You can plan an amazing solo road trip, or you can opt to bring a travel partner or two (see our blog on road trip types). For better or worse, the time you spend with your road trip companions will be enough to ensure lasting memories. If you want to make sure your trip will be the right kind of unforgettable, making sure all travel partners can play nice in the sandbox together. Check out our suggestions while planning your next adventure, and see how many duties you’ve accounted for.
Balancing Travel Partner Personalities with Roles
Sometimes when we travel with friends, family, or romantic partners, personality clashes can make things tough. Think about the various personalities within your group. Will you and your travel partner be waking up at 6am to get in the best activities and avoid lines, or will you be sleeping in til 11 to enjoy your time off? There are no rules for travel—as long as everyone agrees on that.
Think about the following personality types and leadership styles to make sure there will be a cohesive approach to vacationing together.
It’s true: most modern vehicles are equipped with automated computer guidance but these programs are not infallible. It’s handy to have a human offering directions, especially when roads are closed to detours or other unforeseen circumstances. The navigator helps your travels stay on track—kind of important, right? He or she can watch for signs that indicate restrooms, rest areas, gasoline, and food stops. Google maps doesn’t always get it right, folks.
The Navigator doesn’t just navigate roads. This is the person who can intuitively figure out city streets, remember which trail you took, and generally know up from down. If the other travel partners can listen to the advice of the Navigator, trips tend to go more smoothly. Multiple Navigators can cause conflict, especially if they’re pointing in different directions.
The Itinerary Planner
This party member designs the trip itinerary. They’ll know exactly where you’re going and when—and how, even. Additionally, they’ll have all relevant campsite or hotel reservations and travel documents available, ready for use or reference. They’ll have researched the destination(s) ahead of time to find out what fun activities await, and they’ll plan them for the members of your group.
This travel might be a little Type A, but you’ll thank them later. Ideally, this person genuinely enjoys the planning, otherwise they’ll justifiably feel like they’re doing most of the work. Think Monica from friends. Appreciate and cherish this travel partner and try to contribute as best you can.
Just like the Billy Joel song, the Entertainer ensures that the road trip itself is exciting and memorable. This is the Joey of the trip. He or she might plan some road trip games to play in the car. Ideally, they’ll ensure plenty of delicious snacks, juices, and sodas are available to keep everyone’s energy up. The entertainer might also research fascinating stops along the way to augment the journey, and give the group plenty of chances to stretch their legs.
For more on trip planning with personalities, check out Passport Collective!
Meeting Travel Partners Along the Way
Traveling alone can be daunting, but there are plenty of ways to make some friends during your trip. Whether you’re staying in a cheap youth hostel or on a pre-planned trip for retirees, you can truly meet people wherever you go.
From Solo to So-Many-Friends…Oh
There are plenty of reasons to travel alone, and is something we highly recommend! You get to know yourself, have some peace and quiet, and reflect on your ability to be happy all by yourself. It’s also a great way to meet new people. When we have a travel partner, it’s easy to cordon ourselves off rather than meet the new people around us. Getting our of our comfort zone by traveling alone puts you in the perfect spot to make new friends.
“But how do I meet new people,” you might be thinking. “It’s 2019!” Trust us, there is one very simple trick to meeting people somewhere new, and it’s called organized activities. You know all those flyers you see all over the place? Pick one of those events, and go! You might feel awkward, but as soon as you tell people the reason you went, they’ll see you as adventurous and interesting.
Try a local cooking class, or just follow your normal routine in a new place. If you love climbing, head to the local climbing gym and strike up a conversation about local crags. In no time, you’ll probably have a partner for the weekend. If you’re a bookworm, head to your local bookstore or coffee shop. Meeting people in the digital age can be tricky, but if you’re willing to put yourself out there, odds are that your new potential friend will appreciate it!
How do you choose who you travel with? Do you have a travel partner or prefer to explore solo? Let us know in the comments!