going to be in the car for some time, make sure you are fully prepared for those few hours. Ask those seated in the back to be on the lookout for landmarks and places to stop and take in the views. If you have a service, open up an online map and see if you can spot any interesting places to eat along the way. There will be countless Instagram-worthy places to stop, so pause and snap some photos to capture the start of your journey!

What to pack?

The real life-changing question, should you bring your entire wardrobe? No…you shouldn’t, but if you’re the designated leader of this road trip, you’ll need to bring a lot more. Depending on where you are going, write down all the possible items you might need and will use.

As a participant of a road trip with your best friends, a travel bag or a backpack is enough with the essentials.

  1. Clothing (Allow extra in case you need a sudden change of outfit!)
  2. Pajamas
  3. Toiletry essentials i.e.: toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, makeup, deodorant, skin care etc.
  4. Pillow and/or sleeping bag, if asked to bring
  5. Phone, phone charger/power bank
  6. Headphones (could also be used to block out some snoring…)
  7. Camera (if needed, bring extra film)
  8. Additional snacks and drinks
  9. Wallet
  10. Board or card games, for when the car is out of service
  11. Extras – depending on where you are going, i.e. the beach: swimsuits, flip flops and sunglasses

Unwritten rules

There are unwritten rules for a road trip, especially with your team. If you’re going on a long trip, be sure to take frequent breaks, sometimes those breaks can lead to discovering entirely new places. Even if you have a designated driver, take it in turns if possible. Driving too long can not only stress the driver, but can be dangerous, so let them sit for a while. Split the costs, this is the most courteous thing to do if someone is paying a potentially high gas bill to cover the check for the next food stop. Don’t do anything that could put you and your friends in an uncomfortable and dangerous position. If there’s an activity that someone isn’t comfortable participating in, don’t do it. Find places and activities that interest everyone! It’s not uncommon for you to be out of order, but be sure to limit your cell phone use, live in the present, and enjoy the company. It can dampen the moments you share if everyone is quietly browsing social media. This next one is especially important, in case something doesn’t quite go to plan, make sure you have a backup plan, is the route you need to take closed? Make a backup plan. It is also extremely important that you remember to be careful of your fellow travelers!

We have arrived… now what?

The journey has only just begun! No matter where you’re headed, hope you all have a plan for how you want to spend your time at your new destination. Spend the day soaking up the sun together, swimming, exploring the bustling malls, or even going for a hike and enjoying your new surroundings with your best friends. Try an activity you may not have done before, experience it together, and, corny as it sounds, create memories you’ll never forget. Host a girls’ night out, try on some new face masks, and put on a movie. Start a classic game of truth or dare or if there’s something on your mind, there’s no better time and place to express it. Remember… what happens on the road trip stays on the road trip.

Additional tips and tricks

  • Bring a Polaroid camera or disposable film, you can capture indescribable moments that your phone never could.
  • While it’s tempting to let out all the hot gossip in your way, save some for those late-night conversations when everyone has your full attention.
  • Watch out for your road trip buddies, don’t go out of your way to harass them in the car, people will get a bit grumpy after a few hours!
  • Create a playlist, let everyone add songs, and let them play throughout your journey so no one fights over the music.
  • Avoid drama, if there’s a sensitive topic… don’t bring it up. No need to create tension or stir anything, you are here to have a pleasant getaway.
  • Still bring more food, trust me you’ll go through those bags of candy and popcorn once full faster than you think.

There’s nothing quite like spending quality time with your best friends, they make those last long, painful hours feel like minutes and can make you laugh like you’ve never laughed before. It is important for everyone at least once in their life to experience traveling with their partners in crime, because the moments you share with them and the memories you create will last you a lifetime. But keep in mind that you’ll need plenty of coffee after those sleepless nights you’ll be forced to endure.