Embarking on a road trip or a travel journey is a wonderful way to bond with friends and family while seeing the world. What makes the trip truly enjoyable is the people that are on it with you. But they can also be the reason you are miserable, want to pull your hair out, and a harsh reminder as to why earplugs were invented. The worst part of it all is the people that make the journey dismal often are completely oblivious to the fact they are crushing your spirit. To make sure you aren’t the one snuffing out the joy, size up your behavior against these three common faux pas.
- You’re always late.
Nothing can add stress to a travel situation as much as the constraint of time. Unless it’s a leisurely journey, there are generally time parameters that cannot be missed. You have to make a boarding call, avoid heavy traffic, or arrive for the start of an event. Someone being late can cause the whole house of cards to crumble and the people waiting for them to become aggravated in the process. Don’t be the person that holds up the parade! Start your trip off on the right foot by planning your time accordingly.
- You are glued to your phone
Our phones have become our lifelines: you don’t go anywhere without it, you’re addicted to checking it, and it makes you reachable at all times. But too often, we are glued to our phones and ignore the people with us. It’s a terrible habit especially if the point of a trip is to spend quality time together. There’s nothing worse than trying to have a conversation with someone who can’t remove themselves from their phone. If your travel buddy wanted to go it alone, they would have. They’re counting on you to take part in the conversations, the sightseeing, and the belting out of favorite songs on the radio. Be in the moment, unplug from your phone, and save your battery in case you get lost.
- You can’t make a decision.
Traveling usually involves pit stops along the way. Decisions will be made about when to make a bathroom break, where to eat, sights to see, etc. An indecisive person can be a real monkey wrench when making those choices. No one is typically 100% undecided; you are most likely teetering between a couple of things. Express what you’re between or what you don’t want. It’s easier to build consensus when there’s a starting point. Don’t wait until the last minute to express your needs. Someone else may be feeling the same way but is too timid to bring it up. You alleviate the pressure from the person who’s leading, possibly in that role by default, when you speak up. Traveling is easier and more fun when everyone participates and is part of the process.
All in all, make the experience fun and live a little! Keep in mind the feelings of your travel partners and show respect for them to ensure your time together will be enjoyable. These are memories that can last a lifetime, so make them count!