Road trips by the coast - how to survive terrible travel partners

The 7 worst road trip partners to travel with

Road trips should be incredible adventures. All that open road stretching out ahead of you to explore! You can go anywhere you like and travel at your own pace. There’s only one thing that could get in your way – your travel partners.

There’s something about being trapped in the enclosed space of a car for hours on end that makes little tics turn into huge annoyances.

Here we’ve outlined the worst road trip partners to travel with, plus a few survival tips to make sure you’re still talking by the time you get to your destination.

The Karaoke Queen

Silence is golden? Not to this car companion. Every song is their ‘favourite song’ and with that comes the blaring volume from the sound system. This is especially annoying when a) they can’t sing, or b) they don’t know all the words. In most cases, it’s both.

The Stubborn Driver

No, they don’t need to stop and ask for directions. Because they’re not lost, okay! Stubborn drivers are difficult road trip companions because they care more about their pride than about getting to the destination. We know that road trips are meant to be scenic, but there’s nothing fun about being lost – perhaps we’ve seen too many horror films…

The Backseat Driver

Cars aren’t designed to be driven from the back seat. We know this because there’s no steering wheel or pedals back there. But the Backseat Driver feels that you just don’t know how to drive, and you need them to lean forward at every junction to tell you where to go next. Or to critique your driving skills. Or warn you about hazards that you’ve already seen.

The Serious Planner

Going on holiday is great fun. We all love to have nicesights to see, places to visit and restaurants to eat at. But the Serious Planner can spoil the fun by creating such a rigid itinerary you barely have time to breathe. Road trips are meant to be relaxing too.

family road trips with everyone in the same car

The Squabbling Siblings

Does this sound familiar? “He’s kicking me.” “She’s looking out of my window!” There are no worse road trip partners than siblings who squabble. They can always find new things to fight over, such as who’s got more space, or sweets, or sunshine coming through their window. We sometimes wonder why mum and dad couldn’t just stop at one.

The Queasy Traveller

It’s true that not everybody travels well and car sickness can be really difficult to deal with, especially for young children. The best way to stop this ruining a road trip is to take travel sickness pills with you and ask them to give you plenty of warning to stop if they feel nauseous.

The Avid Sightseer

Pull over! This road trip companion has just seen a tree that they need to get a closer look at. Yes, the avid sightseer will make you stop off anywhere and everywhere to look at, well… anything. They want to snap endless photos and take in every vista to make sure they don’t miss a thing. 

child in child seat for a road trip

Tips to survive a road trip

Don’t let annoying travel companions ruin your road trip. Here’s some easy survival tips:

  • Pack plenty of bottled water and light snacks
  • Avoid snacks and drinks with too much sugar, especially for young children
  • Stop regularly and encourage everybody to get out of the car for a stretch and toilet break
  • Take a game or something that can be used as a distraction (yes, we are aiming this at you Backseat Driver!)
  • Take a sat nav and another map, just in case
  • Create a road trip playlist and ask everyone to add songs they like
  • Make sure to plan a few things to do every day, but leave time for being spontaneous too

Now we want to hear from you! Who’s your worst road trip partner or most annoying car companion? And what survival tips can you share? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

Road trip series

The best cars, motorbikes and destinations for road trips in 2017