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Going on a camping road trip with friends? Don’t despair, just prepare!

With summer now in full swing many people will start to head out on the open road in search of fun, relaxation, and to get away from the overdrive of work. Really, since the 1950‘s the preferred means of travel in America has been with ones’ own vehicle. Many people will hit the road this summer to save on high plane ticket fares and fees, but more-so traveling by cars enables us to see all the beauty this country has to offer. With that being said - it is no easy task to drive cross country with different personalities and temperaments in one car, but it can be accomplished if well prepared. Below is a list of what may prepare one for an enjoyable ride, yet remember that nothing can be perfect.

  1. Try putting away the GPS. Planning a trip only using a GPS system may leave people going ‘why take this road when I see that road?’ or ‘where on earth is my GPS taking me?’. If you look ahead on a paper map, yes they still exist, you may find that you get to where you need with little or no hassle. Try it!
  2. Maintain an open group dialog. If you are planning to meet up with a group of people and caravan somewhere, make sure that everybody is on board with where the meeting will take place and who/what goes in to each car. This may seem exhaustive but really, if people know their roles and what may be expected of them, more of the ‘master plan’ will be adhered to.
  3. Make a driving schedule. It is a good idea to make a driving schedule which states when and for how long each individual drives for. But be careful here - some people may not be able to drive for long periods so keep communications open. If the schedule needs to be played with, do so. There is no need to harp or worry over something a simple as a driving list because it can always be modified.
  4. Be accountable of your own needs. In this day and age of special dietary constraints it is imperative that you have a handle on what foods/snacks should be packed. Group shopping is great, however one should not expect the group as a whole to know what you may need.
  5. If you brought it to camp, be prepared to take it out. This may seem an obvious step however, at the end of a long camping trip most people are ready to head back to civilization fast. That’s great but make sure that you don’t overburden another traveler with packing your gear. Take the time to roll, fold, stuff, or whatever must be done with your own gear. The rest of the group will appreciate this!
  6. Have fun and an open mind. Pretty self explanatory here. Try to roll with what comes your way because you chose to drive/ride with loved ones, whether family or friends. Again, nothing in life will be perfect but make sure to have fun nonetheless.
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